"But addressing income inequality isn't just about a safety net. It's also about creating new opportunities," Rockefeller said. "That's why I am glad that the president agrees with me that it is imperative to expand high-speed [internet] broadband connections to our schools and libraries."
Manchin also said, "I support raising the minimum wage. I am also very cautious that we watch and monitor the employment rates, especially for workers entering the workforce. We have to make sure we are not creating more unemployment. Just raising the minimum wage will not eliminate income inequality. It helps on the lower end, but we need higher paying jobs."
Manchin opposes Obama's proposal to issue an "executive order" to raise the minimum wage for all contractors working for the federal government.
"I think that is the wrong approach. To say we will just do that in one sector does not build confidence."
Capito said, "I believe Congress should debate whether the minimum wage should be raised again. This is a discussion and a debate that should be taken up in the halls of Congress, not pushed into effect via an executive order."
Rep. David B. McKinley said, "Our economy is being held back by burdensome regulations, a broken health care law, and a tax system that is too complicated, yet the president didn't address those issues."
McKinley believes Obama's "appears to be going it alone and not working together with Congress.
"In a divided government, we need to find consensus to get anything done. For the sake of the American people, we need to work together in a bipartisan manner, find common ground, and find common sense ways to make life better for all Americans."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.