Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine issued the following statement today after the Senate successfully passed a stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government funded through mid-December:

“We’re relieved that this legislation will keep the government operating; allow the Food and Drug Administration to continue its review of innovative drugs and medical devices; deliver critical disaster relief funding to Puerto Rico; and send a strong message that the U.S. continues to stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty against the brutal dictatorship of Vladimir Putin. It’s going to take some more time for Congress to finalize the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, and we are going to keep fighting to keep intact the nearly $135 million we secured for Virginia in that budget as the process continues.”

More information regarding the funding Warner and Kaine are working to secure in the final Fiscal Year 2023 budget legislation for Virginia is available here.

The stopgap funding legislation that the Senate passed today will soon be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives before heading to President Biden’s desk for signature.

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after voting to move forward on debate on legislation that would keep the government funded through December 16:

“Government shutdowns are pointless and painful and should be avoided whenever possible. I’m glad that the Senate was able to move forward tonight on legislation to keep the government up and running. My complaints have fallen on deaf ears over the years, but it’s still worth pointing out that the process by which Congress decides whether or not to keep the government functional is, in fact, pretty dysfunctional. We can and should do better than continuing resolution after continuing resolution.

“While the permitting reform proposal from Senator Manchin was dropped from this bill, I agree that we still need to take sensible steps to reduce European dependence on Russian energy while maintaining an affordable and resilient supply here at home. I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact reforms to our existing permitting process that protect our national and economic security, but also respect concerns voiced by those communities most impacted by these projects.”

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WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced that they successfully secured nearly $135 million in federal funding for Virginia in pending government funding bills for Fiscal Year 2023, as the latest text of the bills was recently unveiled by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The next step for the legislation is a markup and advancement by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected later this year, followed by Senate floor consideration.

“I’m proud to have worked to secure these investments for communities all throughout Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. “By propelling impactful local projects, these dedicated federal dollars will further build on the progress we’ve made through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the many rounds of COVID-19 relief funding authorized by Congress. I look forward to seeing these diverse projects generate jobs, support Virginia’s tourism economy, make neighborhoods safer, and bring communities together.”

“The annual budget is always an important opportunity to fight for Virginia priorities and America’s leadership around the world—and I’m pleased with how that effort is shaping up for the upcoming Fiscal Year,” said Sen. Kaine. “I will keep fighting to keep the many critical components of these bills intact as we get this budget across the finish line—from keeping Virginia communities safe from gun violence, COVID, and future health crises; to addressing food insecurity and the root causes of migration.”

As part of last year’s budget process, the Senate revived a process that allows members of Congress to make Congressionally Directed Spending requests, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects.

Through strong advocacy, the senators secured—and will fight to keep—Congressionally Directed Spending dollars in the funding bills for the following projects in Virginia:

  1. For projects in Northern Virginia, click here.
  2. For projects in Central Virginia, click here.
  3. For projects in Southwest Virginia and Southside, click here.
  4. For projects in the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
  5. For projects in Hampton Roads, click here.    
  6. For projects that impact communities in multiple regions across the Commonwealth, click here.

In addition, should they be passed as-is, the budget bills include funding for the following Warner and Kaine priorities:

Boosting Local Economies: Includes $200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission and $7 million for the Southwest Crescent Regional Commission to support their work to build economic partnerships, create opportunity, and foster economic development.

Strengthening Transportation and Recreation Infrastructure: Provides $150 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and $25 million for the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program, which supports multi-purpose trails.

Making Our Communities Safer: Provides $50 million for Community Violence Prevention grants to support communities in developing comprehensive, evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs, including efforts to address gang and gun violence, based on partnerships between community residents, law enforcement, local government agencies, and other community stakeholders.  

Support for Missing Persons Program: Includes $1 million to help with the nationwide implementation of the Ashanti Alert system. In 2018, Warner secured unanimous Senate passage of the Ashanti Alert Act, legislation that created a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18-64. The bill was signed into law on December 31, 2018.

Addressing Gun Violence:  Provides $100 million for new violence intervention programs to prevent mass casualty or gang-related gun violence. Additionally, provides $60 million—a $30 million increase compared to Fiscal Year 2022—to support research into effective ways to prevent firearm related injuries.

Fighting Hunger: Includes over $2 billion to combat global hunger and malnutrition, following Sen. Kaine’s emphasis on the threat Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses to food security around the world and Warner's successful efforts to support non-governmental organizations responding to the food crisis.

Fighting COVID: Includes $16 billion in funding for the procurement of additional COVID vaccines and therapeutics and to support the development of next-generation vaccines and therapeutics that could better protect Virginians against new COVID variants.

Addressing Americans’ Long COVID Needs: Includes $15 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to provide the research needed to ensure those experiencing long COVID have access to the patient-centered, coordinated care they need; address disparities in diagnosis and treatment of long COVID; and identify treatments for the condition. Also provides the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with $25 million to continue studying long COVID. Both of these efforts were first outlined in Sen. Kaine’s CARE for Long COVID Act.

Supporting Health Care Providers: Includes $30 million to further implement the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Act, legislation Sen. Kaine wrote and named in honor of Dr. Lorna Breen, a physician from Charlottesville who was working on the front lines of the pandemic in New York and died by suicide in the spring of 2020. The resources will go toward comprehensive and evidence-based support to prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care providers. Sen. Kaine led a bipartisan push to include this funding in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.

Addressing the Maternal Mortality Crisis: Includes $496 million—an increase of $304 million above Fiscal Year 2022 funding—for the Maternal Mortality Initiative, following a bipartisan push led by Sen. Kaine for funding to prevent maternal deaths, eliminate inequities in maternal health outcomes, and improve maternal health.

Pandemic Preparedness: Includes $10.5 billion in non-emergency funding for global health—a $680 million increase compared to Fiscal Year 2022—and $5 billion to support national COVID vaccination campaigns in countries with low vaccination rates. This funding is critical to protecting Americans from the impacts of disease outbreaks around the world.

Modernizing America’s Health Data Infrastructure: Includes $200 million—an increase of $100 million compared to Fiscal Year 2022—to modernize the public health data systems that help support healthy communities throughout America. Sen. Kaine, who pushed for this funding, also crafted the Improving Data Accessibility Through Advancements (DATA) in Public Health Act, legislation to increase timely and accurate information sharing between local, state, and federal public health departments to improve our preparedness and response to emerging public health threats.

Increasing Funding for Pediatric Research: Provides $12.6 million to further fund the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act—legislation championed by Sens. Warner and Kaine and named after a child from Loudoun County who died from a brain tumor in 2013.

Reducing Tobacco Use: Includes $20 million in funding to support the CDC, states, and territories’ continued efforts to reduce tobacco use among disparate populations and regions with high tobacco prevalence and mortality and to expand the highly successful and cost-effective Tips from Former Smokers media campaign. The investment follows a successful bipartisan push by Sen. Kaine to raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21 and a push to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration could regulate synthetic nicotine.

Addressing the Root Causes of Migration: Provides resources for a diverse array of programs to help improve the conditions that drive migration from Central America, including programs focused on counter-narcotics efforts and economic development.

Expanding High-Speed Internet Access: Includes $400 million for the USDA’s ReConnect Program to expand access to high-speed broadband to remote underserved areas. Sens. Warner and Kaine have been vocal advocates for expanding broadband. As Governors and Senators, Warner and Kaine have long supported expanding broadband access in Virginia. During the pandemic, they secured significant funding for broadband through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Sens. Warner and Kaine also joined a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership requesting this funding earlier this year. Sen. Warner also personally secured billions of dollars for broadband expansion in both the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Increasing Military Pay and Compensation: Includes $1.5 billion to fully fund a 4.6 percent pay raise for servicemembers. Also, includes roughly $1.5 billion in additional funding for compensation to help with rising costs as well as $373 million towards a number of military family support programs. Sen. Warner, who pushed for this funding, has long stressed the need for increased support for servicemembers through legislation such as the Military Hunger Prevention Act that helps low-income military families put food on the table.

Economic Support for Underserved Communities: Provides $324 million for the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institution Fund. Sen. Warner, who requested this funding, has led efforts in Congress to support CDFIs through legislation including the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act and the creation of the bipartisan Senate Community Development Finance Caucus.

Addressing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Delays and Customer Service Issues: Incudes $310 Million for the IRS, which will enable IRS to continue to update ancient computer systems, improve customer service, and reduce wait times for refunds and other services. Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently pushed the IRS to address poor customer service and severe delays within the department.  

Support for Miners: Includes $11.845 million for Black Lung Clinics. Sens. Warner and Kaine have actively worked to secure benefits for miners and their families suffering from black lung disease. In August, the Inflation Reduction Act, supported by both Sens. Warner and Kaine, permanently extended the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax at a higher rate, providing more certainty for miners, miner retirees, and their families who rely on the fund to access benefits.

In addition to battling for these priorities, the Senators will work to ensure that funds obtained by Virginia House members also remain in the ultimate budget package.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law:

“We’re proud that this law will lower the price of prescription drugs, reduce the deficit, bring down energy bills and fight climate change. We’re also glad that it will help ensure that miners suffering from black lung and their families get the care and benefits they deserve. We will continue to look for ways to support the health and well-being of our communities, decrease inflation, and lower costs for Virginians.”

Below are some of the ways the Inflation Reduction Act will benefit Virginians:

Lower Prescription Drug Costs

  • The law allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for seniors and people with disabilities—a provision Warner and Kaine have long fought to pass to lower prescription drug costs.
  • The law establishes a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors covered under Medicare Part D. In 2020, more than 36,000 Virginians with Medicare Part D spent more than $2,000 out-of-pocket on their prescription drugs.
  • The law expands the Low-Income Subsidy program, a program that currently helps cover prescription drug costs for over 11,000 low-income Virginians with Medicare.
  • The law provides free coverage for vaccines under Medicare Part D and improves access to vaccines under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In 2020, nearly 85,000 Virginians received a vaccine covered under Medicare Part D.

Affordable Health Care

  • During the pandemic, Congress enhanced subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help lower health care premiums for millions of Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act will extend these enhanced subsidies for three years through 2025 to help make Virginians’ health insurance more affordable. Over 300,000 Virginians have ACA coverage in 2022.
  • The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that Virginians with ACA insurance would have seen a $71 increase in their monthly premiums for the next coverage year if these subsidies weren’t extended.

Black Lung Benefits

  • The law permanently extends the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax at a higher rate, providing more certainty for miners, miner retirees, and their families who rely on the fund to access benefits. In Virginia, thousands of miners and their families have received benefits through the trust fund since it was established, including approximately 2,600 Virginians last year alone.

Clean Energy and Climate Provisions

  • The law will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.
  • The law incentivizes investment in and production of renewable energy technologies like solar power and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.  The Inflation Reduction Act expands the 48C investment tax credit for clean energy manufacturers, with $4 billion reserved for use exclusively in coal communities. All clean energy tax credits include a bonus for meeting domestic manufacturing requirements related to steel, iron, or other manufactured components. The law also expands tax credits for residential clean energy and home efficiency improvements.
  • According to a recent analysis, the clean energy provisions are expected to create nearly 1 million jobs per year.
  • The law includes tax credits for clean medium and heavy duty trucks, such as those produced at the Volvo Trucks New River Valley Plant.
  • The law includes a $7,500 consumer credit for the purchase of new electric vehicles and incentivizes that vehicles are produced in North America.
  • The law includes $9.7 billion for financial assistance to rural electric cooperatives to improve resilience and affordability.
  • The law includes $2 billion for the USDA Rural Energy for America Program to provide competitive grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements.
  • The law includes $20 billion to help farmers and ranchers adopt agriculture conservation practices that improve landscape resilience.

Tax Fairness

  • The law takes steps to make sure that the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes, without increasing taxes on small businesses or families making less than $400,000 a year.
  • The law also provides funding to modernize Internal Revenue Service (IRS) systems and improve customer service when paying taxes. This will help ensure the IRS has the resources it needs to process tax returns quickly, get rebates to taxpayers faster, and address challenges Americans have when filing taxes.

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens.  Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine highlighted some of the ways in which the Inflation Reduction Act will benefit Virginians. 

“Virginians have a lot to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act. This historic legislation will help lower Virginians’ prescription drug and energy costs, help them access health care, and tackle climate change, which has had a devastating toll on communities all across the Commonwealth,” said the senators. “We were proud to vote for this bill and urge the House of Representatives to pass it and get it to President Biden’s desk ASAP.”

Lower Prescription Drug Costs:

  • The bill allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for seniors and people with disabilities—a provision Warner and Kaine have long fought to pass to lower prescription drug costs.
  • The bill establishes a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors covered under Medicare Part D. In 2020, more than 36,000 Virginians with Medicare Part D spent more than $2,000 out-of-pocket on their prescription drugs.
  • The bill expands the Low-Income Subsidy program, a program that currently helps cover prescription drug costs for over 11,000 low-income Virginians with Medicare.
  • The bill provides free coverage for vaccines under Medicare Part D and improves access to vaccines under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In 2020, nearly 85,000 Virginians received a vaccine covered under Medicare Part D.

Affordable Health Care:

  • During the pandemic, Congress enhanced subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help lower health care premiums for millions of Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act would extend these enhanced subsidies for three years through 2025 to help make Virginians’ health insurance more affordable. Over 300,000 Virginians have ACA coverage in 2022.
  • The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that Virginians with ACA insurance would have seen a $71 increase in their premiums for the next coverage year if these subsidies weren’t extended.

Black Lung Benefits:

  • The bill permanently extends the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax at a higher rate, providing more certainty for miners, miner retirees, and their families who rely on the fund to access benefits. In Virginia, thousands of miners and their families have received benefits through the trust fund since it was established, including approximately 2,600 Virginians last year alone.

Clean Energy and Climate Provisions:

  • The bill will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.
  • The bill incentivizes investment in and production of renewable energy technologies like solar power and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.  The legislation expands the 48C investment tax credit for clean energy manufacturers, with $4 billion reserved for use exclusively in coal communities. All clean energy tax credits include a bonus for meeting domestic manufacturing requirements related to steel, iron, or other manufactured components. The bill also expands tax credits for residential clean energy and home efficiency improvements.
  • According to a recent analysis, the clean energy provisions are expected to create nearly 1 million jobs per year.
  • The bill includes tax credits for clean medium and heavy duty trucks, such as those produced at the Volvo Trucks New River Valley Plant.
  • The bill includes a $7,500 consumer credit for the purchase of new electric vehicles and incentivizes that vehicles are produced in North America.
  • The bill includes $9.7 billion for financial assistance to rural electric cooperatives to improve resilience and affordability.
  • The bill includes $2 billion for the USDA Rural Energy for America Program to provide competitive grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements.
  • The bill includes $20 billion to help farmers and ranchers adopt agriculture conservation practices that improve landscape resilience.

Tax Fairness:

  • The legislation takes steps to make sure that the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes, without increasing taxes on small businesses or families making less than $400,000 a year.
  • The bill also provides funding to modernize Internal Revenue Service (IRS) systems and improve customer service when paying taxes. This will help ensure the IRS has the resources it needs to process tax returns quickly, get rebates to taxpayers faster, and address challenges Americans have when filing taxes.

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine voted in the Senate to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation to reduce inflation, lower costs, and fight climate change:

“This bill will lower the price of prescription drugs and healthcare, reduce the deficit, and invest in American energy to both address climate change and bring down energy bills. And in another big win for Virginia, it will help ensure that miners suffering from black lung and their families get the help they need,” said the senators. “While we will continue to look for ways to support the health and well-being of our communities, decrease inflation, and lower costs for Virginians, we’re proud that today we took a major step forward in addressing those challenges.”

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will fight inflation, reduce the deficit, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030, according to multiple independent assessments. Another survey found that the bill will save the average household hundreds of dollars annually on their energy costs. The Inflation Reduction Act will also lower health care bills by finally allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years, through 2025. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act will permanently extend the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax at a higher rate, providing certainty for miners, miner retirees, and their families who rely on the fund to access benefits.

The legislation will also take steps to make sure that the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes, without increasing taxes on small businesses or families making less than $400,000 a year. According to a recent analysis, the clean energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act are expected to create nearly 1 million jobs per year.

The House of Representatives is now expected to take up the legislation next week before sending it to President Biden’s desk for signature.

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WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement regarding the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, legislation that is expected to pass through the Senate’s budget reconciliation process next week:

“Lowering costs, expanding access to high-quality health care, and addressing climate change are priorities we’ve heard about from Virginians in every region of the Commonwealth. We look forward to voting on the Inflation Reduction Act so we can take meaningful steps toward those goals. We will continue to look for other opportunities to lower costs, like child care expenses, for Virginia families.”

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will fight inflation, reduce the deficit, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. The bill will lower health care costs by finally allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act program for three years, through 2025. The legislation will require the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes. There are no new taxes in this bill on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses.

A summary of the legislation is available here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Thomas Carper (D-DE.), members of the Senate Corporate Governance Working Group, released the following statement to commend President Biden’s budget proposal to restrict stock sales by corporate executives: 

“We are pleased that President Biden’s Budget calls for addressing the misaligned incentives that encourage excessive stock buybacks, often at the expense of investments in workers, innovation, and communities. Congress needs to address this issue, and we’re working on common-sense legislation that will reform executive compensation and incentivize American companies to prioritize long-term economic growth.”

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 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement on the President’s budget proposal:

“I’m glad to see that President Biden’s proposed budget doubles down on the administration’s efforts to strengthen relationships with our allies and continue to support Ukraine. This budget would also help bolster our economy and ensure that hardworking Americans are able to get ahead through strong investments in education, child care, health care, broadband, and clean energy.

“I’m pleased that the President has continued to prioritize increased funding for community-based lenders who work with underserved communities, including Community Development Financial Institutions. The President’s Budget included $331 million for the CDFI Fund to continue promoting entrepreneurship and economic mobility among our most vulnerable communities. I was also glad to see funding to implement the Ashanti Alert Communications Network, and to help combat hate crimes, as authorized by the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.

“I’m also pleased that this budget builds on gains made through the bipartisan infrastructure law by requesting robust federal dollars for transportation, including $150 million for WMATA. For a stronger military, this budget requests funding for two Virginia-class submarines, five military construction projects in the Commonwealth, and a new VA outpatient clinic in Hampton Roads. It also requests the largest pay raise in 20 years for our servicemembers and civilian personnel. Additionally, I’m thrilled to see that this budget proposal includes key funding to continue tackling the deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks, as required by my Great American Outdoors Act.”

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today voted for the passage of the $1.5 trillion government spending bill. This package funds the federal government through Fiscal Year 2022, delivers $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine, provides critical legal and funding authorities to the intelligence community, allows for full implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law, reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, and delivers countless wins for families in Virginia and across the country.

“Today the Senate voted to pass a full-year spending bill. While this deal took too long to come together, and concessions were made on both sides, I am proud that we have a bipartisan package that will deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid and military assistance to the people of Ukraine, avert a costly government shutdown, and deliver on key funding for projects that will boost our economy and invest in communities across the country and throughout the Commonwealth. This package will also deliver on key priorities I have been fighting for, including supporting military families, expanding access to rural broadband, addressing the IRS backlog that has delayed returns across the country, and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act for the first time since 2013,” said Sen. Warner. “Also in this spending package are the Intelligence Authorization Act and our bipartisan cyber incident reporting bill, key pieces of legislation that will enhance congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community – a critical move as we face some of the gravest global security threats of the past century. It will also improve transparency between private entities and the government in the event of broader cyber attacks. I am glad that we in Congress finally worked in a bipartisan way to get this done and start delivering for the American people.”

“This legislation is monumental for both our efforts here at home and on the international stage, by providing support for critical Virginia priorities and Ukraine’s security and humanitarian needs following Russia’s unjustified invasion,” said Sen. Kaine. “I’m also thrilled that I was able to include legislation I’ve been fighting for to ensure children of Gold Star families have access to the maximum Iraq and Afghanistan Service awards, as well as money specifically for projects addressing issues across Virginia, from mental health and teacher shortages to our infrastructure needs. America is at its best on days like this, when we face our challenges head on and provide needed leadership.”

The following list includes many of the provisions Warner and Kaine advocated for on behalf of Virginia that were included in the omnibus bill:

  • Support for Ukraine: To support the people of Ukraine as they continue fighting Putin’s brutal and unprovoked assault, this bill includes $13.6 billion in funding to:
    • Bolster the defensive capabilities of both the Ukrainian military and those of NATO Eastern flank countriesProvide urgently-needed humanitarian aid including migration and refugee assistance, and emergency food assistance, health care, and urgent support for vulnerable populations and communities
    • Expand diplomatic programs to maintain American Citizen Services, support operations that were forced to vacate Ukraine, and increase State Department capabilities to target Russian oligarch assets
    • Aid DOJ Ukraine Task Force efforts to address cybercrime and ransomware threats, trace and seize proceeds of crime, prosecute sanctions violators, and address export control, sanctions and cyber cases.   

 

  • Cyber Defenses: Includes $2.6 billion in funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to bolster the nation’s cyber-defenses. It also includes Warner-sponsored legislation to require companies responsible for U.S. critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents to the government.

  • Military Pay Increase: Supports a pay increase of 2.7 percent for servicemembers and Department of Defense civilian personnel, and funds a $15 minimum wage for DoD personnel, in support of President Biden’s Executive Order.

 

  • Military Families: Provides $1.4 billion in funding to improve and maintain housing, and address challenges related to privatized military housing impacting servicemembers and their families. It also provides $278.1 million in housing assistance and $119.6 million for food assistance efforts for servicemembers and their families. For years, Sens. Warner and Kaine have fought to improve housing conditions. Sen. Warner has also been focused on improving food access for servicemembers and their families.

 

  • Medical Care for Veterans: Provides $97.5 billion for medical care at the VA – an 8.7 percent increase over last year – to address the health care needs of our nation’s veterans, both ongoing and deferred care due to the pandemic. This includes $840 million in gender-specific healthcare for women. 

 

  • Benefits Boost: Provides $3.5 billion to provide compensation benefits to veterans and their survivors, which will aid the VA in decreasing the claims backlog, and supporting new toxic exposure claims.

 

  • Veterans’ Mental Health: Provides $13.2 billion in funding, which includes $598 million for suicide prevention outreach.

 

  • Veterans’ Rural Health: Provides $2.4 billion for telehealth services to reach veterans, and $327 million to support improved access to care in rural areas.

 

  • Veterans’ Homelessness: Provides $2.2 billion for efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans and their families.

 

  • IT Modernization: Includes $5.5 billion in funding for IT modernization efforts at the VA.

 

  • Shipbuilding: Provides more than $26 billion in funding for critical Navy shipbuilding priorities, many of which have a direct connection to Virginia and the Hampton Roads region, to include: Ford-class Aircraft Carrier Construction ($2.34 billion), Aircraft Carrier Overhaul ($2.48 billion), and Virginia- ($6.33 billion) and Columbia-class ($4.77 billion) Submarine construction.

 

  • Virginia military construction: Provides more than $361 million in funding for 11 military construction projects across the Commonwealth, including in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Quantico, Ft. Belvoir, Sandston, Troutville, and at the Pentagon. 

 

  • School Construction: Includes more than $500 million in funding for public schools on military installations nationwide, to fund construction, expansion, renovation, and repairs.

 

  • Climate Resilience: Provides $100 million for the Department of Defense to address resilience issues at installations stemming from climate change.

 

  • Intelligence Authorization Act: Includes the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community – a priority for Sen. Warner as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

 

  • Havana Syndrome: Provides additional funding to support personnel who have been impacted by anomalous health incidents. Chairman Warner and Sen. Kaine have been outspoken on the need to support afflicted personnel. 

 

  • IRS Backlog: Provides $12.6 billion for IRS funding. This funding will help continue to eliminate the 2020 tax return backlog, more efficiently process 2021 tax returns, and improve customer service. Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently supported sufficient funding to allow the IRS to meet the needs of taxpayers. 

 

  • Small Businesses: Provides $1 billion to the Small Business Administration to support investments in programs to help underserved entrepreneurs access capital and contracting opportunities. 

 

  • Funding for Community Development Financial Institutions: Provides $295 million for the CDFI Fund, including $173 million for financial and technical assistance grants and $35 million for the Bank Enterprise Award Program. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Warner has successfully pushed for increased funding for CDFIs to support and advance access to capital for underserved communities in Virginia.

 

  • Fighting Violence Against Women: Reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, marking the first time in nearly a decade that VAWA has been reauthorized. The bill also provides $575 million, the highest level ever, in funding provided for multiple competitive and formula grant programs that support training for police officers and prosecutors, state coalitions to respond to domestic violence and sexual assault, rape prevention programs, lethality assessment and homicide reduction initiatives, domestic violence hotlines, and women’s shelters and transitional housing support services.

 

  • Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act: Includes $5 million to assist state and local governments with entering data into the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which will improve how hate crimes are collected by the FBI, establish hate crime reporting hotlines, and develop and adopt policies on identifying, investigating, and reporting hate crimes. Sens. Warner and Kaine first introduced the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act legislation in 2019. It is partially named after Heather Heyer, a Virginia constituent who was killed in the 2017 white supremacy protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

 

  • Ashanti Alert: Includes $1 million to help with the nationwide implementation of the Ashanti Alert system. In 2018, Sen. Warner secured unanimous Senate passage of the Ashanti Alert Act, legislation that will create a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18-64.  The bill was signed into law on December 31, 2018. 

 

  • Pell Grant: The omnibus provides a $400 boost to the maximum Pell Grant in the 2022-23 school year to raise the maximum award to $6,895. This is the largest increase to the Pell Grant since the 2009-2010 school year. Over 137,500 Virginia students receive the Pell Grant each year.  The omnibus also included the technical fix based on Sen. Kaine’s Protecting Our Gold Star Families’ Education Act to exclude the Iraq And Afghanistan Service Grant from sequestration and ensure that recipients of this grant have access to the maximum Pell Grant award. 

 

  • Rural Broadband: Provides more than $550 million for expansion of broadband service, including an additional $450 million for the ReConnect program to expand rural broadband access. Sens. Warner and Kaine have been longtime champions for increased access to broadband. As part of the American Rescue Plan, they secured $10 billion to help states, territories and tribal governments expand access to broadband.

 

  • Rural Health Care: Provides more than $366 million for HHS rural health care programs, an increase of $36,593,000.

 

  • Miners: Provides more than $11.8 million for clinics that provide critical health care for coal workers with job-related lung diseases. The bill also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prioritize maintenance of its Black Lung health screening mobile unit and urges the CDC to consider purchasing an additional unit, noting that early screening and detection of black lung can improve health outcomes and reduce mortality.

 

  • Infrastructure Investments: The omnibus will finally fully fund the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, specifically programs funded by the Highway Trust Fund. Without a full-year funding bill, Virginia could have lost out on $364 million in highway funding and $53 million in transit funding just this fiscal year. This also enables the new Carbon Reduction Program and PROTECT grants to get started.

 

  • Shipyard Infrastructure: Includes $564 million to make significant and much-needed investments in our nation’s public shipyards, in support of the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP).

 

  • Norfolk Harbor and Channels Deepening Project: Provides an additional $83.7 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation and expand capacity by deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels. This will enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels and provide significant new economic opportunities to the region. This funding is in addition to the more than $69.3 million the Senators announced in January as a result of the IIJA.

 

  • Colonial National Historical Park: Provides $128.7 million to help rehabilitate sections of the Colonial Parkway. This funding was included in the President’s FY22 budget request and was made available by the Great American Outdoors Act negotiated by Sen. Warner.

 

  • Appalachian Regional Commission: Includes $195 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an increase of $15 million from FY21. This is in addition to the $1 billion provided to ARC through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years.

 

  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Includes $32.8 million to help rehabilitate sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This funding was included in the President’s FY22 budget request and was made available by the Great American Outdoors Act negotiated by Sen. Warner.

 

  • Chesapeake Bay Program: Includes $88 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program. This funding is in addition to the $238 million provided to the Chesapeake Bay Program over five years through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

 

  • Telehealth: Extends core telehealth flexibilities for 151 days past the expiration date of the Public Health Emergency (PHE).

 

  • Synthetic Nicotine: Provides a legislative fix to clarify the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to regulate products containing synthetic nicotine as tobacco products. Nicotine that can be chemically synthesized in a laboratory—rather than derived from tobacco—currently falls outside of FDA’s statutory definition of a tobacco product, which contributed to the explosion of youth use of e-cigarettes. Sen. Kaine worked with a bipartisan group of colleagues to successfully secure this language, aimed at reducing the number of children and teens addicted to harmful e-cigarettes.

 

  • Maternal Vaccination: Includes provisions calling on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consider the importance of vaccination awareness in carrying out public awareness campaigns. Specifically, the Secretary is asked to take into consideration the importance of increasing awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to prevent disease in pregnant and postpartum women and infants, and the need to improve vaccination rates in such communities. This provision stems from Sen. Kaine’s bill, S.345, the Maternal Vaccinations Act.

 

  • HBCU funding: Virginia’s five HBCUs, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Virginia University of Lynchburg will receive additional support in Fiscal Year 2022 as HBCU’s nationwide will see a $35 million (8.0%) increase in funding.

 

  • Head Start: Head Start received an increase of $289 million (2.7%) over last year’s funding level which will mean more than a $4 million increase in Virginia, a critical boost to Virginia’s 393 Head Start centers across the Commonwealth that provide early childhood education and care to nearly 15,000 young Virginians.

 

  • CCDBG: The Child Care and Development Block Grant will receive over $250 million more (4.3% increase) than last year. Support for CCDBG is critical in helping low-income families access affordable child care. This funding increase comes in addition to $580 million in supplemental CCDBG funding for Virginia through the COVID-19 relief bills, and the nearly $488 million provided by the American Rescue Plan to child care providers to enable them to stay open.

 

  • Southeast Crescent Regional Commission: The bill provides $5 million, an increase of $4 million above the fiscal year 2021 level and $2.5 million above the President’s request. This funding targets the economic development needs of distressed portions of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. In July, Kaine and Representative McEachin were joined by Warner in sending a delegation letter to President Biden advocating for this historic funding and the appointment of a federal co-chair.

As part of FY2022 appropriations, the Senate also revived a process that allows members of Congress to make Congressionally Directed Spending requests, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects. Through strong advocacy, Sens. Warner and Kaine were able to secure dedicated funding for Virginia communities totaling more than $85 million dollars. 

More information regarding specific projects in Virginia that will receive Congressionally Directed Spending is available below:

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement applauding today’s House passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 spending package, which will fund the federal government, deliver crucial aid to Ukraine, and finally release hundreds of millions of dollars in funding available through the bipartisan infrastructure law:

“We are pleased to see the House of Representatives vote to pass a full-year spending package, which will prevent a costly shutdown and provide key federal funding for some of Virginia’s top priorities. This bill will also deliver crucial humanitarian aid and military assistance to the people of Ukraine as they continue to fight against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion. Once signed by the President, this bill will also allow historic infrastructure investments to proceed full steam ahead by finally funding new programs authorized under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law last year. We stand ready to work with our Senate colleagues to pass this bill quickly and send it to the President’s desk.” 

As part of FY2022 appropriations, the Senate revived a process that allows members of Congress to make Congressionally Directed Spending requests, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects. Through strong advocacy, Sens. Warner and Kaine were able to secure dedicated funding for Virginia communities totaling more than $85 million dollars. 

More information regarding specific projects in Virginia that will receive Congressionally Directed Spending is available below:

This bill also includes major funding for a number of Warner and Kaine priorities:  

  • Shipbuilding: The bill provides more than $26 billion in funding for critical Navy shipbuilding priorities, many of which have a direct connection to Virginia and the Hampton Roads region, to include: Ford-class Aircraft Carrier Construction ($2.34 billion), Aircraft Carrier Overhaul ($2.48 billion), and Virginia- ($6.33 billion) and Columbia-class ($4.77 billion) Submarine construction.
  • Virginia military construction: Provides more than $361 million in funding for 11 military construction projects across the Commonwealth, including in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Quantico, Ft. Belvoir, Sandston, Troutville, and at the Pentagon.
  • IRS backlog: Provides $12.6 billion for IRS funding. This funding will help continue to eliminate the 2020 tax return backlog, more efficiently process 2021 tax returns, and improve customer service. Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently supported sufficient funding to allow the IRS to meet the needs of taxpayers. 
  • Fighting Violence Against Women: Reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act, marking the first time in nearly a decade that VAWA has been reauthorized. The bill also provides $575 million, the highest level ever, in funding provided for multiple competitive and formula grant programs that support training for police officers and prosecutors, state coalitions to respond to domestic violence and sexual assault, rape prevention programs, lethality assessment and homicide reduction initiatives, domestic violence hotlines, and women’s shelters and transitional housing support services.
  • Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act: Includes $5 million to assist state and local governments with entering data into the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which will improve how hate crimes are collected by the FBI, establish hate crime reporting hotlines, and develop and adopt policies on identifying, investigating, and reporting hate crimes. Sens. Warner and Kaine first introduced the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act legislation in 2019. It is partially named after Heather Heyer, a Virginia constituent who was killed in the 2017 white supremacy protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
  • Ashanti Alert: Includes $1 million to help with the nationwide implementation of the Ashanti Alert system. In 2018, Sen. Warner secured unanimous Senate passage of the Ashanti Alert Act, legislation that will create a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18-64.  The bill was signed into law on December 31, 2018. 
  • Funding for Community Development Financial Institutions: Provides $295 million for the CDFI Fund, including $173 million for financial and technical assistance grants and $35 million for the Bank Enterprise Award Program. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Warner has successfully pushed for increased funding for CDFIs to support and advance access to capital for underserved communities in Virginia.
  • Military Families: Provides $1.4 billion in funding to improve and maintain housing, and to address challenges related to privatized military housing impacting servicemembers and their families. It also provides $278.1 million in housing assistance and $119.6 million for food assistance efforts for servicemembers and their families. For years, Sens. Warner and Kaine have fought to improve housing conditions. Sen. Warner has also been focused on improving food access for servicemembers and their families.
  • Pell Grant: The omnibus provides a $400 boost to the maximum Pell Grant in the 2022-23 school year to raise the maximum award to $6,895. This is the largest increase to the Pell Grant since the 2009-2010 school year. The omnibus also included the technical fix based on Sen. Kaine’s Protecting Our Gold Star Families’ Education Act to exclude the Iraq And Afghanistan Service Grant from sequestration and ensure that recipients of this grant have access to the maximum Pell Grant award. Over 137,500 Virginia students receive the Pell Grant each year.
  • Intelligence Authorization Act: Includes the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community – a priority for Sen. Warner as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • Cyber Incident Reporting: Includes Warner-sponsored legislation to require companies responsible for U.S. critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents to the government.
  • Havana Syndrome: Provides additional funding to support personnel who have been impacted by anomalous health incidents. Chairman Warner and Sen. Kaine have been outspoken on the need to support afflicted personnel. 
  • Rural Broadband: Provides more than $550 million for expansion of broadband service, including an additional $450 million for the ReConnect program to expand rural broadband access. Sens. Warner and Kaine have been longtime champions for increased access to broadband. As part of the American Rescue Plan, they secured $10 billion to help states, territories and tribal governments expand access to broadband.
  • Miners: Provides more than $11.8 million for clinics that provide critical health care for coal workers with job-related lung diseases. The bill also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prioritize maintenance of its Black Lung health screening mobile unit and urges the CDC to consider purchasing an additional unit, noting that early screening and detection of black lung can improve health outcomes and reduce mortality.
  • Colonial National Historical Park: Provides $128.7 million to help rehabilitate sections of the Colonial Parkway. This funding was included in the President’s FY22 budget request and was made available by the Great American Outdoors Act negotiated by Sen. Warner.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission: Includes $195 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an increase of $15 million from FY21. This is in addition to the $1 billion provided to ARC through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years.
  • Synthetic Nicotine: Provides a legislative fix to clarify the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to regulate products containing synthetic nicotine as tobacco products. Nicotine that can be chemically synthesized in a laboratory—rather than derived from tobacco—currently falls outside of FDA’s statutory definition of a tobacco product, which contributed to the explosion of youth use of e-cigarettes. Sen. Kaine worked with a bipartisan group of colleagues to successfully secure this language, aimed at reducing the number of children and teens addicted to harmful e-cigarettes.
  • Maternal Vaccination: Includes provisions calling on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consider the importance of vaccination awareness in carrying out public awareness campaigns. Specifically, the Secretary is asked to take into consideration the importance of increasing awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to prevent disease in pregnant and postpartum women and infants, and the need to improve vaccination rates in such communities. This provision stems from Sen. Kaine’s bill, S.345, the Maternal Vaccinations Act.
  • Norfolk Harbor and Channels Deepening Project: Provides an additional $83.7 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation and expand capacity by deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels. This will enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels and provide significant new economic opportunities to the region. This funding is in addition to the more than $69.3 million the Senators announced in January as a result of the IIJA.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Includes $32.8 million to help rehabilitate sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This funding was included in the President’s FY22 budget request and was made available by the Great American Outdoors Act negotiated by Sen. Warner.
  • Chesapeake Bay Program: Includes $88 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program. This funding is in addition to the $238 million provided to the Chesapeake Bay Program over five years through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

This legislation now heads to the Senate, which will need to pass it before sending it off to the President’s desk for approval.

 

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, both members of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement after Senate passage of legislation to fund the government through March 11 and called for a full year spending package to allow Virginia and the nation to access needed funds, including those from the bipartisan infrastructure law they helped pass:

“We’re relieved we averted a government shutdown, but we need the certainty that a full year government funding bill would provide. Virginia communities are at risk of being unable to fund critical operations. We owe it to them to do our jobs and fund the government for the full year, instead of simply kicking the can down the road.”

The following is a list of ways in which Virginia will be negatively impacted by passing a short term funding bill instead of a full year funding package. A short term deal would maintain funding at levels from the FY21 funding package — the last full year government funding package passed:

  • Maintaining funding at FY21 levels will halt any new programs, construction, and grant awards and any innovation that would come with them.
    • New programs funded in the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will not receive funding, and Virginia alone could lose approximately $364 million in roads and bridges funding and $53 million in transit funding.
    • The City of Virginia Beach is currently awaiting funding from the Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on Comprehensive Regional Coastal Storm Risk Management Study to analyze the flood risk from sea level rise and coastal storms accelerated by climate change. Funding for projects like this one would be designated in the Army Corps’ annual Work Plan, which is contingent on annual appropriations.  While it’s not guaranteed that this study would be included in an annual Work Plan, without a full year government funding package, the study certainly won’t be able to move forward and begin directing regions like Hampton Roads to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise, endangering local businesses and military assets.
  • Without a full year funding bill, our defense community will not have access to the additional $37 billion in defense funding expected under a FY22 spending bill. All new military construction projects will be halted, permanent change-of-station moves for service members and families will be delayed or suspended, and ship maintenance at our public and private yards could be deferred, risking our ability to respond to a crisis. Businesses and contractors working with our defense community, many based in Virginia, won’t have access to resources they need from the federal government.  
  • The CDC won’t receive the $1.85 billion increase in funding expected under a FY22 budget that it needs to bolster our public health infrastructure and better respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Department of Defense will not be able to redirect the $3 billion in funding for the war in Afghanistan that has since ended. If a new full year package is passed, this funding can be redirected to other critical DOD priorities.  
  • Nonprofit organizations and state and local governments will not have access to congressionally-directed spending dollars, also known as earmarks, for vital programs throughout the Commonwealth.
    • For example, Richmond will not receive $5 million for the Mayo Bridge rehabilitation; Portsmouth will not receive $199,000 to address community violence; and Longwood University will not receive $250,000 to maintain the Robert R. Moton Museum, a National Historic Landmark. Senators Warner and Kaine are pushing for the inclusion of those priorities under a full year package.
  • Without the proposed 12 percent increase in National Science Foundation funding under a full year funding package, it will be harder for Virginia universities to attract and retain researchers, slowing advancement in STEM fields of study.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) is calling on Congress to pass an omnibus spending bill for FY 2022 ahead of February 18, when existing funding is scheduled to expire. This comes as Congress weighs yet another stopgap bill to temporarily fund the government until March 11th – a move that would avert a government shutdown but prevent Virginia and states across the country from accessing hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial funding available under the bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress in November.

In a letter to the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Sen. Warner highlighted that many programs authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that he helped to negotiate will not be fully funded until Congress approves a new spending package for 2022. The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution which simply funds existing programs at the same levels as last year without adjusting or authorizing new spending – a kick-the-can-down-the-road maneuver that disproportionately hurts states like Virginia, which has a significant federal footprint.

“If Congress is unable to come to an agreement on full-year appropriations for Fiscal Year 2022, Virginia alone could lose approximately $364 million in roads and bridges funding and $53 million in transit funding. This is unacceptable, and I have repeatedly urged my colleagues to come together and pass an omnibus FY 2022 appropriations bill rather than squander these funding opportunities with another CR,” Sen. Warner wrote.

Additionally, without a new congressional spending deal, there is no funding to stand up new transportation grant programs approved by Congress as part of the infrastructure law.

“To better understand the full impact of another CR on these critical projects, I respectfully request that the Office of Management and Budget outline in detail, by Monday, February 14, all IIJA programs that are at risk of losing funding relative to funding levels authorized in IIJA, or having funding delayed under the CR framework,” he continued.

Sen. Warner has previously spoken out about the importance of avoiding painful government shutdowns and spending lapses. He introduced the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act, which would end the threat of future government shutdowns by keeping the government running in the case of a lapse in funding.

A copy of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Acting Director Young,

I write today with concerns over the potential loss of important new infrastructure funding due to Congress’ continued inaction in passing an FY22 omnibus appropriations bill.

Last year, the Senate passed and President Biden signed a historic bipartisan infrastructure package that will help deliver on the decades-old promise of serious investment in our nation’s infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $110 billion in new funding for roads and bridges, nearly $40 billion in new funding for public transit, and billions more for essential  infrastructure improvements. I was proud to be part of a bipartisan group of ten Senators – five Democrats and five Republicans – who helped put this package together with the support of the Administration.

However, I am concerned that Congress’ continued inaction on Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations could undercut many of the investments provided under the new law. Significant increases to Highway Trust Fund programs to construct roads, bridges, and transit cannot take effect under a Continuing Resolution (CR). Due to a constraint of the CR, the obligation limit on contract authority for Highway Trust Fund programs that are the largest areas of highway and transit investment distributed annually, which were authorized in the IIJA for significant funding increases, are stuck at lower Fiscal Year 2021 levels. Additionally, due to the “No New Starts” provision of the CR, newly created programs in the IIJA cannot begin.

In particular, the newly established Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grant Program, which received $7.3 billion in formula funding and $1.4 billion in competitive grants to improve the resiliency of transportation infrastructure in the IIJA, cannot begin to distribute funding without a full-year appropriations bill. Just this fiscal year, that means the potential squandering of $1.4 billion nationwide, and approximately $36 million in Virginia. This would prevent coastal communities, like those in Hampton Roads, from accessing critical funds that would support the resiliency of their transportation networks.

Similarly, the Carbon Reduction Program, another program approved on a broadly bipartisan basis to lower carbon emissions in our transportation system, stands to lose $1.2 billion nationwide this fiscal year, including $31 million in Virginia. This program will go a long way in Virginia towards helping us meet our climate goals, whether it is supporting the electrification of the Port of Virginia, truck stop electrification along the I-81 corridor, or installing bicycle and pedestrian facilities in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

If Congress is unable to come to an agreement on full-year appropriations for Fiscal Year 2022, Virginia alone could lose approximately $364 million in roads and bridges funding and $53 million in transit funding. This is unacceptable, and I have repeatedly urged my colleagues to come together and pass an omnibus FY 2022 appropriations bill rather than squander these funding opportunities with another CR. Unfortunately, I am concerned this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

To better understand the full impact of another CR on these critical projects, I respectfully request that the Office of Management and Budget outline in detail, by Monday, February 14, all IIJA programs that are at risk of losing funding relative to funding levels authorized in IIJA, or having funding delayed under the CR framework.

I thank you and your staff for your tireless efforts in implementing the IIJA and your work in allocating and distributing these funds to communities across the country.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, and I look forward to continue working with you to support these critical projects for Virginia and the country.

Sincerely,

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following release:

“After months of work, I’m encouraged that the White House has reached an agreement on a transformative budget reconciliation package to reduce child and home health care costs, invest in clean energy, combat the effects of climate change, and make life a little easier and more affordable for hardworking Americans and Virginia families. While this framework leaves room for future action on critical needs like paid family leave, I’m pleased that it does include significant investments in affordable housing and measures to close the racial wealth gap that I fought hard to include. I look forward to working with my colleagues and President Biden to get this fully paid-for framework signed into law.

“I’m pleased to hear that the House is heading towards a vote today on a bipartisan infrastructure package that I helped write. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will bring billions of dollars home to Virginia to fix our roads and bridges, invest in our ports and airports, expand broadband, and more. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve this once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure needs without further delay.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after voting in favor of a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown by keeping the government funded at current levels through December 3, 2021:

“I’m pleased to know that the government won’t shut down tonight, but disappointed that we’ve once again been forced to resort to last-ditch measures. Although we voted to avert a shutdown crisis today – sparing the livelihoods of federal workers everywhere and preserving much-needed stability for Americans – we continue to head towards economic calamity by failing to act in a bipartisan way to lift the debt ceiling. Once this stopgap bill is in place, I urge my friends on the other side of the aisle to put country first and act to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States as we have so many times in the past.” 

The resolution will now head to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

Sen. Warner has been a vocal critic of government shutdowns, which take a toll on federal workers and employees who are often left with no other recourse than to drain their savings, tank their credit, or choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof above their heads. Earlier this week, he introduced the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act, legislation to prevent future government shutdowns.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation today to put an end to future government shutdowns, such as the one that would happen later this week absent cooperation from Senate Republicans, who voted to block legislation that would have kept the government funded through December 3.

The Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act would protect federal workers and employees, who are often forced to go without pay during government shutdowns, by keeping the government running in the case of a lapse in funding. This legislation would also help prevent the chaos that shutdowns can wreak on the lives of veterans, seniors, and other Americans who rely on timely government services. Additionally, it would help prevent the kind of backlogs and delays commonly associated with government shutdowns, including those affecting the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“Our nation’s federal workers have worked day-in and day-out during the pandemic to make sure that American families and businesses can count on the government in their time of need. I can’t think of a worse way to repay these civil servants than by shutting down the government in the midst of an ongoing health and economic crisis. My legislation would spare federal workers from the volatility of government shutdowns, and preserve the stability our government necessitates as we continue to fight COVID-19,” said Sen. Warner.

In the past, government shutdowns have left federal employees no other recourse than to drain their savings, tank their credit, or choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof above their heads. The Stop STUPIDITY Act would allow federal workers to keep receiving a paycheck during shutdowns by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation. This legislation would fund all aspects of the government, except for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President – effectively forcing Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table without putting the economy at risk or hurting the American public. 

A copy of the bill text is available here.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the statement below regarding Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s request that Congress act to address the debt limit, which will soon be reached, forcing the nation to default on its fiscal responsibilities:

“As we work to emerge from this crisis once and for all, Congress has a fiscal responsibility to once again come together on a bipartisan basis to extend the debt limit. After all that we’ve done to prevent economic catastrophe, it would be an enormous and lasting mistake to sit back while our nation defaults on its fiscal obligations for the first time in history.”

 

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WASHINGTON — Today U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, members of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement after Senate passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget resolution they cosponsored that will set the stage for historic legislation to lower costs and cut taxes for American families:

“As members of the Senate Budget Committee, we were thrilled to play a pivotal role in crafting a transformative budget blueprint to improve the lives of families in Virginia and across the nation for years to come. We believe this bill will not only help us recover from the impacts of COVID-19, but it will also help our economy rebuild even stronger than before. By investing in American families, we are investing in our nation’s future. As negotiations continue in the coming weeks, we will continue advocating for the needs of families across the Commonwealth.”

The FY2022 budget resolution proposes to extend the American Rescue Plan’s expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits. The framework also includes affordable health care and childcare, expanded family and medical leave, universal pre-K, affordable higher education, affordable housing, green energy projects, climate resiliency, workforce development, and support for small businesses—all while cutting taxes for middle-class families. Following the passage of this resolution, Senate Committees will work on shaping the bill before final Senate passage.    

FY2022 Budget Resolution Proposals Include:

Families: 

·       Establishes Universal Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds and a new child care benefit for working families 

·       Makes Community College tuition-free for 2 years 

·       Extends the largest tax cut ever for families with children

·       Increases the Pell Grant award and makes investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Alaskan Native- or Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNHIs) 

·       Creates the first ever federal Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit 

Infrastructure and Jobs: 

·       Invests in workforce development and job training programs to connect workers to good-paying jobs 

·       Invests in research and development and strengthens U.S. manufacturing supply chains  

·       Expands access to capital and markets for small businesses 

·       Makes the largest ever one-time investment in Native American infrastructure projects 

·       Rehabilitates aging Veterans Administration buildings and hospitals 

·       Makes historic investments in public housing, green and sustainable housing, and housing production and affordability  

Health Care: 

·       Reduces prescription drug costs for patients and saves taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars

·       Adds a new Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit to the Medicare program 

·       Extends the recent expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the American Rescue Plan

·       Invests in home and community-based services to help seniors, persons with disabilities and home care workers 

·       Creates a new federal health program for Americans in the “Medicaid gap,” helping more people get health coverage  

Climate: 

·       Provides clean energy, manufacturing, and transportation tax incentives and grants 

·       Invests in climate smart agriculture and forest management for farmers and rural communities 

·       Creates coastal and ocean resiliency programs 

·       Makes investments to address droughts and wildfires

·       Provides funding to create environmental justice and climate resilience programs

For more information on the resolution, click here. For text of the resolution, click here

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement applauding the unanimous Senate passage of a $2.1 billion supplemental security spending package that includes much-needed funding for the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and the National Guard following the January 6 attack on the Capitol. In addition, the package includes funding for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program to relocate Afghan nationals who supported the U.S. mission during the Afghanistan war:

“We were glad to vote in favor of this supplemental security spending package today, especially following the attack on the Capitol on January 6,” said the Senators. “In addition to providing much-needed funding for the USCP and the National Guard to help keep our Capitol safe, we’re glad to see $1.125 billion go towards helping resettle Afghan nationals who risked their lives to support the U.S. during the war in Afghanistan. We will continue working in Congress to support our law enforcement, our military, and others who have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation.”

The $2.1 billion bipartisan agreement includes: 

  • $521 million to reimburse the National Guard; 
  • $70.7 million for Capitol Police to support overtime, more officers, hazard pay, and retention bonuses for the Capitol Police;
  • $35.4 for the Capitol Police for mutual aid agreements with local, state, and federal law enforcement for securing the Capitol;
  • $300 million to secure the Capitol complex;
  • $42.1 million to respond to the COVID pandemic on the Capitol complex; 
  • $1.125 billion for Afghan refugee assistance; and
  • 8,000 new Afghan Special Immigrant Visas with new reforms to the program to improve efficiency. 

A summary of the bill can be found here

Senators Warner and Kaine have been longtime supporters of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which enables Afghans who risked their lives supporting the U.S. to escape dangers they face due to their service to our nation.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, applauded the inclusion of $83.7 million in federal funds for the Norfolk Harbor project in the Biden administration’s budget proposal. The funding comes after Sen. Warner led the entire Virginia delegation in a letter requesting that the Biden administration prioritize the Norfolk Harbor Widening and Deepening project. The President’s budget proposal also includes a New Start designation, which would allow the Norfolk Harbor project to advance to its next stage of construction and receive Army Corps funding.

“This is welcome news for the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Warner. “By giving the green light on this critical designation, we can unlock much-needed federal funds to support this critical commercial and economic channel in Hampton Roads. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to make sure this project reaches the finish line.” 

Sen. Warner, a former Virginia governor, has long advocated for the Norfolk Harbor Widening and Deepening project. In February, during a virtual Senate Budget Committee hearing, Sen. Warner highlighted the project and emphasized the importance of allowing the project to receive Army Corps funding. Earlier this year, Sen. Warner also led the entire Virginia congressional delegation in sending a letter to OMB requesting a New Start designation for the Norfolk Harbor project – a request they made in 2020 as well. In 2018, Sen. Warner successfully pushed for the inclusion of the Norfolk Harbor project, in addition to other coastal resiliency programs, in the bipartisan water infrastructure bill. 

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WASHINGTON – Today Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging President Joe Biden to request at least $3 billion as part of his budget request to Congress for the adoption of 5G alternatives to Chinese-made equipment. Specifically, the Senators urged Biden to request at least $1.5 billion each for two funds established by Congress to encourage the adoption of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) equipment, which would allow additional vendors to enter the 5G market and compete with manufacturers like Huawei, which is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government.

“Current RAN infrastructure relies on closed, end-to-end hardware solutions that are expensive to operate and dominated by foreign companies. For example, Huawei, a company with inextricable links to the Chinese government and a history of disregard for the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies, offers end-to-end RAN hardware, which poses significant counterintelligence concerns. For years, we have called on telecommunications providers in the U.S., as well as our allies and partners, to reject Huawei 5G technology, but we have not provided competitively-priced, innovative alternatives that would address their needs,” the Senators wrote in a letter. “As wireless networks adapt to the growing demands for 5G connectivity, a new Open RAN architecture will allow telecommunications providers to migrate from the current hardware-centric approach into a software-centric model that  relies heavily on cloud-based services. This architecture will break down the current end-to-end proprietary stack of hardware; lower barriers to entry and prompt innovation; diversify the supply chain and decrease dependence on foreign suppliers; and spur Open RAN deployments throughout the United States, particularly in rural America. Providing resources for these Funds in your budget request presents an opportunity to realize this vision.”

Today’s letter was signed by bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee: Chairman Warner, Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The full text of the letter appears below, and a copy is available here

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.   

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

As you prepare your budget request for Fiscal Year 2022, we ask that you provide at least $1.5 billion each for both the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund and the Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund.  These Funds provide critical foundations for  robust, secure, and efficient fifth-generation (5G) networks, and will be integral to the ability of the United States and its allies to adopt Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) equipment at a scale necessary to compete with the equipment vendors of our strategic rivals, including China.

These Funds, established in Section 9202 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, are consistent with your Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, which calls for investments to retain our scientific and technological edge, build secure 21st century digital infrastructure (including secure 5G networks), and partner with democratic friends and allies.  Investments in these Funds will also enable the development and deployment of an Open RAN approach to network standardization for nationwide 5G (and successor) wireless capabilities.

Current RAN infrastructure relies on closed, end-to-end hardware solutions that are expensive to operate and dominated by foreign companies.  For example, Huawei, a company with inextricable links to the Chinese government and a history of disregard for the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies, offers end-to-end RAN hardware, which poses significant counterintelligence concerns.  For years, we have called on telecommunications providers in the U.S., as well as our allies and partners, to reject Huawei 5G technology, but we have not provided competitively-priced, innovative alternatives that would address their needs. 

As wireless networks adapt to the growing demands for 5G connectivity, a new Open RAN architecture will allow telecommunications providers to migrate from the current hardware-centric approach into a software-centric model that  relies heavily on cloud-based services.  This architecture will break down the current end-to-end proprietary stack of hardware; lower barriers to entry and prompt innovation; diversify the supply chain and decrease dependence on foreign suppliers; and spur Open RAN deployments throughout the United States, particularly in rural America.  Providing resources for these Funds in your budget request presents an opportunity to realize this vision.

We look forward to working with you in a bipartisan manner on this critical national priority. 

Cc:

Mr. Ronald A. Klain, White House Chief of Staff

Mr. Jacob J. Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Mr. Robert Fairweather, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget

The Honorable Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce

The Honorable Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

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Sen. Warner Files Legislation to Cut $806M From Outdated or Duplicative Programs

~ Programs identified for elimination by both Bush & Obama Administrations ~

Jun 16 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) filed legislation today that would cancel more than $800 million in annual spending on 17 outdated, ineffective or duplicative programs in six federal agencies. These programs have been recommended for termination by the Office of Management and Budget during both the Bush and Obama administrations, yet Congress has so far refused to act on the OMB recommendations.