FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2019
(WASHINGTON, DC) The House Natural Resources Committee today passed HR 934, the Health Benefits For Miners Act, and HR 935, the Miners Pension Protection Act, by unanimous voice votes. The committee action clears the way for these critical bills to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.
“This is a tremendous first step for our retirees whose pensions and health care are under threat,” United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “We have been fighting to move this pension legislation forward for nearly a decade in the House. Today’s vote is the culmination of a lot of hard work and action by our members and our allies on Capitol Hill.
“I want to thank the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), the Ranking Member, Rob Bishop (R-UT) and all the members of the Committee who supported this legislation today,” Roberts said. “I also want to thank the sponsors of these bills, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV, HR 935) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA, HR 934) and the bi-partisan House members who have co-sponsored them.”
Action on the floor of the House needs to occur as soon as possible so that the legislation can be sent to the Senate and acted upon this year. Failure by the full Congress to pass HR 934 will cause 1,200 retirees to lose their health care at the end of this year. The pensions of 82,000 current and 10,000 future retirees could be slashed within months if HR 935 is not passed this year.
“I urge the House to act fast to pass these bills and get them over to the Senate,” Roberts said. “Congress has waited too long to take action to help retired miners and time has now run out. These retirees cannot wait any longer.”