U.S. coal miners discouraged by black lung meeting with McConnell

U.S. coal miners discouraged by black lung meeting with McConnellA group of coal miners afflicted with black lung disease met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday as part of an effort to convince lawmakers to restore a higher excise tax on coal companies to help fund their medical care, but several said the meeting left them discouraged. McConnell, the Republican leader who represents Kentucky – one of the states that has seen a rebound in the progressive respiratory illness – told them their benefits would be safe but gave no assurances about the excise tax and left without answering questions or offering details, several of the miners who attended the meeting said. “We rode up here for 10 hours by bus to get some answers from him because he represents our state,” said George Massey, a miner from Harlan County, Kentucky who spent two decades in the mines and is on disability.



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