Top Five Things To Know About Nick Rahall

Rep. Nick Rahall, a 19-term incumbent, is running for re-election to Congress in West Virginia’s 3rd District.

1. Rahall Has Spent More Than Half Of His Life In Congress

As of Jan. 3, 2014, Rahall had spent 57.25% of his life in Congress. Rahall was first elected to Congress in 1976 and is now running for his 20th term. Rahall turned down a chance to run for Senate because he didn’t want to give up his seniority in the House. Clearly he sees his
seniority as an advantage and a selling point. However, perhaps Rahall has become too comfortable in Washington, DC. Rahall claimed a homestead deduction on his Washington, DC, home. Rahall has also enjoyed the trappings of office, such as providing $2 million in earmarks to a campaign donor.

2. Rahall Strongly Supports ObamaCare And Is Unsympathetic To West Virginians Who Have Lost Their Coverage Because Of It

Rahall voted for ObamaCare and said in 2013 that he didn’t regret his vote. As thousands of West Virginians lost their health plans because of the ObamaCare law, Rahall said it “may be in their best interests in the long term to be cancelled and go into the exchange.” In 2009, Rahall made a claim similar to what would become 2013’s PolitiFact Lie of the Year when he said “those who like what they have today, which they’ll be able to keep.” Rahall said there was “more good than there is bad in this law” and that “over time, I think that more and more good will be relayed to the American people.”

3. Rahall Voted For A Carbon Tax And Mineworker Pension Tax

In 2010, Rahall declared himself “the most pro-coal member of Congress.” However, in 2013, Rahall voted for a carbon tax as part of the Progressive Caucus budget. Rahall later claimed there was no carbon tax in the budget, even though there was. Rahall’s office said that the Progressive Caucus budget was non-binding and would not pass, and that he wanted to make a statement against the Ryan budget. The Progressive Caucus budget also included a financial transactions tax that was described as a “sales tax on investors” that will raise costs to pensions, including mineworker pensions. Meanwhile, the United Mineworkers pension is already “seriously underfunded.”

4. Rahall Endorsed Obama

Rahall said he was an early Obama supporter and campaigned with him in West Virginia. Rahall said Obama had “the courage and the conviction and the wherewithal to not only win this fall, but govern this nation.” Rahall predicted that Obama would be “very competitive” in
West Virginia in the 2008 general election, but Obama was defeated by Sen. John McCain in West Virginia 56 percent to 43 percent. Rahall said Obama was “an agent for true change” and would “provide progress and prosperity for all Americans, including hardworking West Virginians.” Rahall endorsed Obama again in 2012.

5. Rahall Used Official Letterhead To Help Get His Son Out Of Jail

In 2005, Rahall used official letterhead paid for by taxpayers to write a letter to a Fairfax County, VA, judge asking for leniency for his son who was facing robbery charges. According to a formula used in sentencing guidelines, Rahall’s son was rated just under the level that would have required mandatory imprisonment. Instead, Rahall’s son was fined and given probation. A co-defendant in the case was sent to prison for 11 months and ultimately committed suicide after failing a drug test while on probation.