Constituents could expect a Sen. Shelley Moore Capito to work to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency and push for a tax system that doesn’t penalize business, should she win in November.
Capito, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, released a jobs plan last week highlighting the need to capitalize on the state’s natural energy resources, rethink the way future employees are educated, and support for veterans and small business owners. As part of the plan’s rollout, Capito continued a tour of the state where she met with business leaders and constituents and toured a natural gas facility in Northern West Virginia.
“What I want to do is get West Virginians back to work,” she said. “I’ve been on a West Virginia Works tour where I’ve been in every region of the state, from agriculture to manufacturing, coal mining, natural gas, restaurants, you name it.”
In touring the state, Capito said constituents have aired their frustrations about the economy and lack of a well-trained work force. She said she has worked and will continue to work in Congress to pass legislation that will provide more jobs and reform education so programs are targeted to train students to “jobs of the future.”
But for many potential students, access to education and affordability stand in the way.
“Just recently I worked to do the reforming of the Workforce Investment Act, it’s a bipartisan bill the president signed,” Capito said. “It takes the workforce training programs, refines them and gets rid of the ones that aren’t working.”
Capito also supports making the student loan process more transparent for students so they understand exactly how much they’re borrowing, interest rates and when and how much they’ll have to repay after graduation.
“A lot of our students are coming out with enormous debts and getting into that situation without realizing how much they’ll have to pay and the affordability of that to them,” she said.
Capito is currently serving her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is her first run at the U.S. Senate, where she’s facing Democrat Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. If she wins in November, Capito said voters can expect her to support legislation that creates jobs but also work with Democrats to get legislation through Congress.
“I have a history of working across party lines,” she said. “I started in a very Democratic Legislature in West Virginia and learned how to work across party lines. To be a participant in this environment, I think I show willingness to move forward, to drop the angry rhetoric and partisanship and find common ground.”
One example of that, she said, was her support of a bill to fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which was in danger of running out of money. Despite partisan gridlock that threatened to kill the bill and leave thousands of infrastructure construction jobs across the country in limbo, members of Congress were able to work out a compromise and pass funding through May. Passing a long-term solution to that issue is something Capito said would be among her top priorities in the Senate.
“The highway bill is something I would prioritize to do something as quickly as we possibly can,” she said. “Energy legislation would be top priority with me, to keep the EPA in check or make the president answer for it.
“Those are the priorities I would have because they would all result in West Virginians having the certainty they would have a job and opportunity,” she added.
Tennant, a small business owner, also released a jobs plan and toured the state earlier this summer. Subsequent policy agendas, including education, energy and substance abuse, all centered on how she plans to strengthen West Virginia’s economy if she’s elected to the Senate.
“Good paying jobs will be my No. 1 priority in the U.S. Senate, and it’s clear that starts with energy,” Tennant told the Daily Mail in June. “God has blessed us with coal, natural gas, wind and solar and I’ll use every tool we have to turn those resources into good-paying West Virginia jobs.”
Tennant spokeswoman Jenny Donohue said Tennant as secretary of state has worked to make it easier for businesses to file necessary annual reports, among other things.
“While Natalie Tennant has been traveling all 55 counties outlining her plan to create West Virginia jobs, Congresswoman Capito has been in
Washington working to boost Wall Street profits,” Donohue. said. “The record speaks for itself: Natalie Tennant has cut fees for West Virginia businesses and given $3 million back to taxpayers. Congresswoman Capito has led the charge to raise fees on small businesses, and give bonuses to Wall Street CEOs at West Virginia’s expense.”
But Capito said she wants to help West Virginians stay in their home state and find jobs with generous wages to support their families.
“One thing I’ve found is West Virginians take care of one another, look out for one another,” she said. “We want to stay in this state and raise our families here. We have a loyalty to our brand of being West Virginians. We need to capitalize on that and make sure those opportunities are there. That might sound esoteric and silly, but it’s very real.”
Both Capito’s and Tennant’s jobs plans are available on their campaign websites.
Contact writer Whitney Burdette at 304-348-7939 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at www.Twitter.com/wburdette_DM.