Broadband access is critical in the 21st century, but West Virginia is sadly still far behind the rest of the country when it comes to internet coverage. Our mountainous terrain and low population density make it extremely difficult and expensive to build out broadband infrastructure without…

Democrat firebrands Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey unveiled their “Green New Deal,” a multi-trillion-dollar effort to overhaul the energy industry and slash America’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero within a decade.

On May 7, 2019, I officially completed my first “term of court” as a Circuit Judge. In the judicial world, the court calendar is divided into three four-month long periods referred to as “terms of court.” The first term begins on the second Tuesday in January, the second term begins on the s…

Two hundred and forty-three years ago, America’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and made it possible for every American to be free and independent. Entrepreneurs can earn personal independence through starting and running their own businesses with help from the U.S. …

Three years ago, the lives of thousands of West Virginians were changed forever. After 24 hours of unrelenting rain, flash floods destroyed huge swaths of 44 counties. A 1,000-year flood event, meteorological experts called it.

Ever since the historic beginning of our state, we have never failed to answer our country’s call. No demand has been too great, no danger too daunting and no trial too threatening.

Most Americans loathe “lobbyists,” and most Americans think “bipartisanship” sounds like a good, moderate idea representing compromise and common ground for the public good. So a surprise “bipartisan alliance” between U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Ted C…

Even if you know nothing about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, you’ve almost surely seen the famous photo of a man facing down a line of tanks, defiantly blocking their path.

We have a good news-bad news situation on our hands when it comes to defense spending. The good news is, it’s heading in the right direction: Up. The bad news is, it remains too low to fix the spending holiday that afflicted our military for years — a failure to fund that has seriously compr…

FDA officials are sending mixed messages about a genetic test they just approved — and the lack of clarity could jeopardize Americans’ health.

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day after its institution in the years following the U.S. Civil War, became a federal holiday in 1971. Observed each last Monday in May, it is set aside as a day to pay tribute to those fallen while serving in the U.S. military.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, adding his voice to calls to “break up” the social media giant, calls it a “powerful monopoly, eclipsing all of its rivals and erasing competition.” In recent years, we’ve seen similar claims, and heard demands for similar remedies, aimed at Google, Amazon, …

We have an accumulation of wisdom distilled from centuries of human experience. We call it the U.S. Constitution.

A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a group of students and decided to start with a point-blank question: Is Congress doing a good job? There were perhaps 100 people in the room, and not a single one raised his or her hand.

The miners of West Virginia and their families are the heart and soul of the Mountain State. Generations of our patriotic coal miners have spent their lives underground in order to provide our country with energy. They have endured countless years of backbreaking work and they are proud of t…

Did you know secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard causing more than 41,000 deaths per year (American Lung Association, 2019)?

In West Virginia, we know firsthand the devastation that opioids and substance use disorder has had on our families and communities. Too many of our children, siblings, parents and friends have lost their battle as a result of these terrible drugs that have invaded our state. These highly ad…

I haven't read the Mueller report yet. I'm writing this on the day of its release (with redactions) by US Attorney General William Barr. I'll read it later, but I didn't have to read it, or even wait for its release, to reach one conclusion from it: It's time to amend the Constitution to lim…

In the year I have served as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, I’ve witnessed tremendous change and growth within the small business community. Visiting businesses across the region, I am amazed by both the entrepreneurs who drive our economy and t…

Governor Andrew Cuomo “insisted Monday (April 1) that New York will pass a law to legalize recreational pot before the Legislature adjourns in June,” The New York Post reports. He’s been promising legalization for some time. Many New Yorkers had hoped the measure would be included in this ye…

As various House committees gear up for a season of investigations and hearings on President Trump and his administration, a lot of people are worried that progress on the nation’s challenges will grind to a halt. I would argue just the opposite: The wheels of government are turning in favor…

Until fairly recently, scarcity governed the existence of most people. Manufactured items were made of wood, metal, cotton or wool cloth or maybe leather. Items were repaired and reused or handed down to the next generation.

(Last) week, the Senate had an opportunity to vote on the Green New Deal — an unrealistic and impractical wish list dressed up as environmental policy. And it’s a wish list that would have serious consequences for West Virginians and Americans across the country.

For a “progressive” presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is remarkably, well, conservative. Her proposals are neither new nor of the “democratic socialist” variety. In fact, her aim is, as Matthew Yglesias puts it at Vox, “to save capitalism” with stock proposals from…

Since leaving the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011, I've dedicated my professional life to fighting for full implementation and enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 – a law I had the honor of authoring with Congressional colleagues in true bipartisan spirit.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recently proposed sweeping reforms to Medicare. He hopes the changes will reduce the price of many cancer drugs and other advanced therapies.

Coal mining continues to be one of the most hazardous professions in our society. Even today, while the number of large-scale mining disasters and the number of deaths have certainly declined, coal miners continue to face a work environment that is inherently toxic and unhealthy. Coal miners…

George Washington was lauded as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” in the words of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee. But even our nation’s first president couldn’t prevail over the desire for a three-day weekend.

Throughout the past year, I have experienced – firsthand – what it’s like to work side by side with a millennial. It’s quite revealing, a bit troubling, and more than challenging. And yet, I am hopeful that, in time, understanding – mutual understanding – of differences might be gifted. We’ll see.

A century ago, life without electricity wasn’t hard to imagine. But today? There’s hardly an aspect of daily life that doesn’t rely on a steady supply of it.

A wide range of events is causing an increasing number of people to believe that climate change is happening and that something should be done about it. Those events include record-breaking hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, temperature changes, movement of animals to cooler areas, mov…

This past week, our hunger relief organization convened to discuss strategies that could impact our state in the next few years. We opened with a general discussion of what the problems are in West Virginia that lead to or stem from hunger. The more common topics came up immediately, includi…

People often ask, “What’s the end of the legislative session like?” I tell them it’s like pulling an all-nighter before a big test...but it goes on for a full week. Buckle up, because this final week will be a wild ride. Here’s the latest on several major issues.

A half century ago, Congress was in the midst of a major debate about Coal Mine Health and Safety. A key component was the high incidence rate of black lung. Passage of the act was heralded as a major victory to curb the presence of this incurable and potentially fatal occupational disease a…

Someday I will write a book full of behind-the-scenes stories from the capitol. It will be long, wild, and completely true. But for now, I better stick to a short, calm, and completely true column of major issues in the Senate this week.

Way back before the beginning of time, in early 2015, West Virginia began to talk about the Governor’s race. Earl Ray Tomblin was finishing up and the seat would be open. After a resounding defeat in the 2014 mid-terms, under former Party Chairman Larry Puccio, that saw Republicans capture b…