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Infrastructure: McKinley deserves praise for his vote

Doing the right thing is not always easy, as U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., has found out from his vote to support repairing the nation’s decaying infrastructure.

McKinley this past week told the Rotary Club of Wheeling he has received threats for his vote on the $1.2 trillion hard infrastructure bill, which went against the current Washington narrative that a member of Congress’ allegiance should be to party over what’s best for the nation.

“I have no qualms about having voted for it,” McKinley said, noting the legislation will bring $6 billion in infrastructure projects to West Virginia — the state most in need of infrastructure repairs. “Yes, we’ve had the death threats. My wife has been threatened, and I can go on. It was the right thing to do, and I have no qualms about it.

“So I’m going to play party politics and vote ‘no?’ (It’s not) gonna happen. I’m voting for West Virginia, and I did it. Now what I’m hoping is that we’re going to start to see the benefits from it — how it’s going to help us.”

And what are the benefits to the bill? In West Virginia, it will provide $6 billion for:

* Roads and bridges

* Water and sewer systems

* Reliable broadband connectivity

* Addressing flood prone regions

* Modernizing airports

* Cleaning up abandoned mines

Who can argue with that? Certainly not a number of other officials from around West Virginia who have taken the time to thank McKinley for standing up for West Virginia.

* Gov. Jim Justice: “It took guts for Rep. McKinley to put politics aside and vote for this investment in hard infrastructure — including roads, bridges, broadband and upgrades to aging water lines — that will directly benefit West Virginia with $6 billion in funding. He understands this will be good for West Virginia and I thank him.”

* West Virginia Coal Association President Chris Hamilton: “As our nation moves forward to implement the trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure legislation to update and modernize America’s roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure, West Virginia coal will once again be called upon to provide the energy that will create the steel and provide the power to propel this massive, nationwide undertaking. … We applaud Sens. Manchin and Capito and Congressman McKinley for supporting this transformational legislation.”

* County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia:

“As counties, we are grateful for the vision shown by those congressional leaders who supported the passage of the infrastructure bill. Here in West Virginia, this is about the collective, the spirit, and the future of our state.”

* W.Va. Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts: “Businesses need a solid infrastructure to conduct commerce and this important legislation makes a significant investment in the traditional ‘hard infrastructure’ of the United States.”

Let us all continue to be thankful that some members of Congress, including McKinley, can put party aside and vote for what’s best for our state and nation.

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