Press Releases

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement:

“Since Russia launched its brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine nine months ago, there has been fear that this conflict could spill over into neighboring NATO countries and result in a dangerous escalation that would lead to devastation and destruction across Europe. As U.S. national security officials engage directly with Polish allies to confirm details about today’s events, the deaths of civilians following a reported Russian strike inside Poland underscore the disastrous and destabilizing effects of Putin’s unjust war. The United States has been clear in our continued support for Ukraine, as well as in our commitments to our NATO allies.”


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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Department of Justice unsealed charges against Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence officers who attempted to sabotage Huawei investigation:

“The charges announced today by the Department of Justice further illustrate Huawei’s inextricable ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its brazen but unsurprising disregard for the rule of law. The Intelligence Community has repeatedly warned about the economic and national security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei, which are backed by the CCP and exploited in the interest of authoritarian goals and ambitions. I applaud the dedicated work of the Department of Justice and law enforcement officials, and I look forward to seeing any investigations against Huawei proceed unimpeded.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to ban new sales of Chinese-based Huawei and ZTE technologies on the bases of national security:

“Several years ago a bipartisan group of senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence began raising the alarm about the threat that Huawei and ZTE posed to our national security. I’m proud of the steps that Congress has since taken to confront this challenge, including passing Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 – which I co-wrote to incentivize carriers to replace Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks. I’m glad to see the Federal Communications Commission finally take this step to protect our networks and national security.”

Sen. Warner, a former telecommunications entrepreneur, has long been outspoken about the dangers of allowing the use of Huawei equipment in U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and that of U.S. allies.

Last year, Sen. Warner, joined by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), introduced legislation to prohibit federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act from being used to purchase Chinese telecommunications equipment, including from Huawei and ZTE. In 2020, Sen. Warner and a bipartisan group of leading national security Senators introduced legislation to encourage and support U.S. innovation in the race for 5G, providing over $1 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S.  Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the latest developments on the war in Ukraine as the winter months approach, and the impact of the war on global energy prices.

On the current status of the Ukraine war:

“Things [for Russia] are not going to get better. And I think this is why, you know there are a lot things that I disagree with the administration on, but moving us in concert with our European allies has been really important. The solidarity of NATO is really important. What happens next? We're in uncharted territory. The next month between now and when the winter sets in in the middle of November, we hope the Ukrainians will be able to take Kherson and drive the Russian troops back across the Dnieper River, but it's going to be a wild few weeks.”

On additional aid to Ukraine:

“I think we should send more anti-missile defense weapons, but I do think that we've got to walk this careful line where you don't give carte blanche to the Ukrainians to have additional strikes into Russia itself. And at the same time, you've got to not get so ahead of the Europeans that they all of a sudden say, okay, America, you put up $65 billion, we're going to make you carry the whole burden. So I do think this is a navigation of a very, very challenging time. And on this one, I give the administration high marks.”

On the impact of Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production:

“I'm as angry at Saudi Arabia and their irresponsibility as anyone. But I think even as you guys said on this show yesterday, you know, the truth is, certain areas, obviously, we have huge conflicts with Saudi Arabia -- but in other areas, as a counterbalance to Iran, in terms of being an ally over many decades. We've got to sort this through in a way that puts pressure on the Saudis, but does not drive them more into the Russia camp. One of the things I think would be, you know -- and I don't think this would mean backing off from our climate change goals -- but if we can replace some of those fuel sources coming out of the Middle East with American fuel sources, particularly as we transition to cleaner energy generation, I think that's good national security, that's good economic security, and it would be a tangible pushback against the Saudis.”

Video of Sen. Warner’s interview on Morning Joe can be found here. A transcript follows.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, joining us now, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. He's Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and to Willie's point, Senator, we were talking earlier with Admiral Kirby about this. It seems Vladimir Putin has been in a corner, and everyone talks about what the off-ramp is, how this ends. Obviously, most people would like this to end with Russia moving back out of Ukraine. And yet he continues to push himself more into a corner, almost without -- indiscriminately, without any thought for himself about an off-ramp, with a war that is going terribly for him. How do you deal with a leader that doesn't seem to care that he's in a corner?

U.S. SEN. MARK WARNER:  Carefully. You know, this is a guy that's been an autocratic leader for 20-plus years. In the COVID environment, his number of advisers he's talking to gets smaller and smaller. You've seen not only the Russian military perform horribly on the field, you have seen a united West. You've seen NATO and our allies in Asia, all stand up against him. And now with this conscription, you know, what's not -- what's gotten some public reporting, but Russia has lost over 200,000 military-aged men, exiting the country.

BRZEZINSKI: More people leaving --

SEN. WARNER: Than being conscripted. So how he maintains that, the attacks, nobody is attacking the boss yet, nobody is attacking Putin, but the folks around the boss, some of his military advisers, they're under constant assault as well, from within Russia.

BRZEZINKSKI: But that seems dicey, too.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So what scares you the most about a cornered Vladimir Putin? Because things are not going to get better for Russia.

SEN. WARNER: Things are not going to get better. And I think this is why, you know there are a lot things that I disagree with the administration on, but moving us in concert with our European allies has been really important. The solidarity of NATO is really important. What happens next? We're in uncharted territory. The next month between now and when the winter sets in in the middle of November, we hope the Ukrainians will be able to take Kherson and drive the Russian troops back across the Dnieper River, but it's going to be a wild few weeks.

SCARBOROUGH: Any suggestion that when winter comes, when things freeze in place, that negotiations can begin?

SEN. WARNER:  Again, I think there's some speculation. Is there a fully thought-through plan? Absolutely not. And again, with every Ukrainian success, frankly, the maneuverability of Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, gets mitigated, as well.

BRZEZINKSI: And you say it's going to be a wild few weeks.

SEN. WARNER: Because once you get mid-November, at least for the next few months, because of the winter, it will -- troops will freeze in place in a sense, and then we'll see also some of the ramifications of, will the Europeans stay strong when their energy costs go through the roof this winter? One of the reasons why, frankly, it would be good national policy as well as economic policy, we ought to continue to make sure that American oil and gas are in this mixture – and why we need to go ahead and revisit permitting reforms, so that particularly in terms of American natural gas, we can supply that supply, rather than counting on friends, or not-so-good of friends in the Middle East.

SCARBOROUGH: Jonathan Lemire is in New York and has a question for you. I hope he has a question for you.

JONATHAN LAMIRE: Senator Warner, good to see you. There's been a debate in Washington, as you well know, for several months about the U.S. sending enough weapons to Ukraine to defend itself, but not so much that it could perhaps escalate the war with incursions or attacks deep into Russia. In the wake of what happed over the weekend, U.S. officials are saying, hey, we're going to send more defense weapons, but still seem to hesitate going further than that, despite Kyiv asking for it. Where do you stand? What sort of weapons should the United States be sending?

SEN. WARNER: Jonathan, I think we should send more anti-missile defense weapons, but I do think that we've got to walk this careful line where you don't give carte blanche to the Ukrainians to have additional strikes into Russia itself. And at the same time, you've got to not get so ahead of the Europeans that they all of a sudden say, okay, America, you put up $65 billion, we're going to make you carry the whole burden. So I do think this is a navigation of a very, very challenging time. And on this one, I give the administration high marks.

WILLIE GEIST: Mr. Chairman, Let me ask you about one of your colleagues in the Senate, a fellow chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, on the topic of Saudi Arabia. Who after Saudi Arabia's announcement of OPEC's, OPEC plus's handling of oil prices and the barrels of oil that they release or won't release said basically, we need to freeze our relationship with Saudi Arabia, including arms sales. Says they're underwriting Russia's war. They're backing Russia against Ukraine. Do you agree with him that we need to freeze our relations with Saudi Arabia?

SEN. WARNER: Listen, I'm as angry at Saudi Arabia and their irresponsibility as anyone. But I think even as you guys said on this show yesterday, you know, the truth is, certain areas, obviously, we have huge conflicts with Saudi Arabia -- but in other areas, as a counterbalance to Iran, in terms of being an ally over many decades. We've got to sort this through in a way that puts pressure on the Saudis, but does not drive them more into the Russia camp. One of the things I think would be, you know -- and I don't think this would mean backing off from our climate change goals -- but if we can replace some of those fuel sources coming out of the Middle East with American fuel sources, particularly as we transition to cleaner energy generation, I think that's good national security, that's good economic security, and it would be a tangible pushback against the Saudis.

SCARBOROUGH: And shouldn't we have more -- for national security purposes, and also, so we're less dependent?

SEN. WARNER: Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH: Shouldn't we increase energy production in the United States, understanding, let me say to my friends, understanding, we're in the middle of an energy transition right now. But we have the ability to be less dependent on Russia. To be less dependent on Saudi Arabia, to be less dependent on Venezuela. These people that are talking about, oh, we can't drill at home, because it's bad for the environment, let's get dirty oil from Venezuela.

SEN. WARNER: Well the wild thing is, Joe, particularly, let's go back to natural gas for a moment. We don't even need to drill more if we simply utilize what we've already drilled. We've got to have the transmission capability to get that to places in our country, and frankly to be able to export to our European friends. You’re going to see costs, I've been told, in January in the UK, where an average home will get $5,000 per-year energy costs. Now, the British government will subsidize that, bring it back down to a reasonable number. But how long can any government do that with a very cold winter in front of them.

SCARBOROUGH: Let's talk about China. How do they play into what's happening right now in Russia.

SEN. WARNER: I think you've got the Chinese economic team, who are concerned about this alliance or friendship that has no bounds. I think Xi and Putin said.

SCARBOROUGH: It does have bounds.

SEN. WARNER:  The personal relationship between these two autocratic leaders is a real challenge for all of us who live in democracies. I think the long-term challenge of our time, candidly is not Russia, but it is going to be China's attempted to dominate technology field after technology field. We in this country have stepped up on semiconductors. We've pointed out the problems with Huawei in terms of next-generation wireless. I know my committee is taking a big look at synthetic biology and next generation energy generation, and making sure that we in our country maintain the technology edge. And that's going to take the kind of investments perhaps in other domains the way we just did in semiconductors.

BRZEZINSKI: Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

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Earlier this month, Apple publicly acknowledged that it is considering procuring NAND memory chips for future iPhones from Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), a state-owned company with extensive links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its armed wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). 

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines calling for a public analysis and review of YMTC and the risks it presents to U.S. national security. 

  • “[W]e write to convey that any decision to partner with YMTC, no matter the intended market of the product offerings developed by such a partnership, would affirm and reward the PRC’s distortive and unfair trade practices, which undermine U.S. companies globally by creating significant advantages to Chinese firms at the expense of foreign competitors. Last year, the Biden Administration described YMTC as China’s ‘national champion memory chip producer,’ which supports the CCP’s efforts to counter U.S. innovation and leadership in this space.” 
  • “Policymakers have for several years now conveyed to the American public the importance of a competitive semiconductor industry to U.S. national and economic security. A partnership between Apple and YMTC would endanger this critical sector and risk nullifying efforts to support it, jeopardizing the health of chipmakers in the U.S. and allied countries and advancing Beijing’s goal of controlling the global semiconductor market. Buoyed by a major contract with a leading global equipment vendor such as Apple, YMTC’s success would threaten the 24,000 American jobs that support memory chip production. More broadly, such a partnership would also threaten the opportunities this market provides for research at U.S. universities and further development of memory chips for civilian and military uses.”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) also signed the letter.

Full text of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Director Haines:

We write to convey our extreme concern about the possibility that Apple Inc. will soon procure 3D NAND memory chips from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned manufacturer Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Such a decision would introduce significant privacy and security vulnerabilities to the global digital supply chain that Apple helps shape given YMTC’s extensive, but often opaque, ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and concerning PRC-backed entities. In addition, we write to convey that any decision to partner with YMTC, no matter the intended market of the product offerings developed by such a partnership, would affirm and reward the PRC’s distortive and unfair trade practices, which undermine U.S. companies globally by creating significant advantages to Chinese firms at the expense of foreign competitors. Last year, the Biden Administration described YMTC as China’s “national champion memory chip producer,” which supports the CCP’s efforts to counter U.S. innovation and leadership in this space. 

In July 2022, we wrote to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to warn of the threat YMTC poses to U.S. national security and to request that it be added to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List. We made these arguments based on the company’s central role in CCP efforts to supplant U.S. technological leadership, including through unfair trade practices. YMTC also appears to have strong ties to the PRC’s military-civil fusion program, as shown through its investors and partnerships; its parent company, Tsinghua Unigroup, allegedly supplies the PRC military.

The PRC has heavily subsidized YMTC for several years, enabling the company to rapidly expand production and sales in China and internationally. Since its formation in 2016, YMTC’s nearly $24 billion in PRC subsidies triggered explosive growth, helping to prepare the company’s plan to launch a second plant in Wuhan as early as the end of this year. At a time when overcapacity is potentially disrupting the market for chipmakers, these subsidies could enable YMTC to distort this often highly cyclical market, selling memory chips below cost in an effort to push out competitors. In addition, in April, reports alleged that YMTC may have breached the U.S.’s foreign direct product rule for supplying smartphone and electronics components to Huawei.

For these reasons, we request that you coordinate among the relevant intelligence community (IC) components a comprehensive review and analysis of YMTC and the threat that a suppler partnership arrangement between it and Apple would pose to U.S. national and economic security. The review should consider, among other issues:

  • How the CCP supports the YMTC as part of its plan to bolster and indigenize China’s semiconductor industry and to displace chipmakers from the United States and allied and partnered nations;
  • YMTC’s role in assisting other Chinese firms, including Huawei, to evade U.S. sanctions;
  • YMTC’s role in the PRC’s military-civil fusion program and its linkages to the People’s Liberation Army; and
  • The risks to U.S. national and economic security of this potential procurement.

Policymakers have for several years now conveyed to the American public the importance of a competitive semiconductor industry to U.S. national and economic security. A partnership between Apple and YMTC would endanger this critical sector and risk nullifying efforts to support it, jeopardizing the health of chipmakers in the U.S. and allied countries and advancing Beijing’s goal of controlling the global semiconductor market. Buoyed by a major contract with a leading global equipment vendor such as Apple, YMTC’s success would threaten the 24,000 American jobs that support memory chip production. More broadly, such a partnership would also threaten the opportunities this market provides for research at U.S. universities and further development of memory chips for civilian and military uses.

We once again request that you convene the relevant IC components to review and assess YMTC’s ties to the CCP and produce a comprehensive public report on YMTC, which can be used to inform federal agencies and the public as to the nature and risks associated with YMTC and similar companies.  

We look forward to your attention to this critical matter and request a response by October 1, 2022.

Sincerely,

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WASHINGTON - Following unprecedented flooding that has left one-third of Pakistan underwater and affected approximately 33 million people, today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner joined Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and 10 Senate colleagues in writing a letter calling on President Biden to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Pakistani nationals currently residing in the United States. Implementing TPS would allow Pakistani nationals to remain in the U.S. until Pakistan recovers from this environmental disaster. The ongoing crisis has left many regions of the country uninhabitable and unsafe, caused at least an estimated $10 billion in damage, and contaminated the water supply, spreading an array of waterborne illnesses, including diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections, skin and eye infections, and typhoid.

In addition to Sens. Warner and Gillibrand, the letter to President Biden was also signed by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Tina Smith (D-MN).

“Granting TPS to Pakistani nationals in need is a small but consequential step that the United States can take to immediately reduce the human suffering caused by this natural disaster and would reaffirm our stance as a global leader committed to humanitarian relief efforts and protections,” wrote the senators. “Should Pakistan officially request TPS designation given the current conditions the country is facing, we urge the Biden administration to prioritize such a request while continuing to monitor ongoing developments and deliberate on the best way to aid the Pakistani community.”

This action is supported by the National Immigration Forum, Asian American Federation (AAF), the Climate Justice Collaborative at the National Partnership for New Americans, Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

The full text of the letter is available below:

Dear President Biden:

We write to respectfully urge your Administration to consider designating the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Unprecedented flooding in Pakistan is currently impacting approximately 33 million people and has killed more than 1,500 people, including 536 children. Given the severity of this crisis, the United States must ensure that Pakistani nationals present in the United States are not forced to return to conditions that could imperil their lives.

Current conditions in Pakistan represent an ongoing environmental disaster – one of the statutory bases for TPS designation. Extreme flooding has left most regions of the country uninhabitable and unsafe. According to data from the European Space Agency, approximately one-third of Pakistan is underwater. The Indus River is exceeding its capacity, which has led officials to evacuate entire villages in hopes of mitigating further disaster. Half of Pakistan’s municipal districts have declared a “state of calamity” and the country’s National Disaster Management Authority estimates that one in seven Pakistanis has been affected. According to Pakistan’s finance minister, the damage is likely to exceed $10 billion, which is equivalent to 4 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product.

Even as Pakistanis are reeling from the physical destruction caused by the flooding, they are also facing the spread of waterborne illness that this environmental crisis has exacerbated. Tens of thousands have been stricken by diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections (ARI), skin and eye infections, typhoid, and other health issues resulting from contamination of the water supply. While we applaud your Administration’s decision to provide a much needed $30 million in humanitarian assistance and dispatch a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team, further action is needed to mitigate the harmful effects of this crisis.

Forcing Pakistanis to return to a country that is experiencing what U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called a relentless impact of “epochal” levels of rain and flooding would be a grievous obstruction to relief efforts. It would also risk fueling further displacement, destabilizing the region, and undermining key U.S. national security interests.8 The use and implementation of TPS as a humanitarian tool would provide necessary relief to individuals that are unable to return to their country due to the extraordinary environmental and public health conditions. 

Additionally, designating Pakistan for TPS would also contribute to your Administration’s multi-pronged disaster response. It would decrease the strain on Pakistani infrastructure and provide a safe haven for those who cannot return to their homes or whose homes have been destroyed. Should Pakistan officially request TPS designation given the current conditions that the country is facing, we urge you to prioritize such a request and take it into serious consideration while you continue to monitor ongoing developments and deliberate on the best way to aid the Pakistani community. TPS is a small but consequential step that the United States can take to immediately reduce the human suffering caused by this natural disaster and would reaffirm our stance as a global leader committed to humanitarian relief efforts and protections.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your timely reply.

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WASHINGTON – Today, on the 21st anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation to discuss evolving threats facing our country as well the recent request by the Intelligence Committee to assess the damage of the classified documents potentially mishandled by former President Trump.

On the national security threats facing our country:

“The stunning thing to me is, here we are 20 years later and the attack on the symbol of our democracy is not coming from terrorists but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th. So, I believe we are stronger. I believe our Intelligence Community has performed remarkably. I think the threat of terror has diminished, but I still think we have new challenges in terms of nation and state challenges, Russia and longer term a technology competition with China. But I do worry about some of the activity in this country, the election deniers, the insurgency that took place on January 6th. That is something I hope we can see that same kind of unity of spirit.”

On the Intelligence Committee request for a damage assessment of the classified documents potentially mishandled by former President Trump:

“The vice chairman and I have asked for a briefing of the damages that could have arisen from mishandling of this information. And I believe it's our congressional duty to have that oversight. Remember, what's at stake here is the fact that if some of these documents involved human intelligence, and that information got out, people will die. If there were penetration of our signals intelligence, literally years of work could be destroyed. We talk about the enormous advances our Intelligence Community has made helping our Ukrainian friends. That comes about because we share intelligence. If there's intelligence that has been shared with us by allies and that is mishandled, all of that could be in jeopardy.”

Video of Sen. Warner’s interview on Face the Nation can be found here. A transcript follows.

CBS’s Face the Nation

MARGARET BRENNAN: We begin with the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner of Virginia. Good morning to you, Senator. 9/11 introduced to many Americans for the very first time this sense of vulnerability at home and it launched the global war on terror. I wonder how vulnerable you think America is now. Are we paying enough attention to the Middle East and to Afghanistan?

SEN. MARK WARNER: Well Margaret, I remember, as most Americans do, where they were on 9/11. I was in it is middle of a political campaign and suddenly the differences with my opponent seemed very small in comparison, and our country came together. In many ways, we defeated the terrorists because of the resilience of the American public, because of our Intelligence Community—and we are safer, better prepared. The stunning thing to me is, here we are 20 years later and the attack on the symbol of our democracy is not coming from terrorists but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th. So, I believe we are stronger. I believe our Intelligence Community has performed remarkably. I think the threat of terror has diminished, but I still think we have new challenges in terms of nation and state challenges, Russia and longer term a technology competition with China. But I do worry about some of the activity in this country, the election deniers, the insurgency that took place on January 6th. That is something I hope we can see that same kind of unity of spirit.

BRENNAN: As you're pointing out, America came together after 9/11 and we are incredibly divided right now. One thing that is potentially quite explosive is this ongoing investigation by the Justice Department of the former president and his handling of classified information. You've asked for a briefing from the Intelligence Community. Given how sensitive this is, why should anything be shared with Congress given that this is an ongoing investigation?

SEN WARNER: Because as the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and I'm very proud of our committee, we're the last functioning bipartisan committee, I believe, in the whole Congress. The vice chairman and I have asked for a briefing of the damages that could have arisen from mishandling of this information. And I believe it's our congressional duty to have that oversight. Remember, what's at stake here is the fact that if some of these documents involved human intelligence, and that information got out, people will die. If there were penetration of our signals intelligence, literally years of work could be destroyed. We talk about the enormous advances our Intelligence Community has made helping our Ukrainian friends. That comes about because we share intelligence. If there's intelligence that has been shared with us by allies and that is mishandled, all of that could be in jeopardy. Now we don't know what's in those documents, but I think it is incumbent, as soon as we get approval -- let me be clear, as soon as we get approval, my understanding is there is some question because of the special master appointment by the judge in Florida, whether they can brief at this point. We need clarification on that from that judge as quickly as possible because it is essential that the Intelligence Community leadership at least gets a briefing of the damage assessment.

 BRENNAN: That damage assessment, it has been paused, as has the classification review, and it will take some time. So, A, I'm assuming in your answer there you're saying, there have been no promises of a briefing to be scheduled, is that right?

SEN. WARNER: I believe we will get a briefing as soon as there's clarification whether this can be performed or not in light of the ruling of the judge in Florida.

BRENNAN: Why should that happen? Because I want to get o something you said, which was the “last bipartisan committee”. You and Marco Rubio, your partner in this request for a briefing, put forth this letter asking for the damage assessment. But lately your colleague has been making some comments that don't sound quite as bipartisan. He's compared the Justice Department to corrupt regimes in Latin America when it comes to this investigation, he's accused DOJ of leaking sensitive details. He says the only reason to leak it is to create a narrative for political purpose. When information gets shared with Congress, as you know, the accusation is, it will get leaked. So, A, it looks like you're losing that bipartisanship and, B, if you brief Congress, isn't it going to leak further and worsen?

SEN. WARNER: The record of our Intelligence Committee of keeping secret, secret, that's why the Intelligence Community shares information with us. Remember, this was the committee bipartisan that did the Russia Investigation

BRENNAN: But you know your oversight capability, many would argue, including former heads of counterintelligence, FBI, the line is drawn when it's an active investigation. They don’t owe you a briefing.

SEN. WARNER: We do not -- I do not want any kind of insight into an active investigation by the Justice Department. I do want the damage assessment of what would happen to our ability to protect the nation. Here we are 21 years after 9/11. If classified secrets, top secret secrets are somehow mishandled, I pointed out earlier, people could die, sources of intelligence could disappear, the willingness of our allies to share intelligence could be undermined, and I think we need that assessment to make sure –

BRENNAN: Which you will get, but it’s going to take some time.

SEN. WARNER: But I think we need it sooner than later.

BRENNAN: To that point, because it's so sensitive, because the country is so divided, because you already have in many ways a target being put on the back of law enforcement, isn't it more important to get it right, to be deliberate and not to be fast here? I want the details just as much as you do.

SEN. WARNER: Listen, I do not think we should have as the Intelligence Committee, a briefing on the ongoing investigation. What our responsibility is, is to assess whether there's been damage done to our intelligence collection and maintenance of secrets. That is a damage assessment that frankly, the judge in Florida has said can continue.

BRENNAN: Before November?

SEN. WARNER: Listen. Once we get clarification from the judge in Florida, and again, I don't think we can cherry-pick what part of the legal system we like or dislike. I have trust in our legal system. I may not agree with the decision the judge in Florida but I respect our Department of Justice. I respect the FBI. I think they are trying under extraordinarily difficult circumstances to get it right and we owe them the benefit of the doubt.

BRENNAN: Senator, thank you for coming on and I know we are going to continue to track this and any potential impact to national security. 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)  and more than 30 of their colleagues in a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership in support of closing the $3 billion funding shortfall impacting the Secure & Trusted Communications Networks Act’s Reimbursement Program. The shortfall leaves wireless networks—often in rural areas—vulnerable to espionage or disruption.

Due to security concerns, in 2020 the FCC prohibited the purchase of equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE and also prohibited the use of FCC-administered funds to expand or maintain networks with Huawei or ZTE equipment already present.

The reimbursement program helps small telecommunications providers remove and replace suspect Chinese network equipment manufactured by Huawei and ZTE. If the funding shortfall for the program is not closed, the FCC will not be able to fully cover the costs of removing, disposing, and replacing suspect network equipment which will leave U.S. wireless networks vulnerable to espionage and disruption.

“The highest priority class of telecommunications providers in the Reimbursement Program serve the most rural areas of the United States where wireless connectivity is a vital lifeline to accessing telehealth services, receiving emergency notifications, and participating in the 21st century economy,” wrote the Senators.

The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was enacted in 2020 and given a $1.9 billion appropriation for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help small network providers remove and replace high-risk network equipment. While the initial $1.9 billion was based on a voluntary survey of possible costs small network providers would incur, supply chain disruptions and additional program requirements (such as proper disposal of suspect equipment) added to the overall costs within the Reimbursement Program.

The bipartisan Senate support – thirty-four Senators! – in favor of a well-resourced Reimbursement Program sends a clear message, and I applaud the letter signatories, especially Senators Hickenlooper, Fischer, Peters, and Lummis, for their leadership on this critical national security issue. The funding shortfall must be addressed as soon as possible to ensure eligible small and rural carriers are adequately reimbursed for costs associated with removing, destroying, and replacing affected equipment. These carriers serve some of the most rural and hard-to-reach places across the country and, without adequate reimbursements, their ability to provide ongoing service to customers is seriously jeopardized,” said Steven K. Berry, president and CEO, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA).

Text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Leader Schumer and Leader McConnell,

We write to express our support for the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Reimbursement Program under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act (Secure Networks Act). The program’s success is critical to maintaining network resiliency in Rural America and our national security. Since the Secure Networks Act was signed into law in 2020, Congress has appropriated $1.9 billion to support the FCC’s ongoing implementation of the Secure Networks Act and the establishment of the Reimbursement Program to reimburse eligible small and rural telecommunications providers for costs associated with removing, destroying, and replacing “threats to the security of our nation’s communications networks posed by certain communications equipment providers.”

On February 4, 2022, the FCC announced providers, using guidance provided by the FCC, had requested close to $5.6 billion to remove and replace equipment in their networks—nearly three times more than a previous projection for the Reimbursement Program and creating a significant financial shortfall of $3.7 billion. On July 15, 2022, the FCC informed Congress that following an extensive review of applications submitted under the Reimbursement Program, the amount of supplemental funding needed to fully fund approved cost estimates is $3.08 billion. Pursuant to the Secure Networks Act, a funding shortfall requires the FCC issue a pro-rated reimbursement to eligible telecommunications providers—resulting in only 39.5% of funding for approved costs allocated for reimbursement.

The highest priority class of telecommunications providers in the Reimbursement Program serve the most rural areas of the United States where wireless connectivity is a vital lifeline to accessing telehealth services, receiving emergency notifications, and participating in the 21st century economy. Due to significant national security risks to U.S. communications infrastructure, the FCC has already prohibited monies from the Universal Service Fund (USF) from supporting the maintenance or expansion of any wireless network that has covered equipment from Huawei and ZTE present. While these actions are necessary, small rural wireless telecommunications providers rely upon USF funds, and rural America faces a perilous situation. Currently, rural wireless carriers may not maintain, service, or upgrade networks with USF with Huawei and ZTE equipment still present. We are jeopardizing vital communications networks nationwide and our national security.

Recognizing the importance of a well-resourced Reimbursement Program to maintaining critical telecommunications service in rural communities, we are committed to working with you on legislative solutions to promptly provide the financial resources necessary to mitigate national security vulnerabilities emanating from network equipment manufactured by untrusted companies such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. We look forward to working with you to find a swift solution.

Sincerely,

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Senate voted 95-1 to approve adding Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

“The NATO alliance has formed the foundation of the peace in Europe since the end of the second World War. With Vladimir Putin’s brazen and illegal invasion of Ukraine, strengthening NATO is more important than ever and today’s vote in the Senate sends a strong message that democracies across the globe will continue to stand up to Russian aggression.

“Three-quarters of NATO allies have now ratified Finland and Sweden’s applications, and it is essential that all remaining countries do so expeditiously to ensure that Finland and Sweden become full NATO members as soon as possible.”

In June, Chairman Warner led a bipartisan congressional delegation from the Senate Intelligence Committee on official visits to Finland and Turkey, where the senators met with intelligence and security officials in both countries and discussed Finland’s bid to join NATO. Following those meetings, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped his country’s public opposition to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri:

“Al-Qaeda has been responsible for brutal attacks in not only the U.S., but Asia, Africa, and Europe. I commend the efforts of our intelligence officers and servicemembers for finally – 21 years after the horrific 9/11 attacks – bringing one of its last remaining leaders to justice.

“I applaud the tireless work of the intelligence community and the bravery of our military personnel in continuing to counter terrorism abroad. In my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I will keep working to support the IC’s counterterrorism efforts and keep Americans safe.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner today joined Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and 27 of their Senate Democratic colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to work urgently to increase the rate of refugee admissions for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. In a letter to President Joe Biden, the Senators further urge the President to maintain or increase the target of 125,000 refugee admissions in FY 2023 and take meaningful steps to meet this target.

“According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a record high of more than 89.3 million people, 42 percent of whom are children, were displaced at the end of 2021. The displaced population includes 27.1 million refugees,” the senators wrote. “UNHCR estimates that in 2023 over two million refugees will need to be resettled. In our own region, Central America faces a growing refugee crisis, with more than 800,000 people who have sought refuge in neighboring nations or have been internally displaced… We urge your Administration to ensure that the United States scales up capacity to process refugees in these regions and across all nationalities with protection needs, particularly those who have been languishing in precarious situations awaiting resettlement, such as family reunification cases.”

Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States resettled an average of more than 80,000 refugees per year, until the Trump Administration slashed the refugee admissions ceiling each year it was in office, ending at an historic low of just 15,000 for FY 2021. These drastic cuts have hobbled the resettlement infrastructure in this nation and made it difficult to quickly rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The U.S. resettled 11,411 refugees last fiscal year, the lowest figure since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980.

The senators continued, “We commend you for recommitting the United States to its historic role as a global leader in refugee resettlement by setting a ceiling of 125,000 for FY 2022. However, we are deeply concerned that as of June 30, 2022, the United States has only resettled 15,100 refugees this fiscal year. Despite the challenges of rebuilding the USRAP that your Administration inherited, we can and must do better. The dismantling of programs by the Trump Administration has hindered our efforts to resettle more refugees, and as such, your Administration must take the necessary steps to promptly ensure the United States has a robust, functioning, durable refugee resettlement system.”

The senators concluded, “The success of [Operation Allies Welcome] and Uniting for Ukraine have proven that, under your leadership, our country is fully capable of bringing vulnerable displaced people to safety in the United States when you commit the government to doing so. We urge you to expeditiously and safely admit all qualified refugees who are waiting to be resettled. Additionally, we urge you to set a robust target for USRAP in FY2023 as soon as possible and devote sufficient resources to meet this target.”

In addition to Warner, Durbin and Warnock, the letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

The full text of the letter to President Biden is available here and below.

Dear President Biden:

We respectfully ask that you work urgently to increase the rate of refugee admissions for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. Furthermore, we urge you to maintain or increase the target of 125,000 refugee admissions in FY 2023 and take meaningful steps to meet this target.

We applaud your Administration’s work to expeditiously bring to the United States 85,000 Afghan nationals, U.S. citizens, and lawful permanent residents through Operation Allies Welcome (OAW). Similarly, we commend your support for those displaced by Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine through the Uniting for Ukraine parole program, which has allowed Americans to welcome and support more than 20,000 people in just the first three months of its operation. The success of these initiatives demonstrates our government’s capacity to swiftly offer protection to vulnerable people fleeing war and persecution.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a record high of more than 89.3 million people, 42 percent of whom are children, were displaced at the end of 2021. The displaced population includes 27.1 million refugees. UNHCR estimates that in 2023 over two million refugees will need to be resettled. In our own region, Central America faces a growing refugee crisis, with more than 800,000 people who have sought refuge in neighboring nations or have been internally displaced. Haiti is also facing a rapid decline in internal security and a compounding political, environmental, and humanitarian emergency. In West Africa, amidst an ongoing civil war, Cameroon is facing high levels of internal displacement, as well as receiving thousands of foreign refugees. These are just a few examples of the current refugee challenges around the world. We urge your Administration to ensure that the United States scales up capacity to process refugees in these regions and across all nationalities with protection needs, particularly those who have been languishing in precarious situations awaiting resettlement, such as family reunification cases.

 

Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States resettled an average of more than 80,000 refugees per year, until the Trump Administration slashed the refugee admissions ceiling each year it was in office, ending at an historic low of just 15,000 for FY 2021. We understand that the Trump Administration’s drastic cuts to refugee admissions also hobbled the resettlement infrastructure in United States, with many refugee resettlement organizations closing offices and laying off employees.

 

Combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing vacancies resulting from a yearlong hiring freeze at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services imposed by the previous Administration, these cuts have made it difficult to quickly rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Although you raised the refugee ceiling to 65,000 for FY 2021, the United States only resettled 11,411 refugees last fiscal year, the lowest figure since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980.

 

We commend you for recommitting the United States to its historic role as a global leader in refugee resettlement by setting a ceiling of 125,000 for FY 2022. However, we are deeply concerned that as of June 30, 2022, the United States has only resettled 15,100 refugees this fiscal year. Despite the challenges of rebuilding the USRAP that your Administration inherited, we can and must do better. The dismantling of programs by the Trump Administration has hindered our efforts to resettle more refugees, and as such, your Administration must take the necessary steps to promptly ensure the United States has a robust, functioning, durable refugee resettlement system.

 

It is imperative that your Administration continue to invest in the sustainability of the refugee resettlement program. We appreciate the steps that your Administration has taken this fiscal year to rebuild the overseas and domestic infrastructure to ready the USRAP for higher arrival numbers. However, more work needs to be done so that we can restore and expand our nation’s capacity to welcome the most vulnerable refugees from around the world.

 

The success of OAW and Uniting for Ukraine have proven that, under your leadership, our country is fully capable of bringing vulnerable displaced people to safety in the United States when you commit the government to doing so. We urge you to expeditiously and safely admit all qualified refugees who are waiting to be resettled. Additionally, we urge you to set a robust target for USRAP in FY2023 as soon as possible and devote sufficient resources to meet this target.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement after the House of Representatives voted 243-187-1 to approve the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a historic bill to incentivize domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and improve U.S. technological competitiveness:

“I first began sounding the alarm about the need to reduce our reliance on other nations and safeguard our national security by bringing semiconductor production back to the U.S. more than two years ago. Since then, we’ve seen the consequences of semiconductor shortages all the way up the supply chain and down to consumers, who have faced rising costs on a variety of goods both large and small.

“This bipartisan bill will lower costs for families, strengthen our national security, and create good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States. I am glad that after years of unnecessary delay, it is finally being sent to the President’s desk.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Warner spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate, urging his colleagues to pass the chips bill. Video of that speech is available for download here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Senate voted 64-33 to approve legislation to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing and boost U.S. innovation and scientific investment:

“It’s been more than two years since I first began sounding the alarm about the need to reduce our reliance on other nations and safeguard our national security by bringing semiconductor production back to the U.S. Since then, we’ve seen the consequences of semiconductor shortages all the way up the supply chain and down to consumers, who have faced rising costs across goods – from vehicles to electronics. While we still have a lot of work to do to boost U.S. competitiveness with China, the Senate passage of this legislation represents an important step in bringing back American manufacturing, shoring up U.S. innovation, and reducing costs for families. I urge my House colleagues to act like our economy and national security depends on it, and send this bill to the President’s desk without delay.”

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 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, took to the Senate floor today to stress the urgent need to pass the revised CHIPS+ legislation, which would boost investments in U.S. semiconductor production and foster American technological innovation.

“A few name changes later, and unfortunately more than a year later, I rise before this body again to express my strong support for this revised CHIPS+ legislation – which we just cleared an important hurdle for, over the last hour – and urge my colleagues to pass this bill as quickly as possible so we can get it out of the Senate, get it over to the House, and get it to the President’s desk. We cannot afford to waste any more time,” said Sen. Warner on the floor of the U.S. Senate. “This funding sends a message that the United States is putting a strong down-payment on maintaining our edge in the global technology race – and preventing global supply chains from being weaponized against the United States or for that matter, against our allies.”

“Semiconductors – often called ‘chips’ – are the backbone of our modern lives. They can be found in literally anything with an ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch, from cars and trucks… to washers and dryers... to smartphones and laptops… chips are an essential component in so many of the devices we use today, and the growth in chips is going to be exponential,” he continued.

“As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I see examples every day of how China is doubling down on its pursuit of advanced technologies that I think will define the 21st century. And, in many ways, the United States has started to fall behind,” he said. “Fortunately, it’s not too late to change that narrative or to change that result. With the right investments – like the ones that have been provided in this legislation – we can unleash the ingenuity of the American people, we can reinvigorate American innovation and improve our national security while setting the country up to lead the way on the technologies that will define our future.”

Sen. Warner’s remarks as prepared for delivery are available below:

Last June, I rose before this body to speak about the critical need to pass the United States Innovation and Competition Act, as it was known back then, in order to shore up U.S. investment in research, development, and manufacturing of critical technologies.

A few name changes and more than a year later, I rise before this body again to express my strong support for this revised CHIPS+ legislation and urge my colleagues to pass this bill as quickly as possible. We can’t afford to waste any more time.

This funding sends a message that the U.S. is putting a strong down-payment on maintaining our edge in the global technology race – and preventing global supply chains from being weaponized against us or our allies.

Over the past few years, China has continued to increase investments in its domestic industries – and particularly in areas that confer long-term strategic influence. This includes the semiconductor industry, which I have been particularly focused on over the past few years.

Semiconductors – often called “chips” – are the backbone of our modern lives. They can be found in anything with an “on” switch from cars and trucks… to washers and dryers... to smartphones and laptops… chips are an essential component in so many of the devices we use every single day.

For years, American semiconductor companies led the world in both design and manufacturing of this critical technology.

But our leadership has languished in recent years, and we continue to lose ground, particularly to East Asian markets. As a country we’ve gone from a 37% share of semiconductors and microelectronics production in 1990… to just 12% today.

On the other hand, China has ramped up its investment in chips… providing an estimated $200 billion in financial support between 2015 and 2025. Chinese orders for semiconductor manufacturing equipment rose 58% in 2021, and China has a goal to produce at least 70% of the semiconductors it consumes by 2030.

And this is a global competition.

Japan has passed a $6.8 billion investment package that will fund innovative chip manufacturing as well as research and development.

India has passed legislation investing $30 billion in their domestic electronics manufacturing industry, with $10 billion dedicated to chips and display manufacturing.

And our friends over in Europe – not known for moving with particular alacrity – have surged passed us. They started considering their investments after we passed the CHIPS Act, and Germany, for example, has already selected 32 semiconductor projects that will receive a combined $12 billion in investment.

The lack of investment by the U.S. has had a clear impact. From 2010 to 2020, only 17 major semiconductor fabs were built in the U.S. – while we’ve seen over 122 built elsewhere.

And the handful of major projects announced in the last year as a direct result of our initial efforts to authorize this funding – major facilities in Ohio, Arizona and elsewhere – are at risk due to sustained inaction by this body.

Right now, the cost of new fabs is 25-50% higher in the U.S. – and that’s partly due to the significantly lower financial incentives government provides for new construction compared to competing locales.

Many ask why it’s so vital for the U.S. to invest in new semiconductor production when the PRC is, by all accounts, still several generations behind.

US semiconductor firms – and firms in the adjacent areas of lithography, packaging, and metrology – still lead the world.

As Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you unequivocally that the PRC is acutely aware of that gap – and aggressively working not just to close it, but to eventually leapfrog the U.S. and other major countries to lead in chip production and design.

Last year, President Xi Jinping announced a $1.4 trillion commitment through 2025 to develop advanced technologies like next-generation wireless networks and artificial intelligence. Technologies that will undergird entire ecosystems of innovation, commerce, and communications.

And the focus on semiconductors – which enable advances in AI, high-performance computing, hypersonics, and more – is arguably the centerpiece of this effort to ultimately control innovation ecosystems.

Meanwhile, many of the key ingredients to the U.S.’s historical success… including federal support for R&D, investment in basic research, and support for advanced manufacturing… have declined over the last 20 years.

Simply put, we are just not keeping up.

That’s why the $52 billion in funding for the CHIPS for America Act –  a bipartisan effort that Senator Cornyn, Senator Schumer, Senator Cotton, and I led a couple of years ago – is so important. And why a parallel effort in this bill – to catalyze U.S. and allied innovation in a more diverse and resilient telecommunications ecosystem – is similarly vital.

I also would note that this isn’t simply an economic competitiveness issue.

The ability to project influence and control over global supply chains has been dramatically illustrated – on both sides – by the present conflict in Ukraine.

Simply put, ensuring that the United States has an assured supply of critical semiconductors that cannot be held hostage by a hostile power is critically important to our national security.

In addition to the funding provided in this legislation for semiconductors, the bill also makes important investments in future of our wireless telecommunications.

It includes funding for the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, which fosters U.S. innovation in the race for 5G by providing $1.5 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE.

This is a bill I was proud to work on with my colleagues, Senator Burr and Senator Rubio.

It would also stand up a new Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund – to spur movement towards open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies, funding innovative, “leap-ahead” technologies in the domestic mobile broadband market.

That approach plays to U.S. strengths like software and network virtualization. And it means we have a wider set of firms – including American firms with healthier balance sheets – competing against state-sponsored Chinese vendors.

Because one thing that’s been clear over the past two Administrations: Our anti-Huawei message won’t work unless the U.S. proposes lower-cost Western alternatives.

As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I see examples every day of how China is doubling down on its pursuit of advanced technologies that will define the 21st century. I also see that the United States is falling behind.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to change that narrative. With the right investments – like the ones this bill provides – we can unleash the ingenuity of the American people… we can reinvigorate American innovation and improve our national security while setting the country up to lead the way on the technologies that will define our future.

I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, the House to pass it, and President Biden to sign it into law as soon as possible.

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WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, alongside Reps. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Don Beyer (VA-08), and Gerry Connolly (VA-11), pressed President Biden to raise Asim Ghafoor’s detention with the highest levels of the Emirati government and advocate for his fair and humane treatment. Asim Ghafoor—a U.S. citizen and Virginia resident—was reportedly tried in absentia, detained without notice of his conviction, and sentenced to prison on to-date unsubstantiated charges by United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities.

Ghafoor was a close personal friend of and reportedly served as legal counsel to Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by Saudi officials in 2018, in an operation that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) assessed was approved by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

“…[W]e strongly urge you and your Administration to raise Mr. Ghafoor’s case immediately at the highest levels of the Emirati government and advocate for his fair treatment, including assurances regarding his health and safety while in Emirati custody. It is critical the Administration makes clear that the hasty detention of U.S. citizens like Mr. Ghafoor cannot become normalized as an appropriate tactic of U.S. partners,” the lawmakers wrote.

“We welcomed the Department of State’s July 18, 2022, statement that the United States had ‘not sought’ Ghafoor’s arrest. However, absent concrete evidence of Ghafoor’s alleged criminal behavior, the UAE’s repeated claim that this arrest was conducted in coordination with the United States government in order to ‘combat transnational crimes’ raises concerns about oversight of U.S. involvement in that partnership,” they continued.

Additionally, the lawmakers requested that the Biden Administration:

  1. Call on Emirati authorities to allow Mr. Ghafoor regular access to his family and to his attorneys;
  2. Ensure that the U.S. embassy continues to receive consular visits with Mr. Ghafoor and that U.S. embassy staff are permitted to attend all trial proceedings;
  3. Confirm with UAE officials that Mr. Ghafoor will receive humane and fair treatment while in Emirati custody, including immediate access to required medical care; and
  4. Solicit additional information from the Emirati government regarding the legal proceedings against Mr. Ghafoor, in order to determine if his arrest should be considered a wrongful detention or act of transnational repression.

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Mr. President,

We request your Administration’s urgent attention to the recent detention of U.S. citizen and Virginia resident Mr. Asim Ghafoor by United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities. Mr. Ghafoor was convicted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on currently unsubstantiated charges of money laundering and tax evasion, in absentia and, reportedly, without his knowledge. Mr. Ghafoor was detained by UAE authorities on July 14, 2022, while transiting Dubai International Airport, and was sentenced to three years in prison on July 16, 2022. The UAE’s decision to detain Mr. Ghafoor – without notice or opportunity to seek legal counsel – represents a gross violation of his due process rights.

Mr. Ghafoor is a board member for the nonprofit organization Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), which advocates for democratic reforms in the Middle East and has at times criticized the Emirati government. In his capacity as an attorney, Mr. Ghafoor is reported to have represented his friend Mr. Jamal Khashoggi, who was also a Virginian and who was brutally murdered by Saudi officials in 2018. Noting your July 16, 2022, meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan and your invitation for him to visit the United States by the end of this year, as well as the close relationship between the Saudi and Emirati governments, we strongly urge you and your Administration to raise Mr. Ghafoor’s case immediately at the highest levels of the Emirati government and advocate for his fair treatment, including assurances regarding his health and safety while in Emirati custody. It is critical the Administration makes clear that the hasty detention of U.S. citizens like Mr. Ghafoor cannot become normalized as an appropriate tactic of U.S. partners.

The UAE has claimed the United States played a role in Mr. Ghafoor’s detention, and as such we further urge your Administration to clarify the nature of the United States’ potential involvement. We welcomed the Department of State’s July 18, 2022, statement that the United States had “not sought” Ghafoor’s arrest. However, absent concrete evidence of Ghafoor’s alleged criminal behavior, the UAE’s repeated claim that this arrest was conducted in coordination with the United States government in order to “combat transnational crimes,” raises concerns about oversight of U.S. involvement in that partnership.

As your Administration works to ensure that Mr. Ghafoor is treated humanely and fairly, we respectfully request that you take the following interim measures:

  1. Call on Emirati authorities to allow Mr. Ghafoor regular access to his family and to his attorneys.
  2. Ensure that the U.S. embassy continues to receive consular visits with Mr. Ghafoor and that U.S. embassy staff are permitted to attend all trial proceedings.
  3. Confirm with UAE officials that Mr. Ghafoor will receive humane and fair treatment while in Emirati custody, including immediate access to required medical care.
  4. Solicit additional information from the Emirati government regarding the legal proceedings against Mr. Ghafoor, in order to determine if his arrest should be considered a wrongful detention or act of transnational repression.

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WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to formally investigate TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance. The call comes in response to recent reports that the social media platform has permitted TikTok engineers and executives in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to repeatedly access private data of US users despite repeated claims to lawmakers and users that this data was protected. This includes instances where staff based in the United States had to consult with their China-based colleagues for information about U.S. user data as they did not have access to the data on their own. These revelations undermine longstanding claims by TikTok’s management that the company’s operations were firewalled from demands of the Chinese Communist Party.

“We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021,” the senators wrote in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. “In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

The report also highlights TikTok’s misrepresentation of the company’s relationship to ByteDance and its subsidiaries, including Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, which is partially owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

The senators continued, “TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information. Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, which indicate that TikTok may be collecting biometric data such as faceprints and voiceprints (i.e. individually-identifiable image and audio data, respectively), heighten the concern that data of U.S. users may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by security services controlled by the CCP.”

As Chairman and Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sens. Warner and Rubio have been vocal about the cyber and national security threats posed by the CCP. In 2019, the senators introduced legislation to combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors like China.

A copy of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Chairwoman Khan:

We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021. In an interview with the online publication Cyberscoop, the Global Chief Security Officer for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, made a number of public representations on the data security practices of TikTok, including unequivocal claims that the data of American users is not accessible to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the government of the PRC. As you know, TikTok’s privacy practices are already subject to a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission, based on its improper collection and processing of personal information from children. In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Additionally, these recent reports suggest that TikTok has also misrepresented its corporate governance practices, including to Congressional committees such as ours. In October 2021, TikTok’s head of public policy, Michael Beckerman, testified that TikTok has “no affiliation” with another ByteDance subsidiary, Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, of which the CCP owns a partial stake. Meanwhile, as recently as March of this year, TikTok officials reiterated to our Committee representations they have previously made that all corporate governance decisions are wholly firewalled from their PRC-based parent, ByteDance. Yet according to a recent report from Buzzfeed News, TikTok’s engineering teams ultimately report to ByteDance leadership in the PRC. 

According to this same report, TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information. Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, which indicate that TikTok may be collecting biometric data such as faceprints and voiceprints (i.e. individually-identifiable image and audio data, respectively), heighten the concern that data of U.S. users may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by security services controlled by the CCP.

A series of national security laws imposed by the CCP, including the 2017 National Intelligence Law and the 2014 Counter-Espionage Law provide extensive and extra-judicial access opportunities for CCP-controlled security services. Under these authorities, the CCP may compel access, regardless of where data is ultimately stored. While TikTok has suggested that migrating to U.S.-based storage from a U.S. cloud service provider alleviates any risk of unauthorized access, these latest revelations raise concerns about the reliability of TikTok representations: since TikTok will ultimately control all access to the cloud-hosted systems, the risk of access to that data by PRC-based engineers (or CCP security services) remains significant in light of the corporate governance irregularities revealed by BuzzFeed News. Moreover, as the recent report makes clear, the majority of TikTok data – including content posted by users as well as their unique IDs– will remain freely accessible to PRC-based ByteDance employees.

In light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing, and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter.

Sincerely, 

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WASHINGTONToday, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA), and committee members Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), unveiled the American Technology Leadership Act, legislation to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis to assess how the United States fares in key emerging  technologies relative to other countries to inform policy and strengthen U.S. competitiveness. Bennet plans to advocate for the bill’s inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2023 Intelligence Authorization Act.

“As we compete to supply the world with cutting-edge technologies, we don’t have a meaningful way to track how our progress stacks up against China’s in advancing the technologies of the future. Establishing an Office of Global Competition Analysis will help fill this knowledge gap and allow us to better compete on the world stage,” said Warner. 

“To compete with countries like China, we have to secure U.S. leadership in critical emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence,” said Bennet. “Today, we have no idea where the United States stands in these growing sectors compared to our competitors and adversaries. Our bipartisan legislation would fuse information across the federal government, including classified sources, to help us better understand U.S. competitiveness in technologies critical to our national security and economic prosperity and inform responses that will boost U.S. leadership.”

“We are currently in a tech war with China, and the urgency to keep the upper hand is growing,” said Sasse. “Staying technologically competitive needs to be our top priority, which is why we need to assess how we compare with other countries technologically and which technologies matter most to our economic and national security. We’re going to need to stay sharp and creating an office to focus on global competition is just one step that helps us stay ahead of our competition.” 

Today, there is no federal entity responsible for assessing U.S. leadership in key technologies relative to strategic competitors like China. Although the Department of Defense evaluates how our battleships, tanks, and aircraft compare to other nations, there is no equivalent process for critical technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, despite their far-reaching consequences for America’s national security and economic prosperity. 

The Office of Global Competition Analysis would be staffed by experts from the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Defense, along with the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The new Office could also draw on experts from the private sector and academia on a project basis, and the legislation allows it to leverage the capability of an existing Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The Office would support both economic and national security policy makers. The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), National Economic Council, and the National Security Council (NSC) would jointly manage the office and set priorities and project requirements.

Specifically, a technology net assessment capability will enable the U.S. government to:

 

  • Identify which technologies will matter most to America’s economic and national security;
  • Evaluate America’s technology leadership relative to other countries; and
  • Determine the appropriate policy response to ensure U.S. leadership. 

 

The bill text is available here. A one-page summary of the bill is available here.

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WASHINGTON – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) led bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in urging the Biden administration to increase sanctions on enablers of Vladimir Putin’s regime amidst its unprovoked and illegal war in Ukraine.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the senators wrote, “While many of the Putin regime’s top figures are already subject to United States, European, and other nations’ sanctions, we believe it is important that lower-tier enablers of the regime’s aggressive policies, including its militarists, propagandists, corrupt officials, public supporters, senior federal officials, and legislators, also be subject to a sanctions regime to ensure that they cannot continue to support Russia’s reprehensible aggression, yet benefit from assets, vacations, or educational opportunities in the West.”

Specifically, the senators urged the administration to take into account the list of 6,000 such Russian officials and regime enablers compiled by the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Added the senators, “The goal of such sanctions should be to ensure that these individuals do not have access to assets in the United States or ability to travel to the U.S.; force them to leave their posts, thereby hollowing out the Putin regime’s capacity to continue its unjust war; and pressure such officials to denounce publicly Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the corruption of the Putin regime.”

In addition to Sens. Warner and Rubio, the letter was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).

A copy of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Secretary Yellen:

We write to you regarding the need to increase sanctions on enablers of the Putin regime in Russia, including those who provide support for Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

While many of the Putin regime’s top figures are already subject to United States, European, and other nations’ sanctions, we believe it is important that lower-tier enablers of the regime’s aggressive policies, including its militarists, propagandists, corrupt officials, public supporters, senior federal officials, and legislators, also be subject to a sanctions regime to ensure that they cannot continue to support Russia’s reprehensible aggression, yet benefit from assets, vacations, or educational opportunities in the West. 

Specifically, we urge you to take into account the list of 6,000 such Russian officials and regime enablers compiled by the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

The goal of such sanctions should be to ensure that these individuals do not have access to assets in the United States or ability to travel to the U.S.; force them to leave their posts, thereby hollowing out the Putin regime’s capacity to continue its unjust war; and pressure such officials to denounce publicly Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the corruption of the Putin regime.

On May 19, 2022, the European Parliament passed a resolution similarly calling for greater sanctions to impose consequences for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including calling “to extend the list of individuals directly targeted by EU sanctions, including Russian oligarchs, taking into account the list of 6,000 individuals presented by Navalny’s Foundation.”

We stand ready to assist you as needed in implementing these targeted sanctions.

Sincerely,

 

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement after their Republican colleagues blocked the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act from receiving a final Senate vote:

“Everyone deserves to go to work or the store without worrying about being a victim of domestic terrorism. Yet in the last two weeks alone, 10 Black Americans died in a racist shooting in Buffalo. Nothing about addressing extremist violence, hate crimes, and domestic terrorism should be partisan, and it’s deeply disappointing that not a single Republican in the Senate stood with us today to even open debate on legislation to help make our communities safer. The American people deserve action and we’re going to keep working to deliver it.” 

According to a March 2021 report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the two most lethal threats among domestic violent extremists are racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs). RMVEs are most likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks against civilians, such as the deadly shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo earlier this month.

Had Republicans not blocked the bill from reaching a final vote—where it would have been expected to pass and proceed to President Biden’s desk for signature—the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would have established new requirements to expand the availability of information on domestic terrorism, as well as the relationship between domestic terrorism and hate crimes.

The legislation would also have authorized components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism. DHS, DOJ, and the FBI would have also been required to review their anti-terrorism training programs and make training on prosecuting domestic terrorism available to its prosecutors.

In addition, the bill would have created an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies, and directed the FBI to assign a special agent or hate crimes liaison to each of its field offices.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and 78 of their colleagues in a letter to President Biden urging him to expedite the Executive Branch’s process to advance Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership and pledging to work with the Administration to ensure swift ratification of the Washington Treaty.

In the letter, the Senators noted that NATO’s expansion will send a clear message to Putin and authoritarian leaders across the globe that the free world stands ready to bolster the alliance and defend our values and sovereignty, including through NATO’s open door policy.

“As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has proven, NATO, along with our democratic partners around the world, is more united than ever in opposition to the illegal acts of war waged by President Putin. Expanding NATO to include Finland and Sweden will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin, and any leader that attempts to follow in his path, that the free world stands ready to defend its values and sovereignty. We will also continue to support NATO’s open-door policy, which affirms that new members are welcome to the alliance,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators also affirmed their support for Sweden and Finland’s applications as part of the Senate’s role to provide advice and consent for NATO enlargement. During this pivotal moment to our global security, they noted this expansion will further strengthen NATO’s military and diplomatic capabilities to address emerging threats, and that mutual security assurances should extend to these two countries under the alliance.

“Members of the U.S. Senate take seriously our role in advising and consenting to NATO enlargement, a process that must be approved by all NATO member states. We affirm our support for Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership. In addition, we pledge to work closely with you and with our Senate colleagues to ensure that their applications are swiftly considered and approved by the Senate,” the senators concluded. “The transatlantic alliance has never been more crucial to global security and stability. The addition of these two important allies to NATO will ensure the alliance’s resilience and readiness, and we look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland to NATO.”

The full list of 82 Senators on the letter includes Senators Warner, Kaine, Shaheen, Tillis, Blumenthal (D-CT), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Coons (D-DE), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Hickenlooper (D-CO), King (I-ME), Rosen (D-NV), Wyden (D-OR), Tester (D-MT), Hassan (D-NH), Kelly (D-AZ), Manchin (D-WV), Portman (R-OH), Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), Cramer (R-ND), Graham (R-SC), Sasse (R-NE), McConnell (R-KY), Barrasso (R-WY), Ernst (R-IA), Romney (R-UT), Rounds (R-SD), Thune (R-SD), Grassley (R-IA), Hagerty (R-TN), Toomey (R-PA), Hoeven (R-ND), Cornyn (R-TX), Scott (R-SC), Gillibrand (D-NY), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sinema (D-AZ), Baldwin (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Murphy (D-CT), Hirono (D-HI), Booker (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Bennet (D-CO), Warnock (D-GA), Murray (D-WA), Leahy (D-VT), Brown (D-OH), Klobuchar (D-MN), Markey (D-MA), Lujan (D-NM), Cotton (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Inhofe (R-OK), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Van Hollen (D-MD), Fischer (R-NE), Reed (D-RI), Heinrich (D-NM), Peters (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Padilla (D-CA), Menendez (D-NJ), Ossoff (D-GA), Capito (R-WV), Young (R-IN), Wicker (R-MS), Risch (R-ID), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Stabenow (D-MI), Blackburn (R-TN), Sullivan (R-AK), Smith (D-MN), Casey (D-PA), Blunt (R-MO), Marshall (R-KS), Daines (R-MT), Crapo (R-ID) and Warren (D-MA).

Full text of the letter is available here.

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Tim Kaine, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement after voting to pass a $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine:

“Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine underscores the importance of democracies around the world sticking together to stand against authoritarians who violate international law and commit war crimes. Today’s vote is another powerful signal that the United States is committed to that principle, and we’re going to keep working to ensure that we remain a very strong ally of Ukraine.”

Behind the scenes and in public, Chairman Warner has been a strong advocate for the $5 billion in food aid included in this bill to support non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been working since day one to address the dire humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among other efforts, Chairman Warner has also pushed to ensure the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Russia. Earlier this year, he introduced legislation with a group of lawmakers aimed at preventing Russian oligarchs from using digital currencies to avoid the full brunt of the sanctions.

Sen. Kaine has been a consistent advocate for both directing assistance to Ukraine and ensuring Americans aren’t complicit in Russia’s unjustified war. Kaine was one of the first members of Congress to call for a war crimes investigation into Russia’s actions, and applauded International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement that he would launch such an investigation. To ensure that the United States is doing its part in a coordinated effort to collect and maintain evidence of Russia’s war crimes and atrocities, Kaine teamed up with a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act.

Broadcast-quality video of Sen. Warner speaking about the legislation is available here.

Broadcast-quality video of Sen. Kaine speaking about the legislation is available here.

The aid package is now headed to President Biden’s desk for signature.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the supplemental aid package that will deliver more than $40 billion in additional aid to support Ukraine: 

“The Ukrainian people are facing horrific violence inflicted by Russia. In the face of significant tragedy and loss of life, so many are fighting to repel Putin’s authoritarian campaign and preserve the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. I’m glad that the House voted to advance this critical legislation, which will provide Ukraine with critically needed humanitarian and military assistance. I’m proud to have successfully pushed for $5 billion in food aid to help support the remarkable work of non-governmental organizations that are responding to this crisis on the ground by providing hot meals, food supplies, and other desperately-needed aid.”

Behind the scenes and in public, Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate for increasing available funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been on the ground since day one, working to address the dire humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This package will now head to the Senate, which will vote on whether to send the bill to President Biden for his signature.  

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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, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement applauding the Senate’s unanimous approval of his bipartisan resolution with Senator Mark Warner supporting Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. Senator Scott’s resolution also rebukes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its failure to clearly and forcefully challenge the Chinese Communist Party’s claims about her safety.

The resolution was previously reported favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is cosponsored by Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Sherrod Brown, John Hoeven, Ron Wyden, Ted Cruz, Jeff Merkley, Mike Braun, Chris Van Hollen, Marsha Blackburn, Bob Casey, Tom Cotton, Raphael Warnock, Ron Johnson and Jeanne Shaheen. A companion, bipartisan resolution led by Congressman Michael Waltz and Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2021.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Today, the United States Senate sent a clear message that Communist China’s silencing of Peng Shuai is unacceptable and the IOC’s cooperation with the authoritarian and oppressive communist Chinese regime in covering up this alleged assault will not be tolerated. In passing this resolution, the Senate is again rightly standing in support of freedom and democracy around the world, and showing Xi Jinping that we will never turn a blind eye to his gross behavior. We will never stop fighting to support brave women like Peng Shuai and will continue to demand accountability and condemn the horrific abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Senator Mark Warner said, “In the time since the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics we have not been given any clarity regarding the freedom, well-being, and safety of Peng Shuai. In passing this resolution, the United States Senate is reaffirming that the International Olympic Committee’s unwillingness to clearly and forcefully stand up to the CCP and call for independent assurance into the safety of Peng Shuai has stood in direct opposition to what we stand for, and to the broader diplomatic efforts to push for her freedom and well-being. The U.S. will continue to call out disturbing human rights abuses by the CCP.”

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WASHINGTON – Today it was announced that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will serve on the conference committee of Senators and House members working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate version of the jobs and competitiveness bill, which has been known variously as the Bipartisan Innovation Act, America COMPETES Act, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, or the Endless Frontier Act, in order to send a final bill to President Biden’s desk for signature.

“For too long, the United States has allowed our global competitors to out-invest and out-hustle us in regard to our innovation economy. This competitiveness bill will make major investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, create good-paying jobs, and provide the tools our country needs to continue competing in the global economy while addressing some of the major causes of economic inflation,” said Sen. Warner. “I am honored to be a member of the conference committee that will work to get a strong bill to the president’s desk ASAP.”

“The Senate is moving an important step closer to delivering a robust jobs and competitiveness bill that will help fix our supply chains and boost American innovation and technological dominance for generations. Our Democratic conferees will ensure that the Senate-passed bill stays on track to create more good-paying jobs, boost domestic manufacturing, and spark American ingenuity that will be the engine that drives our economy forward for years to come,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

In June, the Senate voted 68-28 to pass the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G and shore up American leadership in the semiconductors industry. In February, the House finally acted to pass its own version of the bill, the America COMPETES Act. Now, a small group of House members and Senators will form a conference committee to negotiate differences between the two bills and assemble a final product to send to President Biden.

Earlier today, Sen. Warner joined Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) in leading the Virginia congressional delegation in calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider Virginia for future locations of major semiconductor production and research facilities.

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