MCAA announced the hiring of Vincent Sarubbi Jr. as the organization's new director of government relations, effective Sept. 6, learning the ropes from John McNerney. Sarubbi Jr. comes to the MCAA after a decade of service on Capitol Hill advising members of Congress on a variety of issues directly related to MCAA members’ business interests, including health care, education/apprenticeship, labor and pension issues.
Most recently, he served as an advisor to Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) covering multiemployer pensions and transportation/infrastructure policies, among others. During his time in Sen. Brown’s office, Sarubbi Jr. helped usher through the passage of the Butch Lewis Act (BLA), which provided $100 billion in special financial assistance (SFA) to underfunded multiemployer pension plans. These funds will help restore fiscal stability to seriously underfunded plans and relieve the pressure of withdrawal liability on contractors in those plans. The SFA program also helps alleviate the threat of large Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premium increases for all multiemployer plans that MCAA member firms sponsor jointly with the UA.
After the BLA passed, Sarubbi Jr. worked closely with the Biden Administration on the PBGC regulations to implement the SFA program to ensure that the regulations reflected the operational realities of the contractors and employees who depend on those plans. This includes preventing mass withdrawals as a result of the infusion of SFA assets into troubled plans, dealing with issues of fiduciary liability for Trustees and ensuring that PBGC’s interest rate assumptions aligned with plans’ predicted investment returns.
In addition to leading the senator’s work on multiemployer pensions, he oversaw a diverse portfolio of issues, working on the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that created significant opportunities in MCAA member firm markets, and pressing for innovative legislative proposals to combat the rampant worker misclassification by businesses seeking to illegally undercut MCAA member firms. Staunching the rampant abuse of worker misclassification also is a top legislative and regulatory priority for MCAA.
Before his time in Sen. Brown’s office, he worked on staff for Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), advising him on health care, labor, education and pension issues, among others. During his time with Rep. Norcross, Sarubbi Jr. helped launch the House of Representatives’ first Building Trades Caucus, focused on spotlighting issues facing union-signatory employers and union-represented employees in the building trades industries. He also worked closely with Building Trades unions and their signatory contractors to advance shared priorities, including maintaining and strengthening Davis Bacon prevailing wage protections on government-funded construction projects, the protection and promotion of the Federal registered apprenticeship system and the repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on multiemployer health care plan benefits.
In 2018, Sarubbi Jr. served as Rep. Norcross’ lead staffer on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, advising the congressman on his work on the Committee and drafting the GROW Act, a bill that would have created a new type of composite variable defined benefit plan allowing multiemployer plans to limit contractors’ funding risks while still protecting employees’ earned benefits. Reforming the multiemployer pension plan design, including authorizing new composite defined benefit plans, remains a high priority on MCAA’s legislative agenda. During his time with Rep. Norcross, Sarubbi Jr. also was responsible for advising the congressman on his work as a member of the House Budget Committee and later the Committee on Education and Labor.
Sarubbi Jr. began his career on Capitol Hill working for former Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ-01), who had served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. In that role, he worked on the successful passage of the bipartisan Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Sarubbi Jr. received his bachelor's degree in international affairs andeconomics from The George Washington University and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Hailing originally from Southern New Jersey, he lives in Washington D.C. and enjoys playing tennis and music in his free time.