Our View: McKinley did the right thing

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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Since voting for the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure bill on Nov. 5, Congressman David McKinley has been taking a lot of heat from some fellow Republicans.

Some of them have called him a sell-out, others have dubbed him a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for voting in favor of passage of the bill which was considered a major win for President Joe Biden.

The truth of the matter is, however, McKinley’s non-partisan vote for the bill was a vote for West Virginia, plain and simple.

With passage of the $550 billion infrastructure bill, the Mountain State stands to receive nearly $6 billion.

What will that money be used for? Roads and bridges, water and sewer and broadband - the “big three” in terms of infrastructure needs in West Virginia.

We sat down with Congressman McKinley for a bit when he was in Mineral County last week and talked about why he voted for the bill. His answer was simple: he voted for a piece of legislation that would benefit the state he has been elected to represent for the past 11 years.

Even if it meant being chastised by some of his fellow Republicans.

Even if it meant losing favor in former President Donald Trump’s eyes.

But isn’t this what our elected leaders should do? Vote for what benefits the people they represent and not for the “party line?”

McKinley told us with West Virginia currently having the worst infrastructure in the nation, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, “we just couldn’t play politics and pass on this opportunity.”

McKinley did make it clear, however, he is definitely not in favor of President Biden’s $4 trillion social spending bill - a piece of legislation which he voted against on Friday.

“Of course I voted no. How could any responsible conservative vote for such an outrageously expensive bill that fundamentally transforms our entire economy?” he said, adding that although the Congressional Budget Office says the bill would cost $1.7 trillion, “outside economists project the pricetag will be more than $4 trillion.”

In the 11 years that Congressman McKinley has served our great state, he has visited Mineral County 83 times. Many of those times he has stopped by the News Tribune offices for a chat. He has also taken time to visit with the county commissioners, city officials, business and civic leaders and more.

He listens to the concerns, asks the right questions, and returns to his D.C. office armed with a better insight into what Mineral County and the state of West Virginia need the most.

In the case of the infrastructure bill, that knowledge led him to cast a vote that might have placed his standing with fellow Republicans in jeopardy, but which we believes will benefit the state of West Virginia.

In the case of the spending bill, that knowledge led him to cast a vote to protect the people of West Virginia and the nation from a reckless piece of legislation that would just inflate the country’s deficit even more.

In other words, Congressman McKinley did the right thing - both times. He voted as a representative of the people and not as a politician.