Boehner Predicts Pension Conference Report Out Soon

July 18, 2006 ( - On Tuesday, a key member of the US House of Representatives Republican leadership rebuffed allegations that Democrats have effectively been shut out of deliberations on sweeping pension reform.

House Majority Leader Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected charges that Democratic representatives have been blocked from participating in the debates of the House-Senate conference committee, which is trying to hammer out a final version of the pension reform measure.

“Democrats know that they have been consulted,” Boehner asserted, according to interview transcripts released by his office. “I can’t hardly think of a day that has gone by over the last three months that I haven’t talked to at least one Democrat on the pension issue. And so they are in the loop.”

As have other prominent lawmakers in recent days, Boehner contended that the work of the conference soon will reach a conclusion.

“I think we are very close to an agreement,” the lawmaker said. “There are several meetings today on pensions, so we will see what happens.”

Boehner also described sessions that took place during this weekend as productive, as well as “constructive.” 

“I think we are close, I think we are very close,” he said.

Boehner said he continues to support “reasonable and responsible” relief for troubled industries by rehabilitating their pensions. Executives of ailing US airlines having made particularly concerted pleas for help in getting their pensions properly funded.