Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) encouraged congressional leaders to reach across the aisle to support America’s economic recovery and return Capitol Hill to its founding principles.
During the 2021 Big “I" Virtual Legislative Conference, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), (pictured left) an important member of the evenly divided U.S. Senate, called for ushering in an era of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. which he believes is essential for Congress to enact programs to support small business as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a tumultuous election cycle and over a year of pandemic-induced economic uncertainty, the West Virginia senator encouraged congressional leaders to reach across the aisle to support America's economic recovery and return Capitol Hill to its founding principles.
“Now we see the light at the end of the tunnel and we turn to the numerous issues facing our nation, we have the opportunity to enter a new era of bipartisanship in Washington," Sen. Manchin said. “With tight margins in the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans are faced with a decision: To either work together to put the priorities of our nation before partisan politics or double down on dysfunctional tribalism."
“For the sake of the country we all love, we must commit to solving the serious problems facing our nation," Sen Manchin said. “I am hopeful that we will set an agenda that invites vigorous and respectful debate on the issues that matter."
“The Senate was always intended to be the cooling saucer for the ideas coming from the House and I believe that as an institution, the Senate must return to our foundations," he added.
A U.S. senator since 2010 and governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010, Sen. Manchin has seen the benefit of a series of COVID-19 relief bills that provided funds for businesses to survive during an unprecedented period in history. In his remarks he added that there is still work to be done in Congress to support Main Street enterprise.
“In my home state of West Virginia, thousands of small businesses have applied for the PPP and the economic injury disaster loans—two programs created to help keep our small businesses afloat," Sen. Manchin said. “These programs are essential to many of your businesses and those you serve and I am pleased that in the recent COVID-19 relief package, we secured an additional $22 billion in funding to extend these programs to businesses in need."
“As we begin to recover from this pandemic, I promise to continue to work with all of you to help our businesses flourish," he continued. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been our main priority for over a year now and many senators have worked together to create bipartisan legislation to address the needs of our nation."
Sen. Manchin also reserved praise for independent insurance agents and brokers for their “efforts to support small businesses during these difficult times," he said. “I look forward to working with you—all of you—as we begin to recover from this crisis."
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.