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During this election cycle, we heard from pundits, candidates, and our neighbors that Washington, D.C., is not getting enough done.

While it’s not yet clear what the election results mean to our state or Washington, a little-known federal transportation agency is already taking action on freight-rail issues that will mean a lot to the more than 48,000 men and women who work in West Virginia’s manufacturing sector.

These improvements to freight rail policy are important to our state because West Virginia manufacturers and energy producers send and receive more than 106 million tons of products a year by rail, according to the most recent data available from the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. Rep. McKinley Accepts National Award for Legislative Excellence
 
Washington, D.C. – In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined Eagle Manufacturing Company and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) for a day of special recognition and education activities at Eagle’s Wellsburg, W.Va. headquarters.
 
Today, NAM presented U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) with the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence during a special ceremony.
 
Also, Eagle engineers and representatives from the WVMA Educational Fund’s “Explore the New Manufacturing” initiative talked with STEM students from Brooke High School about manufacturing and participated in 3D printing activities.
 
Nearly 100 people attended the event including local elected officials, business and community leaders, and other members of the public.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has presented Eagle Manufacturing Co. of Wellsburg with four Governor’s Commendations for International Market Entry awards for making a contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

This year could be a turning point for the fate of West Virginia’s manufacturers and the workers they employ.

I’m not talking about the presidential election (although that, too, is incredibly important). Instead, I’m talking about whether the Senate votes to confirm Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Allowing Judge Garland to sit on the highest court in the land will cause a massive shift in the court’s attitude toward business. This change will not be a good one for West Virginia’s economy.