http://www.cleveland.com/open/index...rob_portman_offers_new_plan.html#incart_river U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Wednesday will offer the latest proposal to help retired union members avoid deep pension cuts, possibly averting a fate that Congress itself is partly responsible for. If the Ohio Republican succeeds, thousands of retired truck drivers, freight handlers and warehouse workers -- 48,000 in Ohio -- could be grateful. But they won't be in the clear entirely; their pension plans are still underfunded and at risk of running out of money eventually. Nevertheless, Portman's Pension Accountability Act, if passed by Congress, would make it harder for those pension plans to simply slash current retiree pensions and walk away. It could force the plan trustees to negotiate with retirees and, Portman says, "let the democratic process work." It also would partly right what retired union members said was a wrong committed by Congress last December. That's when lawmakers quietly changed the law and made it possible for some troubled pension plans to cut monthly payments not only for future retirees but also for those already drawing their pensions.