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January 24, 2017
"Welcome to my email update. As someone who has previously contacted my
office, I hope you find this newsletter informative and helpful. If you
would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, a link is available
near the bottom of this page.
This month is a month of new beginnings. We have a new Administration
in Washington and new statewide officials in West Virginia. I am eager
to work with them to move our state and nation forward. My state staff
has been busy connecting with new county and local officials. Here's a
look at what else is going on in our state."
--- U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Upcoming Events with Senator Joe
Friday, January 27
Senator Manchin keynotes the Mined Minds Graduation at the Culture
Center in Charleston.
Wednesday, February 1
From Washington, Senator Manchin skypes with students from Philip
Barbour High School.
Wednesday, February 8
Senator Manchin's staff participates in our first job fair of 2017 at
the Charleston Goodwill.
Wednesday, February 8
From Washington, Senator Manchin skypes with students from John D.
Rockefeller Career Center in New Cumberland.
Tuesday, February 14
Senator Manchin, along with students from across the state, skypes with
the International Space Station at the Clay Center in Charleston.
From the Hill to the Mountains
KEEPING FAITH WITH MINERS
Our state has mined the coal that forged the steel that built the tanks
and trains that have made and kept our country the strongest on earth.
Our nation has thrived because of the hard work of our coal miners, and
that is why the first bill that I introduced this year was the Miners
Protection Act, which protects the health care of retired miners. With
another deadline fast approaching, we can no longer afford a delay.
For the past two years, I have been working on securing future health
care for our retired miners and their families and I will not stop
until this promise is kept. Since the continuing resolution passed in
December with only a four-month "fix" for miners' health care, I have
been working to find solutions from all angles.
For the next four months, the Miners Protection Act will still be my
Number One priority. So much so that in my conversations with President
Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence I have brought up the
importance of a long-term solution to retired miners' and their widows'
health care. They assured me that they will help fight to secure a
permanent health care solution for our retired miners, as guaranteed in
the proposed Miners Protection Act. They are committed to working with
me to get this done, which is a refreshing change in Washington.
I have also discussed mapping out a clear path forward with Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and he promised me he is ready
to work toward a long-term solution and is committed to doing so before
the April deadline.
This past December, I could not in good conscience vote for the
continuing resolution to keep the government funded because it only
included the four-month "fix" for the miners' health care. This means
that 22,800 retired miners and their widows will be notified again in
February that they are going to lose their health care benefits in
April. While the temporary funding prevented miners from losing their
health care on Dec. 31, it just punted this issue to April, leaving our
miners with months of uncertainty.
Since introducing this bipartisan bill in July 2015, I have gone
through regular order. The bill was passed out of the Senate Finance
Committee with an 18 to 8 vote and has broad bipartisan support.
For these reasons, it was unacceptable that the Senate could not pass
the full Miners Protection Act last year. After all, for two years now,
we have known that this deadline was approaching.
In the end, Congress failed to rise to the occasion, and they instead
took the miners' existing money to buy four additional months for one
group and shorten the deadline by three months for another group. It
was the wrong thing to do, and we have to set it right.
Though the next four months present us with a tough fight, I remain
faithful in America's political process and optimistic in its ability
to enact meaningful change in people's lives.
I look forward to working with the new Administration and my colleagues
to provide certainty and peace of mind to our retired miners and their
families. Our coal miners are some of the hardest working people in
America, and they have dedicated their lives to powering this nation
and keeping it the strongest in the world. We have a responsibility to
protect their hard-earned pensions and health benefits.
(This article was featured in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on January
On the Road with Senator Joe
STATE INAUGURATION DAY
Senator Manchin attends West Virginia's Inauguration Ceremony.
PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION DAY
Senator Manchin attends the 45th Presidential Inauguration in
FRANKFORT MARCHING BAND
Mineral County's Frankfort High School Marching Band was chosen to
represent West Virginia in the 45th Presidential Inauguration parade.
Do you have a nomination for a "Spotlight" feature? Click here
to inform my office.
How May We Help You?
It is my honor to request retroactive military awards for our West
Virginia Veterans. No matter the war, no matter the rank, no matter the
duty, every one of our heroic Veterans has answered America's call and
I welcome the opportunity to assist with getting the proper recognition
for their military service. While I am not in the position to grant the
award; I will make sure that your application receives a fair and
My office helped Charleston native John Himelrick, Jr. with obtaining
various medals and decorations for his late father, John Himelrick, a
World War II Veteran. Among the awards was a Purple Heart and a Bronze
Senator Manchin presents Mr. Himelrick with numerous awards in honor of
his late father.
Please contact one of my offices listed below, or email
me to start the case process. My team of caseworkers can assist
you with a variety of issues including: social security, veterans
benefits, black lung benefits, obtaining passports, immigration
assistance, taxes, housing, student loans and many more.
To contact me, please click here
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