Any company that’s hired a West Virginian will tell you just how hard they’re willing to work to get the job done. Joe’s top priority is to create more good-paying jobs in West Virginia. A total of 240 businesses expanded or relocated to West Virginia during his tenure as governor. At that same time, $13 billion worth of business investments were made in West Virginia.
Now, as a United States Senator, he continues fighting to grow career opportunities for the people of West Virginia. His work has helped lure major companies to the Mountain State. Joe is committed to building up our state’s workforce by ensuring that West Virginians have the education and skills to be globally competitive and the chance to launch a successful career right here in West Virginia.
America’s infrastructure is deteriorating, and too many roads and bridges in West Virginia are falling apart. Joe wants to put West Virginians to work updating and modernizing infrastructure.
As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Joe understands the dangerous threats facing the United States. He’s worked in a bipartisan way to keep the American people safe in the age of terrorism and identify solutions to emerging threats. As far as Senator Manchin is concerned, there is no Democratic agenda or Republican agenda when it comes to national security; there is only an American agenda that puts the people of the United States first.
He has worked with both Democrats and Republicans to tighten sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran and form a Congressional Review process to keep strong and effective sanctions in place. Additionally, Joe was the first Democrat to cosponsor the Taylor Force Act, which put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop making payments to individuals who committed terrorist actions against Israel.
Senator Manchin understands that access to reliable broadband isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. He’s fighting to expand high-speed broadband access in the Mountain State because it’s essential that businesses, entrepreneurs, and students are connected to the world and have the tools they need to compete in the global economy. Currently, 500,000 West Virginians do not have access to broadband internet. Joe believes that West Virginia requires expanded internet access in order to create new jobs, better train our workforce, and build a brighter future for West Virginians. Senator Manchin refuses to allow rural communities to be left behind due to lack of broadband access.
The opioid epidemic is hurting communities and families all across West Virginia. Sadly, West Virginia has the most overdose deaths of any state in the nation. Senator Manchin has been on the front lines of confronting the drug epidemic and is working with both sides of the aisle to help address this crisis from every angle — from prevention to helping those struggling with addiction get clean. Joe wants to bring everyone to the table to help curb the overflow of prescription pain medication coming into West Virginia.
Senator Manchin has fought to ensure that there is funding for substance use disorder treatment, pushed for medical professionals to have the information that they need to properly prescribe opioids given the risks of addiction, and worked to bring money to the state to help reduce drug trafficking and support law enforcement efforts. He worked to get federal agencies like the FDA to change their cultures and take the opioid epidemic seriously.
Joe led the charge against confirming the original nominee for Drug Czar, who had a record of helping the big drug companies flood our neighborhoods with pain pills. He wants to make sure the DEA has the oversight ability to crack down on suspicious pill shipments coming into our communities.
West Virginians keep their word and honor their commitments to one another. Senator Manchin is committed to protecting seniors by making good on the promises we’ve made to them. He strongly believes that after a lifetime of hard work, West Virginia seniors deserve to retire with dignity and peace of mind. Joe will continue fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security for West Virginia’s seniors because they’ve earned it.
The patriotism of West Virginians is second to none. Through his position on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Joe has worked to fulfill the commitments our great nation has made to America’s Veterans and their families. Dealing with the bureaucratic Department of Veteran’s Affairs isn’t always easy, but Joe never backs down from a fight. Joe Manchin gets results for veterans.
In just the past year, Joe helped pass legislation that ensured all Purple Heart recipients receive full GI Benefits, helped remove onerous regulations that prohibited critical information sharing between VA and community health providers, and fought to keep the Veterans Upward Bound Program at local colleges funded. In 2017, Joe introduced the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing (HIRE) Veterans Act and it became law with bipartisan support.
Joe believes that if you want to help a vet, you have to hire a vet. This is why in 2013, he co-founded the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus. Since the caucus’ inception, veterans unemployment rates have consistently dropped, and in September 2017, it hit the lowest rate since 2001. While we celebrate this accomplishment, Joe is still fighting everyday to make sure that our service members have a job when they come home.
West Virginians take pride in the important role that the Mountain State plays as a major energy producer. Senator Manchin is fighting in the U.S. Senate to keep West Virginia coal miners on the job and support West Virginia’s energy economy. He is focused on creating a comprehensive national energy policy that will recognize the key role that coal plays in making the United States more energy independent. Joe wants to find a bipartisan pathway to harness domestic energy resources, including coal, natural gas, biomass, nuclear, wind, and solar.
Joe is working to bring a natural gas storage hub to West Virginia that can capitalize on the wet gas in the Ohio River Valley. A storage hub has the potential to significantly spur economic growth across the Appalachian region, and given West Virginia’s geographic location, establishing a local hub has the added benefit of strengthening America’s national security.
Coal miner safety is deeply personal to Joe. In 1968, Joe’s uncle was killed in a tragic coal mining accident when Farmington No. 9 exploded. He’s introduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act, to give the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) the tools to investigate dangerous mines that put our coal miners at risk, and ensure that reckless coal operators are held accountable. Joe wants MSHA to have the funding and support they need to keep coal miners safe.
Manchin championed the Miners Protection Act to save health care for coal miners, and In 2017, he successfully secured permanent funding for healthcare benefits for 22,600 miners and their families. Joe is working to guarantee the promised pension benefits our coal miners earned by taking the lead on passing the American Miners Pension Act.
A strong economy depends on a strong public education system. Joe is fighting to make sure that every West Virginian has access to a world-class education. He wants all West Virginia students prepared to enter college or to start a career when they finish high school. During his time as governor, enrollment in the Mountain State’s community and technical colleges significantly increased. As a Senator, he has worked to bring funding to West Virginia to support community colleges and career and technical education programs.
Joe wants to make sure we have a qualified teacher in every classroom and that all of our schools have the resources to give students every opportunity to achieve their dreams. In the Senate, he worked in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our K-12 education system and return control of our children’s education to our local communities. He believes that pursuing a college education should not leave students saddled with a mountain of debt, and will continue to work on bipartisan solutions to ease the burden of student loan debt. As governor, Manchin instituted a tuition freeze for the state’s colleges and universities from 2010-2011 to keep higher education affordable, and, as Senator, he led and passed a bipartisan bill to lower interest rates on federal student loans.
Joe and the people of West Virginia agree that our current healthcare system needs to be repaired and improved. He believes that West Virginians need access to affordable health care and that fixing health care for the American people will require a bipartisan solution. He wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs and rein in out-of-control insurance premiums.
As a Senator, Joe has fought to protect people with pre-existing conditions, preserve access to substance use disorder treatment, and preserve health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians. He will continue to work on bipartisan solutions that will lower costs and increase flexibility for West Virginians while promoting greater health education and personal responsibility to ensure that every West Virginian has the resources and knowledge to live a healthy life.