BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) made several stops during her time in Raleigh County Wednesday, including visits to both the Beckley VA Medical Center and Raleigh General Hospital.
Taking time out of her schedule to speak with Beckley residents and explore various facets of Raleigh County life, the congresswoman expressed enthusiasm at the growing local economy.
“You can feel the difference in Southern West Virginia,” Miller exclaimed. “Things are coming alive and I’m excited about it!”
Among her various stops in Raleigh on Wednesday was Leonard Buildings & Truck Accessories on Robert C. Byrd Drive, which recently celebrated its re-opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce. Congresswoman Miller frequently voices her support for such events in the area by way of sending personal regards and even making appearances when her schedule permits, which speaks to an ongoing commitment to the continued success of local business.
“Small businesses are vital in West Virginia,” she says from within the Leonard Buildings lobby. “95% of the businesses [here] are small businesses, and to see what [Leonard Buildings & Truck Accessories General Manager] Tim has done here and what a beautiful facility this is – it’s another great new business. They’re popping up.”
A particular emphasis was placed on medical care during the congresswoman’s visit to Raleigh County, with personal tours of the Beckley VA Medical Facility and Raleigh General Hospital having been focal points on the day’s agenda.
“The hospitals are all trying so hard, particularly in Southern West Virginia, to survive and to meet the needs of the people,” Congresswoman Miller told LOOTPRESS. “Which is why I was in Raleigh general and why I was at the VA. I’ve been to so many of the small rural hospitals, I want to make sure they succeed, absolutely.”
During her Raleigh General visit, Miller was able to have lunch with senior hospital leadership, while her time at the VA entailed meeting with veterans and healthcare staff to discuss the specific needs of the facility.
“I’m really glad I got to see the whole facility,” she said of her tour of the Beckley VA facility. “I’ve never been there before, [so I’m glad I got to see] what they’re doing, where they want to be, their vision moving forward, and what their needs are, which is what we tend to do. I’m a listener more than I’m a talker, so I want to hear what they need or what their thoughts are so that I can represent them as well as possible.”
With rapid developments of the ongoing West Virginia Legislative Sessions being prevalent in the minds of many state residents, LOOTPRESS asked the congresswoman’s thoughts on HB 2526 – a bill which overwhelmingly passed through the House of Delegates the very afternoon of our discussion and, if passed through the Senate, stands to greatly reduce the personal income tax for West Virginia citizens.
“[It’s] a state issue that I know the governor has talked about for quite a while, and it’ll be interesting to see how it moves forward,” said Congresswoman Miller, going on to point out some of the potential benefits to the state which could be brought about by the bill’s passing through the Senate. “We want to do everything we can to make West Virginia attractive, to have people living here and [to have] people come back here. So I think that that’s one more tool that we would have to help them realize that not only is this an inexpensive place to live, but it’s a great place to live.”
The exchange also touched upon Congresswoman Miller’s son Chris Miller, a successful West Virginia businessman and candidate in the upcoming 2024 Gubernatorial election.
“I’m very proud of my son, and I think he would make an incredible governor,” said the congresswoman, acknowledging the younger Miller’s work history which dates back to before his teen years – as Chris himself discussed during his appearance as the inaugural guest for the Republican Executive Committee of Raleigh County’s “Mountain State Candidate” series. In November.
“He’s smart, he got a degree in economics, he’s been a businessman – He had his first job passing newspapers when he was about 10 years old,” she explains. “I used to go with him every morning just because I was mom, walking along with him. If it was raining, I’d drive the car along just to make sure that the papers weren’t soggy. He’s been a hard worker and he has great vision for our state.”
Finally, Congresswoman Miller discussed some of her own goals on a national level and points of focus congressionally.
“Instead of being focused on what we cannot do, we need to be focused on what we can do in a responsible way,” she explains. “Moving forward, of course I want to see our border under control, I want to see our economy under control. There are a lot of things that we need to look into that we have not been able to.”
“The economy is very important – too many taxes are just bad. So we need to be smart about what we do,” Miller declares, closing by proclaiming the vast attributes the area has to offer the nation.
“We are in the heart of Southern West Virginia where we have coal, oil, natural gas, you name it!”
Additional LOOTPRESS coverage for the Raleigh County area can be found here.