President Obama Isn’t Listening

Earlier this month the American people roundly rejected President Obama’s policies by electing a Republican Senate and larger majority in the House. They sent a message that the President must work with Congress. Last night, the President made an announcement that he will act alone on immigration, proving that he is not listening to the American people.

President Obama’s plan to give executive amnesty to millions is nothing more than a divisive, political calculation that will poison the well for his ability to work with the new Congress that will be sworn in just six weeks from now.

Policies should be changed through the legislative process, not with an edict from the President. President Obama’s action shows a blatant disregard for the will of the people, and disrespect for the Constitutional limits of his office.

This plan shows the President is more concerned with dividing the American people for political gain than he is about listening and working in good faith to get something done. His executive amnesty plan is wrong for America and we will continue to push back against it.


Expanding Role on Energy and Commerce

This week Chairman Fred Upton announced that I will continue my work on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee for the next two years. I will maintain my position on the Energy and Power Subcommittee and the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, and have been named Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

The issues we work on in the Energy and Commerce Committee are crucial for the future of West Virginia. Whether it’s standing up for coal and natural gas jobs or providing relief from Obamacare, we have worked to provide opportunity to work on behalf of the people of the First District.

It’s been an honor to serve for the last four years, and I’m excited to expand my role on the Committee and hold the Obama Administration accountable with aggressive oversight. When the Obama Administration does something that hurts West Virginia and our country, we will stand up to them.

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has broad responsibility for oversight of agencies and departments, including the EPA, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission.

The Energy and Commerce Committee is responsible for a wide range of issues including energy, manufacturing, healthcare, internet and telecommunications. It is the oldest standing legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Promoting American Manufacturing

In West Virginia we are well aware just how much our manufacturing base has declined in the past decades due to excessive regulations and unfair trade. We now have an opportunity to turn this decline around and create a renaissance in American manufacturing. That is why the House passed the Promoting New Manufacturing Act(H.R. 4795), which will provide stricter timelines for clean air permitting for new manufacturing facilities and increase transparency.

The abundant resources in our region can provide the affordable energy needed to attract manufacturers, but uncertainty created by regulations is holding that growth back

This bill, of which I am a cosponsor, would help projects like the proposed ethane cracker in Wood County move forward by removing some of the uncertainty and providing a clear pathway for permitting. This would help create thousands of jobs in West Virginia and billions and investment.


Holding the EPA Accountable

This week the House took action to require the EPA to be more transparent and balanced in the science used to formulate regulations. The House passed two bills to reform the EPA’s Science Advisory Board and to require the agency to publicly release the science behind its regulation.

For too long the EPA has been allowed to formulate regulations that affect the lives of millions of Americans behind closed doors. These are common sense steps to increase transparency and accountability at the EPA.

Opening up the regulatory process and allowing the public to see the science behind the EPA’s decisions will ensure a more vigorous debate over regulations that have a significant impact on our economy.


Honoring our Educators

Two teachers were honored this week in the First Congressional District, Betty Lou Merritt of Doddridge County and Sandra Hinerman of Wetzel County.

Last Saturday I traveled to Doddridge County to honor Betty Lou Merritt, who was named Citizen of the Year for Doddridge County. Merritt has spent the last 36 years teaching in Doddridge County, influencing and teachers generations of students.

Sandra Hinerman was named the 2014 Wetzel County Teacher of the Year this week. This designation was given to Hinerman by the Wetzel County Board of Education. Hinerman is a math teacher at Magnolia High School, and has taught for 27 years. The Board of Education noted that Hinerman has touched the many lives of her numerous students, establishing a special connection with them in the classroom.

She was also one of the main reasons why Wetzel County Schools partnered with West Virginia University to offer a college engineering class at Magnolia High. As a major advocate for STEM education in our public schools, I know that the value of a college level engineering course in high school is extremely important for our next generation.


Constituent Meetings

This week, I met a number of constituent groups, including representatives from Cochlear America:

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202-225-4172, or submit a request on my website at www.mckinley.house.gov.

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