West Virginia business leaders rally with Manchin for opposing Biden’s Build Back Better
West Virginia business owners and stakeholders are supporting Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition to Build Back Better and expressing frustration at what they see as a misrepresentation by the media of their state’s best interests.
Media across the country ran articles and editorials denouncing Sen. Manchin’s decision to secede from his party and vote “no” to President Biden’s Build Back Better program and dismissing his claim that his decision was based on what is best for the people. he represents West Virginia.
A New Yorker article citing a West Virginia Democratic agent positioned lawmakers as a member of the “political class” disconnected from the identity of their constituents. The author wrote: “The Senator’s blockade on programs that have helped his constituents escape poverty begs the question ‘who matters to Joe’. his identity.”
Others in the community beg to disagree and see Manchin’s opposition to the legislation as proof that he is listening to them above his party leaders.
Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, told Fox News Digital that he “fully supports” Senator Manchin’s position based on the economic impact it would have on local businesses and said the idea in the media that the senator’s position is a “betrayal” of his constituents is “ludicrous”.
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Roberts, whose non-partisan organization encompasses locals in more than 50 counties, says the majority of West Virginia is with him on the issue. Following Manchin’s announcement of his opposition to Build Back Better, Roberts received dozens of emails and phone calls from local business owners supporting the Democrats’ move – some even going so far as saying that the senator “should run for president,” he said with amusement.
Not all of the comments were positive, however, Roberts recalls soberly. His office received a handful of angry emails from individuals, none of whom actually lived in West Virginia, but all of whom were outraged by Manchin’s statement and ready to take on the statewide.
“One guy called us all ‘finger dragging hillbillies’ and said he would never drive in our state again,” said Roberts. Many of the vitriolic attacks on West Virginia went even further.
Roberts, who served in the Chamber of Commerce for over 30 years, was clearly disturbed by the hate mail. He seemed less affected by the fact that some would disagree with his opinion on Build Back Better, a bill he admits to contains “some things we can all agree on”, and more distressed by the disparagement of his beloved state.
“My point is this: do you insult and belittle when you have facts on your side? Roberts said.
“We have the facts on our side and the facts are that Build Back Better would tax our West Virginia energy industry. It would be inflationary.”
CNBC painted a grim picture for parents in West Virginia in the wake of the senator’s announcement, citing an activist who was “upset” that her hopes for paid family leave – a benefit Manchin actually supports outside of the many. Layers of Build Back Better spending – have been wiped out. .
Roberts believes removing the bill is good news for parents. Build Back Better “would hamper our ability to provide child care because it would hamper the ability of churches to provide child care.” And in West Virginia, there are churches on almost every street corner.
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Longtime Mountain State resident Rebecca McPhail, who works with dozens of local businesses daily as president of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association, told Fox News Digital that “Senator Manchin does what it takes for West Virginia and the United States. “
Like Roberts, McPhail felt that the few nuggets woven into Build Back Better were not enough to make up for the fact that ultimately “the cost is too high” and would exacerbate some of the serious problems plaguing the economy of the West Virginia today.
“From supply chain and labor shortages to the rising cost of goods and services, businesses in West Virginia are struggling. These are the same companies that have rushed to act in response to COVID. Adding additional taxes to small businesses to pay for the myriad of the plan’s programs would crush their ability to recover and compete in a global economy. “
McPhail accuses the media of failing to accurately report on the bill.
“These massive bills appear to be designed to confuse the American people – a few issues become the rallying cry in the hope that everyone will ignore the hidden elements that propel a certain agenda.”
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Ironically, McPhail also insisted that some of the “important” public figures who criticize Manchin in the press are doing him a real favor.
Much of Trump’s support in West Virginia is driven by the condescension of elites on the east and west coasts. Such a reaction just confirmed everything West Virginia thought about their arrogance in general and the Build Back Better Act specifically.”
McPhail isn’t the only one who thinks West Virginia has little interest in being dictated by popular beliefs in large metropolitan areas that are often at odds with their hometown values.
Days before Manchin’s announcement, Republican Congresswoman Carol Miller, who represents the southernmost towns in West Virginia, hosted an event with the America First Policy Institute outside the capital of the State who highlighted the negative impact that Build Back Better would have on their district.
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After hearing the senator’s decision, Representative Miller, who has been a vocal opponent of the welfare spending bill, told Fox News Digital: “Joe Manchin heard us loud and clear because they are Virginia- Westerners speaking, not liberal activists in New York. and California. “
Roberts said he had contacted all national media covering the issue, hoping to provide a knowledgeable and decidedly local perspective on the issue, but received no response.
“We are aware that the media have sent people here and will only interview people they think are supportive of their point of view. We have conducted numerous polls statewide and I can tell you that when West Virginia voters will find out what really is in Build Back Better, they are overwhelmingly opposed to it. ”