Trump Nominates Mitch McConnell’s Brother-In-Law To Cushy Government Job
President Donald Trump has many federal government positions to fill. He nominated Gordon Hartogensis to head the federal agency responsible for paying worker pensions when employers end their retirement plans.
Hartogensis currently helps run his family’s trust. He is also the CEO of the software company Auric Technology. Hartogensis has one other qualification for the job that may have proven to be the most influential in Trump’s decision to nominate him to head the pension agency.
Hartogensis is the brother-in-law of Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Hartogensis is the husband of one of Chao’s sisters.
Hartogensis will need to be confirmed by the Senate. His brother-in-law leads the majority Republican body of lawmakers. Hartogensis has not commented on his nomination to join the Trump administration.
If confirmed, Hartogensis will take over leadership of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) from Tom Reeder, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2015. The PBGC operates insurance programs for both single and multi-employer pension plans.
Both the single and multi-employer programs currently owe more in future liability than they own. It is expected that the single employer program will be brought to balance by 2022. The multi-payer program is in bigger financial trouble.
According to Reeder’s testimony before Congress, the multi-employer program owed $67 billion in liabilities and only had $2.3 billion in assets as of September 30.
If confirmed, Hartogensis will inherit a troubled system and will face significant challenges in bringing the multi-employer program into balance. The Trump administration did not release any biographical information about the nominee when his nomination was announced. Similarly, the White House did not comment on Hartogensis’ relation to both Chao and McConnell.