S. 697 lobbying resumes

Following a temporary suspension of lobbying efforts in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Rail Labor resumed the fight for passage of S. 697 in early October.

The Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001 now has 75 Senate cosponsors. The House version of the bill, H.R. 1140, was passed by a large bipartisan majority in late July, 384-33.

Raymond A. Holmes, the BLE's new International Vice-President & U.S. National Legislative Representative, asked all BLE and GIA members to pass along the following message when contacting their members of the Senate:

"While we recognize that the Senate has much unfinished business related to the events of September 11th, please don't forget to pass S. 697 - the Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001.

"S. 697 has 75 cosponsors. The House passed its version (H.R. 1140) by an overwhelming vote of 384-33.

"Please pass Railroad Retirement this year."

S. 697 would reduce the vesting requirement under the Railroad Retirement system from 10 years to five, would eliminate the actuarial reduction for those who retire prior to age 62, and would increase surviving spouses' annuities.

The 25 Senators who are not cosponsoring this legislation are listed below:

S. 697 Non-cosponsors

1. Allard, Wayne (R-CO)
2. Bennett, Robert (R-UT)
3. Bunning, Jim (R-KY)
4. Campbell, B.N. (R-CO)
5. Domenici, Pete (R-NM)
6. Feingold, Russell (D-WI)
7. Gramm, Phil (R-TX) *
8. Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) *
9. Gregg, Judd (R-NH)
10. Hutchison, K.B. (R-TX)
11. Inhofe, James (R-OK)
12. Kohl, Herb (D-WI)
13. Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) *
14. Lott, Trent (R-MS) *
15. Lugar, Richard (R-IN)
16. McCain, John (R-AZ)
17. Murkowski, F. (R-AK) *
18. Nickles, Don (R-OK) *
19. Santorum, Rick (R-PA)
20. Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
21. Stevens, Ted (R-AK)
22. Thomas, Craig (R-WY) *
23. Thompson, Fred (R-TN) *
24. Voinovich, George (R-OH)
25. Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers