Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, representing the state’s 3rd Congressional District, says she wants transparency on companies receiving aid through the Paycheck Protection Program. But so far, she won’t say whether she supports House Democrats’ proposal to bailout newspaper pension programs, including KC Star owner McClatchy Co.

The Kansas City Star reports that Davids wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, “It is unacceptable that small businesses struggling to pay their rent and their employees cannot access the program while we see reports of more well-connected chains and financially secure businesses getting millions.”

Since publicly-traded McClatchy is one of those ‘well-connected’ chains (although not financially secure),  the Sentinel wrote to Rep. Sharice Davids and asked her position on the pension bailout proposal.  So far, she hasn’t responded, and messages left at her office have not been returned.

Roll Call reports, “The Democratic bill would give newspaper companies 30 years to fix their underfunded pension plans rather than the seven years other companies get, freeing up cash flow that would otherwise need to be committed to their pension plans.”

But even that would only kick the proverbial can down the road for companies like McClatchy.  Roll Call also says, “the bill would permit eligible employers to assume their plan’s investments will return 8 percent a year.

“But critics say the pension relief proposal has little to do with COVID-19 and is more about papering over problems that are decades in the making.

“The idea that pension plan administrators will be able to make 8 percent a year is “a complete fallacy,” said Rep. Tom Rice, a South Carolina Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Thirty years from now 90 percent of the papers involved here will have been dead for 25 years,” he said.

We’ll update this story if Rep. Sharice Davids responds to our request.

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