CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Record reached out to the campaigns of candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for their thoughts on various issues covered by the newspaper.

Here are the questions and answers from the candidates for the 3rd District House seat, currently filled by Democrat Nick Rahall, who has held the seat since 1993. His opponent is Republican Evan Jenkins, currently a state senator representing Cabell County.

NICK RAHALL (D)

Q: What is the biggest issue facing West Virginia? And what will you do about it in Washington?

A: Our state's greatest challenge is finding ways to sustain and grow our traditional industries while also expanding and diversifying our economy. Toward that end, I have sought to use my position in Congress to bring needed and deserved federal investment to our state – to build modern highways, bridges, airports, and water systems, expand and strengthen educational opportunities, bolster our burgeoning adventure tourism industry. I've been working across the political aisle passing bills that block EPA regulations that are harmful to coal. By investing in a foundation of sound infrastructure and a ready workforce, as I have had success doing, we can build a brighter future for our state. I have and always will be a fighter for our West Virginia values in Congress and will always put West Virginians first.

Q: What will you do in Washington to help the state in terms of EPA regulations?

A: As the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have an opportunity to provide input into the EPA water permitting process that has such an impact on the coal mining, as well as rail and navigable water and trucking issues which are essential to our coal and gas producers in moving their products to market. I have a great relationship with the Republican Chairman of my Committee. We've held hearing after hearing, bringing EPA to before us to answer for its gross overreach. We have been successful in advancing key bills that would overturn harmful EPA regulations. Because of my position, I have been able to do my part, moving those bills in the House. We need to put more pressure on the Senate to follow suit.

Q: What is your stance on the state’s legal system? What can be done to make it better?

A: As a member of the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus, which advocates legislation to bring down costs in the legal system and limit frivolous lawsuits, I have supported important reforms to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and global competitiveness of U.S. business.

EVAN JENKINS (R)

Q: What is the biggest issue facing West Virginia? And what will you do about it in Washington?

A: The War on Coal. President Obama and his EPA are waging a War on Coal, and I will fight it tooth and nail. I’ll strongly oppose the Obama-Rahall cap-and-trade scheme, a carbon tax and job-killing EPA regulations. I understand that in West Virginia, coal is not just our economic lifeblood – it makes us who we are. In the state legislature, I have supported numerous measures to protect the health, safety and pensions of West Virginia coal miners, and I’m firmly opposed to any cuts to the Federal Black Lung Benefit Program.

Q:  What will you do in Washington to help the state in terms of EPA regulations?

A: I will stand up to Obama, Pelosi, and Harry Reid and be an unapologetic supporter of coal miners and our way of life. I will work to pass the REINS Act, which limits the EPA’s power grab. I will cut the EPA’s budget. And I will stand with our state's Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey in his lawsuit against the EPA’s disastrous policies.

Q: What is your stance on the state’s legal system? What can be done to make it better?

A: Unfortunately we live in a very litigious society. I have worked in the State Legislature to curb the lawsuit abuse that both citizens and small businesses are burdened with everyday. Frivolous lawsuits can be devastating to business climate and can deter economic growth. I will carry this passion with me to the United States Congress.




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