The 116th Congress, now on the job in Washington, DC, after swearing-in ceremonies at the Capitol. While Republicans control the White House and the Senate, Democrats now control the House.
“When you have all Democrats or all Republicans, they tend not to listen to the other side. Now they have to. So the President has to understand that if he wants anything done, he’s got to work with the majority of Democrats in the House,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.
The new Congress brings the largest number of women to the House and Senate in American history, including new West Virginia Republican Representative Carol Miller.
“We’re wired differently. We bring different tools. Most women I know have seven or eight plates up in the air, spinning at all times, doing multi-tasking,” said Rep. Carol Miller (R) West Virginia-Dist. 3.
Big issues for West Virginia include fixing problems with Obamacare, in a state where tens of thousands of people have pre-existing medical conditions.
“The health care premiums are still rising and we’ve got to address a way to get our pharmaceutical prices down,” said Rep. David McKinley, (R) West Virginia-Dist.1.
Another is preserving tax cuts for individuals at all income levels and for businesses.
“They need certainty that the tax cuts, the tax rates, stay the same. So we need to protect that. I think we can do that. That will bring up the jobs. And then the individual tax cuts. We need to make those permanent,” said Rep. Alex Mooney, (R) West Virginia-Dist 2..
And perennial issues like securing pensions for retired coal miners and their widows are still on the table. And improving broadband internet access across the state.
“Education. If a student goes home with an I-pad and doesn’t have connectivity with an assignment, they come back to school and they are behind,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capitol, (R) West Virginia.
All this under a backdrop of many calling for Congressional investigations of President Trump now that Democrats rule the House.
The big question remains: now that we have divided government, will the two parties cooperate with each other, or will we have gridlock.
This Sunday all five members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation will join us for a special edition of “Inside West Virginia Politics.” We taped the show inside the U.S. Capitol Thursday. Inside West Virginia Politics airs at 11:30 Sunday morning on 13 News WOWK. In other West Virginia TV markets please check your local listings.