Last updated: August 07. 2013 9:17AM - 676 Views

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United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. says the union strongly supports new bipartisan legislation to address retiree health care, pension issues.

“The legislation introduced by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will provide significant help to retired miners and widows whose health care is threatened,” Roberts said in a prepared statement. “The Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act of 2013 will also provide security for the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which serves nearly 100,000 pensioners.”

Roberts also thanked state and national lawmakers for coming together to introduce and co-sponsor the piece of legislation.

“I want to thank Reps. McKinley and Capito for introducing this bill, and for their support of the retired miners, their spouses or widows, who through no fault of their own, currently face a loss of the health care they were promised and earned through lifetimes of service in America’s mines,” he said. “It is especially important to note that there are members from both parties who are co-sponsors of this legislation: Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Ed Whitfield, (R-Ky.), George Miller (D-Cal.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Larry Buschon (R-Ind.), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Jim Moran (D-Va.) Steve Stivers (R-Oh.), Marcia Fudge (D-Oh.), Bill Johnson (R-Oh.) and Allison Schwartz (D-Pa.). UPDATED-Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Mike Turner (R-Oh.), William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Mo.) and David Joyce (R-Oh.) are also original co-sponsors of the legislation. Their support and willingness to work across the aisle to take critically-needed action on behalf of these coal miners is very much appreciated. Clearly, keeping the promise of health care and pensions to retired miners isn’t a partisan issue, nor should it be. I also want to thank Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Oh.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for their work to address this problem.”

Roberts said he believes this legislation will keep America’s promise to its miners.

“We look forward to working with all of them, their colleagues and the leadership of both houses of Congress to get legislation passed that will keep America’s promise to its miners,” Roberts said.

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