Capito talks Ukraine, government shutdown, Senate dress code with West Virginia reporters

Sep. 21β€”MOR β€” Sen. Shelley Moore talked with members of the West Virginia press on Thursday about the border crisis, Ukraine, and the possible government shutdown as Congress nears another budget impasse.

About the daily flow of illegals crossing the border, she said. “This is a humanitarian and a security crisis in every single state.”

Even sanctuary cities such as New York are being flooded with illegals and calling the Biden administration to take action. she said.

Capito commented, “We see a president who really won’t grab hold of the problem.” Capito said she spoke with members of the West Virginia National Guard who went down to Texas to assist at the border. “They were shocked at the 10, 000 illegals [per day ] they saw coming thru Eagle Pass.”

She attended a briefing with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy before the press call, she said. The U.S. and NATO helping Ukraine push back against Russia’s Putin will help our national security. China is watching and if we turn our backs, “then we are showing weakness.”

She maintains her support for sending military aid to Ukraine, she said. “I still think the fight is there.”

The Dominion Post asked her about her thoughts on her far-right conservative colleagues, especially in the House, preferring to use taxpayer money for domestic problems instead of for Ukraine.

She said, “It’s a balance anytime you’re trying to spend.” But national defense is a government responsibility. Helping a free country push back against what was once the second superpower and keeping Russia from invading “is a fight worth making.”

There are definitely domestic priorities, she said. “We’re not going to have domestic priorities that we’re going to be able to meet if we don’t have a strong national defense.” We must have allies around the world we can work and trade with, and internal economic security.

“I think we have to do both, ” she said. “We do have a spending issue and we do have a debt problem, and we’ve got to get hold of it.”

She stands with Sen. Joe Manchin on this point. A Manchin spokesperson noted Manchin’s support for Ukraine in an email exchange, including in a Thursday tweet: “I was proud to join my Senate colleagues today for a meeting with President Zelenskyy. As the world’s beacon of hope and freedom, America must stand strongly with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their country against Russian aggression & fight for democracy.”

Commenting separately on a trip he led to Ukraine, he said, “I believe that sufficient trust and expertise have been established with Ukrainian military forces to ensure these munitions are used as safely and efficiently as possible.”

There’s been national buzz over Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer downgrading the Senate dress code to accommodate Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who prefers shorts and hoodies. Capito and Manchin both oppose this.

Capito said, “Personally I think how you dress and how you go to work to rep 1.8 million West Virginians is important.” Schumer’s move was “a slap in the face, I think, really at the respect of the institution.” She joined in a letter to Schumer opposing it.

The Manchin spokesperson said, “Next week, Sen. Manchin intends to file a bipartisan resolution to ensure the Senate dress code remains consistent with previous expectations.”

The new federal fiscal year starts Oct. 1, but House Republicans are at loggerheads among themselves on passing spending bills β€” with far-right conservatives blocking passage.

Capito said, “I’m very concerned about this. … It’s chaos over there, quite frankly.” Republicans took down a Department of Defense spending bill written by Republicans. “It is a road to nowhere, It’s disruptive to our economy, and I’m very disappointed. Maybe a rabbit will be pulled out of a hat next week when this expires, but right now I’m a little pessimistic.”

MetroNews reported that Rep. Alex Mooney is putting the ball in the Senate’s court. “We’ve had all year to work on this. So, there’s no excuse for going up against the deadline. At least pass the bills in the House of Representatives. I get that the Senate’s a different party, that we’d have to go to conference to negotiate ; there’s some give and take there. I get that there’s give and take ; we don’t have total control.

“But at least pass all these spending bills out of the House and control the spending and the power of the purse. I support that, not a continuing resolution.”

Capito said Thursday in response to a MetroNews question about this, “That’s a defense funding bill that actually does cut funding. Whether I agree with that or not, the numbers are lower in that bill. So, the demands of those that say we need to spend less, they’re not backing it up with their votes.”

Capto also mentioned her co-sponsoring the Higher Wages for American Workers Act, to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $11 and mandate E-Verify to ensure the wage increase only goes to legal workers. It would also index future minimum wage increases to inflation and includes a slower phase-in for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

She said Thursday that wages are falling behind under inflation, and this bill was created with help for the business community.

She acknowledged in answer to a question that $11 per hour will not really be a living wage β€” but many businesses are already paying more and this bill sets a floor to get “the low of the low ” up to some sort of minimum standard. “I do think it raises that floor and then it it’ll raise everything up above that, which I think would be of benefit to those workers.”

Email: dbeard

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