Two-thirds of West Virginia’s membership in the U.S. House of Representatives told the state’s business leaders Thursday they feel their pain.
Both Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and First District Congressman David McKinley spoke at the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit being held at the Greenbrier Resort.
"I think you all are living in business purgatory in West Virginia," Capito said referring to the uncertainty businesses face in the current economy.
"Uncertainty in taxes, uncertainty in health care, uncertainty in the regulatory environment," Capito said.
Congressman McKinley, spending his first term in Washington, puts the blame on the Obama administration.
"The President inherited a bad economy but his policies made it worst and that’s why we’re not recovering at the rate we should be," McKinley said.
Capito says the regulatory environment uncertainty, created by the federal EPA, has hurt coal and hurt West Virginia but it’s not a message that is easily believed in Washington.
"I say, ‘Look at what this is doing to our jobs and the economy,’ put there are people there that absolutely don’t believe it. They do not believe that there is a war on American energy," Capito said.
Congressman McKinley says he never realized the "pushback" against coal and other energy would be so hard before arriving in Washington. But McKinley also said Thursday he’s disappointed with the lack of energy discussion taking place at the Republican National Convention this week.
"They haven’t talked about energy and energy is West Virginia," McKinley said. "Coal, natural gas, oil is West Virginia and I haven’t heard our leaders talk about it in any significant level."
Congresswoman Capito is hopeful the RNC this week and the Democratic National Convention next week will change the tone of the campaign. The Republican told business leaders she doesn’t like the "we" and "they" talk coming from the Obama campaign.
"I don’t want to live in a country that’s we and they. I don’t think that’s America in my view. It’s us! We have differences, we absolutely have differences, but I don’t like the tone of picking, ‘You’re a winner and you’re a loser because you’re a we in this crowd and you’re going to be a they tomorrow,’" Capito said.
The Chamber of Commerce’s 76th annual meeting wraps up Friday.