Capito and GOP Leaders say ‘It’s Time to Govern’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republicans now dominate West Virginia’s elected offices, and several of the GOP’s top representatives in West Virginia gathered Monday to say they know it’s time to deliver.

“We have such a great opportunity here,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, ticking off a list of the offices that Republicans will now hold, including president, both houses of Congress including herself and all three of West Virginia’s representatives, the majority of the state Board of Public Works and both houses of the state Legislature.

“What’s the message? It’s time for us to govern. People said we’re tired of it, we want to shake it up. Well, we’re ready to shake it up in Washington and I believe that same spirit is here to be attacked here in Charleston.”

Capito was joined by Congressmen David McKinley, Evan Jenkins and Alex Mooney as well as state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, incoming Secretary of State Mac Warner, new Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, new Auditor J.B. McCuskey and state House Speaker Tim Armstead.

Most of the group had a meeting before talking to reporters. Most were then heading to a swearing-in ceremony for new state Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker, who won a nonpartisan election but who ran as an economic conservative.

Capito and the rest of the group said they would work together on efforts such as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and dismantling the federal Clean Power Plan.

Capito said the Affordable Care Act would be repealed within the first 100 days of the incoming Trump administration. She said Obama’s signature health law has been folding under its own weight anyway. She said the legislation that replaces the Affordable Care Act will be better for West Virginians.

“More affordable, much more predictable, keep your own doctor, all the things,” she said.

Morrisey said dismantling the Clean Power Plan would need to be a multi-pronged effort.

“When you’re attacking the Clean Power Plan, you have to make sure you’re taking into account the  unique issues facing the state and also how we can partner up with our federal representatives to do this the right way. ”

He said there are three different ways to go about blocking the Clean Power Plan: through judicial action, through regulation or through legislation. The state Attorney General’s office has sued over the Clean Power Plan in federal court. The U.s. Supreme Court put a stay on the plan while its legality is considered.

“Obviously that’s why it takes a collaborative effort between the federal representatives and my office because we’re right in the middle,” Morrisey said.

Other regulations also would be assessed with a critical eye to determine their effects and necessity, the Republicans said.

“We need to make sure we are attacking the regulations that have basically weighted down our ability to create jobs and grow,” Capito said, citing the energy and financial sectors as areas of concern.

“The Obama administration has just piled on regulation on regulation on regulation.”

McKinley said an example of the approach is, “Not to do away with the EPA, but just to get them to be a little more responsible.”

As federal law changes, states like West Virginia will adjust to the changes, Mooney said.

“A lot of the decision-making process will be put to the states,” Mooney said. “Healthcare reform, transportation, other issues we have to deal with. We don’t think the federal government has all those answers. We think the states should be the primary players.”

The Republicans all said their priority would be to embrace policies that result in job creation.

“We’ve suffered tremendous job losses over the last several years; we’ve seen a lot of coal miners and ancillary businesses lose their jobs,” Capito said. “But other people with a sense of pessimism: can’t get it done here in West Virginia. For young people, that bleed of intellectual capital, is a concern to us all.”

Jenkins said jobs help solve a lot of other problems, including the ability to fight West Virginia’s opioid crisis.

“It is these hard working people that West Virginia has; they get up each day, they know how to solve problems, work with their hands and get a job done,” Jenkins said. “They want a chance to work.”

Infrastructure such as roads and broadband will also be a priority, the group said.

By:  Brad McElhinny
Source: Metro News