Not on Our Watch

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By Joseph Smith

Not on Our Watch.On January 19, 2023, the U.S. officially reached the country’s congressionally imposed borrowing limit. Congress must now – as it has done routinely in the past – act by this summer to prevent the United States from intentionally defaulting on its debts. As the urgency to address the debt ceiling approaches, a growing number of lawmakers are advocating for dramatic cuts which hurt everyone from retirees to veterans and workers. The richest Democracy on Earth can afford to protect workers throughout their lives, and the USW will hold Congress members’ feet to the fire to ensure no concessions are made off the backs of hard-working Americans.That’s why our union launched a campaign to tell Congress that no cuts should be made to retirement security in the process of reaching agreement on raising the debt ceiling.Last week, House leadership announced a dramatic, economy crashing bill for an initial debt limit “deal”. Amongst the poorly written provisions in the 320-page bill, proponents decided to insert language which could cut the Butch Lewis Act that was included in the American Rescue Plan. Our union fought for over a decade for the Butch Lewis Act. By securing it, 120,000 active and retired USW members are in line to have their pensions protected. Let’s be clear: those pensions were never entitlements, they were deferred wages our members negotiated, and they deserve to receive those wages and retire with dignity. Now, that’s being threatened.
Here are the facts:
In 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Act, which included funds for financially troubled pension plans (the Butch Lewis Act), protecting the retirement income security of over one million union members.Some of those plans have received this financial assistance. Other eligible plans, including those of our members, are still in process. If the law were revoked, there would be no possibility of any assistance.Decimating the retirement income security of one million hardworking Americans is outrageous, cruel, and unacceptable for a debt deal.Any member who voted for the Butch Lewis Act in 2019 but will now vote for this debt deal is choosing politics over people when it really counts.We Need Quick Action!

Click HERE to send a pre-written email to your Representative to tell them hands off our retirement security.

Call 1-866-202-5409 to tell your Representative who you are, where you are from, and to oppose the current debt limit bill in the House, which cuts retirement security for hard-working Americans.

Click HERE for a printable version to distribute in your workplace.
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(412) 562-2291
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