Bipartisan American Miners Act introduced on U.S. Senate floor

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVNS) — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a bill intended to secure the pensions and healthcare of miners.

Sen. Manchin said the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 was created to strengthen the 1974 Pension Plan, which is headed for a collapse due to coal company bankruptcies and the 2008 financial crisis. The bill ensures the miners at risk due to 2018 and 2019 coal company bankruptcies will not lose their healthcare.

The legislation will also amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Under this change, excess funds needed to meet existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land fund would be transferred to the 1974 Pension Plan.

It will also revise the Coal Act to include 2018 and 2019 bankruptcies in the miners’ healthcare fix that passed in 2017, securing the pensions of 92,000 coal miners and protect healthcare benefits for 13,000 miners.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

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