[CHARLESTON, W.VA.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“I am deeply troubled by the statements made by some, including at least one incoming member of the House of Representatives, that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) should be prevented from taking the position of Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“As a West Virginian, I find such opposition insulting. We just reelected Sen. Manchin to a new term of office, and we expect him to be offered the exact same rights as any other Senator. We are no less American citizens than residents of any other state, including New York, and our Senators and Representatives have the same rights to hold committee leadership positions as any other Senator or Representative from any other state does.
“Further, I am extremely disappointed that some of those newly elected to the House of Representatives would insert themselves into what is a procedural issue in the Senate. I’m wondering if they don’t really understand the bi-cameral nature of Congress. They have exactly zero input into who should be doing what in the Senate.
“But before they started insulting a good Senator and all the people of the state he represents, they should have taken the time to come to West Virginia, meet the people here and find out what our communities and our lives are actually like. We may not be as tech-savvy or fashionable as the people of New York City, but we are Americans just the same. We have hopes and dreams for ourselves and our kids just like people everywhere do. And we elected Sen. Manchin to represent us because he reflects who we are.”