The Herald Leader’s September 26 story on the RECLAIM Act’s popularity in coal states left out that, last week, it was also popular in Congress.
In the last week of September, I and roughly two dozen people from other coal states like West Virginia, and Ohio, packed onto planes and flew to Washington to lobby our representatives and senators to pass the RECLAIM Act. Unsurprisingly, what we found was that there was just as much hunger on Capitol Hill for revitalizing coal communities through strategic investments in economic development and diversification projects as there is in Lexington.
This likely explains why the RECLAIM Act’s co-sponsors in Congress have grown from just a handful in February to 23 today. It’s a no nonsense piece of legislation that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime and prioritizes local input from the communities that could use the funding. As we’ve seen, however, popularity sometimes isn’t enough. The RECLAIM Act still needs Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul’s help to get it through the Senate. We still need to keep pushing Congress to make this a priority this year, because many places across Kentucky could really use the help.