WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to reports that General Motors plans to halt production temporarily at nearly all North American plants due to the shortage of semiconductor chips:
“The continuing impact of the chip shortage – epitomized most recently in the news that GM will be forced to idle plants across North America – speaks to the urgency of passing bipartisan legislation to fund new semiconductor production in the United States. While the impact of this funding will not solve the global semiconductor shortage overnight, the longer we wait, the worse this supply chain crunch will become. I would urge my House colleagues to pass the legislation funding my bill as soon as possible.”
Sen. Warner, co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and former technology entrepreneur, has long sounded the alarm about the importance of investing in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. In June, he applauded the Senate passage of the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry.
The United States Innovation and Competition Act – also known by an earlier name, the Endless Frontier Act – would help invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced research and development by investing $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act, a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil.
Jul 28 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)issued the following statement:
“We are proud to announce we have reached a bipartisan agreement on our proposal to make the strongest investment in America’s critical infrastructure in a generation. Our plan will create good-paying jobs in communities across our country without raising taxes. Reaching this agreement was no easy task—but our constituents expect us to put in the hard work and show that two parties can still work together to address the needs of the American people. We appreciate our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the administration, working with us to get this done and we look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support among our Senate colleagues for this historic legislation.”
Apr 29 2021
WASHINGTON — Prior to Infrastructure Week 2021, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance and Banking Committees, alongside Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) today reintroduced the Reinventing Economic Partnerships and Infrastructure Redevelopment (REPAIR) Actto help close America’s widening infrastructure gap, create jobs, and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century by establishing an Infrastructure Financing Authority to provide loans and loan guarantees, complement existing funding mechanisms and expand overall infrastructure investment. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).
Currently, the U.S. faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in infrastructure needs, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Furthermore, to close the nearly $2.6 trillion 10-year investment gap, meet future needs, and restore the U.S. global competitive advantage, ASCE estimates that all levels of government and the private sector must increase investment to 3.5% from 2.5% of U.S. gross domestic product by 2025. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, the U.S. lags behind twelve other nations in overall infrastructure. For years, the federal government has struggled to come up with the funding necessary to close the widening infrastructure gap, which is why the REPAIR Act will leverage public dollars to incentivize private sector infrastructure investment.
The REPAIR Act would establish a fiscally responsible Infrastructure Financing Authority (IFA) to complement existing infrastructure funding through loans and loan guarantees. Designed to become self-sustaining over time, this IFA would be independent of any federal agency and instead, would be run by an appointed Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Directors, while still being subjected to strong congressional and federal oversight. The IFA would only fund economically viable projects of at least $50 million, or $10 million for projects in rural areas, for which five percent of IFA funding would be reserved. In order to be considered for funding, proposed projects would undergo rigorous analysis, and must show clear public benefit, meet economic, technical and environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream.
“The time has come to put sizeable, long-term, tangible capital investment into our nation's infrastructure. From bumpy roads to worn down bridges to dilapidated airports to overwhelmed water and sewage systems, commuters, homeowners, travelers, and our overall economy have become too familiar with our nation's crumbling infrastructure, which costs us tens of billions of dollars every year," said Sen. Warner. “We must enact bold legislation to modernize our infrastructure, and the REPAIR Act will need to be a part of that equation.”
“Missouri is a national transportation hub and location is our top competitive advantage,” said Sen. Blunt. “To keep that advantage, we need to invest in improving the safety and reliability of our roads, bridges, rail networks, and waterways. I’m proud to join Senator Warner in introducing this bipartisan bill to help states and localities leverage public-private partnerships to advance their infrastructure priorities.”
“We need a twenty-first-century infrastructure network that meets the demands of our twenty-first-century economy—from safe bridges and modern highways, to improved rail, port, and water infrastructure,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “The REPAIR Act will take advantage of public-private partnerships to improve our infrastructure, all while creating jobs and supporting communities.”
“Fixing our crumbling roads and bridges is not only a matter of convenience for those who use them, it also impacts our economy and our competitive advantage on the global stage,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would boost investment in infrastructure and get the private sector involved to help create jobs and improve Texans’ quality of life.”
“This bipartisan bill will help fix our roads, bridges, and highways—long neglected and decades behind other nations. Through a mix of private and public funding in a dedicated infrastructure bank, we will be able to modernize and prepare for the future to create millions of high quality jobs and a more equitable, sustainable economy,” said Sen. Blumenthal.
“Now more than ever we need to identify a long-term funding solution for our infrastructure needs,” said Sen. Graham. “The REPAIR Act is a common sense proposal that would bring together private sector investments and public sector resources to finance important infrastructure projects. Our proposal would ensure taxpayer dollars are used responsibly, and help create jobs.”
“We've agreed in Congress for a long time that we need to invest in American infrastructure. Now we are finally on the cusp of meaningful action,” said Sen. Coons. “It would be a lost opportunity not to harness capital from the private sector to help finance this historic investment in modernizing our roads, bridges, rail, tunnels, broadband, electrical, and water systems. That is why I am glad to stand with colleagues from both sides of the aisle today in reintroducing the REPAIR Act. This bipartisan bill would create a dedicated infrastructure financing mechanism to leverage public dollars and incentivize private sector investment to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.”
“San Diego knows that functioning infrastructure goes hand in hand with economic growth and competitiveness. To build back better, America’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, transmission lines, water, and broadband systems need significant, long-term investments that go beyond just maintenance,” said Rep. Peters. “By establishing an infrastructure bank that connects federal funds with private capital to cover the cost of critical projects, the REPAIR Act will bring our infrastructure systems up to speed while keeping fiscal sustainability in mind.”
“If we are going to truly rebuild our nation’s infrastructure it’s going to take a broad mix of both private and public dollars,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “The REPAIR Act will equip the United States with a new financing tool to better leverage private dollars. This will allow for further investments into local infrastructure needs that will help create jobs and strengthen our communities.”
Full text of the bill is available here.
Mar 25 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, legislation that would add a total of 5,600 acres to two existing wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. A wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for public land under federal law. These additions were recommended by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014 and endorsed by members of the GW National Forest Stakeholder Collaborative, a group of forest users that has worked together for seven years to agree on acceptable locations in the GW for wilderness, timber harvest, trails, and other uses.
“These wilderness designations will preserve these beautiful wild areas of the George Washington National Forest in perpetuity,” the Senators said. “The good-faith work that went into this bill by local stakeholders shows that land-use decisions need not be adversarial and that we can provide for sustainable use of National Forest lands for many purposes while also preserving Virginia’s most treasured spaces. I’m thankful for all the local officials and conservationists who’ve worked together over the years to create this plan, and we’ll continue working to ensure this bill is signed into law.”
The Senate passed Warner and Kaine’s bill in January 2020, but the legislation was not signed into law.
Warner & Kaine Announce More Than $2.3 Million in Federal Funding to Update Community Facilities & Equipment to Better Serve Rural Virginia
Mar 24 2021
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,390,400 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide much needed infrastructure improvements around the Commonwealth. The funding was awarded through the Community Facilities Direct Loans & Grants Program and the Community Facilities Loan Guarantees Program, both administered by USDA’s Rural Development. These programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public facilities in rural communities.
“We’re glad to see significant federal funding go toward investing in the infrastructure of our rural communities,” said the Senators. “These investments will help these regions better meet the needs of the communities they serve while continuing to address public safety challenges amid the COVID pandemic.”
The funding will be awarded through a grant-loan combination. A breakdown of the funding is below:
- Greensville County will receive a loan of $1,146,200 to purchase a new E-1 ladder fire truck for the Greensville Fire Department.
- Town of Blackstone will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $78,000 to purchase a new sanitation vehicle. Additionally, Blackstone will receive two grants totaling $150,000 and two loans totaling $104,000 to purchase two new dump trucks for the town.
- Richmond County will receive a grant of $21,000 and a loan of $35,000 to purchase two law enforcement vehicles.
- Richmond County Volunteer Fire Department Inc. in Warsaw, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $375,000 to purchase a fire truck with a 3,000-gallon capacity to improve access to rural areas.
- Russell County Public Service Authority in Lebanon, Virginia will receive a grant of $75,000 and a loan of $97,700 to purchase six service trucks.
- Town of Exmore will receive a grant of $54,000 and a loan of $19,000 purchase a used street sweeper.
- Town of Brodnax will receive a grant of $66,000 to purchase three new sewer pumps and pump station controllers.
- Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a grant of $19,500 to purchase a utility terrain vehicle (UTV), trailer, and equipment.