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Clinton reaches out to former coal miners

September 8th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Hillary Clinton is supporting a bill that would protect health-care and pension benefits for about 120,000 former coal miners and their families, an issue that has divided Senate Republicans.

"I firmly believe that if you spent your life keeping the lights on for our country, we can't leave you in the dark," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

Coal miners who have put their own health and safety at risk to provide the nation with affordable, reliable energy "are entitled to the benefits they have earned and the respect they deserve," said Clinton, who has faced a backlash from coal communities after she declared earlier this year that she was going to "to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

 

Clinton's statement comes as thousands of retired miners and their supporters are expected to gather at the Capitol on Thursday to push for the bill, known as the Coal Miners Protection Act. Backers call it a life-saving measure that honors a 70-year-old promise made by the federal government.

The bill would affect retired miners in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and Alabama.

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