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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia

VIDEO: REP. JENKINS: CONGRESS MUST PROTECT MINERS’ PENSIONS

September 27, 2016
Press Release
“These miners and their families deserve no less than what they worked their entire lives to earn – the peace of mind that comes with a pension.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) today urged Congress to pass legislation to protect pensions and healthcare benefits for miners and their widows.

He shared the story of Sherri Armstrong of Boone County, who is worried that her father’s pension is in jeopardy.

“Here’s what she wrote. ‘For decades, their work provided for their communities, state and nation. If something is not done and their benefits not protected, many of these people will be forced to either return to the workforce or to lose all they worked for and depend on public assistance to sustain them their remaining days,’ she said,” Rep. Jenkins said on the House floor.

Rep. Jenkins said Congress must pass legislation he has cosponsored, the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act, to keep our promises to our miners and their widows.

“These miners and their families deserve no less than what they worked their entire lives to earn – the peace of mind that comes with a pension,” he said.

Please click here to watch Rep. Jenkins' remarks.

The full transcript is below.

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thousands of retirees and widows in my district and coal states across the country are worried about making ends meet. They are wondering if the promises made to them will be kept. They want to know if Congress will act to preserve the pensions and healthcare benefits they worked hard to earn.

“Mr. Speaker, our coal miners and their widows deserve the pensions and benefits they were promised. However, the funds for these vital programs are running out, and time is running out to fix these critical issues.

“But we have a solution. In the House, it’s called the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection act, legislation I proudly cosponsored along with Alex Mooney of the Second Congressional district in West Virginia. This is legislation introduced by our fellow West Virginian, Congressman David McKinley, a compromise bill that has been introduced the Senate and in the House.

“I want to share the words of a West Virginian who watched her father spend 30 years in the mines. Sherri Armstrong of Boone County, she wrote me urging Congress to protect the benefits that her father had earned. She said her dad worked every day, every shift available and counted every penny he earned. He took pride in his job, but his future is now in jeopardy.

“Here’s what she wrote. ‘For decades, their work provided for their communities, state and nation. If something is not done and their benefits not protected, many of these people will be forced to either return to the workforce or to lose all they worked for and depend on public assistance to sustain them their remaining days,’ she said.

“Our coal miners made this country what it is today. They mined the coal that made the steel that built the skyscrapers and won world wars. These miners and their families deserve no less than what they worked their entire lives to earn – the peace of mind that comes with a pension. I urge Congress to act. Pass this important legislation and protect our miners and their families.

“Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”