Coble takes another opportunity to rein in congressional pensions
May 10, 2012 -
(Washington, D.C.)----Because he is a long-standing opponent of congressional pensions, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) this afternoon voted for a motion to recommit a Republican budget bill back to committee because it contained language that would have eliminated some forms of congressional pensions. Congressman Coble, who refuses to participate in the pension system, said it was another step in his career-long quest to rein in lavish pensions for members of the House and Senate.
"I had no real problem with the budget bill per se," Rep. Coble, "but when I read the language of the Democratic motion to recommit resolution, I thought it was a no-brainer to support the motion. Once the motion failed, I voted for final passage of the Rep. Paul Ryan sequestration replacement bill. As I said, the bill itself is good, but we had a chance to make it even better by adding in language that would have eliminated some congressional pensions. In my mind, that is always a good idea."
The motion to recommit stated that any former member of Congress, who is registered as a lobbyist, and whose annual income exceeds $1 million, would be ineligible to receive pension benefits from either congressional pension program. The resolution also increased the contributions members must make to their pensions, terminated the special annuity supplement for members who retire early, and prohibited members from contributing to the Thrift Savings Program.
"All of those items were worthy of support in my mind," Rep. Coble concluded, "so that is why I supported to the motion to send the bill back to committee. Once that failed, I voted for final passage of the Ryan sequestration replacement bill."
The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652) would replace a budget sequester scheduled for January 2, 2013, that would result in a $1.2 trillion across-the-board spending reduction. The motion to recommit failed 170-232, with Howard Coble and Walter Jones being the only two Republicans to vote in favor of the motion. The Ryan bill, which Rep. Coble voted for, passed 218-199, with 16 Republicans voting against.
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