From the Hill to the Mountains

Thanking our Teachers for Standing Strong

Today's announcement that the West Virginia Legislature has finally come together in agreement on a teacher and public employee salary increase proposal is great news for West Virginia students, educators and all state employees. 

I applaud the Governor, and Democratic and Republican legislators for coming to this solution. And I thank our teachers and school service personnel, who absolutely are to be credited for this milestone – by standing up, standing strong, and keeping our state’s young people at the forefront of this fight. I have always said that our priorities should reflect our values and this compromise illustrates that West Virginia’s children are our priority. This is a solid investment in West Virginia’s education system and all of the services our state employees provide which includes our law enforcement officers. This goes hand in hand with West Virginia’s economy and our efforts to create jobs. We have put our state back in play.



Empowering the DEA to Properly and Aggressively Fight the Opioid Epidemic

This week I introduced legislation to make the changes requested by the Justice Department to restore the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to go after pharmaceutical companies that are violating the law and flooding our communities with opioids.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is our first line of defense in preventing pharmaceutical companies from flooding the market with opioids and taking advantage of a nation ravaged by this deadly epidemic. This bill will make sure that the DEA regains the legal authority that was wrongly stripped from the administration in 2016 to ensure that they can go after companies taking advantage of the system, including those companies that send millions of opioid pills to tiny towns in West Virginia. In order to fight this epidemic properly, we need a strong DEA and they need to be able to stop the opioid distributors and manufacturers who are endangering the American people. West Virginia’s families and communities deserve a DEA that will protect them, not pharmaceutical companies.

This bill would make the following changes, requested by the Department of Justice, to amend the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act to restore DEA’s authority to go after bad actors and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy. It would:

  • Amend the “substantial likelihood” standard to a “probable cause” standard and
  • Strike the provisions adding the option of a “corrective action plan,” which slows down the DEA’s ability to suspend suspicious opioid orders.

On the Road

South Charleston Job Fair

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for last week's regional job fair. Mark your calendar for the next job fairs coming up throughout the year.


How May We Help You?

I truly appreciate the opportunity to hear from my fellow West Virginians. As your U.S. Senator, I am proud to be your voice with government agencies during your time of need. My goal is to provide top-notch customer service for every West Virginian who contacts me, or who may need help.  I have a team of caseworkers in each of my four offices to help you with matters of concern. While I have no direct jurisdiction in the administrative matters of any federal, state, or local agency, I welcome the opportunity to assist you with whatever problem you may be experiencing and ask that full consideration be given to your case.

Recently my office was able to help Mr. Daniel Henderson who contacted my office for assistance with his U.S. Passport.  Mr. Henderson and his wife Brittany were scheduled to depart for their honeymoon to Belize. It was 4 days before departure, and Mr. Henderson still had not received his passport. After researching the case with Department of State officials, Cris Hewett, a caseworker, in my Martinsburg office, discovered that erroneous information had been reported to the Social Security Administration stating that Mr. Henderson was deceased. Cris worked to resolve the inaccurate information, and assisted Mr. Henderson in receiving his passport just in time to make the couple’s honeymoon where they announced that they are expecting their first child! 

If you need help with the IRS, VA, Social Security, Black Lung benefits, or recognition, please let me know. 


To learn more, call my office Toll Free at (855) 275-5737, email me,or find me on social media:


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