NAACP sends letter to Ways and Means leadership, calls for passage of miners’ retirement legislation


May 29, 2019

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today sent a March 21, 2019 letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) asking them to consider and pass H.R. 934, the Health Benefits for Miners Act and H.R. 935, the Miners Pension Protection Act as soon as possible.

The letter said, in part, “passage of this legislation to preserve retired miners’ pensions is a key legislative priority of the NAACP…. As such, we strongly urge you to advance these bills through your committee and on to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as quickly as possible.”

“Throughout our history, the NAACP has advocated for people who are struggling against adversity,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Retired miners and their widows fit that description today. Their benefits are at risk through no fault of their own, and Congress is the last resort to save them. This cannot wait any longer; Congress must act as fast as possible.”

“We are extremely appreciative of this strong support from the NAACP,” United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “Their support for our retirees and widows lifts the hearts and spirits of every one of us. Theirs is a powerful and clear voice on behalf of millions of working people in this country, and we are proud to have their support as we continue our fight to preserve earned retirement benefits for our members.”

H.R. 934, by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) preserves health care benefits for retirees of coal companies that went into bankruptcy in 2018, and H.R. 935 preserves pension benefits for some 106,000 current and future coal industry retirees across America.

For more information on both these bills, click here.

To see the entire letter click here.