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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-544

======================================================================



 
       SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF RAILROAD RETIREMENT DAY

                                _______
                                

   July 15, 2010.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1463]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the resolution (H. Res. 1463) supporting the goals 
and ideals of Railroad Retirement Day, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the resolution be agreed to.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1463 supports the goals and ideals of Railroad 
Retirement Day, as designated by the U.S. Railroad Retirement 
Board; recognizes the important contributions that the rail 
industry, rail workers, and retirees make to the national 
transportation system; and urges the people of the United 
States to recognize Railroad Retirement Day (August 29, 2010) 
as an opportunity to celebrate the success and importance of 
the railroad retirement system to America's working families.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1463 supports the goals and ideals of Railroad 
Retirement Day, as designated by the U.S. Railroad Retirement 
Board. Railroad Retirement Day, August 29, 2010, marks the 75th 
anniversary of the enactment of the Railroad Retirement Act of 
1935, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal 
legislation.
    Railroad Retirement Day recognizes the 75th anniversary of 
the creation of a reliable, stable funding system into which 
all railroads and railroad employees pay. It allows older 
workers to retire with the promise of a predictable income. 
This year, nearly 600,000 beneficiaries will receive retirement 
and survivor benefits and about 42,000 railroad workers will 
receive unemployment and sickness benefits.
    In 1874, the first modern railroad pension system was 
established in North America by the Grand Trunk Railway of 
Canada. Its stated purpose was ``to help workers worn out from 
long service to retire.'' The American Express Company, then a 
railroad freight agency, established the first railroad pension 
system in the United States shortly thereafter, in 1875.
    The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also created a pension 
system in 1880; the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1886; and other 
railroads followed suit. By the late 1920s, more than 80 
percent of all railroad workers in the United States were 
covered by a pension plan, but these plans were generally 
inadequate, liable to capricious termination, and of little 
assistance to disabled employees.
    The Great Depression, which began with the stock market 
crash in October 1929, drove the already unstable and 
inadequate railroad pension systems into a state of crisis.
    Since 1910, the number of railroad jobs had leveled off and 
was in decline. By 1928, more than 250,000 railroad workers had 
lost their jobs and, by 1931, 16 percent of all railroad 
employees nationally were laid off.
    Older railroad workers eligible for retirement exercised 
their seniority rights and continued working, deciding that a 
steady paycheck was preferable to pension systems, which could 
not meet their obligations. This decimated the ranks of younger 
workers, affecting the railroad industry for years to come as 
the labor pool of younger workers disappeared.
    Congress took action and passed the Railroad Retirement Act 
of 1934 ``to promote economy, improve employee morale and 
promote the efficiency and safety of interstate 
transportation.'' This legislation was not only designed to 
rescue retired workers, but a decayingindustry as well. 
However, after the Railroad Retirement Act became law, the U.S. Supreme 
Court held that the law was unconstitutional.
    In 1935, Congress passed similar legislation, which 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law on August 29, 
1935. The 1935 law was again challenged in the courts. While 
the law was being challenged, President Roosevelt urged 
railroad management and labor to come to the table and resolve 
their differences, and 11 months after the passage of the 1935 
legislation, the first annuity payments were made.
    The eventual resolution of differences between railroad 
management and labor led to the Railroad Retirement and 
Carriers Taxing Act of 1937 and, in July 1937, the benefit 
payments of more than 50,000 pensioners was taken over by the 
Railroad Retirement Board.
    Numerous changes to the 1937 law were made over time, which 
increased benefits for retirees and added benefits for 
dependents. Amendments enacted in 1946 and 1951 added survivor 
and spouse benefits, liberalized disability benefit 
requirements, and established jurisdictional coordination with 
social security.
    Other changes to the law followed, which protected the 
income of retirees in times of double-digit inflation and the 
crediting of military service, but the most sweeping changes 
came in 2001 when Congress enacted the Railroad Retirement and 
Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-90).
    The Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 
2001 liberalized early retirement benefits for 30-year 
employees and their spouses, eliminated a cap on monthly 
retirement and disability benefits, and lowered the minimum 
service requirement from 10 years to five to nine years if at 
least five years of service occurred after 1995. This was 
accomplished without a tax increase or a reduction in benefits.
    By the beginning of its 75th year, in 2010, railroad 
retirement benefits had been provided to two million retired 
employees, 1.1 million spouses, and 2.4 million survivors. 
Additional unemployment and sickness benefits have been paid to 
railroad workers who were laid off or injured on the job.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1463 supports the goals and ideals of Railroad 
Retirement Day as designated by the U.S. Railroad Retirement 
Board. Railroad Retirement Day will be celebrated on August 29, 
2010, the 75th anniversary of the day that the legislation was 
signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Further, 
the resolution recognizes the important contributions that the 
rail industry, rail workers, and retirees make to the national 
transportation system and recognizes the importance of the 
railroad retirement system to America's working families.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On June 22, 2010, Rep. Thomas S. P. Perriello introduced H. 
Res. 1463.
    On July 1, 2010, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H. Res. 1463. 
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ordered H. 
Res. 1463 reported favorably to the House by a voice vote with 
a quorum present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H. Res. 1463 or ordering the resolution 
reported. A motion to order H. Res. 1463 reported favorably to 
the House was agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    With respect to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1463 is a resolution of 
the House of Representatives, and therefore does not have the 
force of law. As such, there is no cost associated with this 
resolution for fiscal year 2010, or any fiscal year thereafter.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no comparison of the total estimated 
funding level for the relevant programs to the appropriate leve 
under current law is required.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance and 
objectives for any measure that authorizes funding is required.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advisesthat the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no cost estimate nor comparison for any measure 
that authorizes funding is required.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits, as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. H. Res. 
1463 does not contain any earmarks, limited tax benefits, or 
limited tariff benefits under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of 
rule XXI.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    With respect to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1463 is a resolution of 
the House of Representatives, and therefore does not have the 
force of law. As such, clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII does not 
apply.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    H. Res. 1463 contains no Federal mandates.

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H. Res. 1463 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the resolution does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H. Res. 1463 makes no changes in existing law.