CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Although it will be more than a month before she’s sworn into office, Senator-elect Shelley Moore Capito is planning her move from one side of the U.S. Capitol to the other.
Capito, who has served in the House of Representatives for 14 years, will be sworn in as West Virginia’s first female senator Jan. 6. Until then, she’ll work on getting to know the rules and procedures of the Senate and expanding her footprint beyond the state’s 2nd Congressional District. The Senate is a slower place, she said, and members rely more on personal relationships.
“It’s a more collegial atmosphere because of the ability to develop those relationships, whether it’s through luncheons or other means,” she said. “Procedurally, it’s a more deliberative body. Hopefully it will become more of that. It’s been missing that recently.”
Capito is part of a wave of Republicans who won re-election or new seats in the general election earlier this month. That wave shifted the balance of power in the Senate, which had been under Democrats’ control since 2008.
Republicans voted unanimously to promote Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to Senate president, the position currently held by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. Capito said she’s confident the change in leadership will open the conversation in the Senate and allow members to act in the best interest of the country.
“There’s going to be new leadership with the changeover in majority and I think there’s an honest, serious, mature conversation from the new leader, Mitch McConnell, to want to return to the days of deliberation when amendments are offered, voices are heard and the minority has a voice as well as the majority,” Capito said.
“I’m ever the optimist…