January 12, 2020

We Must Work To Find Common Ground | The Clarksburg Exponent

As our politics becomes increasingly polarized, it is easy to feel discouraged about bipartisanship. I’ve always said that partisan politics has turned into a tribal mentality and has ruined Washington and is the reason why it’s so hard to get things done.

But as a senator from West Virginia, I still believe there is plenty of common ground where Democrats and Republicans can work together for the benefit of all Americans.

Bipartisanship isn’t just a political practice; it’s a value that I’ve lived by my whole life. Whether it’s in my political career or my private life, I have always tried to bring people together and come to a solution that everyone can live with.

This value serves me well in the Senate because I believe in order to make lasting change that benefits every West Virginian, it must be done in a bipartisan way.

I’ve always believed that people with different opinions are not always wrong, and that’s why we must come together to face our nation’s problems.

It’s always an honor to be recognized for introducing legislation with my Republican colleagues, but this isn’t the only way to forge bipartisanship.

Although introducing bipartisan legislation is a great start, casting hard votes — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — is when it counts.

That’s why I am even more proud that based on voting record — the votes that decide the fate of everything from health care to our national defense — I am the most bipartisan member in Congress.

That’s something I take pride in and will continue to strive for because it means that I will stand up to both Democrat and Republican leadership to do what is right for our state and our country.

Just last month, I was so proud to have the Bipartisan American Miners Act secured in the end-of-year spending package.

Congress did its job, and kept the promise made to our coal miners. We came together, Democrats and Republicans, to keep the promise to 92,000 miners nationwide so that the pension they earned would not be gutted next year. And another 13,000 miners’ health care was saved, which brings the total to 35,000 miners’ health care saved, including 25,000 West Virginians.

The Bipartisan American Miners Act serves as a perfect example of what we can accomplish when Congress works together not just as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans.

When I was first sworn in as U.S. senator for West Virginia, I knew that I would have to work across the aisle in order to get things done and do what’s best for our country. After all, the Senate was created to ensure bipartisan compromise.

Although in recent decades this foundation has been chipped away at for political gain, I have always and will always think of how our Founding Fathers built this body and wanted it to operate when things get tough.

Bipartisanship isn’t always easy, but when it succeeds, we can accomplish great things.

By:  Senator Joe Manchin
Source: Clarksburg Exponent