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ICYMI: Joe Manchin could show the Senate a better way forward

Feb 1, 2021 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity-West Virginia State Director Jason Huffman | The Hill

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived on our shores nearly a year ago, it has brought our economy to a halt, kept our children out of school, and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Our lawmakers must maintain their focus on fighting the coronavirus and fostering the conditions that will make it possible for America to emerge stronger than before.

With a new president inaugurated after a bitter election contest and a Congress closely divided along party lines, compromise might seem unlikely. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is well-positioned to play a central role in bridging divides.

“For the sake of the country we all love, we must commit to solving the serious problems facing our nation,” he wrote, adding, “Above all, we must avoid the extreme and polarizing rhetoric that only further divides the American people – I will work tirelessly to make sure we do.”

The first thing the new Congress must do is address the shortcomings of our health care system that have been laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic, from excessive mandates to burdensome regulations.

Congress must also consider the country’s fiscal health. If nothing else, this pandemic has revealed the importance of responsible federal spending.

Lawmakers must consider measures to prepare us for the next one. We can start now with a commitment to reject harmful bailouts and massive spending initiatives that would do nothing to address COVID-19 but would work wonders at undermining our economic recovery and hindering our ability to respond to future crises.

Now that the vaccines have shown us a light at the end of this tunnel, Congress must act quickly to ensure that Americans can get back to work — quickly and safely — in order to complete our recovery effort.

We still have much work to do to improve our health care system, put our fiscal house in order, and get our economy going again. Manchin’s rhetoric is in the right place, and he sits at the center of a divided Senate, available and apparently willing to help shepherd bipartisan initiatives through Congress.

These next few months may well prove that we’re capable of working together in 2021 for a stronger country after the pandemic. Can we count on Sen. Manchin to lead the way?

Click here to read the full op-ed.