Joe Manchin (D)
Education: West Virginia University, B.A. 1970
Occupation: U.S. Senator
Q: What specifically would you do to end black lung disease?
A: We must fight black lung disease by ensuring that every West Virginian with black lung can get the treatment they need. There must be proper ventilation in the mines and proper rock dusting, to reduce exposure to black lung. We need more user-friendly respirators so more miners will be protected.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: Building a qualified, drug-free and connected workforce are the most critical challenges to expanding and attracting business. That’s why, as governor, I started two advanced skills training centers — and we need more of them in West Virginia. I want our kids to be career-ready when they graduate, and that’s why I’ll keep fighting for stronger public schools. Rural broadband connectivity is possible, and I will continue to pass laws to get that accomplished to support West Virginia jobs and local entrepreneurs. I also support Net Neutrality, to keep the internet free and open for small businesses and students.
Daily Mail Opinion:
Q: Do you support President Trump’s moves to enact tariffs on foreign goods and scale back free-trade agreements?
A: I support bilateral trade deals; one-on-one negotiations with individual countries. We can grow American jobs by renegotiating unfair trade deals that ship jobs overseas. I think every trade deal should have a 5-year sunset review, so we can evaluate each deal and see if it’s helping the United States. American workers can compete with anyone as long as we have a level playing field.
Q: Congress has been described as “broken” due to partisanship, inertia and the delegating of legislative functions to the executive branch. What specific steps would you push the Senate to take to help Congress function better?
A: I’m rated the most centrist and independent member of the U.S. Senate because I always try to find a way to reach across the aisle. It will take bipartisan solutions to take on the big challenges facing West Virginia and the United States. The party leadership shouldn’t control the agenda in Washington — that needs to change. We need to bring back the 60-vote threshold in the Senate so we don’t operate solely on party line votes.