CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the U.S. Congress continues discussions on domestic policy proposals, Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., has a front-row seat to the legislative action.
Miller joined the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee at the start of this congressional session, and has spent part of the month considering parts of President Joe Biden’s “build back better” agenda. She additionally began serving on the House Budget Committee this month, which took up the $3.5 trillion proposal over the weekend.
Miller told MetroNews ahead of last year’s election joining the Ways & Means Committee was one goal when beginning her second congressional term. The committee, which is Congress’ oldest, is the House’s chief tax-writing committee and reviews policies impacting revenue, trade, Social Security and Medicare. Miller additionally serves on the committee’s Trade and Worker & Family Support subcommittees.
“Everything that touches West Virginia that is so vital,” Miller said in a recent interview.
Miller said her focus as a member of the Ways & Means Committee is related to trade and building relationships between West Virginia officials and other countries; she played a role in forming a memorandum of understanding earlier this year between West Virginia and Vietnam on natural resources and energy.
“I’m trying to make relationships that help bolster West Virginia, help our economy,” she said.
Miller began serving on the House Budget Committee last Monday. According to Miller, Ranking Member Jason Smith, R-Mo., asked her to join the committee, which focuses on the budgeting process and reviewing measures that could affect the federal budget.
“We’re at a pivotal time in our history, and we have been spending hand over fist,” she said. “When do you stop? What kind of bills should go through or shouldn’t go through? And it’s all in the numbers right now.”
The two committees have been busy in September; the Ways & Means Committee held a markup of its portion of a sweeping domestic policy proposal, which includes investments in clean energy, Medicare expansion and funding for community colleges and career training programs. The proposal also includes increasing the corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 21%, which was set in the 2017 tax law.
The Budget Committee advanced the multi-trillion dollar plan on Saturday.
Miller opposes the sweeping proposal because of its scope and the proposed $3.5 trillion cost.
“If you did to your family budget what we’re doing to our country right now, you would be in serious trouble very quickly,” she said.
“We had to spend larger during the pandemic, and now it’s time to get back to work and move forward.”
House Republicans, including Miller, opposed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief measure earlier this year. She did support the March 2020 coronavirus relief bill addressing the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, on Sunday told colleagues that the Biden administration and congressional leaders are reviewing the $3.5 trillion proposal. Moderate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have shared concerns about the plan’s cost.