WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today delivered a floor speech honoring Congressman David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.-01) and his service to West Virginia. A native of Wheeling, Congressman McKinley has served West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.
Below is a transcript of Senator Capito’s full speech, as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. President –
“Today, I rise to honor a seventh generation West Virginian, a lifelong Wheeling native, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and public servant – my very good friend, Congressman David McKinley.
“David and I have known each other for a very long time.
“He and Mary, his wife, have extended steadfast love and friendship to my entire family, but in particular, my parents in some good times and bad. Those friendships extended for many, many years, and never wavered.
“From when he was a Delegate in the West Virginia State House, to when he chaired the West Virginia Republican Party, to later as we became colleagues in the United States House of Representatives. We worked together a lot.
“You know, David got a slot on the Energy and Commerce Committee during his very first year in Washington. Now, I had already been there 10 years and still hadn't made it to the Energy and Commerce Committee. So, I was a little bit jealous of David then, but wow, he really did tremendous work on that committee.
“Although time has gone by, David’s passion and love for West Virginia has never wavered, and his pragmatic service have never changed.
“As the only licensed Engineer in the House of Representatives—and if you didn’t know that, David is quick to tell you—his unique and thoughtful analysis to challenges has helped his constituents immensely and it’s certainly made West Virginia a better place.
“And by the way, he's helped me understand some very complex issues.
“In fact, I don’t think there are many members of Congress who have held town hall meetings on the MegaBus to D.C. as David has, to meet with our constituents. But, David never misses an opportunity to have a conversation.
“David has played an essential role in advancing legislation critical to infrastructure, life-altering hearing aid devises, and securing the pensions and retirement benefits that our West Virginia coal miners rely on.
“David is and always will be a problem solver, and he brought thoughtful solutions to the needs of our fellow West Virginians every single day, with unrelenting passion.
“I've mentioned passion many times already in this short speech, but passion is a very fitting word because David does not do anything half-way.
“He is passionate about our state of West Virginia, he is passionate about West Virginia University’s football team, and all sports teams, and he is always there, ready to cheer on the Mountaineers.
“He is passionate about his hometown of Wheeling, and he is a passionate defender of those Northern Panhandlers, which is what I am as well.
“He is passionate about the men and women who have worked to power our nation and the solutions to our future.
“But, there is another component to David’s public service and his life that we must stop and recognize, and that is his beloved wife, Mary.
“Mary has truly been a partner to David in his work to make West Virginia stronger and healthier.
“Mary received her Masters of Science degree in Nursing from none other than West Virginia University, and has had an exceptional career as a nurse at Ohio Valley Medical Center, and as the Director of Education and Professional Development at the Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corporation in Wheeling.
“But, you know what, Mary has a national presence as well. Mary was the National President of the American Association of Critical Care-Nurses.
“She epitomizes West Virginia’s warmth and friendliness, and we thank her for her service to our state as well.
“As I reflect on Congressman McKinley’s federal work and accomplishments, perhaps no other area has seen his trademark, tireless devotion than protecting and promoting the hard work and values embodied by our West Virginia coal miners.
“David has fought tooth and nail for our coal miner’s livelihoods, for their health care, and for their ability to power this nation that sometimes takes for granted their sacrifice.
“As David turns the page on this chapter of his life, I am sure this is not the last we will hear from him. I certainly hope not.
“In retirement, David and Mary will be able to enjoy time spent with their four children and six grandchildren.
“With David’s time in Congress coming to a close, his thoughtful approach to problems and his fearless advocacy on behalf of West Virginians will be missed in this town, will be missed in our country, but certainly can never be erased from our state and our country’s history.
“But, his contributions and the example he set will continue to stay with us always.
“I admire David’s tenacity and decisiveness. You really never have to wonder what David McKinley thinks about a certain topic! I like that.
“For that, we should all be grateful. I know that I—and West Virginians—am certainly grateful.
“David, thank you for your service.
“I know that he’s not coming back into town until tomorrow, but I wanted to get this on the record.
“The difference you have made in our state we both love, and the friendship and council you have provided me over the years, is much appreciated.
“So, when I see David, and we have a conversation and he sends me on my way, he has a trademark saying that he always says to me. So, I’m going to say it back to him today.
“David, I’ll say this to you: Go get ‘em, kid.
“With that, I yield back.”
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