WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week heard from several members of President Donald Trump’s administration about their FY2021 budget request and priorities for their departments. During these hearings, she was able to raise visibility for several West Virginia projects that she has been focused on as a member of the committee.
Senator Capito heard from the following administration officials: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske; U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Secretary Elaine Chao; U.S. Department of the Interior (DoI) Secretary David Bernhardt; U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH HEARING ARE INCLUDED BELOW:
Homeland Security Hearing:
During the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the TSA budget request Senator Capito chaired, she questioned TSA Administrator David Pekoske on REAL ID compliance and efforts to monitor and control the coronavirus.
To watch Senator Capito’s opening statement, click here. To watch her first round of questions for TSA Administrator Pekoske, click here. Click here to watch Senator Capito’s second round of questioning.
Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Hearing:
During the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Senator Capito stressed the importance of completing Corridor H construction. Last year, Senator Capito and Secretary Chao worked together and were successful in securing the $100 million direct appropriations funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS).
Senator Capito, who is also chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, then raised the issue of insufficient bridges and asked the secretary what kind of progress the department has made on this issue with the funding provided in last year’s funding bill.
Click here to watch Senator Capito’s questions for Secretary Chao, and click here to watch the full hearing.
During the Interior Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Senator Capito asked Secretary Bernhardt for a status update on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. Senator Capito has worked on this issue since 2015 when she first urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prioritize in their budget plans for the construction of a new visitor center. After working to secure the funds possible for the project, Senator Capito visited the facility with Secretary Bernhardt in July 2019. Secretary Bernhardt confirmed that the construction of visitor’s center is on track to open as planned, and staff will begin moving in this week. Click here for more details on the visit, as well as a timeline on Senator Capito’s efforts to make this project a reality.
Click here to watch Senator Capito’s questions for Secretary Bernhardt, and click here to watch the full hearing.
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Hearing:
Senator Capito expressed her support to Education Secretary DeVos for the administration’s budget request to increase the Career and Technical Education (CTE) state grant funding by 53 percent. Senator Capito went on to explain that this increase is encouraging for a state like West Virginia where CTE is an important part of the state’s efforts to transition their economy to a more high-tech and entrepreneurial economy.
Click here to watch Senator Capito’s questions for Secretary DeVos, and click here to watch the full hearing.
Commerce, Justice, Science Hearing:
At the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee hearing, one of the topics Senator Capito discussed was the importance of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the significance of the funds that have come to West Virginia—particularly when it comes to helping the state increase abilities to expand infrastructure and create jobs, especially in rural areas. Senator Capito hosted EDA Assistant Secretary Dr. John Fleming in West Virginia in November 2019 to see how the state is benefiting from these funds firsthand.
Senator Capito also questioned Secretary Ross on broadband mapping and the importance of maintaining supercomputing capabilities at the NOAA facility in Fairmont.
Click here to watch Senator Capito’s questions for Secretary Ross, and click here to watch the full hearing.
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