Local newspapers wait anxiously for pension funding relief
Crucial retirement savings package appears stuck in the Senate

Washington Sen. Patty Murray blames Republicans for holding up the retirement savings package that includes pension relief for local newspapers. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Local newspapers serving communities from Tampa, Florida, to Walla Walla, Washington, say they’re under the gun from a pension funding “cliff” they face next year that will make them have to rapidly catch up on required contributions, exacerbating their well-documented financial decline.

When relief for some 20 publishers passed the House in May on a 417-3 vote as part of sweeping retirement savings legislation, it seemed like a slam dunk that lawmakers would ride to the rescue in time.

Senators advance effort to curb congressional pensions
Measure that would allow lawmakers to opt out clears committee

A bill by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., that would allow lawmakers to opt out of their congressional pensions made it through committee Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Any member of Congress who has served for at least five years is eligible for a pension, but a proposal to allow lawmakers to opt out of their congressional pension while keeping other benefits made it through committee Wednesday. 

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bill by voice vote for floor consideration, but it’s not clear if it will get there. Heading into the committee markup, the measure — sponsored by Indiana Republican Mike Braun — didn’t have any co-sponsors.

Pricey pension rescue headed to House floor next week
Bill would provide financial lifelines to union pension plans

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., confirmed the pensions bill is ready for a floor vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will bring a $64.4 billion measure that would provide financial lifelines to union pension plans to the floor next week.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, the bill’s author, on Tuesday confirmed the schedule for the legislation, which has gone through the Ways and Means as well as Education and Labor panels.

Coons and Klobuchar pitch retirement savings mandate plan
Businesses would get federal tax incentives for participating in new plans

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons have a new retirement savings proposal. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the 2020 Democrats is helping lead a new effort to require companies to help their employees save for retirement.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has joined Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, in the effort. The new bill from the two senators also would set up a portable retirement account for employees of small businesses modeled on the federal workforce’s Thrift Savings Plan.

‘Cardi B is Right’ Says Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sanders promotes Bodak Yellow rapper on supporting Social Security

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greets demonstrators while attending a rally on the West Front of the Capitol to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention during a national walkout by students. The Vermont Senator took to Twitter on saving Social Security Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders got the attention of the internet for retweeting a Cardi B quote about improving Social Security.

Sanders endorsed the rapper’s statement about former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in which she praised Roosevelt for starting Social Security.

Prosecutors Ask Judge to Throw the Book at Former Rep. Reynolds
Say Reynolds has shown ‘complete disrespect for the law, the courts, and the criminal justice system’

Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in September after a judge convicted him on charges he failed to file tax returns for income he made while in Africa consulting for Chicago businessmen. (James Foster/Chicago Sun-Times via AP file photo)

Federal prosecutors want former Illinois Rep. Mel Reynoldsto be sentenced to two years in prison for two years for misdemeanor tax counts.

Reynolds was convicted in September of four counts of failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2012 on the hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned from business ventures in Africa.

McConnell Wants ‘Permanent Fix’ to Miner Health Care Program
Standoff over coal miner benefits complicated year-end spending talks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had supported a year-long extension of the retired coal miner benefits but faced opposition from House Republicans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he will seek a “permanent fix” to fortify a depleted health care program for retired coal miners that complicated negotiations earlier this month to keep the government funded.

“We’re going to try to go for a permanent fix because these folks deserve to be protected,” McConnell said in an interview on Kentucky public television Monday night.

Gina Raimondo's Pension Reform Draws Cheers and Jeers
Rhode Island governor shies away from quick fixes

Gov. Gina Raimondo previously served a term as treasurer of Rhode Island where she spearheaded efforts to reform the state's pension system. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)

It’s true that Gina Raimondo is the first female governor of the state of Rhode Island, but that’s not what she’s most known for.  

What landed Raimondo on Fortune’s list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders  — which also includes Pope Francis and Amazon's Jeff Bezos — is the same as what left many retirees in her state fearful for their futures: an overhaul of the state’s pension system.