West Virginia Senators Urge Passage of Miners' Benefit Bill
West Virginia's U.S. senators say they have joined 20 colleagues in a letter to Senate and House leaders calling for the passage this year of legislation to protect health care for 12,500 retired coal miners.
Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say retirees and their families will otherwise lose health care coverage Dec. 31.
Manchin, a Democrat, and Capito, a Republican, are joined on the letter by a mix of senators from both parties.
According to the lawmakers, the retired miners are facing financial uncertainty because the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan is severely underfunded.
The Miners Protection Act would transfer money from the Abandoned Mine Land fund and make certain retirees eligible who lose health care following the insolvency of his or her employer.