Did Obama admin officials lie to Congress about Delphi pension termination?

posted at 10:01 am on August 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to detect a pattern from the Obama administration.  When called to testify before Congress, executive branch officials say, “No, no, no” … but their e-mails later say, “Yes, yes, yes“:

Emails obtained by The Daily Caller show that the U.S. Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, was the driving force behind terminating the pensions of 20,000 salaried retirees at the Delphi auto parts manufacturing company.

The move, made in 2009 while the Obama administration implemented its auto bailout plan, appears to have been made solely because those retirees were not members of labor unions.

The internal government emails contradict sworn testimony, in federal court and before Congress, given by several Obama administration figures. They also indicate that the administration misled lawmakers and the courts about the sequence of events surrounding the termination of those non-union pensions, and that administration figures violated federal law.

Read through all of The DC’s report, but the key e-mail exchanges appear to be those between Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation staffers Joseph House, Karen Morris, and Michael Rae.  The PBGC has the only statutory authority to close down a pension fund, and Obama administration officials have repeatedly claimed that the PBGC made the Delphi decision on the non-union pension independently.  However, the meeting called to determine the status of that pension didn’t include PBGC officials — who got disinvited from the event:

Morris had written earlier that day that the PBGC team would “probably get invited to the Monday meeting at tomorrow’s meeting,” and that the Monday meeting would involve “talks” on the GM and Delphi portions of the bailout plan. Those strategies, she wrote, including “pension issues,” would be “kicking off” that Monday.

But after the Friday meeting, House emailed PBGC staffers Karen Morris and John Menke. “We’ve been disinvited,” he wrote. “It’s for the best.”

“Who uninvited us?” Morris replied.

“Treasury,” House responded.

Treasury official Matt Feldman then starts coming into the picture as “a facilitator” of the Deplhi decision, to us the DC’s characterization:

In another series of emails between PBGC’s John Menke and Karen Morris, Feldman — an Obama administration official — emerges as the facilitator of the Delphi pension termination. Menke wrote of the need to obtain a “rubber stamp” from Treasury Department officials before the cutoff was finalized, and from others who were supposed to be excluded from the decision-making process.

Menke emailed Morris on July 14, 2009, laying out details of the final deal that was to deny 20,000 non-union Delphi workers most of hteir pension benefits.

“Terry [Deneen], Joe [House] and Greenhill seem inclined to tell Feldman that this does it for us,” Menke wrote. “Terry is taking it up to Board reps meeting this afternoon and expecting to get a head nod, which he will then have Greenhill convey to Treasury.”

Very obviously, Treasury was at least involved in the decision-making, if not the ultimate decider of the Delphi pension termination.  A Treasury spokesman insisted to the DC that the PBGC made the decision on its own, but it looks pretty clear that the PBGC was at least coordinating efforts with the Obama administration.  To the extent that any officials testified differently, we may be seeing more subpoenas and Congressional hearings in the near future.  One question in particular will be why the PBGC terminated the non-union pension while taxpayers absorbed the union pension obligations, and whether that outcome was coordinated all along by the White House.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Right, DanMan. Delphi’s only business was GM. When GM sank, Delphi went with it. And, GM earlier spun off Delphi specifically to get out from under the union. So, Obumbler and Co. doubtless wanted to not only screw the non-union employees, but to send a message to other companies (and their employees)in the future.

tngmv on August 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM

One question in particular will be why the PBGC terminated the non-union pension while taxpayers absorbed the union pension obligations, and whether that outcome was coordinated all along by the White House.

The auto bailout sacraficed healthy dealerships. The auto bailout sacraficed bondholders. And the auto bailout sacraficed these non union pensions. Aren’t those people part of the middle class? Obama announced he “didn’t stand with the bond holders.” I can see that in a Romney ad. And show how many people, middle class people, lost while unions were given the keys to the store.

That’s why he always wants to make investments in education and roads and bridges. Unions. They have gotten all the investments, bailouts, and stimulus used by the states to bail out their pensions and give them raises and bonues. Obama is always talking about “fairness.” How is that fair?

magicbeans on August 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM

One question in particular will be why the PBGC terminated the non-union pension while taxpayers absorbed the union pension obligations, and whether that outcome was coordinated all along by the White House.

Dealerships, bond holders, and the non union pensions holders all were tossed to the side for the unions. Remember when Obama announced, “he didn’t stand with the bond holders?” I can see that in a Romney ad. Aren’t all those people Obama screwed over part of the “Middle Class?” And Obama is always talking about fairness. How is that fair?

Not just the auto bailout but so much of the stimulus and all of the “investments” are aimed at the same people. Unions. Just like more than 50% of the Obamacare waivers are given to the unions.

magicbeans on August 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Ooops. I didn’t think that first message was going to post. Forgive the repeat.

magicbeans on August 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM

One question in particular will be why the PBGC terminated the non-union pension while taxpayers absorbed the union pension obligations, and whether that outcome was coordinated all along by the White House.

Ed…SERIOUSLY?…the answers are quite obvious:
1) non-union members are not part of the protected class
2) of course, see 1) above

RedInMD on August 7, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Did Obama admin officals lie…? The answer is yes, doesn’t matter what the rest of the question is.

KateNE on August 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Subpoenas? I guess that’s the appropriate action but without the media calling for heads to roll, I don’t see it making any difference. The DoJ’s actions ended up in hundreds of deaths, and no one has even lost a job over it. I like Issa, but he doesn’t seem to be willing to put too much political capital in anything more than saber-rattling.

What’s the lifelong work of 20,000 measly non-union workers worth? Obviously nothing. The alphabet nets will ignore it completely and I suspect the same from WaPo, NYT, LAT, etc.

BKeyser on August 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Short answer.

Yes

long answer

Does “Reverend” Wright hate white people?

longer answer

Is Jsse Jackson Jr hanging out with Kitty Dukakis and Tom Eagleton?

acyl72 on August 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Will Timothy Tax Cheat Geithner be responsible for the deaths of non-union workers and their families at Delphi Auto Parts if they should become ill?

Inquiring minds want to know.

katablog.com on August 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Isn’t that headline RACCCIIIIIIISST?
3

katablog.com on August 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

he Romney camp should find out how many of those 20,000 later got cancer and died because of President Obama and Timothy Geithner.

Borgcube on August 7, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Why bother him, he’s too busy depraving himself for the “gays for boy scouts” groups. Now we know why Dick Cheney tried to destroy Sarah?

Don L on August 7, 2012 at 4:16 PM

If there weren’t an election in November, I’d want Obama impeached. This is yet another act by his regime that is an impeachable outrage.

WannabeAnglican on August 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Subpoenas? I guess that’s the appropriate action but without the media calling for heads to roll, I don’t see it making any difference…

BKeyser

To cede this power to “the media” is to accept defeat.

Olo_Burrows on August 8, 2012 at 4:02 AM

“When there is any doubt, there is no doubt.”
– Ronin

mojo on August 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Comment pages: 1 2