U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., blasted President Barack Obama's apocalyptic view of the federal sequester at Sunday's Lewis County Lincoln Day dinner, saying the forecasted disaster hasn't been seen in the first three days.
"We're still living and breathing," said Capito. "It's going to be a challenge. Everything is going to be cut, but it's only 2 percent. I think (Obama) is losing the American people. It's all 'the sky is falling' without any of the facts."
She also criticized Obama's refusal to accept blame for the sequester. She said the idea for the across-the-board budget cuts was an idea proposed by the White House. While she said she has no problem with the president's proposed closing of some tax loopholes, she said tax reforms without spending cuts is not within the Republicans' talking points.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
West Virginia Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito told the gathering at the Lewis County Lincoln Day Dinner Sunday that the next few weeks will be a challenge as Congress looks at the budget cuts caused by the sequester.
"We all have to make choices," Capito said. "We've got our credit cards maxed out, and we have trillions of dollars of debt. We cannot keep passing off this generational debt to our children. It can't be sustained."
She believes the battle to create a federal budget will be a difficult one, but one that the country needs to go through. She said Congress will learn which federal programs are not working and what programs the country can do without.
Capito, who has announced she will seek the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Jay Rockefeller in 2014, said West Virginia is losing its economy under the current administration. She predicted the anti-coal policies currently employed by the administration will soon be expanded to include natural gas. She joked that as she drives along U.S. 33 near Elkins that she has yet to see one of those windmills turning.
"Does anybody ever see those windmills turning?" she said. "The balance has been tipped to extreme environmentalists."
Capito said West Virginia is exporting more and more of its coal to Europe and to China, a country she said "has no environmental regulations."