February 20, 2015

Manchin talks issues at airport | Huntington Herald Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin made a stop at the Huntington Tri-State Airport on Thursday during a whirlwind trip through the state this week to speak about issues pertinent to West Virginia.

The senator spoke on a variety of topics, touching on his stances on immigration, the war on terror, the Keystone Pipeline and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Manchin said the Department of Homeland Security funding bill has become too politicized.

"Some things we have to rise above," he said. "Defending this country should be bipartisan. I don't think there will be another day in our lives, our children's lives or our grandchildren's lives when we are not faced with a war on terror."

Manchin added that political divisions have hampered the ability to adopt a bill combating terrorist hackers.

"We need to show we can govern together," he said.

Wayne County Commissioner and airport authority member Kenneth Adkins asked Manchin what can be done to improve infrastructure in rural counties.

"I thought when the $1 trillion stimulus package was passed in 2007 that at least $500 or $600 million would go toward infrastructure and shovel-ready projects," Manchin said. "Instead, it went to basic services and to prop up government. As far as infrastructure goes, we're in danger, it's as simple as that."

Establishing an infrastructure bank is something Manchin said he has mentioned to his fellow legislators in Washington, D.C.

Battling the EPA's increasingly stringent regulation on coal mining is a fight Manchin said he plans on continuing.

"The EPA has become too overreaching," he said. "I fought the EPA because they made us Americans think the global climate was our fault. There are 8 billion tons of coal being burned every year and only 1 billion in the United States. There are 1,200 coal-fired plants being built right now, but not one in the United States."

Manchin said even with well-publicized political divisions and a sluggish economy, countries around the world still look to America for leadership.

After leaving the airport, Manchin went to Huntington High School where he participated in a roundtable discussion about school safety with students and staff.

By:  Brandon Roberts