Protecting Local Jobs and Energy Research

The House approved the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Development bill this week on a bipartisan vote of 253-170. This legislation provides the funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, and programs under the Department of Energy(DOE)– including the National Energy Technology Laboratory(NETL).

Incorporated into the bill are two amendments I offered to help protect jobs in West Virginia and promote energy research. The first would prioritize funding for energy research and use of scientific reports for climate research, as opposed to using politically motivated reports. We don’t want to spend money on the President’s controversial climate change plan that will put jobs and other important research at risk.

The second amendment I offered would protect NETL from being transformed into a government-owner, contractor-operated laboratory, or from closing the laboratory. NETL conducts important research and employs hundreds of West Virginians.

Opponents of fossil energy have been emboldened by President Obama and are attacking vital investments in researching coal, oil, and gas. In addition to the two amendments I offered I also helped defeat six amendments to cut fossil fuel research at NETL.

We are continuing to educate other Members of Congress about the important work NETL is doing on capturing carbon, increasing yield of shale gas exploration, and efficiency of gas turbines. Now that the House has voted to continue this important research, we’re hoping the Senate will do the same.

Denouncing the Violence in Israel and Palestine

In response to the violence continuing in the Middle east I introduced a bipartisan resolution(H.Res. 665)this week condemning the murder of Israeli and Palestinian children in Israel, as well as the escalating violence in that country prompted by Hamas rocket attacks.

Violence against innocent children and civilians is abhorrent and Congress needs to speak up. As a parent and grandparent, what happened to the Israeli and Palestinian teenagers breaks my heart. Thankfully, Israel has taken steps to arrest those who killed a Palestinian teen in revenge.  But Hamas and the terrorists responsible for the killings of the Israeli youth are still at large.

On June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was also an American citizen, were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists associated with Hamas.  Extremists retaliated by murdering a Palestinian teenager. 

Following these murders, violence in the region has escalated. Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets at civilian targets, giving Israel no option but to defend itself.  The United States must continue to stand with Israel in the face of Hamas targeting civilians.  The Palestinians can stop this by rejecting Hamas’ reign of terror against innocent civilians.

The Resolution also calls on Hamas to halt its attacks on Israel, stop provoking Israel into a conflict, and urges the Palestinian Authority to sever ties with Hamas until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

Continuing to Investigate the VA and Protect Veterans

On Monday, I traveled to Clarksburg to gather more information on the quality of care at the Louis A. Johnson VA medical center in light of the national scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration.

At the VA medical center, I met with Beth Brown, Director of the Medical Center, employee representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees(AFGE)Local 2384, and a group of local veterans at the Meuse-Argonne VFW Post 573 in Clarksburg as part of this fact finding mission about veterans care.

Priority number one needs to be ensuring America keeps its promise to our veterans and provides them the care they deserve. With the recent news of long delays, unofficial wait lists, and mismanagement at VA hospitals across the country, we need to discuss the situation firsthand with VA leadership and employees in Clarksburg, as well as veterans who utilize the hospital.

The House has already taken several steps to ensure more accountability at the VA and ensure serious problems we’ve seen at several facilities don’t happen again. My office will continue to work with officials at the Clarksburg VAand local veterans to improve the system. Our job isn’t done until we can be confident our veterans are getting the best care possible.

2014 by the Numbers

The first six months of this year have been busy. Here’s a look at the work in both the First District and Washington, D.C., by the numbers:

  • Cast 404 roll call votes in the House and missed no votes.
  • Introduced 9 bills and passed two bills through the House. He also offered 12 amendments that passed the House. In 113th Congress, McKinley has introduced 38 bills and resolutions, and passed 3 bills and 19 amendments.
  • Participated in 33 hearings and legislative markups with the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • Was recognized with 9 awards for his leadership and work on issues including energy efficiency and access to medicine
  • Held 114 meetings in the district.
  • Organized 47 roundtable meetings in the First District with groups including veterans, seniors, small businesses, labor, healthcare providers, students, elected officials, and others.
  • Conducted 4 telephone town halls with over 40,000 constituents participating.
  • Opened 422 cases to help constituents with VA benefits, Social Security, Medicare, immigration, and more, and closed 429 cases.
  • Sent over 18,000 emails and letters to constituents.

Listening to Constituents

This year I have traveled throughout the district holding roundtable meetings, and I continued it this week. On Monday I met with elected officials from Stonewood to discuss infrastructure, local law enforcement, and other issues small towns face.

My office also held a Telephone Town Hall reaching thousands of constituents in the First District. Telephone Town Halls allow callers to listen in and ask me questions directly. During the town hall this week we asked callers what they thought should be done about the immigration crisis on our southern border our polls found that:

  • 44% believe we need to deploy National Guard troops to the border
  • 31% believe we need to rescind foreign aid to countries that are not stemming the flow of their citizens leaving to come to ours illegally
  • 22% believe we need to speed up the deportation process
  • 3% believe we need to grant citizenship to the unaccompanied children

In response to these findings I cosponsored Rep. David Schweikert’s [R-AZ] bill(HR 4882)that would call for the deployment of at least 10,000 members of the U.S. National Guard to the border. The addition of the National Guard would be focused on our border security programs to help prevent the illegal smuggling of drugs, individuals, and other transnational criminal activities. If you have any comments or would like to share your input on any of these issues, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-4172.

Constituent Meetings

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.

What do you think?

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Survey Results

How do you plan on celebrating the 4th of July?

Watch a parade 3.65%
A family cookout43.55%
Participate in a community event 9.98%
View a fireworks display29.20%
All of the above13.63%

Washington, DC
412 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202)225-4172 | Fax:(202)225-7564
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Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: 304.284.8506
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