Secretary of State Natalie Tenant, a Democratic candidate running to fill Rockefeller's Senate seat after he retires next January, asked Congress to restore unemployment benefits on Tuesday and to focus on creating new jobs.
"Washington was all too happy to bail out Wall Street banks. But while thousands of hard-working West Virginians were laid off over the holidays, Congress took a vacation instead of helping folks feed their families while they look for work," Tennant said.
Tennant's press release also pointed out:
* 6,300 West Virginians lost unemployment insurance on December 28, because Congress took no action.
* "The lapse in unemployment insurance will cost West Virginia $1.9 million this week alone."
* Up to 16,000 West Virginians will lose unemployment insurance in the coming months if Congress takes no action.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has not commented on the current unemployment insurance cuts.
Capito is also running for Rockefeller's seat in the upcoming November election.
At the end of his teleconference, Manchin reiterated his opposition to continued military engagement in Afghanistan.
"My goal is to get out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014. I am of the mindset that all our money and all the military might in the world will not change that part of the world.
"We need to say, 'Adios. We are out of there. You are on your own,' " Manchin said.
"There will still be some strategic forces in Afghanistan. But as far as being in the countryside and trying to change the culture, we should absolutely withdraw from that."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.