Press Releases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A copy of the bill text is available here.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

FY2022 Budget Resolution Proposals Include:

Families: 

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

·       Makes Community College tuition-free for 2 years 

·       Extends the largest tax cut ever for families with children

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

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

Infrastructure and Jobs: 

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

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

·       Expands access to capital and markets for small businesses 

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

·       Rehabilitates aging Veterans Administration buildings and hospitals 

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

Health Care: 

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

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

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

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

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

Climate: 

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

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

·       Creates coastal and ocean resiliency programs 

·       Makes investments to address droughts and wildfires

·       Provides funding to create environmental justice and climate resilience programs

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

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

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

The $2.1 billion bipartisan agreement includes: 

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

A summary of the bill can be found here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.   

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

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

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

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

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

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

Cc:

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

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

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

The Honorable Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce

The Honorable Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

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

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

Jun 16 2010

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