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Senate Republicans named to congressional multiemployer pension committee

The Republican Senate members of a new congressional committee dealing with struggling multiemployer pension funds were named Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky tapped Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Michael Crapo of Idaho and Rob Portman of Ohio. Mr. Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will co-chair the select committee along with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Mr. Alexander is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

In a statement, Mr. Hatch said there is "a great deal of bipartisan support in Congress for a comprehensive solution to the union-run multiemployer pension system. This committee has a real opportunity to build on past work, push past partisan politics, and unify behind effective solutions that will put this system — which impacts more than 10 million American workers and retirees — on a path toward solvency."

The Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, created as part of the bipartisan budget agreement reached Feb. 7, calls for eight members from the House and eight from the Senate, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Democratic members Mr. Brown, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Tina Smith of Minnesota were named Monday, and House members were named Feb. 23.

The select committee will consider ways to improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s multiemployer program. The law requires the committee to hold public hearings and vote on legislative recommendations by Nov. 30. The select committees will be dissolved by Dec. 31.