CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., criticized the leading Republican in Senate after an amendment on health care and pensions for coal miners was blocked.

The Senate on Thursday passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets aside $750 billion for defense. Manchin introduced an amendment aimed at securing health care and pensions, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blocked.

“He is the sole person that is blocking a vote on my amendment to the NDAA that would secure coal miners’ healthcare and pensions, even though it has bipartisan support and would better the lives of every West Virginian, Kentuckian and American. The American Miners Act has to be attached to a must-pass bill like the NDAA, because Mitch McConnell has turned the Senate into a dysfunctional and unproductive body that no longer practices regular order,” Manchin said.

Members of West Virginia’s congressional delegate earlier this year pushed for legislation to fund coal miners’ pensions.

Manchin voted for the measure, as did Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Manchin has criticized McConnell’s leadership in the past; he blamed McConnell for blocking two measures offering health care for high-cost individuals.

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