Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), one of the Senators tasked with negotiating the U.S. jobs and competitiveness package, released the following statement after the Senate moved to begin negotiations between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, following a series of procedural votes:

“It has taken the Senate far too long to get to this point, but I’m pleased to finally have the green light to start these critical negotiations. This package stands to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., create good-paying jobs, and propel our innovation economy forward. I look forward to a productive series of negotiations and will work to get this bill to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible.”

In April, Sen. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was selected to serve on the conference committee of Senators and House members working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the jobs and competitiveness bill. This bill has been known variously as the Bipartisan Innovation Act, America COMPETES Act, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, and the Endless Frontier Act.

Once the conference committee comes to an agreement on a final version of the bill, the House and Senate will each vote on whether to send that bill to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.  

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 WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement applauding President Biden’s nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Hanes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District (EDVA):

“Judge Hanes has worked in consumer litigation, as a federal public defender, and with AmeriCorps, where she helped create and operate a nonprofit for abused children and crime victims. These experiences demonstrate her commitment to service and have prepared her for the rigor and responsibility of this role. We are eager to vote for her confirmation.”

Last year, Warner and Kaine sent a letter to President Biden recommending Judge Hanes, who has served as a Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District since 2020, for the position. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the full Senate.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement today following the decision by Attorney General Miyares to drop the state’s federal appeal in the manslaughter case against the two U.S. Park Police officers involved in the November 2017 shooting of Bijan Ghaisar: 

“Our hearts go out to Bijan Ghaisar’s loved ones, who have spent more than four years searching for closure following the fatal shooting of Bijan by two U.S. Park Police officers. We are deeply disappointed by this decision by Attorney General Miyares to end Virginia’s pursuit of justice for Bijan and his family. This decision only stands to cause further harm to the Fairfax County community while preventing a heartbroken family from reaching the closure they desperately need. We will continue to support the Ghaisar family’s pursuit of justice for Bijan. ”

In January of 2018, Sens. Warner and Kaine, 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, Sens. Warner and Grassley 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 2020, 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. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s decision to issue a Temporary Protected Status designation for Cameroon: 

“We are pleased to see the Biden administration recognize the humanitarian crisis threatening the people of Cameroon. This TPS designation will ensure that Cameroonians already living in the U.S. are not forced to return to a nation torn by unrelenting violence.” 

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for the TPS program. In November, they joined a number of their colleagues in calling on the administration to provide protections to Cameroonians fleeing violence. 

Established by the U.S. Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, TPS is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit for foreign nationals from certain countries who are unable to return safely to their home country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other extraordinary conditions.

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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 President Biden’s intent to nominate Michael Barr as Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve:

“Michael Barr has spent much of his career working to protect consumers and safeguard the long-term stability and wellbeing of our nation’s financial system. While I look forward to further reviewing his qualifications and considering his nomination, I believe he has the background to be a valuable Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve at this moment in time.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement on his intent to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

“Judge Jackson is a trailblazer and a highly-qualified jurist. Her wide-ranging endorsements – from conservative jurists, civil rights organizations, law enforcement groups, and through her previous bipartisan Senate confirmations – speak to her sterling credentials.

“During her hearing and our meeting, Judge Jackson demonstrated a strong command of constitutional law, a patient and reasoned temperament, and a warm devotion to her family and to the United States. Her confirmation would also take a long overdue step toward making the composition of the Supreme Court better reflect the people it represents by finally including a Black woman.

“After careful consideration, I believe Judge Jackson embodies the highest intellect, impartiality, and honesty, and I look forward to casting my vote in support of her nomination."

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announcement making available an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022. These visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers between April 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022:

“Last week I met with Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas and emphasized the need for the Biden administration to make additional H-2B visas available so that Virginia’s seafood businesses can meet their labor needs. Every year, my office hears from seafood businesses about how difficult it is to find and hire workers in an industry with incredibly demanding but temporary jobs like processing crabs and shucking oysters. These businesses – often small and family-owned – live in a constant state of worry, unsure whether they’ll have to cancel contracts because they can’t get the workers that they need. I thank the Biden administration for making these additional visas available, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to reform the H-2B visa program to ensure our processors have the labor certainty they need for their businesses to grow and thrive.”

The H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Visa Program allows U.S. employers to hire seasonal, non-immigrant workers during peak seasons to supplement the existing American workforce. In order to be eligible for the program, employers are required to declare that there are not enough U.S. workers available to do the temporary work, as is the case with the seafood industry, which relies on H-2B workers for tough jobs such as shucking oysters and processing crabs.

Sen. Warner has long advocated for the expansion of H-2B visas in order to ensure that seafood processors in Virginia have the seasonal workforce they need. Last year, Sen. Warner, joined by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin, and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD), urged the Biden administration to make available the maximum number of congressionally-authorized H-2B visas to support local seafood businesses.

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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 – Co-chairs of Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), commended the inclusion of $3.5 billion for Alzheimer’s and related dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus spending bill. This funding is a $289 million increase over the previous year’s appropriations, and above the funding level that the NIH estimates–pursuant to Senator Markey’s Alzheimer’s Accountability Act– it will need to effectively treat or prevent Alzheimer’s by 2025. Currently, more than 6.25 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and by 2060, that number is expected to double.

  “I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, which has been instrumental in increasing the awareness of and advancing research in Alzheimer’s,” said Senator Warner. “In 2010 I lost my mother to Alzheimer's after her 10-year battle with the illness. I saw firsthand the challenges of this terrible disease. That is one reason why I am committed to supporting clinical and medical research into Alzheimer’s and dementia-related illnesses. Investments like this $3.5 billion are crucial to better understanding, treating and ultimately curing Alzheimer’s disease.”

“As a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, I have long championed increased investments for Alzheimer’s research, which hold great promise for putting an end to this disease that has a devastating effect on millions of Americans and their families,” said Senator Collins. “We have made tremendous progress in recent years to boost funding for biomedical research, and this legislation builds on that momentum. I am encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to reaching the national goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by the year 2025.”

 “Consistent and robust investment in medical and clinical research for Alzheimer’s disease puts us on the path to defeating this devastating disease,” said Senator Markey. “Since my mother passed from Alzheimer’s in 1998 and I co-founded the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease, I have worked on a bipartisan basis alongside Alzheimer’s patients advocates, and caregivers to push for increased funding for Alzheimer’s research.  I am proud these efforts have successfully brought billions of federal research dollars to this disease. This year’s funding increase is another positive example of the work that must continue until we effectively prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer’s disease.”

A copy of the Senators’ letter requesting the funding can be found here.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the Senators helped to secure $3.2 billion for Alzheimer’s and related dementia research at NIH.

 

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 WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the statement below after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a new report with recommendations to realign and modernize the VA health care system nationwide:

“For years, I’ve pushed to make sure that Virginia’s veterans have access to quality and timely health care that they have earned through years of service to our country. I’m pleased to see the Department of Veterans Affairs issue these critical recommendations as a preliminary but notable step in meeting its obligations under the VA MISSION Act of 2018 – legislation I was proud to support. I look forward to engaging with veterans and communities around Virginia to make sure that these recommendations would live up to their stated aim of effectively meeting the future health care demands of our growing veteran population here in the Commonwealth.”

These recommendations come as a result of a nationwide analysis commissioned by Warner-supported legislation to determine whether health facilities are best aligned to meet the future needs and demands of the veteran population.  The Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) report includes the findings of a multi-year, nationwide review that evaluates a number of factors in the VA health care system, including facility quality, and geographic distribution relative to veteran population.

Among others, the report recommends constructing new VA Medical Centers (VAMC) in Newport News, Norfolk, and Roanoke, as well as relocating certain services to more modern and conveniently located facilities for veterans, and establishing new community-based outpatient clinics in places like Bedford, Mechanicsville, Petersburg, and Chesterfield. These recommendations seek to increase VA capacity, and expand access to a variety of services as needed, including primary care, residential rehabilitation treatment programs, community living centers, outpatient mental health, and outpatient surgical and specialty care services.

Over the next year, the bipartisan, presidentially appointed and congressionally approved AIR Commission will review those recommendations. During this time, stakeholders, veterans, and members of the community will have an opportunity to evaluate the report and submit any feedback to the commission, which will hold public hearings, visit VA facilities, meet with employees and VA partners, and listen to veterans in order to assess the recommendations before submitting them, along with any necessary changes, to President Biden. If the President ultimately signs off on the final recommendations, Congress will have 45 days to reject or accept the entire slate of recommendations.

During his time in the Senate, Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate for improving care for Virginia’s veterans. In 2015, confronted with wait times in Hampton Roads that were three times the national average, Sen. Warner successfully urged the VA to send down a team of experts to address the problem. He also succeeded in getting the Northern Virginia Technology Council to issue a free report detailing how to reduce wait times. Most recently, in October 2020, Sen. Warner successfully saw through the signing of his legislation to expand veterans’ access to mental health services and reduce the alarming rate of veteran suicide. He’s also previously met with senior leadership at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center and Hampton VA Medical Center to discuss wait time reduction at their facilities and suicide prevention efforts. 

 

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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. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement regarding President Biden’s executive order on ensuring responsible innovation in digital assets:

“Today’s executive order does a commendable job of balancing the potential opportunities and benefits of digital assets in financial innovation, economic inclusion, and global payments modernization against the risks and challenges they present to core U.S. interests. I applaud the executive order’s recognition that maintaining the centrality of the United States in the global financial system – and, in particular, the role of American governance standards and the primacy of the U.S. dollar – is absolutely fundamental to our efforts with regard to digital assets. The EO’s urgency with respect to a strategy for a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is especially welcome, and I look forward to working with the administration on further steps to engage on international norms and standards related to CBDCs.

“Today, we face a highly motivated adversary that is actively searching for opportunities to evade the substantial sanctions imposed by the Biden administration and our allies around the globe. We must ensure that all participants in the digital assets marketplace are actively complying with sanctions, and we need to develop clearer guardrails and improved enforcement to address fraud, illicit finance, and insecurity in the wider digital assets industry.”

Last week, Sen. Warner sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raising concerns regarding the potential use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions imposed on Russia after their invasion of Ukraine.

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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 – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement on President Biden’s State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Joe Biden spoke not just to Congress or to the American people, but to the world. I was pleased to hear the message of strength that for weeks has helped to rally our NATO allies around Democracy and in support of the Ukrainian people. I was also encouraged to hear the President outline a plan to further cement our post-COVID economic recovery and address the complex financial challenges facing Americans.

“I look forward to continuing to work in Congress alongside the Biden administration to strengthen our supply chains, foster U.S. innovation, and lower costs for hardworking Virginia families – from health care and prescription drugs, to childcare and housing.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement on President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“With his historic selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden has nominated a qualified jurist with extraordinary credentials and a brilliant legal mind who has been repeatedly confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis.

“I look forward to a timely confirmation hearing in the Senate, fulfilling our constitutional responsibility in a swift manner.”

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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 tonight:

“For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe. With his illegal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has tragically brought decades of general peace to an end. Now the U.S. and our NATO allies must stand united and resolute against Putin’s efforts to renew the Russian empire at the expense of the Ukrainian people.

“President Biden has already imposed an initial tranche of sanctions, and it is now time for us to up the pain level for the Russian government. We should also continue to bolster the defenses of our NATO allies while exploring how we can further help the Ukrainian people in their time of need.

“While there is still an opportunity for Russia to reverse course, we can no longer hold out hope that this standoff will be resolved peacefully. Therefore, we must all, on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Atlantic, work together to demonstrate to Putin that this aggression will not be allowed to go unpunished.

“What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy not only for Ukraine, but for the Russian people as well. They will pay a steep cost for Putin’s reckless ambition, in blood and in economic harm.”

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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 after Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to formally recognize the independence of Moscow-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and ordered troops into those areas:

“I just returned to Washington after several days of meetings with our partners and allies in Munich and in London. My takeaway from those meetings is this: the West has never been as resolute or as unified in standing up to Putin’s brazen, reckless and illegal course of action. The United States and our partners stand with the cause of democracy and with the people of Ukraine at this perilous moment.

“Along with my colleagues in Congress, I support President Biden’s measures to impose significant costs on Russia and its autocratic government in response to its unjustified and unacceptable aggression. Those announced today by the President, taken in coordination with our allies, are a good first step, and we must be prepared to impose additional costs on Putin if he carries through on his threats to further invade Ukraine.

“I will also support measures to bolster the readiness and deterrence of the NATO alliance. While we do not want escalation between nuclear powers, there must be no mistake regarding NATO’s readiness to protect its members and deter Russia’s aggression. Putin’s misguided and dangerous actions will only act to further unify this decades-strong alliance of nations.”

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WASHINGTON – Members of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives participating in the bipartisan Congressional Delegation to the Munich Security Conference today released this statement.

“It now appears increasingly likely that Russian forces will initiate hostilities against a free and peaceful Ukraine. We as a bipartisan delegation will bring home the same unity and resolve we have seen among our Atlantic allies against Russian aggression. We pledge to work toward whatever emergency supplemental legislation will best support our NATO allies and the people of Ukraine, and support freedom and safety around the world. No matter what happens in the coming days, we must assure that the dictator Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay a devastating price for their decisions.”

The delegation was led by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island).  Congressional participants include Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Representative James Langevin (D-Rhode Island), Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana), Representative Jason Crow (D-Colorado), Representative Buddy Carter (R-Georgia), Representative Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey), Representative Darrell Issa (R-California), and Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan).

The MSC is widely considered the world’s leading forum for international security policy. The conference is a “marketplace of ideas” where initiatives and solutions are developed and opinions are exchanged. It also provides a venue for diplomatic initiatives and ideas to cooperatively address the world’s most pressing security concerns.

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WASHINGTON– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Jack Reed and Jim Inhofe, Senate Banking Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown and Pat Toomey, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Robert Menendez and Jim Risch, and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman Mark Warner and Marco Rubio today released the following joint statement that the U.S. Senate stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine:

“In this dark hour, we are sending a bipartisan message of solidarity and resolve to the people of Ukraine, and an equally clear warning to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

“Should Vladimir Putin further escalate his ongoing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia must be made to pay a severe price. We are prepared to fully support the immediate imposition of strong, robust, and effective sanctions on Russia, as well as tough restrictions and controls on exports to Russia, and we will urge our allies and partners in Europe and around the world to join us.

“In the face of Russian escalation against Ukraine, we will continue to support robust security, economic, and humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine. The United States and our partners should also move quickly to ensure that the Government of Ukraine receives sustained emergency assistance to defend against an illegal Russian invasion.

“Make no mistake: the United States Senate stands with the people of Ukraine and our NATO allies and partners most threatened by Russian aggression. Our troops stand ready to reinforce the defenses of our Eastern European allies and we are prepared to respond decisively to Russian efforts to undermine the security of the United States at home and abroad.  We also call upon our allies to join us in bolstering NATO’s eastern flank.

“The international order established in the aftermath of World War II has not faced such a grave threat since the Cold War. This order, which protects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, has enabled an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity for the United States and its allies. Unfortunately, Russia is threatening this system, and the United States is prepared to meet this challenge with bipartisan and unified resolve.”

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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:

“It’s only a matter of when, not if, we face another widespread cyber breach that threatens our national security. I was glad to see this NTSB-like function included in the President’s May 2020 executive order on cybersecurity, and this is a good first step to establishing such a capability.  I look forward to monitoring how this board develops over the coming months.”

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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, released the below statement following a hearing on the nominations of the Honorable Sarah Bloom Raskin for Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision and Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson for Governors of the Federal Reserve:

“As our economy continues to recover, we need leaders at the Federal Reserve who will ensure stability in our central banking system and work to combat the effects of inflation driven by challenges in the global supply chain. Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson have long and varied experiences that make them ideal nominees for the Federal Reserve and I look forward working with them to make sure our economic recovery lifts up all of our communities.”

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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:

“Nothing is more important than ensuring that we protect and care for those individuals who risk their lives on our behalf. As we seek to understand the source and causes of these anomalous health incidents (AHIs), I welcome the findings and recommendations of the outside experts assembled by the intelligence community. I am glad that the Biden administration has been treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves, and has moved to implement the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 requiring a point person to be appointed at each relevant agency to coordinate the government’s efforts to address this challenge. Today’s findings underscore the need to continue investigating the source of these symptoms, and prioritizing access to care for those suffering from these medical conditions.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the below statement on the bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs):

“I am deeply disturbed by the bomb threats that have been made against more than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities. These acts of attempted terror, issued as we enter Black History Month, underscore the alarming reality that racially-motivated violence and extremism is on the rise across the country. Although at this time no explosive devices have been found, FBI and their local law enforcement partners are taking these hate crimes extremely seriously. As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have requested and expect to receive a briefing at the appropriate time, and I remain committed to combatting extremism and hate violence in all of its forms.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement today on the planned retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: 

“I am very grateful to Associate Justice Stephen Breyer for his nearly 30 years of service on the Supreme Court. With a distinguished career rooted in public service, Associate Justice Breyer stands as a model for young people all across America who seek to strengthen democracy. I trust that President Biden will carefully select a nominee to replace Associate Justice Breyer, and I look forward to closely reviewing the nominee’s qualifications and experience.”

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