Press Releases

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement in response to the violence in Charlottesville, VA:

“Virginians mourn the life taken in this morning's events and reject this hateful violence in Charlottesville. We condemn the intolerance behind it and those who would pass it off as a legitimate political movement. 

“Those who traveled to Virginia to incite unrest don't understand the Virginia-born values that make our country great.

“I have been in touch today with the Governor's Office and the Mayor, and stand prepared to help connect them with any additional federal resources that might be needed. My thoughts are with the victims, the great people of Charlottesville, and the police and first responders who restored order. I will continue to monitor the situation in Charlottesville and pray for its peaceful resolution.”

 

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Warner and  Tim Kaine released the following statement today on the uncertainty the Trump Administration has caused in the health insurance market, resulting in today’s announcement that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will leave the Virginia marketplace in 2018:

“As a result of the uncertainty, mixed signals and deliberate sabotage from the Trump Administration, some insurers will raise premiums and scale back their health insurance offerings in the individual market, which serves more than 400,000 people in Virginia. It is unfortunate that others, such as Anthem, are choosing to leave the marketplace altogether.

“President Trump has been playing politics with health care for months now, and unfortunately, Virginians will be the ones paying the price. A report issued this week by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that the Administration’s actions will lead to double-digit premium increases and more insurers withdrawing from the marketplaces. President Trump has said that he wants Obamacare to ‘implode,’ and his Administration is deliberately destabilizing the health insurance marketplace in order to achieve that goal.

“Insurers still have no idea whether the Administration plans to follow through on its threats to withhold cost-sharing reduction payments. In addition, there are troubling reports about the Trump Administration’s  deliberate efforts to undermine the upcoming open enrollment period, the first under the Trump presidency.

“Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already begun working in a bipartisan way to explore ways we can improve the health care system and provide additional stability to the health care marketplaces. President Trump should stop using the health coverage of millions of Americans as political leverage, and demonstrate leadership by working with responsible members of both parties to improve the Affordable Care Act.”

  

# # #

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on North Korea:

“North Korea’s pursuit and development of nuclear weapons represent a serious threat to the security of the United States and our allies. However, President Trump's inflammatory rhetoric undermines our global credibility and is unlikely to de-escalate the situation. We need fewer fiery words and bombastic tweets from the President and his cable TV surrogates, and more effort to work with our international partners to expand missile defense and deterrence and put forward a strategy to roll back North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea, for the eighth time since its first nuclear test in 2006. While it’s a productive step, we need to focus on enforcement, and ensure that China in particular adheres to the terms of the sanctions.

“It’s also imperative that the Trump Administration embrace a robust policymaking process to think through all of our options, and be prepared to be realistic about what response the North Korean threat might require. Improvising our way into a shooting war on the Korean peninsula without a plan puts us all at risk. Moreover, this crisis underscores the importance of sending nominations to the Senate for key national security positions, including an Ambassador to South Korea, an Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian Pacific Security Affairs.”

 

###

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement upon learning of the death last night of former Alexandria Mayor and State Senator Patsy Ticer:

“Patsy Ticer was a colleague and a friend, and a tremendous example of a lifetime of continuous public service to her community. Patsy served as a city council member and championed creation of early childhood programs when she served as Alexandria’s first female mayor. In the state Senate, she continued her advocacy for children and families, and was a recognized leader on issues of environmental protection, especially when it came to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Patsy was a leader in a remarkable group of strong women elected officials in Northern Virginia who supported my earliest political involvement, and she was never shy about offering me advice. I celebrate Patsy Ticer’s lifetime of service, and offer my condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”   

 

# # #

Warner, Isakson Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Preserve Patient Access To Home Infusion Services

Bill would create a temporary transitional payment for home infusion services

Aug 03 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), members of the Senate Finance Committee, today introduced bipartisan legislation to create a temporary transitional reimbursement structure for Medicare home infusion services.  

A version of legislation introduced by Sens. Warner and Isakson last Congress to restructure the way Medicare beneficiaries who need intravenous medication receive their infusion treatments from the comfort of their home was included in the landmark 21st Century Cures Act last year. However, the Cures bill did not properly align the change in payments with the new benefit, leading to a four-year gap during which patients would have challenges securing these life-saving treatments. This legislation ensures that patients receiving home infusion treatments maintain their access to these services until policies from the 21st Century Cures Act are implemented in 2021. 

“Home infusion is a safe and effective alternative to inpatient care for many patients,” said Sen. Warner. “This bill expands on the progress made on 21st Century Cures by creating a transitional payment system that will allow Medicare to continue paying accurately for the drugs, while also protecting patients’ access to important services. This commonsense fix will help the Medicare program provide high-quality, lower-cost care, benefiting both patients and taxpayers.”

“Infusion therapy delivered in the home setting is the most desirable, convenient and by far the most cost-effective. We made important progress for modern medicine in the 21st Century Cures Act, and the home infusion therapy legislation that Senator Warner and I included in that bill makes a real difference for patients who need safe and effective treatments,” said Sen. Isakson. “Home infusion technology is a tremendous contribution to quality health care, and this legislation builds on the Cures Act to help ensure home infusion remains accessible.”

The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), David Perdue (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

“This bill builds upon previous legislation so Medicare beneficiaries can receive infusion treatments at home,” Sen. Grassley said.  “This is an option that Medicare beneficiaries sought, and it’s a common sense, cost-effective way to provide care.  The private sector recognized this long ago.  Medicare should continue to reflect the modern practice of medicine and offer the best way of meeting a medical need at the lowest cost.”

The Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act of 2017 would create a transitional reimbursement for Medicare home infusion services. Starting in January 2017, the 21st Century Cures Act changed the payment for home infusion drugs, aligning them with payments for other drugs paid underMedicare’s Part B benefit. The 21st Century Cures Act also created a new reimbursement structure for the professional services associated with home infusion, which is set to take effect in 2021. The four-year gap between the January 2017 drug payment change and the implementation of the infusion services payment in 2021 may threaten the accessibility of home-infusion therapy. This bill would help smooth the transition to more accurate payments for home infusions drugs while also protecting patients’ access to these medications until the new home infusion benefit is implemented in 2021.  

Sens. Warner, Isakson, Roberts, Grassley, Cardin, Brown, Portman, and Bennet are all members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare.

The legislation is supported by: Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC),  American Association of Heart Failure Nurses,  American Association for Homecare,  American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN),  Amerita, Inc., American Association for Homecare, Appalachian Home Infusion, ARJ Infusion Services, Best Option Healthcare PR, Inc., Big Sky IV Care, BioScrip, BJC Home Care Services Pharmacy, Brooks Home I.V., Inc., CarePro Health Services, CGH Medical Center, Chartwell Midwest Wisconsin, LLC, Chartwell Pennsylvania, LP, Choice CriticalCare Inc., Consortium of Clinical Immunologists (CIIC), Coram, CVS Specialty Infusion, Services, Druid City Vital Care, EMED Technologies, EMZA USA LLC & DeliverIt Pharmacy Inc., Fairview Health Services, Gates Healthcare Associates, Inc., Grifols, Hobbs Pharmacy, Home Health United Xtra Care Pharmacy, Home Parenteral Services, Horizon Healthcare Services, ICU Medical Inc., Infusion Solutions, Inc., Innovatix, INS, Intra Pump Infusion Systems, Intramed Plus, IV Solutions, LLC, John Hopkins Care Group, Kaup Pharmacy, Inc., Lakeland Home, Infusion, Liberty Medical Specialties, Inc., Medical Accounts Receivable Solutions, Inc. (MARs), Medical Alternatives, MK Infusion Pharmacy, LLC., MSD, Nation's Home Infusion, NuCara IV Services, One Source Homecare Services, OptiMed Infusion Services, Option Care, OptionOne Pharmacy, Paragon Healthcare Inc., Pediatric Home Service, Pharmacare Health Specialists, PharmaScript Inc., Preferred Homecare, Premier Infusion Care, Premier Nursing Group, LLC, Premier Point Home Health, Inc., PromptCare Home Infusion, LLC, Redline Specialty Pharmacy, SBH Medical, Ltd., Sentara Home Infusion Pharmacy, Sentara HealthCare, Simfarose Pharmaceutical Specialty, Smiths Medical, Soleo Health, Spectrum Infusion, Inc., TANYR Healthcare, The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA), Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, UnityPoint at Home, University of Iowa Community HomeCare, VGM Group Inc., Vital Care, Inc., and the VNA Home Infusion Therapy Pharmacy.

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means  (H.R. 3163). The full text of the legislation is availablehere.

 

###

Sens. Warner, Moran Introduce First Comprehensive Senate Bill To Encourage Food Service Providers To Help Eradicate Food Deserts

Bipartisan legislation would provide grocers, retailers, & nonprofits with incentives to service food-scarce communities

Aug 03 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the first comprehensive legislation in the U.S. Senate to target food deserts by incentivizing food service providers such as grocers, retailers, and nonprofits to help eradicate these areas. The bipartisan Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act sets up a system of tax credits and grants for businesses and nonprofits who serve these low-income and low-access urban and rural areas. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), an estimated 37 million Americans live in a food desert.  

USDA defines a food desert as an area where a grocery store is not available within a mile in urban communities or 10 miles in rural areas. This bill expands on that definition by adding U.S. census tracts with a poverty rate of 20% (or higher) or a median family income of less than 80% of the median for the state or metro area. The legislation also defines a grocery market as a retail sales store with at least 35% of its selection (or forecasted selection) dedicated to selling fresh produce, poultry, dairy, and deli items.    

“More than one million Virginians find themselves in low-income areas with no reliable source of healthy food, placing themselves at higher risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease,” said Sen. Warner. “Every person should have access to affordable and nutritious food regardless of where they live. By incentivizing food producers and sellers to go into communities where food access is a problem, we can help guarantee that fresh fruits and vegetables are available in the places where they are needed most.”

“Living in the breadbasket of our nation, we can often forget how prevalent hunger and the lack of access to healthy food in our own communities can be,” said Sen. Moran. “However, hunger and food insecurity are very real and threaten nearly 1 in 6 Kansans. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would incentivize food providers to establish themselves in communities where people lack access to healthy, affordable food by encouraging the construction and establishment of grocery stories, food banks and farmers markets. All Kansans and Americans, regardless of where they live, deserve access to healthy food.”

“An estimated 37 million Americans live in food deserts in our country and Mayors understand how critically important it is to have the necessary tools to help address  this issue. Strengthening incentives and delivery systems for more local food production, sustainable farming practices, and better access to affordable and healthy food options, are key pillars of our organization’s work. We applaud Senators Mark Warner and Jerry Moran for their leadership on “The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act” and believe this legislation is a strong step towards the elimination of food deserts in our cities,” remarked Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director, The United States Conference of Mayors.

“Independent retail supermarkets and the wholesalers that supply them play a vital role in the communities they serve through access to food items and as a contributor to the local economy. The National Grocers Association has long supported the bipartisan efforts to find solutions to address the lack of food access in rural and urban areas and working towards strong private-public partnerships to address the barriers to entry faced by grocers in these underserved communities.  We thank Senators Warner, Moran, Casey, and Capito for their efforts on the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act and look forward to working with Congress to move this important piece of legislation forward,” said Greg Ferrara, SVP of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the National Grocers Association.

“Having access to healthy food options is critical to ending childhood hunger in America. Ending food deserts will help more low-income families shop for and prepare affordable, healthy meals; this has a powerful impact on the future health and well-being of our nation’s children. Share Our Strength supports The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act and thank Sens. Warner, Moran, Casey and Capito for their leadership on this issue,” said Billy Shore, Founder and CEO of Share our Strength.

“Bread for the World is encouraged to see a bipartisan effort to address food deserts and improve access to nutritious food in low-income and underserved communities in America. Hunger costs the U.S. economy at least $160 billion in poor health outcomes and additional health care costs every year. This bill is an important step to reduce hunger and improve health across the country, said Eric Mitchell, Director of Government Relations for Bread for the World.  

The full list of organizations supporting the Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act includes: Bread for the World, Environmental Working Group, Feeding America, Food Marketing Institute, Food Policy Action, Food Research and Action Center, the Food Trust, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Grocers Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Reinvestment Fund, and Share Our Strength. 

In order to qualify for a tax credit or grant for servicing qualifying food deserts, business and nonprofits must be certified as a “Special Access Food Provider (SAFP) by the Treasury Department and USDA. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act qualifies as SAFPs those businesses and nonprofits who service food deserts through the following:

  • New Store Construction: Companies that construct new grocery stores in a food desert will receive a onetime 15% tax credit (of the property plan and construction) after receiving certification from a regional CDE and Treasury/USDA as an SAFP.
  • Retrofitting Existing Structures: Companies that make retrofits to an existing store’s healthy food sections can receive a onetime 10% tax credit after the repairs certify the store as an SAFP. 
  • Food Banks: Food banks that build new (permanent) structures in food deserts, will be eligible to receive a onetime grant for 15% of their construction costs, after certification as an SAFP. 
  • Temporary Access Merchants: Temporary access merchants (i.e. mobile markets, farmers markets, and some food banks) that are 501©(3)s will receive grants for 10% of their service costs for that year. 

Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate for initiatives that promote healthy eating and physical wellness. As Governor, he spearheaded the Healthy Virginia initiative, which encouraged policies and practices that promoted good nutrition and regular physical activity in schools and state government. As Senator, he introduced legislation to allow the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports to solicit private funds to expands on its efforts on exercise, nutrition, and wellness.

To read the full text of the bill, click here. A summary can also be found here

For a map of areas in the United States that would qualify to be served as food deserts under this bill, click here.  

Population of Virginians living in food deserts as defined in this bill*

 

City or County

Population

Albemarle

3765

Amelia

5777

Amherst

10217

Augusta

6689

Bath

4731

Bedford City

6222

Bland

3901

Bristol

13982

Brunswick

8041

Buchanan

4029

Buckingham

8400

Buena Vista

6650

Campbell

8756

Carroll

4767

Charlotte

12586

Chesapeake

12198

Chesterfield

14188

Colonial Heights

2629

Covington

3098

Cumberland

10052

Danville

13980

Dinwiddie

5720

Essex

8026

Fairfax

5280

Floyd

15279

Franklin

25439

Franklin City

3812

Frederick

10874

Fredericksburg

7567

Goochland

4263

Grayson

5277

Halifax

32142

Hampton

29365

Harrisonburg

15330

Henrico

37342

Henry

26005

Highland

2321

Hopewell

12120

James City

4014

King and Queen

3881

Lynchburg

38672

Manassas

7678

Manassas Park

6248

Martinsville

6166

Mecklenburg

15154

Montgomery

27237

Newport News

24016

Norfolk

35038

Norton

3958

Nottoway

9783

Orange

13756

Petersburg

15759

Pittsylvania

18926

Portsmouth

9507

Prince Edward

10624

Prince George

8543

Prince William

57728

Radford

12260

Richmond City

60545

Roanoke City

41329

Rockbridge

15873

Rockingham

11530

Salem

10424

Scott

7959

Shenandoah

9068

Smyth

3913

Southampton

7958

Spotsylvania

31964

Stafford

12818

Suffolk

4795

Sussex

6377

Tazewell

12740

Virginia Beach

35279

Warren

5562

Washington

3812

Waynesboro

5240

Winchester

5066

Wise

9566

Wythe

6773

Total:

1,048,359

 

*The last year for which data is available is 2015. 

 

###

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today introduced legislation to streamline the accreditation process for dialysis facilities to improve access for Medicare patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

“Dialysis facilities provide life-saving treatments for ESRD patients,” said Roberts. “However, these facilities do not have the same accreditation process to serve Medicare patients as other care facilities, resulting in less access to care. Patients with ESRD typically visit these facilities several times a week to receive this critical treatment, but often have to travel extensive distances, particularly in rural areas. Our bill would make it easier for facilities to be approved under Medicare so patients have more convenient, accessible options for treatment.”

“This bipartisan legislation will streamline the Medicare accreditation process to allow dialysis clinics to more easily serve the patients that depend on them for life-saving care,” said Warner. “It will allow dialysis care facilities to utilize the same accreditation processes available to other Medicare providers to avoid unnecessary delays while still guaranteeing quality care.”

The bipartisan Dialysis Access Improvement Act, S. 1729, would allow dialysis providers to seek outside accreditation from organizations approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the Medicare program. Currently, other health care providers have the option of using an outside agency to survey and accredit their facility for Medicare participation. However, dialysis facilities do not have that option and have to wait months, or even years, to receive accreditation to bill Medicare for ESRD services. This bill will allow the accreditation process to keep pace with new facility openings.

The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

Roberts and Warner are both members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare.

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) and passed the House unanimously as part of a broader Medicare package (H.R. 3178). It has the support of Kidney Care Council.

The full text of the legislation is available here.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after the Senate approved legislation last night to fund the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (V-A) Veterans Choice Program and authorize 28 delayed V-A medical facility leases?

"The Veterans Choice Program was meant to reduce wait times and give veterans a broader range of options to access quality health care in their communities. The legislation the Senate approved last night, which now heads to the President's desk for his signature, provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Choice program for six months. It also provides $1.8 billion to address longstanding staffing needs at V-A hospitals, including Hampton VAMC. ?
"Moreover, it authorizes more than two dozen leases for new V-A medical facilities across the country, which has been one of my top priorities. This is long-overdue. It includes two new outpatient clinics in Hampton Roads -- which has one of the fastest-growing patient populations in the V-A system -- and in Fredericksburg, which will ease the burden at existing V-A facilities and allow veterans to receive treatment closer to their homes. These steps move us forward in our commitment to our nation's veterans." 
 
For more than a year, Sen. Warner has been spearheading a bipartisan effort in Congress to approve the overdue medical leases. In September 2016, he led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the Providing Veterans Overdue Care Act to authorize leases for 24 Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in 15 states, most of which had already been waiting for congressional approval for more than a year. At the beginning of the new Congress in January 2017, Sen. Warner teamed up with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) to reintroduce? the legislation. 
 

###

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Budget, Finance and Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committees, and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees, joined U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and 29 of their colleagues to introduce legislation to lower prescription drug costs. This bill would allow for Medicare to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs to cut costs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and bans Medicare from doing so.

The legislation would permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that expressly bans Medicare from negotiating for the best possible prices. By harnessing the bargaining power of nearly 41 million seniors, Medicare could negotiate discounts and help drive down costs of prescription drugs.

“We are the only major government in the world that does not leverage its purchasing power to negotiate prescription drug prices. This bill will allow Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies like other countries already do, helping lower drug prices across the entire healthcare system,” said Sen. Warner. “This commonsense measure is only one piece to a comprehensive approach we must take to lower prescription drug costs for seniors and make prescription drugs more affordable for all Americans.”

“The bill seeks to bring down the rising costs of prescription drugs for patients by letting Medicare negotiate for the best price,” Kaine said. “This bill seeks to cut costs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D, ensuring that our seniors don’t have to choose between prescription drugs they depend on and other essentials like food and housing.”

Warner and Kaine have been strong supporters of this policy change throughout their time in the Senate. In July, Sen. Warner urged the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look into ways in which the private sector has successfully implemented outcome-based arrangements with drug manufacturers and provide this data to lawmakers so they can figure out ways to contain prescription drug costs. Kaine has co-sponsored earlier versions of this legislation in June 2013, January 2015, and January 2017 and sent a letter urging the incoming Trump administration to work with Congress to lower prescription drug prices.

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are cosponsors of the legislation.


###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $3,122,210 million in federal funding for five Virginia fire departments through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funding, which will go to fire departments in Roanoke, Roanoke County, Dungannon, Clinchco, and Prince George, will be award through FEMA’s Assistant to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) programs.

“We are pleased to announce this essential funding to support fire departments and fire fighters in communities across Virginia,” the Senators said. “These grants will help each fire department update and purchase new equipment and support staffing needs, which strengthens their ability to keep Virginians safe.”

The following Virginia fire departments will receive funding under the AFG program:

  • The Roanoke Fire-EMS will receive $1,000,000 in funding to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus equipment and upgrade their accountability system,
  • The Dungannon Volunteer Fire Department will receive $261,905 in funding to purchase a new tanker and;
  • The Clinchco Volunteer Fire Department will receive $168,000 in funding to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus equipment;

The following Virginia fire departments will receive funding under the SAFER program:

  • The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue will receive $1,084,206 to support staffing needs and;
  • The Prince George Fire & EMS will receive $611,099 to support staffing needs.


The primary goal of FEMA’s AFG program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and State Fire Training Academies for critically-needed resources. The primary goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ ability to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards. FEMA’s SAFER program specifically provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters available in their communities.



###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, along with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, sent a bipartisan letter signed by 42 additional Senators to Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis urging him to advise the President against implementing the announcement he made via Twitter Wednesday that transgender Americans can no longer serve in the military.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, released the following statement after the Senate voted to approve Russia sanctions legislation, sending it to the President for his signature:

“This bill passed with overwhelming majorities in both the Senate and the House, sending a strong message to Vladimir Putin that attacks on our democracy will not be tolerated.

“President Trump should sign this bill as soon as it hits his desk. Otherwise, he risks encouraging Russia’s interference in future elections.”

   

###

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) today led a bipartisan group of 37 senators in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to push the Chinese government to end its ban on the sale of American poultry products. The ban was instituted by China in 2015 due to the detection of a wild duck with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influence (HPAI) and continues to be enforced today, in contradiction of World Health Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards.
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined a bipartisan group of Finance Committee members in calling on the Trump Administration to protect Virginia jobs by addressing the harmful effects of unfairly traded Canadian softwood lumber on American mills and wood product companies.
Today’s vote will have very real and disastrous consequences for millions of Americans. The only question is how many people will be harmed, since Senate Republicans voted to move forward on a bill no one has yet seen but which we already know will raise costs and kick millions off their health insurance, including millions of children, elderly and disabled Americans who depend on Medicaid.