“I believe in this country, I believe in this institution, and I believe in the goodwill of just about everybody who is here.”

Capito Remains Hopeful that Common Ground can be Found in the Coming Year

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society last Wednesday to discuss the legislative sprint to the finish as Congress tries to wrap up work before the end of this week.

But in response to a question after her remarks, she also discussed another topic on the minds of many Americans as they prepare for the holidays and look toward next year – and that is the prospect that America’s leaders can come together and begin working on the country’s problems in 2020.

“I’m not all that discouraged,” Capito stated. “It’s much more relationship-driven in the Senate than it is in the House. In the House, you’re sort of siloed to your committees or siloed to your region or to your party. In the Senate, we have such a broad reach to just about everything, and it creates opportunities for relationships across the aisle. Elizabeth Warren and I have a bill on some of the Opioid issues. I’ve worked with Kirsten Gillibrand on the PFAS issue. I’ve worked with Gary Peters a lot on financial issues. So we do have those opportunities.”

Unfortunately, she added, today’s media’s coverage is making those opportunities harder and harder to find. “I think the 24-hour news cycle is killing us,” she said bluntly. “It promotes the anger and negativity … Revenues aren’t driven by civil discourse. They’re driven by conflict.”

That said, the West Virginia lawmaker remained hopeful that common ground can be found in the coming year.

“I think we’ll get back to where we need to be,” she said optimistically. “I think tone is really important, and it’s through every aspect of the government, whether it’s the legislative branch or the executive branch. I think we need to set a new tone, and that we can reset. I asked Donald Rumsfeld one time if this is the worst it’s ever been in terms of partisanship, because he was in Congress in the 60’s — actually with my Dad. He really put it into perspective for me. He said in 1968 we had school buses in front of the White House blocking people who were yelling, ‘Hey, Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?’ And we had D.C. on fire when Martin Luther King was murdered. That kind of gave me perspective of a really rough, tough and bad time in our nation.

“We were able to pull it together then. So I’m going to continue to be civil and funny and optimistic today — because I believe in this country, I believe in this institution, and I believe in the goodwill of just about everybody who is here. They will have a different perspective on how to get there. Maybe some of us are more political than others. But in the end, we’re all Americans. We have good hearts, and we just have to keep playing to the better angels of our own hearts. That’s our country.”

To view Capito’s remarks at last Wednesday’s Ripon Society discussion, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.