Today’s lead editorial* in today's Wheeling News-Register is about the fate of the miner pension plan. The editorial notes that West Virginia’s and Ohio’s senators have:
fought hard to save the pension fund. But bills they have promoted have been bottle up in committees.
No, they haven’t been “bottled-up” in committees – the Senate has taken no action on them as even Ogden’s political reporter, Steven Allen Adams, reported last week:
There are two pieces of legislation sitting in the Senate to shore up the union pension plans. The first is the Manchin-sponsored American Miners Act in 2018. More than 285 days later and that bill is still sitting on the shelf. The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act was passed by the House of Representatives in July and sent to the Senate, with no action to date.
Why has there been no action? Simply put, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to act on them, and Trump has refused to push him. From the Louisville Courier Journal:
Today, McConnell has amassed enormous power and could, by virtue over his control of the Senate, undoubtedly get the miners and their communities what they are seeking, said Norman Ornstein, the veteran political scientist and expert on Congress and American elections at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute. He exerts absolute control over the Senate's calendar, able to schedule votes on — or block — any bill he chooses to, said Ornstein, who doubts Trump would deny McConnell, his most important ally, budget requests for Kentucky.
(In fairness to the News-Register, the editorial does note that McConnell did not allow a vote on the House bill.)
As for the president, here's NBC News in August:
Every day for the last seven months, Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has tweeted at Trump asking him to help protect the retired coal miners living in fear of losing everything.
Trump hasn’t publicly responded, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose state of Kentucky employs over 6,000 miners, has blocked a separate measure that would shore up miner pensions, according to Manchin, who helped pass a similar measure out of committee in 2016. . . .
Manchin’s office says Trump has been privately supportive of the miners, yet the president has said nothing publicly to pressure McConnell to act.
The Senate already has a House-passed pension bill, but the News-Register editorial wants Pelosi to allow a vote on a new bill by local representative David McKinley. It doesn’t matter – the fate of the miner’s pension rests with McConnell and Trump not Pelosi. (But watch how quickly the locals blame Pelosi, the Democrats, or the impeachment hearings if the pension plan is not funded.) Just once, it would be nice if Ogden papers, which claims to support coal miners, would place them ahead of their loyalty to the Republican Party.
*No link -- editorial is not online.