People gathered outside Senator Mitch McConnell’s office in London this week to support miners with black lung and their families. The ‘Black Lung Disability Trust Fund’ covers health care and disability benefits for some retired miners with the disease. It’s paid for by coal companies through an excise tax but the current tax rate is set to expire in a week and a half. Advocates and supporters are urging Congress to extend it. McConnell was not at his office in London. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader didn’t say whether or not the senator supports extending the tax at the current rate, but did say in a statement that either way benefits will remain at current levels, even if the tax rate is reduced. Government reports show the trust fund is in financial trouble.
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