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White House Hits GOP on Healthcare for Miners Legislation

Image: White House Hits GOP on Healthcare for Miners Legislation

Miners in Welch, WV (AP Photo/David Goldman)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 04:18 PM

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pounded Republicans in Congress for dragging their feet on legislation that would grant long-term support to healthcare and pension benefits for members of United Mine Works of America.

"Democrats are ready to solve this problem," Earnest said Thursday, according to The Washington Examiner. "And it's not lost on me that Republicans are bragging about the kind of support they have" in coal country while signaling that they "now are prepared to just extend their healthcare for five months."

"We'll have to see whether or not exactly that's something Republicans in Congress can fix before they send the bill to the White House," Earnest said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added a provision to the continuing resolution that extends benefits for miners until April, but some Democrats and Republicans in the coal belt are calling on the Senate leadership to find a long-term solution.

If the legislature fails to reach an agreement by the end of the session, 22,000 retired miners will lose healthcare coverage at the end of the year. 

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown refused to drop the issue, the Examiner reports.

"We're not leaving … if it means a session on Christmas Day."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., agreed with Brown, saying Congress "should not go home until we fix this for coal miners."

"The president-elect needs to step in and say, 'I meant what I said about coal miners, I'm going to take care of them.' But until he does, I don't think [Speaker] Paul Ryan is going to listen," she said, according to the Examiner.

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pounded Republicans in Congress for dragging their feet on legislation that would grant long-term support to healthcare and pension benefits for members of United Mine Works of America.
healthcare, miners, republicans, democrats, stopgap
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2016-18-08
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 04:18 PM
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