On Senate Floor, Portman Honors Senate Finance Committee Staffer, Chris Allen

January 14, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – On the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) honored the life and public service of Senate Finance Committee staffer, Chris Allen, who passed away unexpectedly last week. Late last year, Allen was instrumental in the passage of the SECURE Act in the final FY 2020 funding measure, which will help millions of Americans save more money for their retirement. 

Transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.

“I’m here today in part to talk about something very sad. Last week my staff and I were informed that a colleague of ours, Chris Allen, a Senate staffer on the Senate Finance Committee, passed away unexpectedly. Chris was an amazing guy. Diligent, hardworking, an expert on pensions and tax exempt organizations. He was a very valued colleague. I got to know him particularly well over the last couple of years as we worked together on pension issues. He was the one who, along with Charlie Bolton in my office, really focused on the complicated issue of multiemployer pensions and other retirement security issues. 

“We have a crisis in our country right now. The pension system is in big trouble. And Chris Allen played a pivotal role in ensuring that this very important issue was brought to the floor and that we had responsible solutions to it. He was developing a framework to prevent the collapse of that multiemployer system. He also had recently prevented pension cuts to over 92,000 retired coal miners through his work. He is the one, I think, most responsible among all the staff on the hill for ensuring that we just expanded 401(k)s to millions of part-time workers left behind by current law. 

“Just last month, Congress enacted and the president signed the SECURE Act. It’s going to help millions of Americans have more peace of mind in retirement. I don’t believe it would have passed the Senate at the end of last year but for Chris. That’s how important he was. Through his quick wit and tenacity, he’s the one who built the coalitions to get that done and built the momentum for it when frankly a lot of others had given up, and as a result, all Americans are better off. 

“In this difficult time, my thoughts and my prayers are with his wife, Lynda-Marie, his daughters Sophie and Lucie, and all his family and his many, many friends as we mourn the loss of a true public servant. I also want to express condolences to Chairman Grassley and the entire staff at the Senate Finance Committee. Chris will be dearly missed as a friend, a retirement expert, and a model public servant.”