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REGULATION/LEGISLATION

President signs spending bill without mine workers pension relief

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama signed a streamlined spending bill Saturday that keeps the federal government operating until April 28, 2017.

Known as a continuing resolution because Congress did not pass individual appropriations measures, the bill was approved by the Senate one hour shy of a government shutdown on Dec. 9, following House passage on Dec. 8.

The 11th hour vote came after several coal-state senators threatened to hold up the Senate vote because it did not include provisions to help the severely underfunded $4.4 billion United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan, Washington, and only had a four-month extension of health benefits for retired mine workers. One of those backers, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., allowed the vote to proceed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., committed to working on a long-term solution for retired miners health care and pensions in 2017.

“This has been a long fight and it is far from over,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement.