CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former Vice Presidential candidate says the current makeup of the U.S. Senate, with Democrats in control, does not reflect West Virginia’s best interests.
“If you want to stop the ‘War on Coal,’ you’ve got to have the United States Senate that is a (Republican) majority so that we can stop the ‘War on Coal.’ We can’t just do this from the House,” U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Ryan was a guest on the show ahead of a roundtable discussion in Charleston focused on jobs in, what he called, the “Obama economy.” It was a campaign event for Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Republican U.S. Senate candidate.
“Shelley needs to win this Senate race so that we can keep the philosophy that (Massachusetts Democratic Senator) Elizabeth Warren is trying to push on the country at bay,” said Ryan.
His visit to West Virginia came on the same day Sen. Warren stumped in Shepherdstown for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.
First elected to the U.S. House in 1998, Ryan has served as chairman of the House Budget Committee since 2011.
In multiple budget proposals, including the one most recently approved in the U.S. House, Ryan has pushed for massive changes to Medicare. Now a guaranteed benefit, he’s supported providing vouchers instead to seniors in the future, subsidies to help them buy health care coverage on the private market.
Capito has supported Ryan’s budget proposals which have limited government spending by, in part, making cuts to social programs like food stamps, college loan programs and health care for the poor.
“It actually balances the budget and pays off the debt. That’s something I think we need to do if we want to be prosperous and give our children and grandchildren a debt-free nation,” Ryan said in defense of the latest House budget.
“On Medicare, it doesn’t affect (today’s) senior citizens. The proposals that we have for Medicare are to save and strengthen it for the next generation and preserve it, as it currently is designed today, for people in and near retirement.”
In 2012, Ryan ran for vice president on the Republican ticket with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The Romney-Ryan ticket won all 55 West Virginia counties.
Both Ryan and Warren have been included on lists of possible Presidential candidates in 2016.