CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining Chairman Randy Smith (R-Tucker) today said he will invite U.S. Senator Joe Manchin to appear before the Joint Standing Committee on Energy to explain Manchin’s support for the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Senator Smith said he has spoken to several members of the Legislature who are extremely disappointed in Senator Manchin for joining with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a compromise that Smith said will devastate West Virginia’s coal industry. Manchin said on MetroNews “Talkline” last week that he worked with Schumer and Pelosi for three months on the legislation.
“Not one time in the last three months did Senator Manchin ever reach out to me, our Committee, or other members of the Legislature for our input, ideas, or concerns,” Smith said. “Instead, he worked with Democrats in Congress behind closed doors to work out a compromise. It makes us feel like Senator Manchin is more concerned about his colleagues in Washington than he is with his constituents in West Virginia.”
Senator Smith said he strongly encourages Senator Manchin to accept his invitation to appear before the Joint Standing Committee on Energy. The opportunity will give members of the Legislature the opportunity to ask Senator Manchin questions about the Inflation Reduction Act and deliver direct concerns from West Virginians about the potential harm that could come from its passage.
“Senator Manchin has always said he can’t vote for a bill unless he feels like he can go back home and explain why,” Senator Smith said. “That’s all we’re asking for with this visit. We’d like the chance to hear directly from him and allow him the opportunity to talk to us face to face about why he voted the way he did.
“I’ve seen numerous interviews where he said that the Inflation Reduction Act wasn’t a ‘red’ bill or a ‘blue’ bill, but it was a ‘red, white and blue’ bill,” Senator Smith continued. “Well, my fear is that his yes vote on this bill is going to leave West Virginia and all of its hard-working coal miners and their families black and blue, and I think we need to have an honest conversation about that.
The Joint Standing Committee on Energy next meets in September and again in November. Senator Smith is working to schedule this special meeting as soon as possible. A meeting date and time will be announced as soon as it is available.