Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner released a new video on Wednesday that he said highlights Vice President Joe Biden’s “naïve comments” about the emerging scandal surrounding the Department of Treasury’s decision to terminate pension plans for 20,000 non-union Delphi salaried retirees during the 2009 auto bailout.
The video starts off with comments Biden made during a May interview with an Ohio television station.
“Some of them [Delphi employees] got hurt,” Biden said then, but he maintained that, “Most did fine.”
On Aug. 7, The Daily Caller published internal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) emails showing that senior White House and Treasury officials were behind the pension terminations.
Those emails show that the Treasury, led by Secretary Timothy Geithner, was the driving force behind terminating those pensions — a move made in 2009 while the Obama administration implemented its auto bailout plan. The emails contradict sworn testimony in which several Obama administration figures have consistently said that the decision to terminate the pensions came from the PBGC. The PBGC is a federal government agency that handles private-sector pension benefits issues. Its charter calls for independent representation of pension beneficiaries’ interests.
The law maintains that the PBGC is the only government entity that is legally empowered to initiate termination of a pension or make any official movements toward doing so.
In that local Ohio news interview, Biden charged that the PBGC was behind this decision — not the administration. “That’s an independent agency,” Biden told the local reporter, speaking of the PBGC. “We can’t direct them to make good on all of the pensions.”
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, Turner — who has led congressional efforts to get to the bottom of this issue — said Biden is wrong.
“This video highlights the vice president’s naïve comments on the issue of Delphi salaried retirees and his administration’s decision to slash their pensions,” Turner said. “In fact, the president appoints the director of the PBGC, and three of his cabinet secretaries sit on the PBGC board of directors. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner served three presidentially directed and controlled roles in the auto bailout — secretary of the Treasury, chair of the Auto Task Force, and board member of the PBGC. All the while, Secretary Geithner sat back and oversaw a backroom deal to the detriment of Delphi salaried retirees across the country. People across Ohio and the United States are without the retirement benefits they rightfully earned and many more are without jobs. It’s time for the truth to be revealed about this administration’s failed taxpayer-funded bailouts, and what it means for people left in their wake.”