Joe Manchin with coal miners

CHARLESTON, WV— Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is reiterating his steadfast support for West Virginia’s coal miners and his commitment to continue fighting for coal mine safety.

Like so many West Virginians, Senator Manchin was shocked last week by Congressman Evan Jenkins’ vote to cut funding for coal mine safety and health enforcement by 10 percent, and disappointed by Attorney General Morrisey for toeing the party line and not speaking out against such an irresponsible measure. Jenkins and Morrisey turned their backs on West Virginia coal miners and made it clear that they have other priorities.

The amendment to slash funding the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was rejected on a bipartisan vote.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin released the following statement:

“I’m shocked that Congressman Jenkins would vote against our coal miners because he ought to know better, and I can’t believe Attorney General Morrisey didn’t speak up to support safer coal mines.

“I’ve been in the room with the families of miners during a coal mine tragedy, not knowing which of their loved ones would make it out alive. Sadly, too many tears have been shed in West Virginia for miners who didn’t make it home. I know the pain that comes with unsafe coal mines, and that’s why we must keep fighting to protect our coal miners. We must strengthen mine safety, not weaken it.

“To think that any elected official in our state would want to undercut mine safety is shameful. Evan and Pat obviously don’t understand the heart-wrenching pain our coal mining communities have suffered in recent years. When it comes to coal miner safety, you have to draw a line in the sand and be real clear that nothing is a bigger priority than a coal miner returning home at the end of a shift. Losing my uncle to a mining tragedy makes mine safety extremely personal to me.”

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