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UMWA strongly supports new bipartisan legislation to address retiree health care, pension issues - UPDATED

August 1, 2013
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[TRIANGLE, VA.] United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

"The legislation introduced today by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will provide significant help to retired miners and widows whose health care is threatened. The Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act of 2013 will also provide security for the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which serves nearly 100,000 pensioners.

"I want to thank Reps. McKinley and Capito for introducing this bill, and for their support of the retired miners, their spouses or widows, who through no fault of their own, currently face a loss of the health care they were promised and earned through lifetimes of service in America’s mines.

"It is especially important to note that there are members from both parties who are co-sponsors of this legislation: Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Ed Whitfield, (R-Ky.), George Miller (D-Cal.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Larry Buschon (R-Ind.), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Jim Moran (D-Va.) Steve Stivers (R-Oh.), Marcia Fudge (D-Oh.), Bill Johnson (R-Oh.) and Allison Schwartz (D-Pa.). UPDATED-Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Mike Turner (R-Oh.), William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Mo.), David Joyce (R-Oh.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Bob Gibbs (R-Oh.) are also original co-sponsors of the legislation.

“Their support and willingness to work across the aisle to take critically-needed action on behalf of these coal miners is very much appreciated. Clearly, keeping the promise of health care and pensions to retired miners isn't a partisan issue, nor should it be.

“I also want to thank Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Oh.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for their work to address this problem.

"We look forward to working with all of them, their colleagues and the leadership of both houses of Congress to get legislation passed that will keep America's promise to its miners."

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