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‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell screwed over Kentucky miners to fund Russia-linked aluminum plant: report

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a measure that would have funded pensions and health care for coal miners in his home state of Kentucky, not long after steering almost the same Treasury Department funds to an aluminum plant linked to a Russian oligarch.

The Kentucky Republican doesn’t like the “Moscow Mitch” nickname that’s been stuck to him, but these latest revelations might make it difficult to shed, reported The Daily Beast.

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McConell voted in January to lift sanctions on Rusal, a Russian aluminum company formerly headed by Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, and months after the Treasury Department officially de-listed the company — it announced a $200 million investment in an aluminum plant in northeastern Kentucky.

Braidy did not apply for the federal funds, which were requested by local economic development officials and the chamber of commerce, and they were approved before Rusal’s investment.

Democrats have raised questions about how much McConnell knew about the investment before he voted to lift sanctions, but a Braidy Industries spokesperson told The Daily Beast the company never lobbied Congress about sanctions, and said no employee or director of the company ever spoke to McConell about Rusal, the only outside investor in the plant.

But, the website reported, McConnell’s connection to the Rusal-Braidy deal is deeper than previously understood.

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While Rusal was lobbying the Trump administration to remove sanctions, the Kentucky Republican was pushing for federal funds to be used to help build the Braidy plant near Ashland, back in his home state.

The federal government has been giving Appalachian states millions of dollars since 2016 to help clean up abandoned coal mining land, and to assist in economic development there.

But McConnell and other Kentucky lawmakers, including Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), helped steer $4 million away from sewer and road repair in October 2018 to preparing for construction on the aluminum plant.

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It’s not clear when Braidy Industries and Rusal began, but two sources with direct knowledge told The Daily Beast that McConnell was instrumental in helping them secure the federal funding that had been earmarked for community development in his state.

McConnell then blocked a bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that would have pumped $4 million federal money into miner pensions.

The Treasury Department collects fees from coal companies each year that are then distributed to the Department of the Interior to clean up abandoned mines and improve the communities they’ve left behind.

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McConnell argued that he wanted a more permanent fix to the pensions when he blocked Manchin’s bill, but he pushed to use the $4 million Treasury fund to help start construction on the aluminum plant.

The Senate majority leader’s office defended the move, saying pensions should be addressed through a broader bipartisan measure, but coal miners are furious.

“We’re not ever going to quit until they give us what we’ve earned. We’re not going to quit until we get it,” said Dwayne Thompson, a retired Peabody Energy coal miner from Kentucky. “I hope Senator McConnell gets that. If he supports us, we will support him.”

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Some miners believe McConnell blocked the pension funding because some union members had supported his 2014 opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and one union leader said Congress has been stalling on assistance to them for years.

“Coal miners understand something — when people tell us ‘we’re going to pass legislation’… we don’t believe it,” said Cecil Roberts, president of the UWMA. “Anyone who understands how Congress works knows that that’s a fight.”


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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

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Obama knocks Trump for cable watching and tweeting

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Trump’s violent rhetoric further illustrates what a weak coward he is: Yale psychiatrist

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On September 15th, President Donald Trump tweeted that America was "locked and loaded" to aid U.S. ally Saudi Arabia after reports surfaced that their oil supply was attacked.

"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," Trump tweeted. "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

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