CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he wants other senators to understand the hardships West Virginia coal miners and their families will have to face if Congress does not pass the Miners Protection Act before the end of this year.
Manchin is now calling on miners and their families to send him their stories, so he can read them on the Senate floor.
Inaction of the bill would result in the loss of health care coverage for 12,500 miners and their families nationwide after Dec. 31.
In October, more than 5,650 West Virginians received notices informing them that their healthcare benefits will be terminated by the end of this year.
Manchin said Thursday he’s ready to keep Congress in session through the holidays if there’s no vote on Miners Protection Act.
The provisions of the Miners Protection Act did not make it into a multi-billion dollar bill to fight the drug epidemic that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.
Manchin said the next opportunity is a bill to fund the operation of the federal government, which is scheduled to reach the Senate Monday.
“I will do everything in my power to pass the Miners Protection Act, and that’s why I need the more than 27,000 retirees and their families who live in West Virginia to send me their stories about how Congress’s failure to pass the Miners Protection Act will affect them. I will read them on the Senate Floor so all of my colleagues know what they are about to put the people who built our country through,” Manchin said in a news release.
Miners can send their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.