Manchin and Capito, reintroduce Miners Protection Act

United State Senators for West Virginia Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito assisted in the reintroduction of the Miners Protection Act.

According to a press release from Manchin, this piece of legislation would ensure retired miners and their families would acquire lifetime pensions and health benefits from the federal government and coal companies.

With West Virginia being a state highly affected by coal operations, this legislation would work to protect the families of miners who struggle with insecurity with finances, according to Manchin’s press release.

Manchin’s press release also notes in December of last year, the United States Senate proposed and passed a resolution that affirmed retired miners would have the assurance of receiving healthcare through the end of the resolution in April 2017.

“Although I was disappointed when Senate passed a short-term fix to this long-term problem, I was encouraged when Majority Leader McConnell committed to securing a permanent fix for retired miners and their families,” Manchin said in a news release.

The bill states that it is intended to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in order to transfer funds to the 1974 United Mine Workers of America and the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan to guarantee the families of miners will obtain their benefits.

According to the press release provided on Manchin’s website, the Miners Protection Act was in large part a bipartisan effort. Along with Manchin and Capito, other cosponsors included Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), among others.

“I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Trump administration and Congress to protect health benefits for West Virginia’s miners, and the bill I am introducing today is the first step to making that a reality,” Capito said in a news release. “At the same time, we must also advance policies that will put our miners back to work and rebuild local economies that rely on energy production.”

West Virginia has a large role in coal production in the United States, which includes many West Virginias being affected by coal business and jobs. Capito and Manchin both mention coal production at some point in their issues they are working for on their websites.

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]