From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
---SANTORUM''S US AIRWAYS PENSION RESCUE BLOCKED--- The Senate yesterday blocked a last-ditch effort by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., to permit US Airways to stretch out $3.1 billion in payments to its employee pension plan over 30 years. With the Senate''s refusal to take up Santorum''s bill, analysts say US Airways officials now are down to two major options for dealing with the under-funded pension fund obligations as they face a crucial Jan. 16 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Airline officials can go back to the employee unions and ask for further benefit cuts or terminate the pension plan, which would then be taken over by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., or PBGC. In that case, pilots could face up to a 75 percent cut in their benefits, Santorum said during a brief late-afternoon discussion of the issue on the Senate floor.