WASHINGTON D.C. (WOWK) – On Tuesday more than 100 miners will storm the U.S. Capitol to lobby for a fix to the Black Lung Fund. One of those miners is Barry Johnson from Kentucky.
“I’ve got 37 and a half years underground mining experience, that’s pretty much me,” said Johnson who was diagnosed with Black Lung two years ago.Johnson says the Black Lung Fund could mean life or death for many miners and that’s why he’s making the trip to speak with lawmakers on Tuesday.
”We’re going to draw some attention and we’re going to make noise until somebody listens. There’s no shame in losing a fight, a lot of shame in not fighting,” said Johnson.
Currently the fund’s future is unknown after the tax coal companies were paying to the fund was slashed.
Senator Joe Manchin spoke on the issue last week on the Senate floor saying, “You would think we don’t need the money anymore because we’ve cured Black Lung, just the contrary we have more disease and more younger people getting Black Lung.”
Reporters from 7News’s sister station WOWK are in Washington, D.C. and will keep you updated on these lobbying efforts.