Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Does the Senate Have Any Bite, or Is It All Bark?

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, Continental and American did an end run around compromises reached in the pension reform legislation last year. In his column yesterday, Jeffrey Birnbaum reports that the Senate Finance Committee is not happy about it:

The top brass at the Senate Finance Committee are incensed over a legislative end-around engineered by American and Continental airlines. The airlines used their contacts with the Democratic leadership in Congress to sneak into the Iraq war spending bill a provision that will reduce the payments they have to make to their workers' pension plans, a move that will save them millions.

The Finance Committee's senior members are not pleased. They have asked the airlines' chief executives to explain themselves and are warning that theirs may well have been a Pyrrhic victory.

"These two airlines flew around the Finance Committee to get this pension provision in the spending bill, but we will review, in the light of day, exactly what deal they got," Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said ominously.

"The committees of jurisdiction spent many months working on a pension bill that took each airline's status into account," added Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the panel's ranking Republican. "These two airlines and their allies in Congress have undermined that work."

In other words, flyboys, you've made some powerful foes.

Really? I'll believe it when I see it. If the Senate Finance Committee is incensed, then there is nothing that prevents Baucus and Grassley from introducing new legislation to undo the end-around and building the support to pass it. There may yet be hope for the Senate if they do.


Tom said...

I'm no political scientist, but it seems to me that from the Senate's point of view, everyone wins here: The Finance Committee gets a juicy issue to publicize, nice hearings to embarrass bad guys (corporate CEOs are bad) and, after the wind dies down, the original senators all still get their campaign contributions from the airlines. WIN WIN WIN!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

American Airlines pensions are being given special treatment for bailout because they cooperated in the conspiracy plot of 9-11. You notice they are the only airline that did not report bankruptcy after 9-11. See 9-11 crimes below.
9-11 TRUTH (Neocon Crimes)

The FBI reports there is no link between 9-11 and Al-Quaeda. Stop chasing bogeymen and start impeaching the real terrorists in the White House.

(1) Neocons withdrew and delayed Norad response to planes by holding simultaneous war games and removing fleet to far-off places.

(2) Neocons preset charges in World Trade Center during a security drill with the cameras off.

(3) Neocons exploded WTC 1 & 2 one hour after the plane explosion, as can be seen on video.

(4) Neocons set fire and imploded WTC 7 at 5 pm, destroying a command center & Wall St. accounting records.

(5) Neocons ordered no defense of the Pentagon when imminent attack was known, as reported by eyewitness.

(6) Neocons hit the Pentagon with a small missile plane, destroying Defense accounting records.

(7) Neocons hit the Pennsylvania plane with a missile, as reported by witnesses, and it exploded in small pieces above the ground.

(8) Neocons removed the steel evidence at WTC site before investigation, and military thermite explosive has been found.

(9) Neocons removed videotapes at the Pentagon, and the black boxes from the WTC planes.

(10) Neocons broadcast fake al-Qaeda video in English, FBI reported no link between 9-11 and al Qaeda.

(11) Neocons were behind anthrax attacks on balanced journalists, anthrax was from government laboratories.

(12) Neocons gave false terror alerts to divert attention from illegal coups, bombings and torture.

Reference: Scholars for 9-11 Truth