I am enthusiastically seeking the opportunity to continue the good work that we have been doing to expand our economy, create new job opportunities, provide for our seniors and our veterans, and ensure a brighter future for our children.
We know from our own experience -- just look around at all of the economic growth that has sprung up along our modern roadways across the state -- that where good infrastructure exists, jobs follow. We have plenty of highway and transit projects right here in southern West Virginia to put people to work in construction jobs for the next several years, and to create spin-off jobs in the years beyond. In my capacity as the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am fighting hard to get a long-term, fully funded transportation bill passed this year to build better highways and modern bridges, improve and expand airports, update water and sewer systems and flood control projects and bring up-to-date infrastructure to areas throughout the region.
In addition to infrastructure, when it comes to providing a brighter future for our State, we must maintain and strengthen Federal investments that expand access to an affordable, quality education, giving our children every opportunity possible to succeed in life. Likewise, with investments in our community and technical colleges, we can give a boost to our region's workforce and promote innovation in manufacturing that will help our State to compete and win in a global economy.
Likewise, we must encourage tax and regulatory policies that will help our small businesses to attract investment and create jobs. I know the essential nature of our small businesses when it comes to job creation, as well as the importance of addressing our Nation's energy needs. For many years now, I have been fighting the good fight to see to it that coal remains a major component of our Nation's energy supply - providing affordable energy to our families and businesses and jobs for our miners and communities. I will keep on scrapping for our coal miners, and that includes making sure they have the most up-to-date equipment and technologies in place to provide for their safety and health and to ensure they return home to their families at the end of every shift.
Accessibility to health care has long been a challenge in underserved areas of mountainous West Virginia, but it is a basic need for which I have long labored. All West Virginians deserve access to quality health care, and that includes our veterans, who have served with courage and honor. We owe them a debt of gratitude and we must ensure that they have the health care and other benefits that were promised to them, as well as a fair shot at a job back home.
Finally, we must ensure that our seniors, as well as working families and children, can count on a safety net that is there when they need it most. Social Security and Medicare are contracts our government made with the workers and seniors of this country and our government must stand behind that commitment.
Working together, we can meet these challenges and more. I appreciate your commitment to better government, to active citizenship, and to forging a more perfect union. I appreciate your past support and ask that you would honor me again with your vote. God bless you and God bless America.