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Manchin, Rockefeller outline their agendas for the 113th Congress

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West Virginia's two senators have set their priorities for the 113th Congress, and Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., have issued news releases about their agendas.

Rockefeller, who recently announced that he would not run for re-election again in 2014, said Congress will face tough decisions to guide the nation out of the recession.

"This Congress, we must decide how to create an education system that focuses on science and math so that our students are competitive in a global economy," Rockefeller said in a news release. "For my part, I intend to keep doing what I have always done – fight for workers, fight for fairness, fight for the vulnerable and fight for West Virginia."

Rockefeller's priorities include working to close the income divide, reducing the deficit and "stand up for low- and middle-income families."

Rockefeller's news release also said he would work to bring more jobs to West Virginia, including introducing a bill to provide a tax credit to promote manufacturing development. Rockefeller also wants to see the full implementation of health care reform. He will introduce a comprehensive mine safety bill and also try to create an office of rural education.

Manchin hosted a call with media, saying his legislative priorities are based on the values shared across West Virginia, and he said Congress needs to get its "financial house in order."

"I truly believe we can have energy independence," Manchin said.

He spoke about energy, saying he's committed to an energy policy that takes advantage of all the energy resources in each state, along with being safe in the environmental approach.

Manchin said he still wants to see an end to the war in Afghanistan, and when it comes to guns, he said he'd like to see a commission on mass violence so experts of all stripes could look at every possible way to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

"Why do we have a lack of care for mental illness? How did we get to this point?" Manchin asked. "How can we keep someone as deranged as this monster who killed 20 babies from ever getting in there, can we do more there?

"You can't blame one issue."

Some bills he's working on sponsoring include the senior's financial bill of rights, a reclassification of hydrocodone and a military child care bill that would require the Government Accounting Office to look at the money spent on military child care.