WASHINGTON, D.C. | December 8, 2009 -
Following a hearing last week in the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on the bankruptcy of the Delphi Corporation, Reps. John Kline (R-MN), Tom Price (R-GA), Chris Lee (R-NY), and Michael Turner (R-OH) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner requesting information on the Administration’s involvement in the bankruptcy proceedings. To date, inquiries about what role the White House’s Auto Task Force played in negotiating the bankruptcy – which included major losses in pension benefits for a significant portion of the Delphi workforce – have not been answered.
During the hearing, testimony confirmed that certain salaried employees of the Delphi Corporation are being denied full payment of their promised retirement benefits, while other portions of the workforce were protected and are continuing to receive full benefits. Republicans on the committee raised questions about the White House’s role in determining which employees would receive a lower pension payout. The letter to Secretary Geithner highlights the immediate need for greater transparency and clarification on the Administration’s part in the Delphi bankruptcy as well as its continued involvement in the American auto industry:
“It is beyond dispute that the federal government – now a 60 percent owner of General Motors – played a significant role in shaping these outcomes and in brokering negotiations among key interests. In the exercise of its oversight authority, the Subcommittee needs to fully understand exactly what that role was, and by whom key decisions were made.”
"The hard working folks who had their retirement security up-ended by this administration deserve some straight answers,” said Rep. Price. “It’s bad enough that it appears the federal government was picking winners and losers, but it is completely unacceptable that there has been no accountability or transparency in how the Administration’s actions impacted these people’s lives. The fact that the Administration has thus far refused to answer even the most basic questions surrounding its involvement does not inspire confidence that it was dealing in good faith on behalf of those workers whose pensions were found to be expendable. This case won’t be closed until we get some true openness from the Treasury Secretary, car czar, and all those involved in this unfortunate episode."
NOTE: This request for information comes on the heels of previous efforts by Republicans on the Education and Labor Committee to secure answers from the Administration – including an attempt to have Ron Bloom, head of the White House Auto Task Force, testify before the HELP Subcommittee.
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