Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement on the departure of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) CEO and General Manager, Paul J. Wiedefeld:

“I want to thank Paul Wiedefeld for his service as General Manager and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. When Paul came on board in November 2015, WMATA faced a number of serious challenges and he was the right person for the job at the right time. Under Paul’s leadership, WMATA has not only secured dedicated capital funding from local, state, and federal governments, but has adeptly continued serving the DMV community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As the WMATA Board of Directors searches for the next General Manager and CEO, it must focus on finding candidates who are equally committed to maintaining transparency, cooperating with state, local, and federal partners, and most importantly, prioritizing safety.”

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WASHINGTON – Ahead of the President’s address in Georgia, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement on the urgent need to protect voting rights:

“As a member of the greatest deliberative body in the world, I continue to believe that we must preserve the Senate’s ability to debate contrasting viewpoints on matters of public policy. However, voting is the bedrock of our democracy and it is a right that should never be up for contention. As President Biden doubles down on his efforts to safeguard democracy from the barrage of attacks by state legislatures, Virginians can be sure that I’ll be working in the Senate to do whatever it takes to protect Americans’ access to the ballot.”

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 U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement on the status of voting rights legislation in Congress:

“When it comes to voting rights, when it comes to that basic right to exercise and participate in democracy, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would ensure we uphold what makes our democracy strong.  Across the country, in states like Georgia and Texas, the rights of all Americans, but especially minority and young Americans are being attacked, and the basic tenets of our democracy are under siege. These changes to voting laws are un-American, like saying you can’t give water to someone who is waiting in line to vote, or in states like Texas where they're saying a local government can overturn the results of a local election — that is not democracy.  The Senate has shown it cannot do its basic duty, and find 60 Senators to support basic voting rights, so I support changing the rules around the filibuster for voting rights legislation. We must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure that our democracy remains strong and in line with our values as Americans.” 

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded an announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it will drop a plan to close the Air Traffic Control Tower at Richmond International Airport between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. The decision follows a November 23 letter from the two Senators that urged the FAA to maintain the Control Tower’s current 24/7 operations.

“We are glad that the FAA listened to feedback from passenger airlines, cargo carriers, fixed base operators, air traffic controllers, and other stakeholders who all opposed the plan to close the air traffic control tower at night,” said Sens. Warner and Kaine. “A busy commercial service airport like Richmond International needs to have a control tower that is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, China:

“I applaud President Biden’s decision to impose a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. A diplomatic boycott of the Games sends a powerful message to the Chinese Communist Party that the United States will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s increasing aggression globally and its disturbing human rights abuses, a list that is long and growing and includes vast and systematic repression of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang; cultural destruction in Tibet; the silencing of those deemed threatening to the CCP, such as tennis player Peng Shuai, and companies and individuals around the world who do not adhere to the CCP’s narrative; escalating threats against the people of Taiwan; and the destruction of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong.”

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the statement below, following reports that Republicans may force a government shutdown this Friday:

“With government funding set to run out this Friday, it’s my sincere hope that my Republican colleagues will not stand in the way of a measure to keep our nation’s lights on. As we head into winter and brace for the effects of the new Omicron variant, it would be negligent to shut down our government – all in the name of fighting a vaccine requirement designed to boost vaccination rates and save lives. I urge my Republican colleagues to work in good faith to avoid a harmful shutdown that could devastate federal workers and American families just three weeks ahead of the holidays.”

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. Government shutdowns can also wreak havoc for veterans, seniors, and other Americans who rely on timely government services. In September, Sen. Warner reintroduced 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), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today:

“Vladimir Putin’s aggressive rhetoric and actions are a threat to the peace and stability of Europe and the world. From Russia’s continued occupation of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, to its weaponization of gas supplies to Europe, its ongoing malign campaign of misinformation, disinformation, and cybercrime, its support of Belarus’ dictatorship, its crackdown on dissent at home, and its latest armed buildup around Ukraine, Russia’s government is playing a dangerous game. The Biden administration must work with our allies to demonstrate to Mr. Putin that further actions to destabilize Europe’s security will bring about devastating consequences for Russia’s economy and its further isolation from the civilized world.” 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued the following release:

“Members of both parties deeply respect Chair Powell for his forceful leadership at the Fed during an especially difficult time. Stability at the central bank is important as our economy continues to recover and as we seek to combat the effects of inflation driven by challenges in the global supply chain. Chair Powell is a strong choice and I look forward to working with him to make sure our economic recovery lifts up all of our communities.

“I also applaud President Biden’s nomination of Governor Brainard, who has shown great leadership when it comes to ensuring robust regulation of our financial system. She will make an excellent Vice Chair at a crucial time as the Fed addresses issues such as regulation of digital assets, the risks of climate change, and cross-border regulatory coordination.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges Thursday against two Iranians and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity for attempting to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election:

“Our intelligence officials have continually warned that other countries would seek to follow Russia’s 2016 playbook. Today’s charges and sanctions against several Iranians believed to be behind a cyber campaign to intimidate and influence American voters in the 2020 election are further evidence that attempts to interfere in our elections will continue, and we must all be on guard against them. I applaud intelligence officials and the Biden administration for taking these significant steps today to punish the actors behind Iran’s influence campaign and sending a clear message to our adversaries that interference in American elections will no longer be tolerated.” 

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 WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Jon Tester (D-MT) issued the following statement after the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. The law represents the largest investment in infrastructure in our nation’s history. 

“Today’s signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a victory for all Americans. When Congress puts America’s needs over politics, we make genuine progress. We were proud to work together on this historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure to modernize roads and bridges, strengthen rail and transit systems, upgrade ports, expand broadband access, improve water systems, and increase the resiliency of the nation’s energy grid. It strengthens our economy without raising taxes or increasing inflation. This legislation will positively impact every American.” 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after attending the White House bill signing ceremony for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

“It’s with great pride that we applaud President Biden’s signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a historic law that will bring critically-overdue funding into our communities and create a new generation of good-paying American jobs. The investments made possible by this law will bring Virginia’s infrastructure into the twenty-first century by fixing crumbling roadways, bolstering public transit systems, bridging the broadband gap, and strengthening our coastal resiliency. As former governors of Virginia, we know that getting a bill signed into law is only the beginning, and we’ll be working with folks on the ground to ensure this bill is implemented quickly and efficiently.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to communities across the Commonwealth and the nation to maintain our roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure needs, including:

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects: 

  • $110 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on equity, safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians, and first of its kind attention to climate change mitigation and resilience. This includes:
    • $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. 
    • $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
    • In Virginia, there are 577 bridges and over 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Public Transit:

  • Renews the federal funding commitment for WMATA through fiscal year 2030 at current annual levels. The federal government’s commitment to WMATA funding is based on legislation previously introduced by Senators Warner and Kaine. 
  • An estimated $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.
  • Over $39 billion over five years for public transit systems across the nation. 

Rail: 

  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail to upgrade speed, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience, including $22 billion in grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.
  • These dollars will help Virginia fund current projects announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE — such as the $1.9 billion Long Bridge project that both Senators Warner and Kaine supported by successfully passing their Long Bridge Act of 2020 as part of the FY21 Omnibus. The legislation allowed for the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to double the capacity of rail crossing between Virginia and DC, but still required federal funding to move forward.          
    • This funding will improve reliability and travel options not just in Virginia, but along the East Coast.

Airports, Ports, and Waterways:

  • $25 billion to improve our nation’s airports including runways, gates, terminals, and concessions.
  • $16.6 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.

Army Corps of Engineers:  

  • $9.55 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities like harbor dredging, coastal resiliency, and repairing damages to Corps Projects caused by natural disasters. 

Broadband: 

  • $65 billion for broadband deployment to increase access and decrease costs associated with connecting to the internet.
  • Virginia will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it. 
  • 1,908,000 or 23% of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Resilience: 

  • $47 billion for climate resilience measures that will help our communities weather increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and sea level rise, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.
  • $238 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program for ecosystem resiliency and restoration.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: 

  • $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. 
  • $2.5 billion for electric, zero-emission school buses.
  • An estimated $106 million for Virginia over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the Commonwealth. Virginia will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

Support for Minority Businesses:

  • The legislation includes a provision based on Senator Kaine and Senator Wicker’s Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, introduced in May 2021. 
  • The provision will enable the Minority Business Development Agency to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to establish business centers to support minority-owned small businesses in rural areas to provide education, training, and technical assistance to help them grow and thrive.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement applauding House passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

“With tonight’s passage in the House of Representatives, Congress is finally doing what it has been promising for generations: investing in America’s infrastructure. This bipartisan package will fix crumbling roads and bridges, improve travel by air, rail and water, expand broadband access and boost our economic recovery. We are proud that this bill is now heading to the President’s desk for signature, and we look forward to working with our colleagues and President Biden in the days and weeks ahead to enact further priorities to help Virginians.”  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to communities across the Commonwealth and the nation to maintain our roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure needs, including:

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects: 

·       $110 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on equity, safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians, and first of its kind attention to climate change mitigation and resilience. This includes:

o   $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. 

o   $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

o   In Virginia, there are 577 bridges and over 2,124 miles of highway in poor condition.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Public Transit:

·       Renews the federal funding commitment for WMATA through fiscal year 2030 at current annual levels. The federal government’s commitment to WMATA funding is based on legislation previously introduced by Senators Warner and Kaine. 

·       An estimated $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.

·       Over $39 billion over five years for public transit systems across the nation. 

Rail: 

·       $66 billion for passenger and freight rail to upgrade speed, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience, including $22 billion in grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.

·       These dollars will help Virginia fund current projects announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE — such as the $1.9 billion Long Bridge project that both Senators Warner and Kaine supported by successfully passing their Long Bridge Act of 2020 as part of the FY21 Omnibus. The legislation allowed for the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to double the capacity of rail crossing between Virginia and DC, but still required federal funding to move forward.          

o   This funding will improve reliability and travel options not just in Virginia, but along the East Coast.

Airports, Ports, and Waterways:

·       $25 billion to improve our nation’s airports including runways, gates, terminals, and concessions.

·       $17 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.

Army Corps of Engineers:  

·       $9.55 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities like harbor dredging, coastal resiliency, and repairing damages to Corps Projects caused by natural disasters. 

Broadband: 

·       $65 billion for broadband deployment to increase access and decrease costs associated with connecting to the internet.

·       Virginia will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it. 

·       1,908,000 or 23% of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.

Resilience: 

·       $47 billion for climate resilience measures that will help our communities weather increasingly severe storms, droughts, floods, fires, heat waves, and sea level rise, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.

·       $238 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program for ecosystem resiliency and restoration.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: 

·       $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. 

·       $2.5 billion for electric, zero-emission school buses.

·       An estimated $106 million for Virginia over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the Commonwealth. Virginia will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.

Support for Minority Businesses:

·       The legislation includes a provision based on Senator Kaine and Senator Wicker’s Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, introduced in May 2021. 

·       The provision will enable the Minority Business Development Agency to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to establish business centers to support minority-owned small businesses in rural areas to provide education, training, and technical assistance to help them grow and thrive.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the Senate failed to move forward with the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 bipartisan legislation to safeguard voting rights:

“The Senate has once again failed to safeguard voting rights, this time by refusing to allow debate on a bipartisan bill to protect access to the ballot. As global history has taught us, it is not enough to simply hold elections – we must see to it that those elections are free and fair. Across the country, the sacred right to vote is under attack by those who find it politically expedient to suppress voter turnout. I urge my Republican colleagues to start working in good faith. The right to vote is integral to democracy and it deserves to be treated as such.” 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement applauding the Senate confirmation of Toby J. Heytens to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit:

“We are glad to know that Toby J. Heytens will serve as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit following today’s successful confirmation in the Senate. Having recommended Mr. Heytens to the President for appointment, we trust that he will serve Virginia and the nation honorably.”

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been supporters of Heytens’ nomination. In May, the Senators sent a letter to the President, recommending Mr. Heytens for the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, following Judge Barbara M. Keenan’s decision to take senior status in August 2021. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is based in Richmond and hears federal appeals from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina. 

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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, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Ms. Patricia Tolliver Giles and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff for the two judicial vacancies in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division: 

“We are pleased that the Senate voted to confirm Ms. Patricia Tolliver Giles and Judge Michael Nachmanoff to be U.S. District Court Judges in the Eastern District of Virginia. We were proud to recommend both to the President for appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and are confident they will serve the Commonwealth and the country with distinction.” 

Senators Warner and Kaine have been supporters of both nominees. In April, the Senators sent a letter to President Biden recommending Ms. Tolliver Giles and U.S. Magistrate Judge Nachmanoff for the vacancy in the Alexandria Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia following Judge Liam O’Grady’s decision to take senior status. Shortly thereafter, another vacancy opened in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to succeed Judge Anthony Trenga, who assumed senior status June 1, 2021.

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WASHINGTON– U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), former Governor of Virginia; Tom Carper (D-Del.), former Governor of Delaware; and Angus King (I-Maine), former Governor of Maine, today released the following statement:

“As former governors, we care deeply about closing the tax gap and making sure everyone is paying their fair share. Misconceptions of what the financial reporting proposal would do should not derail us from this important goal. We are committed to working with our colleagues to address any concerns with proposals to close the tax gap and to make sure that wealthy taxpayers and corporations pay the taxes that they have the ability to pay and legally owe.”

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 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement today after a federal judge dismissed all charges against the two U.S. Park Police officers involved in the November 2017 shooting of Bijan Ghaisar: 

“My heart is with Bijan’s parents, Kelly and James, and with all of his family and friends. Bijan’s death was a senseless tragedy and it never should have happened. It has been almost four years since Bijan was killed and his family still doesn’t have justice with which to carry on, or closure about what happened that night. I will continue to fight to ensure no other family has to experience this kind of pain.

In January of 2018, Sen. Warner, along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), pushed the FBI for an update on the status of its investigation into the fatal 2017 shooting. In October of that year, Sen. Warner sent a letter to the head of the National Park Service (NPS) regarding the circumstances under which U.S. Park Police officers engaged with Bijan.

In June of 2019, Sen. Warner along with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) decried the opaque and drawn-out nature of the review in letters to both the FBI and NPS. Two months later, the FBI provided a brief response, leaving many questions unanswered. In October, NPS provided a partial response, which prompted a follow-up letter from the Senators seeking more information.

In November 2019, the Senators pledged to seek greater transparency and formally requested an FBI briefing on its investigation into the shooting – shortly after the FBI concluded its lengthy investigation without fully explain its findings, including why the two officers opened fire on Ghaisar. In February 2020, Sen. Warner voted against the nomination of Katharine MacGregor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, and in May, announced that he would place a hold on future Department of the Interior nominees until he receives adequate responses to his questions surrounding the Park Service’s handling of the shooting. Later that July, Sen. Warner pressed NPS for answers regarding its internal affairs investigation into the killing of Bijan, and the following month, he joined Sen. Grassley in a letter expressing concern over the department’s refusal to answer a number of questions in a briefing. In October, Sen. Warner reiterated the need for justice after Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Steve T. Descano brought forth two charges against the officers.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the statement below after voting for a procedural motion to advance the Freedom to Vote Act – landmark legislation to secure American elections and protect the right to vote. The legislation failed to move forward by a vote of 49-51 after falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to open debate on the bill, with no support from Republicans.

“Today, I voted to move forward with a bill to secure our elections and protect the right to vote – a cornerstone of American democracy. If we are to preserve this democracy, we must make sure that future generations of voters have the same reasonable, unencumbered access to the ballot box that so many Virginians currently enjoy as they cast their votes ahead of the November election. As we face an alarming barrage of attacks on our most solemn ideals and our most precious institutions, it’s discouraging that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would refuse to even debate this set of commonsense measures.”

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule enabling retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decision-making:

“I am glad that the Employee Benefits Security Administration has moved to reverse one of the Trump Administration’s efforts to ignore the calamitous effects of climate change, including its associated financial risks, by proposing a rule enabling retirement plans to consider Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations in investment decisions. Companies do not operate in a vacuum and investment fiduciaries should have the ability to consider sustainability of the broader community without running afoul of their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders. With the publication of this proposed rule, the Biden Administration has taken a step towards protecting the long-term financial security of pensioners and workers across the country.

“This proposed rule also highlights the continued importance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) effort to establish clear ESG disclosure requirements for publicly traded companies. Investors increasingly clamor for consistent ESG reporting because they understand companies that invest in their workers, minimize harmful environmental impacts, and enact strong worker safety measures, also tend to perform better in the long-run.” 

Under the proposed rule, retirement plan administrators will continue to act in the sole interest of the plan’s participants but will now be able to more freely include ESG factors, including in their initial analysis of investment options. Sen. Warner has previously called on Congress to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require consideration of ESG factors as part of fiduciary duty. While this rule does not require consideration of ESG factors by plan managers, it grants critical flexibility to do so.

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 WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement upon the Senate voting to confirm Jessica Aber as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and Christopher Kavanaugh as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia (WDVA):

“We are pleased the Senate has confirmed Jessica Aber and Christopher Kavanaugh to these critical positions. We were deeply impressed by their exceptional backgrounds. We believe they will serve the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia with distinction.”

Jessica Aber is a distinguished attorney with more than a dozen years of criminal justice experience in the EDVA U.S. Attorney’s Office and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. She has worked as both an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) handling complex financial fraud, violent crime, and child exploitation cases and as EDVA’s Deputy Criminal Chief supervising operations across the District’s four divisions. Ms. Aber has lived in Virginia for over 20 years, receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond and her Juris Doctor from the William & Mary Law School.     

Chris Kavanaugh is an AUSA in the Western District of Virginia. Mr. Kavanaugh is currently serving as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. Mr. Kavanaugh has practiced before every judge in the Western District and has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office since 2014, handling a wide variety of federal criminal offenses involving domestic terrorism, civil rights violations, national security, and white-collar offenses and violent crimes. Mr. Kavanaugh received his Bachelors of Science from Georgia Tech and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

In March, Warner and Kaine sent a letter to President Biden recommending candidates for the U.S. Attorney vacancies in the EDVA and WDVA. In their letter, the Senators recommended Jessica Aber for the EDVA position and Christopher Kavanaugh for the WDVA position.

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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. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement after the Judiciary Committee approved President Biden’s nominations of Virginia Solicitor General Toby J. Heytens for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Patricia Tolliver Giles and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division:

“We are pleased that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to advance the nominations of Toby Heytens, Patricia Tolliver Giles, and Michael Nachmanoff.  We recommended Mr. Heytens, Ms. Tolliver Giles, and Judge Nachmanoff to President Biden and are confident all three nominees will serve Virginia and the country with distinction. We urge our colleagues to swiftly confirm Mr. Heytens to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Ms. Tolliver Giles and Judge Nachmanoff to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.” 

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been supporters of the three nominees. In May, Sens. Warner and Kaine sent a letter to the President, recommending Mr. Heytens for the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, following Judge Barbara M. Keenan’s decision to take senior status in August 2021. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is based in Richmond and hears federal appeals from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

In April, the Senators sent a letter to President Biden, recommending Ms. Tolliver Giles and U.S. Magistrate Judge Nachmanoff for the vacancy in the Alexandria Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia following Judge Liam O’Grady’s decision to take senior status. Shortly thereafter, another vacancy opened in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to succeed Judge Anthony Trenga, who assumed senior status June 1, 2021.

These nominations will now head to the Senate floor to be considered by the full Senate.

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WASHINGTON – El Senador Mark R. Warner (D-VA), emitió la siguiente declaración ante la decisión de la parlamentaria del senado, quien falló en contra de la inclusión de medidas migratorias en la conciliación presupuestaria: 

“Estoy decepcionado por la reciente decisión de la parlamentaria. Sin embargo, debemos ser claros: la lucha por la reforma migratoria NO ha terminado. Espero trabajar con mis colegas, especialmente los senadores Dick Durbin y Alex Padilla, para ayudar a proteger a los miles de beneficiarios de TPS y DACA que llaman hogar a Virginia ”. 

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), issued the statement below, after the Senate parliamentarian ruled against the inclusion of immigration measures in the budget reconciliation bill:

“I’m disappointed by the parliamentarian’s recent ruling. However, we must be clear: the fight for immigration reform is NOT over. I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senators Dick Durbin and Alex Padilla, to help protect the thousands of TPS holders and DACA recipients who call Virginia home.”

 

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