Former members of President Obama's Auto Task Force are expected to testify at a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing Tuesday in Washington about decisions leading up to pension reductions for Delphi Corp. salaried retirees.
Ron Bloom, Harry Wilson and Matt Feldman have agreed to attend the hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, but it's unclear if they will answer all questions or just agree to cooperate fully with an audit by a special inspector general for the government's Troubled Assets Relief Program, a spokesman for the retiree group said Friday.
"We obviously hope for full disclosure at this hearing, but Congress is also concerned with their refusal to cooperate with (the inspector general), whose position was established by Congress itself for TARP oversight," Niles resident Bruce Gump, vice chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, wrote in an email.
Gump noted the inspector general, Christy L. Romero, in May wrote to the Committee Chairman Darrell Issa that the three members of the President's Auto Task Force had refused to cooperate with the audit.
Romero said in the letter, "SIGTARP believes the Auto Task Force played a role in the pension decision ..."
Romero is scheduled to testify, along with Todd Zywicki, co-author of a recent Heritage Foundation Report, according to Gump. They, along with Bloom, Wilson and Feldman, were called by Republicans to testify.
Democrats called Nikki Clowers to testify. Gump said she is listed in a General Accountability Office report as a contributor to the report.
Gump noted standard practice of the committee is to place all witnesses under oath, adding, "It will be interesting to hear what he Auto Task Force members have to say. We obviously hope for full disclosure at this hearing, but Congress is also concerned with their refusal to cooperate with SIGTARP whose position was established by Congress itself for TARP oversight.
"We will just have to see how far this goes. At a minimum, it is another step in the right direction and will certainly bring more political visibility to our issue," he added.
Many of the 20,000-plus salaried retirees and pension participants, including many of the roughly 1,500 retired salaried workers from Delphi Packard in the Warren area, saw pensions cut 30 percent to 70 percent in the government-led bankruptcy of General Motors Co. in the summer of 2009.
GM, which received a loan and taxpayer bailout of nearly $50 billion, "topped up," or made whole, hourly workers' pensions.
The salaried plan was shifted to federal pension insurer Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which cut payouts for younger workers after Delphi emerged that fall from its own bankruptcy.