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W.Va. delegates get plum assignments in Congress

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Political payback is a wonderful thing, at times.

Two of West Virginia’s newly-elected Congressional members were appointed to their chambers’ Appropriations committees, a much sought after appointment usually reserved for politicians with years of political capital.

Congressman-elect Evan Jenkins and Senator-elect Shelley Moore Capito were named to the powerful Appropriations committees, where members are responsible for multi-billion dollar appropriation bills, which fund the federal government. Their appointments bypassed many politicians with years of federal legislative experience.

Speculation is the appointments were powerful thank-yous from the national GOP for Capito and Jenkins turning West Virginia from faded blue to solid red.

Ted Boettner, executive director of West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said that after November’s election, West Virginia is vital in Republicans keeping control of the House of Representative in general and the Senate in particular.

“Strategically, West Virginia is important for the Republican majority in the House and it provides a layer of security in the Senate,” he said.

November’s election saw the Republicans conquer in the Mountain State, something the party has been trying to for a decade. Republicans gained all three Congressional seats, won the junior senator spot and control of both statehouse chambers.

The appointments mark the first time since the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd in 2010 that elected officials from West Virginia sat on the committees…

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