Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) recorded several legislative victories on behalf of the people of West Virginia this year, including a permanent fix to protect pension and healthcare benefits for retired coal miners, and legislation that will help reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
"Being in the minority brings a whole new set of challenges to getting things done. We no longer set the agenda, and that can be very frustrating. The only way to get anything accomplished is by working in a bipartisan fashion," McKinley said. "Our office has always focused on building relationships across the aisle and finding common areas of agreement. This philosophy has helped us ensure that West Virginians' voices are heard, and the needs of our state are met, even while serving in the minority."
"This year, we have been able to achieve some major legislative victories thanks to the bipartisan nature of our work. From addressing our top priority--protecting pensions and healthcare for miners--to ensuring West Virginia gets it fair share of resources, we are proud of our work this year," McKinley added.
Below is a breakdown of his Congressional work over the past year:
The 2019 year-end spending bill included a permanent fix for the pension and health care benefits of retired miners. (Roll Call #689 & #690, 12/17/19; Became Public Law No: 116-94, 12/20/19) McKinley has led the fight in the House on this issue for many years.
The 2019 year-end spending bill also included the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act (H.R. 965) which will reduce drug costs by encouraging generic competition.
The 2019 year-end spending bill included several wins on priority issues for McKinley (Roll Call #689 & #690, 12/17/19; Became Public Law No: 116-94, 12/20/19)
More than $5.7 billion to fight the opioid crisis. The bill continued the 15% set-aside McKinley and others created in 2018 that targets State Opioid Response Grants to the hardest-hit states, including West Virginia.
The funding includes $5 million for alternatives to opioids in emergency room settings, which come as a result of legislation (ALTO Act) McKinley offered in the 2018 opioid bill (H.R. 6).
A $10 million increase for Fossil Energy Research and Development bringing it to $750 million, the highest level in a decade. McKinley has been the leader in the House advocating for additional funding in fossil research and development.
The funding includes over $490 million for the Coal CCS and Power Systems Program.
The bill included language requested by McKinley to protect jobs in Morgantown by preventing the closure or consolidation of NETL.
An additional $2.6 billion for research at NIH, bringing the total funding at NIH to $40.2 billion. This funding will lead to innovation and cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. McKinley has led a bipartisan coalition to increase NIH funding for years.
The first ever dedicated funding ($6 million) for Pancreatic Cancer research, through the Department of Defense. McKinley has led the effort in the House to establish this funding stream for several years.
$100 million for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), which will help complete Corridor H. McKinley signed a letter to House appropriators requesting this funding.
Promoting the Appalachian Storage Hub project, by directing the DOE to play a leading role in coordinating the project.
McKinley's bill the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2019 (H.R. 1147) was added to S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act. The bill placed Barbour, Braxton, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur, and Webster Counties, as well as Allegany County, Maryland and Garrett County, Maryland into a national heritage area. (Roll Call #95 & #22,; Became Public Law No: 116-9, 3/12/19)
This year's National Defense Authorization Act included McKinley's amendment regarding domestic sourcing of dinnerware. The amendment will help American manufacturer of stainless steel flatware and dinnerware, such as that produced at Homer Laughlin China Company in Newell, West Virginia. (sec. 854). (Roll Call #672 & #490, Became Public Law No: 116-92, 12/20/19)
In December of 2019, the United States and China agreed to a phase one trade deal. As part of the agreement, China agreed to significant purchases of American agricultural products, including hardwood lumber
McKinley has led efforts in the House to ensure that hardwood was included as part of the trade negotiation with China.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced in August that it would move forward withestablishing a three-digit number that would enable callers to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
McKinley has advocated for a three-digit suicide prevention hotline for several years after hearing about the concept in roundtable meetings with veterans. McKinley was the lead cosponsor of the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2345). (Roll Call #336, Became Public Law No: 115-233, 8/14/19)