The New York Times – The wisecrack about West Virginia is that it can now have whatever it wants: fancy new highways, a federal installation or two, maybe a few extra grand per capita in stimulus checks. Read the full article.
Joe Manchin, the state’s senior senator and a centrist Democrat, has swiftly become one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, a critical swing vote in an evenly divided Senate. By himself, he can shoot down filibuster reform, shape the economic recovery or moderate liberal hopes for the minimum wage. So just give the man what he wants, Democrats laugh uneasily.
But there is a deeper possibility in this unusual alignment of one senator, one struggling state and one suddenly attentive capital.
“The joke is that we’re going to have a futuristic West Virginia,” said Kelly Allen, the executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “The honest answer of it, from our perspective, is that West Virginia and Appalachia deserve an outsized piece of any federal recovery policy.”