Franken Thrust into Pension, Health Reform Debates

July 1, 2009 ( - The newest U.S. Senator - Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota - will help ponder significant reforms in both the pension and health care arenas when he formally takes his seat in the chamber.

That’s because, shortly after the Minnesota Supreme Court declared the comedian-turned-politician the winner of the hard fought race against Republican Norm Coleman, Franken was appointed to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Franken also won a spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a Washington Post report.    

In addition to considering a variety of proposals to dramatically reform the nation’s health care system – including the role of employers in that system – the panel may also be grappling with issues such a 401(k) fee disclosure, retirement plan advice and pension funding problems.   

Chairing the HELP panel is Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) while the ranking minority member is Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming).