President Joe Biden will travel to Ohio Wednesday to give a speech on the economy, and is expected to announce a rule that will protect millions of workers in multi-employer pension plans who have faced significant cuts to their benefits, FOX Business has learned.
The president is expected to be joined by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ARP Coordinator Gene Sperling and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. Democratic Reps. Shontel Brown and Marcy Kaptur are also expected to attend the president’s speech.
As part of his remarks, Biden will announce the new rule—which is the final as part of the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance Program.
A White House official warned that more than 200 multi-employer plans were on pace to become insolvent in the near term because their investments struggled during the economic crisis—which the official said would result in two to three million workers who paid into their pension funds seeing their benefits cut in retirement.
The same official said because of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, each pension plan that was at risk of insolvency will now remain solvent through at least 2051.
"The president is strengthening families’ retirement savings, while Republican members of Congress—led by Senator Rick Scott—want to threaten them by putting Social Security on the chopping block every five years," the official said.
During past speeches on the economy, Biden and White House officials have repeatedly criticized Scott, R-Fla., for his "11 Point Plan to Rescue America," which proposed raising income taxes on Americans.
"All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount," Scott wrote in the plan earlier this year. "Currently, over half of Americans pay no income tax.
Since its release in the spring, Scott’s plan has received fierce criticism from Democrats and pushback from some Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shut down the Scott proposal, saying that Republicans "will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years."
Additionally, a senior Republican source told Fox News that "income tax hikes are never part of the discussion when Republicans are in charge in Washington."
Scott updated his plan to become the "12 Point Plan to Rescue America." Scott's website now states that his plan "cuts taxes."
"Nothing in this plan has ever, or will ever, advocate or propose, any tax increases, at all," Scott's website says, noting that it would "require a supermajority to raise taxes or fees on the American people."
Biden’s remarks in Ohio come as the nation is grappling with an inflation rate at 8.6%—the highest level in more than 40 years.
Figures from the Labor Department last month revealed the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981.
The Labor Department, last month in reporting the May inflation numbers, said price increases were widespread: Energy prices rose 3.9% in May from the previous month, and are up 34.6% from last year. Gasoline, on average, costs 48.7% more than it did one year ago and 7.8% more than it did in April. In all, fuel prices jumped 16.9% in May on a monthly basis, pushing the one-year increase to a stunning 106.7%.
In another worrisome sign, shelter costs – which account for roughly one-third of the CPI – accelerated in May, climbing 0.6%. It marked the fastest one-month gain since 2004. On an annual basis, shelter costs have climbed 5.5%, the fastest since February 1991.
Food prices have also climbed 10.1% higher over the year and 1.2% over the month, with the largest increases in dairy and related products (up 2.9%, the biggest monthly increase since July 2007), non-alcoholic beverages (1.7%), cereals and bakery products (1.5%) and meats, poultry, fish and eggs (1.1%).
Scorching hot inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more everyday necessities like food, gasoline and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily impacted by price fluctuations.
Biden, though, has said tackling inflation is his "top economic priority."
The Labor Department is set to release inflation numbers for June on Friday.