Release Date: 
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Press Contact: 
Katie Dollarhide
KFTC Member

Petition Delivery at Sen. McConnell’s Kentucky Offices Thursday
Effort is part of statewide action and national campaign

Additional Contacts

Gary Bentley, 859-803-0644
KFTC member who will be handling the hunting dogs at McConnell’s office in Lexington

Eric Dixon, 865-202-8688
KFTC leader, Coordinator of Policy and Community Engagement at Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, and author of an op-ed published on Monday in The Hill

Carl Shoupe, 606-909-0130
KFTC leader and member of Benham Power Board, which passed a resolution in support of POWER+ Plan

Sarah Bowling, 859-519-9532
KFTC leader, lobbied locally and in DC on the RECLAIM Act

Additional information here.

Kentuckians looking to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to help take care of coal miners, their families and their communities before Congress heads home to enjoy the holidays will be delivering petitions to his Kentucky district offices on Thursday.

The petition bears nearly 10,000 signatures urging McConnell to help pass the RECLAIM Act, legislation to accelerate the release of $1 billion from the Abandoned Mine Land Fund for economic and community development projects in areas hard hit by the decline in coal production. Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers is the primary sponsor of this bipartisan bill.

There also are more than 6,400 signatures calling on McConnell to allow passage of the Miners Protection Act, which would add financial stability to a coal miners pension and health fund. That bill has been stalled in the Senate since it received committee approval in March.

The signatures were delivered to McConnell’s Washington, DC office earlier this week by members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, and he is well aware of their existence. A national call-in day last week generated hundreds of calls to his office.

Though Congress may adjourn by the weekend, the language for both bills is already written and has bipartisan support. McConnell, as senate majority floor leader, has the power to see that the legislation is included in bills that are expected to pass before Congress adjourns. He has seemed uninterested in helping coal miners and coal communities so far – keeping RECLAIM out of the draft continuing budget resolution and including only weak and temporary language for miners’ health benefits (and no pension assistance).

At the end of the day, KFTC members will make a second visit to McConnell’s Lexington office at 4 p.m., accompanied by hunting dogs as they “search out a leader” who will represent coal miners, their families and their communities – a leader who will pick up the phone and listen to the Kentuckians who helped put him into office.

Members will be available for interviews before and after each visit to one of McConnell’s offices. During the visits, they will ask his staff to get McConnell on the phone to make the request directly to the senator.