YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — As leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate were piecing together a massive trillion-dollar spending package for next year, it became clear to Delphi retiree Bruce Gump the odds were stacking up against him.

Gump said members of his association, Delphi Salaried Retirees Associated, spent the last four or five months flooding lawmakers with phone calls and emails trying to get their support, but in the end, the effort fell short.

“It wasn’t that it was too expensive, it wasn’t that it wasn’t a good thing, but some of them saw that as inappropriate,” he said.

In the end, lawmakers left out language that would have restored pensions for close to 20,000 salaried retirees who lost their benefits in the GM bankruptcy over a decade ago.

“Some people saw that this was a pension bailout, and our position has always been this is not a bailout: this is a recovery,” Gump said.

Gump insists the government took millions during the bankruptcy that he claims rightly belong to the retirees. But despite a campaign that began in July — including 100,000 emails, phone calls and meetings — Gump said his association wasn’t able to gain enough support.

“It’s really hard … when your government turns its back on you,” he said. “And that’s what they did.”

Despite this latest letdown, Gump says he and his fellow retirees aren’t giving up the fight. He says they intend to press lawmakers into re-introducing what’s known as “The Susan Muffley Act” — named for the wife of a salaried retiree who died of cancer ten years ago. Gump believes there is still widespread support.

“And Sherrod Brown in the Senate, he was the original sponsor this time around and has already said that he would be willing to introduce it again next year,” Gump said.

In the meantime, the waiting for thousands of retirees and their families continues.