Oversight leaders demand Delphi pension documents

A House committee this week imposed an Aug. 5 deadline for the release of documents related to the cuts of pensions of salaried retirees from Delphi, and threatening legal action.

Leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee pressed Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to release the documents or face subpoena.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Subcommittee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., and senior Committee member Mike Turner, R-Ohio, sent letters to Lew and Josh Gotbaum, director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., seeking documents related to the fact that while salaried retirees lost large portions of their pensions, Delphi’s unionized employees’ pensions were made whole during the taxpayer-funded bailout of General Motors in 2008.

“Now is the time for the Treasury Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to stop stonewalling the Committee’s legitimate requests,” said Mica. “We will take whatever steps necessary to uncover all the facts and to expose how the TARP union bailout transpired.”

Turner, of Dayton, accused the administration of willfully refusing to comply with the oversight process.

“If the Administration once again ignores and evades the oversight process, compelling responses will be the only option left to ensure their compliance,” Turner said.

A statement released by Bruce Gump, chairman of the Warren Legislative Group, and vice chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, said the group is hoping congressional subpoenas can be avoided.

However, he said, on previous occasions, the White House responded by threatening to use executive privilege to keep those records secret.

“One must wonder why they would have to use executive privilege over a pension issue which has nothing to do with national security or any other kind of security,” Gump said. “All the Delphi salaried retirees have ever asked for is to be treated in a fair and equitable manner by our government.”