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Eyeing 2020, Capito seeks six more years in Senate

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is seeking six more years atop her perch as West Virginia’s ranking Republican lawmaker.

Aiming to curb health care costs, build a wall along the southern U.S. border, and create and maintain employment opportunities to anchor young people in West Virginia, Capito said she has amplified the state’s voice on the national stage and will continue to do so.

“I think I’ve shown myself to be listening to my constituents — my fellow West Virginians — to things that are important to them: jobs, the opioid crisis, broadband, infrastructure,” she said. “I’m placed well in my committees to be effective. I’ve been able to reshape the appropriations process, as much as you can without earmarks, to favor some of the projects we have in West Virginia.”

Capito has served in Congress since winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 2000 and becoming the state’s first female U.S. Senator in 2014. She sits on the Committee on Appropriations, among the most powerful of any congressional committee.

In an interview at Books and Brews, a new restaurant on Charleston’s West Side, Capito ranged in topic from the Affordable Care Act, to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the conduct of President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, to her case for the need for a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border.

Perhaps more than any other policy point, health care drove the 2018 midterm elections — to the demise of a wide swath of House Republicans. Capito said while she thought the notion of removing protections for people with preexisting conditions was a “political tool” for campaign season and not a real threat, insurance companies should be required to cover the population and not charge it higher rates than those offered to healthy people.

Prohibiting insurance providers from hiking prices on those with preexisting conditions was a central canon of the ACA.

“Who needs health care? People with preexisting conditions,” she said.