WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted for a bipartisan bill with several provisions that benefit West Virginia, including significant funding to enhance our national security, combat the drug epidemic and expand access to affordable broadband.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito was well-positioned to ensure that several West Virginia priorities were included in the final bill. The bill also provides tax relief and certainty to American families. It passed on a 65-33 vote.
Senator Capito issued the following statement after the vote:
“This bill includes many priorities that will benefit West Virginia and grow the economy. Those who took issue with specific parts of the legislation and voted against it failed to consider the overall positive impact this bill will have on American families, workers and businesses.
“The bill includes significant funding to combat the drug epidemic that is taking the lives of many West Virginians. It will help expand rural broadband to the more than half of our state that lacks access to high-speed internet, and it boosts funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
“For those who have been devastated by this administration’s relentless regulatory campaign, the bill includes resources to help our displaced West Virginia miners and improve mine safety. It supports research at West Virginia institutions to make coal, oil and natural gas energy production cleaner and more efficient.
“The bill increases resources for our military to modernize operations and better equip our troops. It strengthens our cybersecurity and tightens security requirements in the Visa Waiver program, and prohibits funding to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. It supports veterans’ health care and job training. As we confront threats at home and abroad, this bill will help to enhance our national security, and ensure that we properly care for those who have bravely served our country.
“This bill provides an increase in funding to treat, cure and hopefully end Alzheimer’s. This will help the 36,000 West Virginians living with Alzheimer’s and others who have been touched by the disease, including my own family. It also promotes the work of researchers and higher institutions in West Virginia to develop medical breakthroughs and new technologies.
“Lastly, the bill puts onerous Obamacare tax hikes on hold and provides tax benefits for members of the military and small businesses. It permanently extends the enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which according to the WV Center for Budget and Policy, helps a combined 131,000 children in 81,000 families in West Virginia. This will provide significant tax relief and certainty to middle-class families and businesses, and lay the path for comprehensive tax reform in the future.
“Congress should take its role in determining our nation’s spending priorities very seriously. For the first time in six years, all 12 appropriations bills were reported out of the Appropriations Committee this year, most with bipartisan support.
“Unfortunately Democrats put forth a strategy designed to keep Congress from working, including those who are now decrying the current process, and voted to block consideration of individual funding bills on the Senate floor. Because of this Democratic obstruction, we were left with few options: consider the funding bills as a single package or risk shutting down the government. In the future, I urge my Democratic colleagues to allow Congress to pass individual funding bills in a timely manner.
“While this bill is far from perfect, it will move us forward in significant ways. I remain disappointed that the Miner’s Protection Act was not included but am committed to protecting our coal mining community from EPA’s devastating regulations and safeguarding our miners’ hard-earned benefits.”