Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

June 5, 2014

This shows we remember how to work together

— In your May 28 paper, Delegate Gary Howell was quoted as saying that for the first time in Mineral County, the county, state, and federal officials were working together on an economic project (“Hot pepper sauce plant out, but growing ag products on the horizon,” Page 1A).

That may be true for the time period for which Mr. Howell has held elected office. However, it used to be a regular practice. When we can get past pure partisan politics, good results will follow if we work together.

On May 20, the Republicans in Congress worked with West Virginia’s Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall to pass water resources reform legislation. This $12.3 billion package will benefit the economy.

Our Republican Rep. Dave McKinley voted with his Democratic colleague for what some have criticized as wasteful spending. The truth is that not all spending is wasteful. As Mr. Howell has come to realize, investing in our future economic development just makes sense.

When Republicans vote 50 times to repeal health care reform without offering an alternative it is simple partisanship. Likewise, it is pure partisanship to investigate Benghazi again after eight previous comprehensive investigations.

Has anyone ever apologized for the Whitewater investigation of Bill Clinton, which found nothing and cost millions of taxpayer dollars?

For those politicians who hope to run for a national office, appearing on a national news show can keep us all entertained.

But problems like our veterans’ health care have existed for decades. The Veterans Administration has gotten better in the last few years. These few administrators who decided to deny care to our veterans should be punished. Now is the time to work together not to play games. Why not hire the doctors who are needed to treat our Veterans?

It is refreshing to see a return to local, state and federal officials working together for economic development. Mr. Howell and Mr. McKinley appear to have changed course away from the far right of their party.

As a former politician who worked with the other party to bring economic development to Mineral County, I see this recent change as positive for our entire area. That same cooperation can help solve many of our problems, not only the VA abuses.

Harley O. Staggers Jr.

Former U.S. Congressman

Keyser, W.Va.

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