UMWA applauds pending Senate action to move Miners Protection Act


JUNE 30, 2016

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

“I am very encouraged by the bi-partisan agreement yesterday by Senate leadership and members to hold a mark-up vote in the Senate Finance Committee on the Miners Protection Act. We have been asking for this action to be taken for months, because time is growing very short if the health care benefits for tens of thousands of retirees are to be saved.

“I want to commend Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for his strong commitment to this issue and his tireless work in the Senate to move this legislation forward. I also want to thank Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Oh.) for taking this issue on and standing strong with us. In addition, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Oh.) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) publicly stood with us on the floor of the Senate and took a courageous vote on our behalf.

“Senate leadership of both parties – Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) came together and agreed to move this critical legislation forward yesterday. I thank them as well and appreciate this action very much.

“Now that there is an agreement to move forward in the Senate Finance Committee, I call on the committee to take up this bill and hold the mark-up without delay. I see no reason why the committee can’t take action within the next two weeks, before Congress leaves town for the summer.

“These retirees need to have some sense of comfort that their Congress is working for them instead of continuing to wonder if they will have the health care and pensions they were promised. Congress needs to hold the vote and pass this bill.”