“The inclusion of Bipartisan American Miners Act in the appropriations legislation to be considered by Congress this week is a tremendous victory for tens of thousands of retired miners, their families and their communities.
“We are close, but the fight is not yet over. The House will vote on this tomorrow, and the Senate will vote later in the week. We will continue our efforts to ensure that this language stays in the legislation throughout the process, because there are still those who oppose allowing retirees from living out their days with the measure of comfort and dignity that they have earned.
“I especially want to thank the thousands of UMWA members who have written the letters, made the phone calls, gone to the rallies, and walked the halls of Congress to keep this issue front and center. We would not be at this point without their efforts.
“I want to thank Congressional leadership for agreeing to include this language in the funding bills. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been a stalwart supporter throughout this fight, meeting with our members from across America over and over again. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support this past month proved to be critical. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer kept our issue at the top of his agenda for years. We will never forget their support.
“Our three champions on both sides of Capitol Hill fought hard against sometimes long odds to get us to this day: Senator Joe Manchin (D – W.Va.) Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Representative David McKinley (R-W.Va.). They never quit, they never turned around, they never stopped working side by side with us to get this done.
“I also want to thank Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) of Ohio, Senator Bob Casey (D) of Pennsylvania, Senators Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) of Virginia, Senator Doug Jones (D) of Alabama and Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Tammy Duckworth (D) of Illinois.
“Our strong bipartisan coalition in the House included Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Rep. Mike Bost, (R-Ill.), Rep Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Rep Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Oh.), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Oh.), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Oh.), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Oh.), Rep. Jamie Comer (R-Ky.), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Az.), Rep. Paul Cook (R-Cal.) and many, many others.
“The end of our 10-year battle to preserve the pensions and health care our retirees earned in sweat and blood is in sight. Let’s get this done in Congress, and put it on President Trump’s desk for his signature.”