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Extending an Invitation to a First District Hero

Each year, at the State of the Union address, member of Congress are able to bring one guest. This year, I took the opportunity to shed light on the growing drug abuse problem in West Virginia by inviting a leader in the fight against this epidemic. Mr. Ted Offutt, the director of the Marion County Day Report Center, joined me in Washington to view the event and discuss the issues facing those addicted to drugs.

I've met with hundreds of healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, and concerned citizens and it is clear that action is needed to turn the tide in this fight. Leaders like Mr. Offutt have made a real difference in saving lives throughout the district. It was an honor to have Mr. Offutt as my guest and I will continue to work with him and others to formulate a strong response to this crisis.

 

One Simple Question

This year, we heard the same empty words from President Obama as he went about solidifying his legacy during the State of the Union. While the President spoke a booming economy and "unprecedented" job growth, he failed to highlight the damage his policies have had on the Mountain State.

The constant onslaught coming from the Oval Office again coal has devastated our state's economy. Out unemployment rate has gone from one of the lowest in the nation to the highest. Each week, countless families are left to ask how they will get by as coal miners are laid off and local businesses shutter.

There is one simple way to judge the State of the Union and that is why I ask each West Virginian - are you better off than you were 7 years ago?

 

Taking a Stand with the STREAM Act

This week, the House voted to stop yet another regulation aimed at coal mining. H.R.. 1644, the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Action in Mining(STREAM)Act pushes back against a proposed rule that would effectively ban mining operations within 100 feet of anything the Office of Surface Mining determines as a "stream", affecting both surface and underground mining operations. This regulation would have a devastating impact on West Virginia's economy.

The STREAM Act requires the OSM to conduct an in-depth study on the potential industry impacts of the proposed rule and prevents its implementation for one-year. This bill was introduced by West Virginia's second district representative, Congressman Alex Mooney, and I am proud to cosponsor it. By halting this rule, we send a strong message to the Obama Administration that ignoring the human and economic costs of these burdensome regulation is unacceptable.

 

Blocking Yet Another EPA Overreach

On Wednesday, the House voted again to block the controversial rule to expand the EPA's authority over water and wetlands. The regulation, also known as "Waters of the U.S.," would give the EPA more plower to regulate bodies of water, including streams, drainage ditches, and puddles. Previously their jurisdiction only applied to "navigable waters" like rivers and lakes.

Despite two Supreme Court ruling limiting its jurisdiction, the EPA has continued to attempt to expand its duties as set forth in the original Clean Waters Act. We've heard from farmers, builders, and other stakeholders in the First District who have made it clear that the EPA's rule would expand the agency's control over what amounts to simple puddles or ditches. by sending this rejection to the Presidents desk, Congress continues the fight against this unprecedented overreach.

 

A New Front in the War on Coal

Today, the Obama administration announced a halt to new coal mining on public lands. Currently, public lands account for 40% of the coal production in America and generate more than $1.3 billion for American taxpayers.

Let's call this decision what it is - the first step towards banning all coal production on public lands. Halting new coal production is just the latest slap in the face of hundreds of thousands of families whose livelihoods rely on coal, and the million of Americans who benefit from access to this affordable energy source.

This decision will mean fewer jobs, lost revenue, and more suffering in communities across America. As Chairman of the Coal Caucus I have already begun to work with like-minded members from other regions to speak our against this plan with one voice. We will use every tool at our disposal to fight this.

 

The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall

This past Tuesday night, the West Virginia men's basketball team welcomed the Kansas Jay Hawks to the Coliseum. A raging winter snow storm outside did not slow down the Mountaineers as they upset the nation"s top-ranked team 74-63. Once again, bench play was a major factor in the win, contributing 40 points, and "Press" Virginia's defense rattled the Jayhawks, forcing them to commit 22 turnovers.

This is the Mountaineers first win over a No. 1 team in the last 30 years. Now they head to face the nation's No.2 ranked team, Oklahoma, on Saturday. A win here would mark the first time since 1989 that any college basketball team has played, and beaten, the top 2 ranked teams in the nation in one week.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

- David McKinley

Washington, DC
412 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202)225-4172 | Fax:(202)225-7564
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