April 24, 2023

OMB: Rescinding COVID Funds as Part of Debt Limit Deal is an Attack on Pensions

Last Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released their monthly report detailing the unspent COVID money – $70 billion of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds — that House Republicans want to cut as part of a debt limit deal.

Two-thirds of the money, $46.7 billion out of $72.8 billion, is from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s Special Financial Assistance Program, which was always intended to spend slowly over time, a major reason for the funds not being spent yet. Since that’s most of the unspent ARP money, many seniors see the GOP’s “rescind unspent COVID balances” message as code for “cut support for union pensions.”

“After 10 plus years of living with uncertainty, 10.1 million pensioners were given a lifeline with the Butch Lewis Act,” said NUCPP President Kenneth Stribling. “Now the Republicans have targeted these seniors once more by trying to take their earned pensions away again. This is why we are pleased to announce the partnership this week with the Alliance, as well as other retiree groups with similar interests in keeping retirement security benefits safe. The NUCPP and its pension warriors have proven that they will fight for what we earned and were promised.”

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