WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito delivered her maiden speech on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.
Capito outlined her plan to make West Virginia communities stronger. The senator said the plan would create economic opportunities.
“It will bridge the gap and tackle the U.S. infrastructure crisis, better connect West Virginians in rural communities through increased broadband access, care for U.S. veterans and ensure a bright future for young West Virginians, and implement a policy to use a vast majority of natural resources to provide affordable and reliable energy,” said Capito.
Capito said U.S. communities need a strong highway program and a full six year bill to meet the needs of the population. This will ensure safety for travelers with growth in areas that struggle economically. She said many West Virginians rely heavily on roads, bridges, highways and transit to get or from work or transport goods, so there are areas roads she wants to focus on.
She said U.S. Route 35 will improve safety for motorists and local residents in Putnam and Mason counties. Corridor H will unleash the potential of the state’s eastern highland. U.S. Route 40 will help congestion in the Eastern Panhandle. The Coalfields Expressway and the King Coal Highway will help isolated communities attract businesses and provide jobs.
Capito focused her plans to expand broadband access to West Virginia communities to connect the state. She said high-speed Internet access is a gateway to growth throughout the country.
“High tech businesses can power our small communities,” said Capito, “The world literally can be at your desktop.”
Capito said not having broadband access can place barriers on economic development. She said there are “hard to serve” areas that are at risk of being left behind for people who do not have access. She said being connected is essential to compete and thrive.
Capito said we must continue to provide access to health care for U.S. veterans. She said it is our responsibility to care for them when they return home, but some of them have to travel great distances to seek care.
“Expanded access to private medical providers will help improve the quality of care that we offer to our veterans,” said Capito.
West Virginia children were also a topic of discussion. Capito said children are the next generation of leaders who need to have a solid education and good health to succeed. For that reason, she said we must continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The last item Capito discussed was the implementation of an energy policy that utilizes the state’s natural resources.
“We need a policy that grows the economy and creates new job opportunities, that supports a strong middle class, and that ensures we continue to improve safety and our environment even as we expand energy production,” said Capito.
Capito said she is ready to put her plan to action to create a strong future for West Virginia.