Capito Unhappy With Just 4-Month Extension on Miners Benefits


Last week, Congress approved a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through April 2017. The resolution also extended healthcare benefits for tens of thousands of miners and their families by four months.

Members of Congress spent more than a year debating how to fund both the healthcare and pensions of tens of thousands of miners across the country. The benefits were promised to miners more than 40 years ago by the federal government, but funding for the programs is running out.

Last week, Congress agreed to fund just the  healthcare portion for another four months for some 13,000 miners and their families.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito had been working to find a long-term solution for funding, but said in the end, she voted for the extension.

“In the end we couldn’t push it any further than 4 months which is a huge disappointment and as I talked to those miners last week they were disappointed,” Capito said. “But they did seem to understand that we can live to fight another day.”

Capito said when Congress returns to work in the spring, they’ll return to the issue of finding funding for miners’ benefits.