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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would make sure that the government funding bill will include healthcare benefits for retired coal miners. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday morning he would make sure that the government funding bill set to pass the House and Senate this week will include healthcare benefits for retired coal miners.

Because of coal industry bankruptcies, more than 22,000 coal miner retirees are scheduled to lose their union’s healthcare benefits. McConnell said he wouldn’t let this happen and would “insist” that language helping to bail out the union health program will make it into the continuing resolution scheduled for passage by Friday.

“[I’m] insisting that the CR include the provision so the retirees don’t lose healthcare benefits by the end of the year,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The Kentucky Republican also said the Senate planned to take up the Cures bill this week to reform some aspects of mental health law, bolster medical innovation and help fight the opioid abuse epidemic. He also said the Senate this week plans to pass the conference report on the defense authorization bill and the waterways infrastructure bill.

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