WASHINGTON (WV News) — During a virtual press conference Thursday, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito spoke at length about what she claims are pitfalls in President Joe Biden’s proposed federal budget, calling it “dead on arrival.”
Capito said the proposal is an “expression of the president’s priorities,” which she said she does not share and could be detrimental to the American public.
“These are misplaced priorities,” Capito said. “The president is prioritizing more and more spending. We’ve seen over the last years that spending has been [putting] us into an untenable position in terms of our deficit. It’s also had a definite impact on inflation and the cost of goods. I’m very, very concerned about that. …
“We see the drug crisis going [on] across our country, killing people in West Virginia with fentanyl. The president only mentions it twice, and he cuts the Department of Homeland Security budget, which is the principal agency that’s charged with stopping the flow of not only illegal immigrants, but drugs, which is so, so deadly.”
She addressed the insolvency issues with Medicaid and Social Security, and although she said she doesn’t know the right fix for the situation currently, it needs addressed soon.
“Medicare and Medicaid are extremely important across the country, but especially in West Virginia,” Capito said.
“We have a long-term issue here. There’s no doubt about it, so there are a lot of ideas kicking around. …
“Some suggestions are extending the Social Security checks. There’s a cap on your income where you stop paying that. Some have suggested taking the cap off, and that would generate some money to elongate the program. Some have suggested raising the retirement age. That’s controversial. There have also been some suggestions that we look at the Medicare program and restructure it one way or another so it could stay for generations. These are questions we’re going to have to face.”
Capito also noted that inflation remains above 6%, which she called “devastating” to the economy.
“People aren’t solidly on both feet because they’re not sure what’s going to happen in the months to come in terms of their savings or their ability to afford what they want,” Capito said. “I’m very concerned about the inflation that was caused by the overspending of the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan that came from one single party over the past year.”
Later in her press conference, she touched on the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. She said that she doesn’t share the views of some of her Republican counterparts that the struggle is a territorial dispute, adding that it’s a much bigger issue that affects the United States’s security interests.
“Ukraine is a sovereign democracy,” Capito said. “We cannot let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin win here, because this won’t stop. He will move on and forward. … I believe we should keep supporting Ukraine because it’s in the globe’s interest to have freedom fighters join together … to defeat these dictators that we see in Russia and China. If we don’t fill the void here, I think we’ll feel it down the road.”