House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-MI, says a review of more than 5,000 executive branch documents strongly suggests that the administration hasn't been truthful with Congress about a key decision in President Obama's bailout of General Motors.
At the heart of the bailout was a decision that it would include GM "topping off" the pensions of non-salaried workers who were members of the United Auto Workers, but not those of salaried, non-union employees of the automakers former Delphi parts supplier. Nearly 20,000 of the salaried employees lost as much as 70 percent of their pensions as a result of that decision.
Obama administration officials claimed the decision was made entirely without input from either the White House or the Treasury Department. But the documents provided in response to Camp's August request appear to undercut the administration's claim. Among other things, according to Camp, the documents make clear that:
* Treasury withheld documents from its production without notice or explanation.
* Officials involved in negotiations discussed General Motors (GM) assuming both Delphi salaried and hourly pension plans as late as May 28, 2009. Following extensive Treasury involvement, the decision was made to only supplement hourly pension plans.
* Treasury and PBGC emails suggest that top officials at Treasury were heavily involved in the decision to terminate the Delphi pensions through the convening of meetings, providing comments on draft settlement agreements, and conferring with GM and Delphi officials apart from PBGC.
"Treasury was clearly in the center of the decision to terminate the pensions of Delphi's salaried workers," Camp said today. "Instead of selectively releasing some documents and withholding others, Treasury should release all documents without further delay and give these hardworking Americans answers as to why Treasury believed they were not entitled to their full pensions. I have serious concerns about this Administration picking winners and losers in Delphi's bankruptcy."
At least "34 phone conversations and 11 in-person meetings" occurred prior to decision that involved officials from Treasury, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and GM," according to Camp. He wants to know why no notes from those meetings and telephone calls have been made available to the Ways and Means panel and what was discussed by who.
Go here for additional questions Camp says he wants answered, and a detailed timeline constructed by the committee's staff for events leading to the pension decision.
Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner.