Excerpt from Field Hearing on Improving the Federal Black Lung Benefits Program: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Labor Standards, Occupational Health and Safety of the Committee on Education and Labor House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, First Session; Hearing Held in Pottsville, Pa, June 21, 1993
Chairman murphy. I am Congressman Austin Murphy from Western Pennsylvania. I chair the Subcommittee on Labor Stand ards, Occupational Health and Safety in the United States Con gress, which is one of the Six subcommittees of the Education and Labor Committee. We are joined today with Congressman Harris Fawell from Illinois.
Today the Subcommittee on Labor Standards, Occupational Health and Safety convenes in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, to tackle the tough issue of improving the Federal Black Lung Benefits Pro gram. For the majority of us here today, this problem is something beyond mere statistics. I have met many people suffering from this disease when travelling in my district, and have listened to the sto ries of unending frustration and ultimate rejection during the ben efit application process. I have heard the fear in a widow's voice when she describes the government's efforts to reclaim thousands of dollars in benefits used for years in her monthly income. These people know that something is wrong with the system.
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