Solution for Threatened Miners Pension and Health Care Passes the House

Year-End Deal Includes legislation to address Threatened UMWA Pension and Retiree Health Care

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Washington, December 17, 2019 | comments

Representative David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) praised the passage of a bipartisan spending agreement that includes a permanent fix for the pension and health care benefits of retired miners. The year-end spending bill passed the House today, with a provision similar to the bipartisan legislation that McKinley introduced to protect miners’ pensions and healthcare.

“For years, we’ve been leading the fight to protect the pensions and health care benefits earned by retired miners, and by the end of this week, we can finally say our government is keeping its promise,” said McKinley. “This agreement will provide peace of mind to the 100,000 retirees, widows, and families who depend on the UMWA pension fund. After years of bipartisan effort that I have been proud to lead in the House, we can see the end of the tunnel."

“Over the years, we have worked to keep this issue front and center. So much hard work has gone into getting this legislation to this point, and the retired miners and their families, who made their voices heard in Congress, deserve a lot of the credit. This has been a team effort. We are thankful for Senator Capito and Senator Manchin’s leadership to make this bill a priority in the senate. I look forward to this agreement passing the Senate later this week, and being signed into law,” McKinley added.

Background

Since 2013, McKinley has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect pensions and health care benefits for more than 100,000 United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) retirees and family members.

  •  In July 2019, McKinley testified in front of the House Natural Recourses Committee on the importance of his legislation, the  Miners Pension Protection Act  (H.R. 935). To watch his testimony, click here.  Rep. David McKinley(R-W.Va.) and UMWA President Cecil Roberts also published an op-ed on the importance of protecting miners’ pensions in the Hill. To read the full op-ed click here
  • In March 2019, McKinley spoke with coal-miners and supporters in Washington and call for legislative action to protect pensions for around 100,000 United Mine Workers Association (WMWA) retirees and family members. To view the full video of the press conference, click here
  •  In July 2018, McKinley led a letter to the leadership of the Joint Select Committee on Multi-Employer Pension Plans, urging them to address the looming insolvency of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan. The bipartisan letter was signed by 25 Members of Congress. To read the letter click here.
  •  In February 2018, Congress formed the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-Employer Pension Plans, a committee designated to find a funding solution for the looming multi-employer pension crisis. The Select Committee failed to produce a proposal.
  • In October 2017, Rep. McKinley introduced the American Miners Pension Act, legislation that would stabilize the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan.
  • In May 2017, Rep. McKinley helped secure permanent funding to save the health care benefits for retired miners. As a result, 22,000 retired coal miners and their families were able to maintain their health benefits.
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