WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVNS) — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced a bipartisan agreement to secure pensions and healthcare for thousands of coal miners, their widows, and their families.
The Bipartisan American Miners Act was included in the final funding package that will keep the government open beyond December 20. 2019. The bill secures a lifetime of healthcare benefits for 13,000 miners who would have lost their benefits entirely and the 92,000 miners who would have seen their pensions gutted next year without Congressional action.
“Today we came to an agreement that will finally secure pensions and healthcare for our coal miners and their families. We have honored the promise this country made to them back in 1946. This would not have happened without the UMWA and the thousands of coal miners who invested their time and energy, year after year, coming to Washington, walking the halls, and fighting for their brothers and sisters. It has been the honor of my life to lead this fight and bring together the coalition that made this possible. I want to thank my colleagues in Congress, Democrats and Republicans, for making this a truly bipartisan effort. I look forward to voting for this crucial bill later this week and sending it to the President so he can sign it into law and provide some well-deserved peace of mind to these great Americans that have done everything this country has asked of them,”U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D) – West Virginia
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito was also excited to announce that a final funding agreement was reached.
“Protecting the health care and pension benefits for our coal miners has been one of my top priorities, and I am thrilled legislation protecting these benefits for our miners is included in the final funding package. I look forward to a strong bipartisan vote on this so we can send this to President Trump’s desk for his signature. I’m grateful to our West Virginia miners—who I’ve stood alongside throughout this entire process—for their hope, their patience, and the hard work they’ve done for decades to power our country. Leader McConnell, Senator Manchin, and I have worked in a bipartisan way on this issue, and I thank them both for their tireless efforts to make sure we secure these hard-earned benefits for our miners.”U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R) – West Virginia
Congress is expected to vote on the measure this week, which includes these benefits for miners and several other provisions that will benefit West Virginians.