McKinley’s Miners Pension Bill Advances Out of Committee
House Natural Resources Committee Passes Bipartisan Miners Pension Protection Act; Next Step Floor Action
Today, Representative David B. McKinley’s (R-W.Va.) bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing the looming failure of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan passed out of committee with bipartisan support.
The Miners Pension Protection Act (H.R. 935) provides a solution to maintain funding for the pension plan and protect benefits for the more than 100,000 retired coal miners and their families covered by the UMWA Pension Plan. This bipartisan legislation has 89 cosponsors. The text of the bill, is available here.
“The window for addressing the looming insolvency of miners pensions is closing quickly. While I am thrilled that our pension bill has passed out of committee, we still need Speaker Pelosi to bring it to the House Floor for a vote,” McKinley said. “More than seventy years ago a promise was made by the federal government to our miners. These men and women deserve better and this Congress has a chance to provide them with the certainty they deserve.”
By 2022, the UMWA’s pension fund will reach insolvency and pension benefits for more than 100,000 miners and their families will be cut. The families and communities that depend on those pensions will be at risk as well.
Following the vote out of committee Rep. McKinley lead a bipartisan letter to Speaker Pelosi, urging her to take the bill to the floor quickly. Signers included all 9 original bipartisan co-sponsors: Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).
“We have been leading this fight for six years in congress and it’s past time for Congress to act,” McKinley said. “We need to keep our promise to these miners, so they have peace of mind. Congress must act before the end of the year to address this issue once and for all”
Since 2013, McKinley has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect pensions for around 100,000 United Mine Workers Association (WMWA) retirees and family members. McKinley also lead the fight to protect healthcare benefits for 22,000 retirees whose benefits were threatened by bankruptcies.