Americans need an urgent solution to the multiemployer pension plan crisis. Congress must take action now to find a bipartisan compromise. We cannot afford to continue on the current trajectory, which will ultimately lead to the collapse of the entire system and the loss of billions of retirement dollars. The Retirement Security Coalition works to support achievable solutions that will maximize benefits for millions of Americans enrolled in multiemployer pension plans and provide for a stable and reliable retirement system for the future.
John Boehner |Former Republican Speaker of the House and represented Ohio’s 8th Congressional District (1991-2015)
Speaker Boehner led the US House from January 2011 to October 2015, a time during which he navigated some of the most difficult legislative challenges of the modern era and forged strong relationships with business and government leaders throughout the world. A former small businessman who entered public service because of his desire to remove barriers to economic growth and private-sector job creation, Speaker Boehner is respected on both sides of the political aisle for his efforts to find common ground on major policy matters without compromising on principle, and for his belief that individuals of competing viewpoints can “disagree, without being disagreeable” to each other.
Prior to entering public service, Speaker Boehner spent years running a small business representing manufacturers in the packaging and plastics industry. After witnessing first-hand some of the challenges businesses encounter with government, he gradually entered the political arena, driven by a desire to help make government less intrusive and more accountable to the people it serves. He represented the people of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District in the US House for nearly 25 years, leading the reform-minded “Gang of Seven” in the early 1990s that closed the scandal-ridden House Bank and forced a series of institutional changes in Congress, including measures requiring the House to be subject to annual independent audits of its financial records.
Speaker Boehner put his small business experience to work for constituents in 1999 by taking over the chairmanship of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, the congressional panel with jurisdiction over the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and matters of private-sector health care and retirement security policy. In this role, he crafted and successfully advanced measures dealing with employer-sponsored healthcare, pensions, stock options and other employee benefits.
Speaker Boehner’s effectiveness in bridging the gap between government and the private sector on the subcommittee paved the way for him to become chairman of the full House Committee on Education and the Workforce in 2001. During his five years as chairman, Speaker Boehner developed a reputation for bringing Republicans and Democrats together in support of major policy initiatives and solving big legislative puzzles in areas ranging from education policy to pension reform.
Elected by his colleagues as US House Majority Leader in 2006, Speaker Boehner went on to serve as the top Republican leader in the US House for nearly a decade, becoming House Minority Leader following the 2006 elections and leading his party to majority control of the House in 2010, focusing the GOP agenda on economic growth policies and invoking his business roots with the rallying cry “Where are the Jobs?”
When Speaker Boehner took the gavel as Speaker of the US House in January 2011, he became the third-ranking position in the US government, second to the vice presidency in the order of presidential succession. Speaker Boehner dedicated his speakership to removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and addressing the drivers of the nation’s massive debt. During his first year as Speaker, he helped guide enactment of implementing legislation for long-sought free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and also secured enactment of the Budget Control Act, which required major spending reductions and ultimately resulted in the enactment of the first bipartisan entitlement reforms in many years.
Speaker Boehner also forged close alliances with leaders and business and government throughout the world during his time as speaker, hosting global leaders at the US Capitol, leading bipartisan congressional delegations on missions to nearly every continent, and extending the invitation that resulted in Pope Francis becoming the first Pope in history to address a Joint Meeting of the US Congress.
Joe Crowley |Former Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and represented New York’s 14th Congressional District (1999-2019)
Congressman Crowley represented people of New York’s 14th congressional district, including his hometown of Woodside, Queens, in the US Congress for nearly 20 years. He served in the House Democratic leadership for six years, first as Vice-Chair and then as Chairman of the Caucus. He was also a member of the prestigious House Committee on Ways and Means, where he worked to protect Social Security and Medicare, championed efforts to make healthcare more affordable and advocated cutting taxes for middle class Americans and small businesses. He successfully helped shepherd legislation to reform laws that unfairly taxed foreign investment in US commercial real estate and was a key voice in discussions on how reform should be designed to benefit working men and women.
Congressman Crowley was on the frontline of efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act, enact marriage equality in New York State and protect women’s rights and human rights. He was also a three-time co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and an active member of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-founder of both the Bangladesh Caucus and Rare Diseases Caucus.
Congressman Crowley’s rise in the Democratic Party leadership is indicative of his tireless work to elect Democrats at every level of government. He mentored colleagues and candidates and earned the respect of other Members of Congress with whom he served. Before entering national politics, Congressman Crowley served in the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 1998.