'Mitch McConnell let the coal companies walk away from us, then after one minute, he did too.'
Kentucky coal miners who were dismissed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are now appearing in an ad for Democrat Amy McGrath, who is running to replace him.
"Ten hours on the bus, and we got to see him for all of one minute," says Kentucky coal miner Jimmy Moore in the ad, which was released Friday. Moore explains in the video that his stepfather and grandfather died from black lung disease and notes that his son is suffering from the malady.
"Mitch McConnell let the coal companies walk away from us, then after one minute, he did too," Moore concludes.
Our coal miners risked their lives to fuel our country—but Mitch McConnell would only give a group of them with black lung disease a scant minute when they rode 10 hours to visit him in Washington. My question for McConnell: Which side are you on? pic.twitter.com/6dzOZHTKOV
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) August 23, 2019
In a tweet promoting the video, McGrath wrote, "My question for McConnell: Which side are you on?"
In July, the miners traveled to Washington, D.C. from several coal states to push Congress to reinstate the taxes on coal companies that fund the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.
McConnell's office had said before the meeting that he was concerned about the issue, but once the miners and their family members arrived, McConnell posed for photos with them but did not stay to listen to a discussion of their concerns.
The group did meet with Democratic senators who held a round table discussion and pushed Congress to pass the legislation.
The fund is $4 billion in debt but the tax was cut by 50% while Republicans had full control of the government. The drop in funding is a direct outgrowth of Trump's decision to shut down the government.
McConnell has gleefully called himself the "Grim Reaper" of popular legislation, refusing to act on bills like gun control, health care, raising the minimum wage, and a host of other bills that have passed the House and have broad support.
Coal miners in McConnell's home state are the latest in a growing group of Americans who are finding themselves shut out by the most unpopular senator in the country.
Published with permission of The American Independent.