Precipitating a government shutdown?
The Huffington Post warns that the funding for the coal retirees could be a major stumbling point in the passage of a budget:
A permanent funding fix for retired coal miners’ health benefits may be in trouble. And so could the federal government’s operation after the end of next week.
Congress in December extended health coverage for retired miners and their widows, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised the Senate would vote to permanently fund it when the next deadline came around.
But with days to go before Congress must pass an omnibus spending bill to keep the government operating, health coverage for miners looks like it’s about to become a major flashpoint in negotiations, potentially triggering a government shutdown.
The article goes on to explain that Manchin might lead the charge and Capito might follow:
Capito has not said outright whether she would vote against a government funding bill if it doesn’t include a permanent solution for the miners. But she and other coal-state Republicans, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), have hinted they’d back Manchin.
Capito meets with Follansbee politicians
The front page of this morning's Intelligencer reports that Senator Capito was in Follansbee yesterday:
Health care reform and federal funding for local projects were among various issues discussed by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito as she met with local officials, business leaders and residents Wednesday in Follansbee.
(Note -- I'm not sure about "residents." The picture accompanying the article as well as those included with her twitter post online show only politicians and they're the only group referenced in her feed.)
The article contains no new information apart from her actual visit. My favorite Capito quote in the article is not unlike something from the fiscally conservative voter who rails against old and new taxes and then says "and when are they going to fix the roads in front of my house." In the article, Capito worries about possible cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program which provides money for a number of local programs and then states:
“I’m all for shrinking government, but they’re going to have to find other places to cut,” she said.
Joe Manchin and the Trump ties (pun intended)
From the Hill:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) said Tuesday that his home state of West Virginia would jump at the chance to manufacture Trump-branded ties, after the president signed an executive order aimed at boosting American production and workers.
“We're up and ready to go, give us a chance. We can do the job, absolutely,” Manchin told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead.”
Manchin responded excitedly when Tapper teed up the question at the end of his interview, asking the Democratic Senator if he'd like to see Trump manufacture clothes in West Virginia.
“Oh, my goodness, would we ever? We used to have some of the best shirt companies in America, right here. Morgan Shirt Company, one of the finest shirt companies in the whole world and they went out of business many, many years ago because they couldn't compete,” Manchin said.
Settle down, Joe - it's probably not going to happen.