What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Pension Protections : H. Res. 540. Sense of the House Resolution/Passage of a Measure Expressing the Sense of the House that Congress Should Pass Republican Pension Benefits Legislation.
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H. Res. 540. Sense of the House Resolution/Passage of a Measure Expressing the Sense of the House that Congress Should Pass Republican Pension Benefits Legislation.
house Roll Call 414     Sep 25, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Pension reform became a hot issue on Capitol Hill after scandals at Enron and other corporations caused employees to lose their retirement pensions. Enron, for instance, prevented its employees from selling their company stock; as Enron's stock value fell in response to the company's fraudulent accounting practices, so too did employee pension funds. In response to this and other corporate misbehavior, Republicans drafted a reform bill that would made it easier for employees to diversify company pension plans and would require employers to provide employees with outside investment advice. Progressives agreed with the goals of the GOP bill but they had problems with specifics of the legislation. Specifically, they worried that outside investment advisors would recommend stocks from the sale of which they would personally benefit. Progressives also opposed a provision in the bill which, in their view, would allow for a less equitable allocation of pension money between executives and employees. The GOP-drafted employee pension bill was not passed by the Senate. In an effort to castigate the Senate for its inaction on the measure, House GOP leaders drafted a "sense of the House" resolution which stated that Congress (i.e. the Senate) should pass the employee pensions bill adopted by the House. Unlike all other legislation, sense of the House resolutions are non-binding and lack the force of law. Progressives opposed passage of the resolution based on their objections to the underlying legislation. The resolution was adopted on a 258-152 vote.

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