He is the first congressional Republican to do so.
“It’s the best one that’s come forward,” King said of the bill. “These are people who worked hard, they’re not looking for a giveaway. It’s not through any fault of theirs that their pensions are being cut dramatically.”
King announced his support at a press conference in Hempstead, N.Y., today, appearing alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He said he agreed “back in December” to co-sponsor the bill, and resolved to announce his support on the first day the House was in session before a calendar change.
King told Teamsters in Hempstead he would “do all I can” to get more Republican co-sponsors. “We’re gonna get others.”
The bill is the House version of the Butch Lewis Act, S. 2147 (115), introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. The proposed legislation would create a new agency within Treasury that could authorize loans to troubled pension plans. Democratic leaders have made a pensions fix a top priority in budget negotiations.
The Teamsters applauded King for his decision. “The Teamsters Union thanks Rep. King for his leadership in co-sponsoring this bill,” Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said in a statement. “This legislation is too important to be delayed by partisan politics.”