WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new Congress will be getting to work with the start of the New Year.

The members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives who make up the 114th Congress, those set to serve during the final two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency, will be officially sworn into office during ceremonies Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Among the members of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation will be two freshmen in the U.S. House — 2nd District Congressman Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.).

“I look forward to getting to work for the people of West Virginia here,” Mooney recently said. He is taking the U.S. House seat U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) had held since first being elected in 2001.

Capito has replaced retired U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) whose last official day, after 30 years in the U.S. Senate, was last Friday. She will serve on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee along with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Mooney has described his transition into office, following Capito, as a “smooth” one. He has been appointed to the U.S. House Committee on the Budget and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.

“A lot of what we’re going to deal with is simply access to the wonderful, precious resources that we have here in West Virginia,” he said. In general, Mooney said he supports tapping into public land, especially out west, for resources. “There’s a balance there, of course, and I think we obviously need to protect our natural resources,” he said.

The Endangered Species Act is coming up for renewal. “Again, it’s the same question. We want to protect our endangered species, but not go too far where humans lose their rights and we don’t have rights to our land,” Mooney said.

In West Virginia’s 3rd District, Congressman Jenkins has replaced longtime Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) who, up until Friday, had represented West Virginia in the U.S. House since first being elected in 1976.

Jenkins is one of two freshmen members, out of 57 U.S. House freshmen total, assigned to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. “The Appropriations Committee assignment was one that we worked on very hard beginning on the night of the election,” he said. “It took a lot of legwork to position ourselves.”

With oversight for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending each year, Jenkins said the Appropriations Committee can use the power of the purse to change policy. It’s a power that he said could be directed at the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Jenkins plans to revisit a budget increase the EPA was granted in 2009 that, according to him, included language to advance “devastating” environmental policies for the coal industry. “We can go in with the next appropriation to the EPA and roll back the funding increase and take out the language,” Jenkins said.

In West Virginia’s 1st District, Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.) is returning to office for a 3rd term. He first took office in Jan. 2011 and retains his position on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the only Democrat remaining in West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, was not up for reelection in 2014.

While swearing-in ceremonies will not be held until Tuesday, the first day official day for the 114th Congress was Saturday.

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Comments

  • Please

    Hopefully, ISIS will drop a bomb on them all.

  • Stupid Hillbillies

    First thing that needs to happen is crybaby Boehner needs to be removed as Speaker. Then, they need to shut the m0r0n down - COMPLETELY!
    Not a dime should flow to the executive branch.

    Then, every "non-essential" US government employee needs to be fired. If they aren't essential, they aren't needed. Every ONE of them.

    Then you eliminate all government unions. You work for the people, not the unions.

    Next, every government employee shall take a pay cut to below the lowest paid E-1 in the military. The are willing to die for our freedom, all the GS employees do is leech off the country's citizens.

    You want free insurance, or single payer, move to Europe. Otherwise get a job like real citizens do. Welfare needs to be and should be completely removed. No work, no free money. Do drugs, no money either. EVERY ONE WILL PEE IN THE CUP!

  • Jonus Grumby

    We know how the dems have screwed things up. Let's give the republicans a chance to do it.

  • Harpers Ferry

    New year, new congress, same BS. Nothing will change.

    • Jonus Grumby

      As a republican, I concur.

  • Raging Moderate

    I realize the new Republican majorities have high hopes in the State and Federal Governments in their ability to improve the economy; I think the economy is in pretty good shape with the exception of debt. Unfortunately I think the GOP is just as addicted to printing money as the Dems were, and we'll see no significant improvement in this area. I have to admit Mooney's comments re: public lands make me a little nervous given his campaign comments about the possibility of selling public lands to bring down debt, but of course the words are very carefully chosen now and it's hard to pin down.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    So glad to get a change. All I remember out of the Senate is that whiny Harry Reid, "Mr. President the Republicans did this, Mr. President the Republicans did that." Meanwhile that old fool never did nothing.

  • Frank/Moundsville

    Amen, Mike. The state is in the bottom 10% of just about everything that counts after years of Democrat rule. It's also time to fight back against the disastrous socialistic policies of the Obama administration.

    • WVforFreedom

      Disastrous? As of November, 2.65 million private sector jobs had been created in 2014, a 15-year high. The jobless rate is 5.8 percent, a 6-year low. The economy grew at 5 percent during the third quarter, the strongest showing in 11 years. The Dow hit 18,000, a new record. I'd like to have some more of this kind of socialism. Quit listening to Faux news lies and garbage.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        Oh, yes - I guess it was Obama that reduced the interest rate to zero for an unprecedented 6 yrs. instead of the independent Fed. Res. Any idiot can take credit for the economy when something that drastic is done, not to mention the debt spending that continues now going up to 18 Trillion.
        All the seniors saving accounts were destroyed too and ODumba takes credit like the Clinton's for someone else's doing economy. You don't fool people - we know what is going on. Since the election the good hard working tax payers threw you bums out - you had Dish take Fox News off and got riots gone - just because of liberal jealous spite.

      • Old Crow

        Get some of that kool-aid! Drink it up!

        • Hop'sHip

          Instead of resorting to that tired "kool aid" bromide, maybe you could tell us what exactly WVforFreedom got wrong?

          • Charleston

            Hasn't Japanese Central bank been performing QE for decade yielding the same result? Let the market CORRECT itself. You can' t pick winners and losers.

          • The bookman

            So, if we accept that all things are rosy, our economy is back on track, and your economic strategy of when to implement austerity, we should expect your support for deep cuts in the budget?

          • Hop'sHip

            Not baloney. Anyone paying attention to what is happening in the world knows that severe austerity measures have sent economies back into recession. The time for government austerity is when the private economy is booming, not when the world economy is in its current fragile state. You are right about one thing. This shouldn't be a partisan issue.

          • Charleston

            Oh cut the baloney. Austerity advocates were in congress last year as well, both Dem and Rep. They just couldn't agree as to where to apply the cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling. This isn't partisan issue as you make it out to be. That's all I am trying to point.

          • Hop'sHip

            Every bull market yields eventually to a correction. What we want to avoid is a crash like that in 2008. I worry less in that regard about the Fed and more about austerity advocates who now occupy much of Congress.

          • Charleston

            Oh he has it right for the time being, but the question still lies as to what happens when Yellen begins to raise interest rates. Would you be willing to say that the market won't have a correction?

  • Mike Conklin

    Congratulations to the people of West Virginia for voting the democrats out of power. Long overdue.

    • Let the Spending Begin!

      Yep! You're exactly right! Thank god we voted the democrats out! Now, maybe we can return to the same policies that destroyed our economy during the last republican control of congress and the White House!

      • Ted

        +1
        How soon we forget the Bush almost-depression recession.

      • Old Crow

        You do realize your messiah spent 12 Trillion dollars on absolutely nothing, right? That your toolbox gang did nothing but turn this country against itself? Of course you do not realize that because demoRats are inherently ignorant of reality. Handouts, excessive taxes of the middle class, and blatant disregard for the constitution. And then your dumbness is going state "Let the Spending Begin!". You are a thick individual.

        • Jason412

          Old Crow,

          You speak of blatant disregard for the Constitution, and while Obama has certainly done that, I would hope you haven't forgotten G.W's trampling of the Constitution every chance he had.

          Let us not forget Bush started the NSA spying and implemented one of the most unconstitutional policies in the history of America, the Patriot Act.

        • Mike

          Please tell your Republican fat cats corporate CEO's to raise the level of pay in this country, instead of keeping the profits for themselves, and all things will be right in the world.

          • in da stickes

            If wanting a living wage for a good day's work is liberal socialism, so be it. The true believers think this great country can pull it's ox cart out of the ditch by lowering taxes. Taxes as a percentage of income are the lowest since WWII. Economists will tell you that a vibrant middle class spending their wages on life itself is the elixir that makes our economy hum. I, for one, hope that with Congress firmly in Republican hands, D's and R's can actually sit down together and conduct the people's business. Wishful thinking, I know.

          • Old Crow

            Spoken like a true Liberal Socialist!

          • Charleston

            And tell them to keep there HQ's on US soil so they can pay their fair share of taxes, you know like fortune 500 companies such as MYL....... oh wait.