Call it what it is, Mr. President

This Monday, the House took a standing in calling out the terrorist organization ISIS for its heinous acts. Since declaring a caliphate in June 2014, the terrorist organization known as ISIS, has waged a war of destruction throughout Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East. Within the territory it controls, ISIS has instituted Sharia law, displaced millions of people, and ruthlessly murdered thousands of men, women, and children.

This is why, this week, I voted in support of House Congressional Resolution 75. This resolution affirms that these atrocities are in fact genocide and urges the United Nations, and other international organizations and states to refer to them as such. In addition, this measure urges those involved in the conflict to collaborate on measures to prevent further war crimes and crimes against humanities in the region.  

The Obama Administration has been slow to follow suite, waiting until the last minute before following Congress in recognizing these actions as genocide. This Congressional pressure worked and Congress needs to continue to push the President and the Administration on confronting crisis. Rest assured, I will continue to urge the President to form a coherent and effective policy that protects U.S. interests, defends the freedoms of religious minorities, and encourages stability in the Middle East. 


Standing up to Executive Overreach

In late 2014, President Obama announced he would be taking action on our nation’s immigration system. Instead of announcing a stronger southern border and punishment for offenders, he promised sweeping reforms that would allow individuals who entered this country illegally to stay.

Over 25 states have filed suits against the Administration, challenging this broad overreach. The case, Texas v. U.S., will soon be debated in the Supreme Court and the American people deserve a say in this process.

That’s why, this Thursday, I voted to support H.Res. 639, which authorizes the Speaker of the House to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the House of Representatives in this court case. Congress rarely files amicus briefs for court cases, highlighting just how important this Supreme Court ruling will be.

By filing this amicus brief, the Speaker of the House, on behalf of the American people, can remind the Supreme Court and the President that they are both bound by the Constitution. It is Congress that writes laws and it is the President's job to execute them.


Promoting Reliable Electricity in the First District

During my time in Congress I have always supported an “all the above” approach to energy production. This includes coal, natural gas, and oil, as well as renewables such as hydropower. That is why, earlier this year, I introduced a bill, H.R. 4416, that will create jobs and generate affordable hydroelectric power in West Virginia.

H.R. 4416 will advance the Jennings Randolph hydroelectric project of the North Branch of the Potomac River in Mineral County. By extending the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission(FERC)permit for this dam we will help bring this project to fruition.

In addition to providing the First District with affordable and reliable electricity this project will bring jobs to Mineral County and pump more than $30 million into the local economy. It was an honor to see it pass 418-2.


The First District in Washington

It was another busy week with familiar faces from the First District in our D.C. office. On Tuesday, the West Virginia Bankers Association came in to discuss issues facing community banks in West Virginia. While reform and oversight is necessary, provisions put in by the Obama Administration have deeply affected small, community banks throughout the nation. What works for Wall Street does not always work for Main Street, USA and it’s my job to make the Administration aware of these burdensome regulations.

My staff also had productive meetings with members of the West Virginia Junior College and the West Virginia Public Transportation Association. Meetings like these are great opportunities to bring First District voices to Washington and work on legislative solutions.


Honoring a Promise

This week I was honored to meet with three retired coal miners and members of the United Mine Workers of America(UMWA). We sat down to discuss progress on my bill, H.R. 2403, the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act. This bill would ensure that healthcare and pension plans for retired UMWA miners would remain solvent providing peace of mind for these miners and their families.

This Administration’s war on coal has pushed thousands of miners out of good paying jobs. I will continue to fight for these hard earned pensions and will use every tool at my disposal to make sure these miners are taken care of.


Sports Update

This past Saturday the WVU Rifle team won their fourth straight NCAA Championship. This is the 18th time WVU has won the title, in no small part to freshman Ginny Thrasher and her domination of the smallbore and air rifle competitions.

This team channeled the spirit of The Mountaineer and with steady hands was able to bring home another title to Morgantown. Our office congratulates them on this victory and we look forward to many more. Let’s go, Mountaineers!

March Madness has hit hard and I was able to fill out a bracket in time for the 12:00PM deadline this Thursday. I’ve got WVU going all the way and facing off against Oklahoma!

Have a great weekend!

- David McKinley

Washington, DC
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