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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia

VIDEO: REP. JENKINS: ACT NOW TO HELP MINING FAMILIES KEEP THEIR BENEFITS

April 6, 2017
Press Release
“We cannot let the clock run out on our miners and their families. They kept up their end of the bargain – now it’s time for us to do the same.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) shared the story of a McDowell County mining family on the House floor as he urged his colleagues to protect miners’ benefits.

He read a letter written to him by Teresa Anderson, who shared how her father, Donald Richardson, asked her to defend the benefits he earned for his wife, Mary.

“‘I remember from a young age listening to him tell me and my brother stories about the mines and teaching us about his United Mine Workers benefits and to let no one take advantage of this most precious insurance that he fought and worked so hard for. He would say, when I’m gone, you need to still protect these benefits that we worked for. This is how your mother will make it when I’m no longer here to provide for her,’” Rep. Jenkins read from Anderson’s letter.

Congress must keep the promise made to our miners more than 70 years ago, he said.

“We cannot let the clock run out on our miners and their families. They kept up their end of the bargain – now it’s time for us to do the same,” Rep. Jenkins said.

Please click here to watch the speech. The full transcript is below.

“Mr. Speaker, time is running out to do right by our miners, their families, and their widows. At the end of the month, the benefits they worked their lives for will expire. For families across West Virginia, that would be nothing short of devastating.

“Families like Teresa Anderson of McDowell County. Her father, Donald Richardson, worked his whole life in the mines of West Virginia. Teresa shared with me what these benefits meant to her father and to her mother, Mary. Here’s what she wrote:

“‘I remember from a young age listening to him tell me and my brother stories about the mines and teaching us about his United Mine Workers benefits and to let no one take advantage of this most precious insurance that he fought and worked so hard for. He would say, when I’m gone, you need to still protect these benefits that we worked for. This is how your mother will make it when I’m no longer here to provide for her.’

“Mr. Speaker, Donald is no longer with us. He passed away back in 2012. Now, his wife, Mary, and his daughter, Teresa, are asking us to keep his promise … to keep our promise. The promise the federal government made to our miners more than 70 years ago. I urge my colleagues to act and to protect these vital benefits.

“Mr. Speaker, we cannot let the clock run out on our miners and their families. They kept up their end of the bargain – now it’s time for us to do the same.

“Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”