November 21, 2019

Manchin Votes To Keep Government Open, Demands Action On Miners Fix By December 31st

Washington, D.C. – Although U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today voted for a continuing resolution in order to keep the government open until December 20, he’s disappointed the short-term spending bill did not include his amendment,  the Bipartisan American Miners Act. If this legislation isn’t passed by December 31, 1,000 miners will lose their healthcare.

“Although, I voted to pass this short-term spending bill, I’m disappointed it did not include the Bipartisan American Miners Act. If we don’t pass this bill this year, 13,000 miners will lose their healthcare and 92,000 will see their pensions slashed. I will not let this happen. I will do everything I can to get this fix into the spending bill we’ll need to pass on December 20. I won’t allow hardworking miners and their families to lose the healthcare and pensions they have earned, they have paid for, and they deserve,” Senator Manchin said.

Before the vote, Senator Manchin delivered remarks on the floor urging his colleagues to add the Bipartisan American Miners Act as an amendment. To watch his full remarks, click here.

The Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 will amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to transfer funds in excess of the amounts needed to meet existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land fund to the 1974 Pension Plan to prevent its insolvency. It will also amend the Coal Act to include 2018 and 2019 bankruptcies in the miners’ healthcare fix that passed in 2017. These actions will permanently secure the pensions of 92,000 coal miners and protect healthcare benefits for 13,000 miners.

The Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 is also co-sponsored by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Jack Reed (D-RI).