Post-election, House members like to talk compromise - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Post-election, House members like to talk compromise

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If West Virginia voters are frustrated with Congressional gridlock, they didn't act on it at the polls.

All of West Virginia's mixed delegation — Republicans David McKinley and Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Nick Rahall — retained their seats.

A small number of changes in Congress nationwide left Republicans well in control of the House of Representatives and leaders of both parties in place for new terms.

John Boehner, R-Ohio, who will remain speaker of the House, professed a new spirit of compromise.

"We stand ready to work with any willing partner — Republican, Democrat, or otherwise — who shares a commitment to getting these things done," he said election night.

In West Virginia, McKinley won a second term handily in the 1st District over Democratic challenger Sue Thorn.

The day after the election, 51 percent of America is going to be disappointed, McKinley told The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.

"We have to work together as a nation" to re-instill confidence and hope, he said. "We're going to continue to try and break down those walls between the two parties."

Capito, who prevailed in the 2nd District over Democrat Howard Swint to serve a seventh term, called for bipartisanship, saying the campaign was too much "we" and "they."

As Rahall successfully defended his seat against Republican Rick Snuffer to serve a 19th term, he said he thought President Barack Obama's re-election could mean less gridlock ahead.

"I feel chances are better for cooperation and compromise in Congress to get something done for the American people and stop this terrible sequestration …" he said, referring to the looming $100 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to take place in January and can only be prevented by Congress working together to take more nuanced action.

It will require a significant attitude shift among members of a lame duck Congress embittered by two difficult years to take that action.

And Rahall's further comments don't give much hope for conciliation. Tea Party members in particular, he said, need to "get off their high horse" and realize compromise is necessary for governing.

However, with the fate of the coal industry one of the subject of much political wrangling in Washington, D.C., an olive branch the National Mining Association extended to Obama on his re-election may help to soften the tone in Congress.

"NMA remains committed to working with the administration and the Congress on an ‘all of the above' energy strategy that includes coal, our most abundant energy resource, and on policies that support a dependable supply of domestic minerals production to meet the nation's needs," the trade group wrote.