Senator Joe Manchin and several colleagues were surrounded by retired coal miners on Capitol Hill. The goal, passing the Miner’s Protection Act to give retirees their health care and pensions for life. But the Senate was not able to convince the House of Representatives to go along for permanent funding. For now, health benefits are only extended until April.
“I think we will win this. We might not win it today, but we are going to win it in the four month extension, I can assure you that we won’t give up. We’ve got a head of steam going,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.
Senators from coal producing states agree, and promise the fight is not over.
“We needed to make this bipartisan, so we did. Its bipartisan. We have pretty much all the Democrats and a number of Republicans,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D) Ohio.
The Congressional dispute led to rescheduling of Senator Manchin’s meeting Friday with President-Elect Trump. Instead the men will meet Monday to talk about Manchin being Secretary of Energy. He also promises to lobby Mr. Trump on the Miner’s Protection Act.
“How do we help the State of West Virginia. How can I help, how can I get assistance; make sure that people know how hard economically we’ve been hit; making sure that we can basically have some input and help this country,” said Sen. Manchin.
Senator Manchin believes President Trump will support the Miners Protection Act. The trick now is to get enough members of Congress to do the same.