Press Releases

Miners' health care benefits and pensions secured in final funding bills

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05), a senior of the House Appropriations Committee, successfully secured health care benefits and pensions for America’s retired miners in the final two federal funding packages for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

Without congressional action, many retired coal miners and employees of recently-bankrupted coal companies would have faced great uncertainty. The UMWA 1974 Pension Plan was nearing default, putting more than 100,000 retired coal miners’ pensions at risk. Further, many current coal miners’ health care benefits were in question due to recent coal company bankruptcies.

Because of these two pressing issues, Congressman Rogers was proud to cosponsor legislation that would ensure the long-term viability of the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, and also ensure that miners from recently-bankrupted companies would receive health care benefits. Congressman Rogers also personally urged House Leadership to include these bills in FY20 appropriations bills. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell authored companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Rogers spoke on the House Floor in support of the inclusion of these efforts in the funding packages for FY2020.

"I am exceedingly proud that two bills I cosponsored to protect our retired miners are included. It ensures that these hard-working individuals receive the health care and pensions they’ve earned, and I hope the 100,000 families impacted by this provision will have peace of mind heading into the Christmas season," said Congressman Rogers, on the House Floor.

The House approved both federal funding packages on Tuesday. The bills now move on to the Senate for consideration before the federal funding deadline expires on Friday night.

Click here to see a full list of appropriations highlights for Southern and Eastern Kentucky.