September 30, 2022

CBO Confirms Democrat Handout to Multiemployer Pension Plans Puts Taxpayers on the Hook for BILLIONS More

Today, Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (R-MO) and Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that the Biden administration’s rule implementing Democrats’ uncapped handout to multiemployer pension plans will cost $4.5 billion more than CBO’s initial estimate:

“CBO just confirmed what we’ve known all along. The price tag for Democrats’ taxpayer-funded handout to multiemployer pension plans will continue to rise. CBO’s letter highlights the dangers of writing a blank check: the Biden administration’s creative reinterpretation of the statute will cost taxpayers billions more.

“The rule implementing the Democrats’ so-called American Rescue Plan’s handout to mismanaged and failing pension plans will cost an additional $4.5 billion, leaving taxpayers with a tab of approximately $90.4 billion. What’s worse, failing plans that have already taken taxpayer cash can return to the well once more.

“This was no rescue for American taxpayers. Multiemployer pension plans are collectively underfunded by more than $756 billion, and Americans are getting stuck with the bill. Do Democrats think this is monopoly money? They keep expecting taxpayers to pony up for these costly handouts.

“Biden’s multiemployer pension giveaway is a reckless policy that encourages the continued mismanagement and hemorrhaging of these plans. This attempt by the Left to rob taxpayers blind is politics at its worst.”

NOTE: On July 6, President Biden announced that his administration completed a regulation implementing the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) handout to multiemployer pension plans. Republican Leaders Foxx and Smith sent a letter to CBO requesting it provide a cost estimate for this rule’s impact.

When Democrats passed ARPA, CBO estimated the program would cost $85.9 billion. Today, CBO says it will cost another $4.5 billion, or 5 percent more, bringing the total to $90.4 billion.