The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee needs a public relations campaign.
Frequently referred to as the HELP Committee, it more appropriately should be known as the HEL committee because of the members' divisiveness over pension issues, said Diann Howland, pension staffer to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
"It's divided against itself," she noted, adding, "The committee is left of the Senate as a whole. They have a tendency to overreact."
Ms. Howland, who was discussing the committee's passage of recent Enron-related pension legislation, criticized provisions that would let participants share trusteeship of 401(k) plans and make it easier for participants to sue plan sponsors for damages.