Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $2,483,817 in federal funding for the Commonwealth to provide distance learning services for rural areas. The funding was awarded through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants, which provide rural communities with advanced telecommunications technology. In all, these grants will provide 197,010 Virginia students with the technology they need to take advantage of education opportunities through local colleges and universities.

“Over the past several years, we have seen the tremendous capabilities of distance learning to extend opportunities to students that have previously been limited by their geography,” said the senators. “This funding will provide 197,010 Virginia students with the technology and infrastructure they need to continue taking advantage of distance learning.”

The funding is broken down as follows:

  1. $952,388 for Germanna Community College in order to equip 10 locations throughout Spotsylvania, Stafford, Orange, Culpeper, Wise, Page, and Madison counties with video conferencing equipment. Instructors at Germanna Community College will use that technology to deliver mental health and healthcare educational courses to benefit 5,372 students;
  2. $740,793 for Lee County School District in order to equip 12 locations throughout Lee County with interactive teleconferencing equipment. Instructors at Lee County Public Schools will use that technology to deliver instructional resources, professional development courses, and mental health services to benefit 5,545 students;
  3. $475,122 for Southside Virginia Community College in order to equip six locations throughout Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Charlotte, Nottoway and Greensville counties with a synchronous interactive video conferencing system. Instructors at Southside Virginia Community College will use that technology to deliver nursing and emergency management services simulation labs, and shared college courses to benefit 2,805 students; and
  4. $315,5134 for Virginia State University in order to equip 15 locations throughout Petersburg, Roanoke, Prince George, Sussex, Dinwiddie, Henry, Southampton, Franklin, Halifax, Louisa, Brunswick, Greensville and Mecklenburg counties with integrated interactive teaching rooms at the college sites and interactive digital white boards at the high school sites. Instructors at Virginia State University will use that technology to deliver dual credit college courses to benefit 183,288 students.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to better connect rural Virginia, including through significant funding to extend broadband capabilities to every corner of the Commonwealth.


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (D-VA) announced the inclusion of key Virginia priorities in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2024 draft funding bills. All 12 bills were passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on a bipartisan basis.

“We are proud to announce that the Senate’s draft government spending legislation for Fiscal Year 2024 includes critical funding that will keep the government open, back record investments in infrastructure and U.S. competitiveness, uplift rural and underserved communities, support servicemembers and military families, provide assistance to miners suffering from black lung disease, and support key industries that are central to Virginia’s economy. We’re also proud to have secured more than $111 million for specific community projects all throughout Virginia as we work to ensure our federal budget meets Virginians’ needs. We hope that our colleagues in the House of Representatives will negotiate in good faith in order to reach a compromise on a final deal that includes funding for these important priorities,” said Sens. Warner and Kaine.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process, members of Congress were able to work with the communities they represent to request funding for local community projects, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects in Virginia. The Senators worked to secure more than $111 million for community projects across the Commonwealth. In addition to battling for these priorities, the Senators will work to ensure funds obtained by Virginia House members also remain in the final spending bills. 

More information regarding specific projects in Virginia that will receive Congressionally Directed Spending is available below:

  • For projects in Northern Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in Central Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
  • For projects in Southwest Virginia and Southside, click here.
  • For projects in Hampton Roads, click here.
  • For projects that impact communities in multiple regions across the Commonwealth click here.

The following list includes many provisions championed by Sens. Warner and Kaine on behalf of Virginia that were included in the 12 government funding bills: 

Boosting Local Economies: Includes $200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission and $20 million for the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission to support their work to build economic partnerships, create opportunity, and foster economic development.  

Implementing the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022: Includes $11 billion to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, championed by Sens. Warner and Kaine. Funding will allow the U.S. to keep pace with China and other competitors in scientific fields that can power the economy, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, microelectronics, clean energy, and advanced communications. Sen. Warner first introduced the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act in June 2020 along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).  

Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): Provides full funding for numerous transportation programs authorized in the IIJA, including $29.5 billion for the National Highway Performance Program, $3.1 billion for the Highway Safety Improvement Program, $245 million for the Rail-Highway Grade Crossings Program, $14.3 billion for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, and $2.4 billion for the Bridge Investment Program. Sen. Warner was a lead author and negotiator of the IIJA.  

Strengthening Transportation and Recreation Infrastructure: Provides $150 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and $45 million for the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program, which supports multi-purpose trails. 

Making Our Communities Safer: Provides $732 million – a $32 million increase from Fiscal Year 2023 – for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution programs to prevent violence and better support survivors. This legislation also includes over $534 million for Community Oriented Policing Services to support state and local law enforcement and communities in developing comprehensive, evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs based on partnerships between community residents, law enforcement, local government agencies, and other community stakeholders. This includes efforts to address gang and gun violence and improve school safety.

Support for Missing Persons Program: Includes $1 million to help with the nationwide implementation of the Ashanti Alert system. In 2018, Sen. Warner secured unanimous Senate passage of the Ashanti Alert Act, legislation that created a new federal alert system for missing or endangered adults between the ages of 18-64. The bill was signed into law on December 31, 2018. 

Investing in Children: Provides $8.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides financial assistance to help low-income families access child care. This is $700 million more than Fiscal Year 2023. The bill also includes $12.3 billion, $300 million more than Fiscal Year 2023, for Head Start, the national school readiness program. In July, Sens. Warner and Kaine urged the White House to provide additional funding to help stabilize the child care industry. In April, Sen. Kaine introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, legislation that would help ensure families can find and afford child care by expanding access to more high-quality options, stabilizing the child care sector, and helping ensure child care workers taking care of our nation’s kids are paid livable wages. The bill also includes $15 million for the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health program – a program that Sen. Kaine reauthorized via bipartisan legislation.  

Making Higher Education More Affordable: Provides a $250 boost to the maximum Pell Grant in the 2024-2025 school year, raising the maximum award to $7,645. The bill also includes over $1 billion, an increase of $5 million, for programs to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions.

Supporting K-12 Education: Provides over $18.5 billion for Title I-A grants, which supports school districts with low-income students. This is $175 million more from Fiscal Year 2023. The bill also provides over $5 billion for the primary Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Special Education State grant program, an increase of $175 million from Fiscal Year 2023. In July, Sen. Kaine reintroduced the IDEA Full Funding Act, legislation that would ensure Congress fulfills its commitment to fully fund IDEA through regular, mandatory increases in spending.

Investing in Affordable Housing: Includes $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides fundingto state and local governments for housing construction, and $3.3 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which can be used to support affordable housing, community development, and economic development. Also includes $3.9 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG), to help families and individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Sens. Warner and Kaine are strong advocates for affordable housing funding each year.

Supporting Nutrition Programs: The bill includes $6.3 billion – a $615 million increase from Fiscal Year 2023 – for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to ensure over 6 million women, infants, and children can access adequate nutrition. It also fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to serve an estimated 42 million people per month – with no new restrictions on eligibility – and fully funds the Child Nutrition Programs to help serve an estimated 5 billion lunches and 2.6 billion breakfasts to kids across the country. 

Fighting Global Hunger: Provides $1.8 billion for the Food for Peace program and $248.3 million for the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program, while the State and Foreign Operations bill provides a $691 million increase in funding for humanitarian assistance programs, including increased investments in addressing global hunger and enhancing food security.  

Preventing and Treating Substance Use: Provides $5 billion – an increase of $125 million over Fiscal Year 2023 – for opioid treatment and prevention. This includes $40 million for the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant; $20 million for the State Opioid Response grants; $10 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program; and $20 million for NIH opioid research programs. 

Fighting the Flow of Fentanyl: Includes $719 million to improve the detection and seizure of fentanyl and other narcotics at ports of entry with new technology and personnel. Invests $105 million in new resources to disrupt transnational criminal organizations and stop fentanyl and illicit drugs at their source. Sens. Warner and Kaine are both cosponsors of the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain. Earlier this year, Sens. Kaine and Joni Ernst (R-IA) led bipartisan legislation to direct increased federal attention to fentanyl trafficking by utilizing the tools of the Department of Defense and involving Mexico as an active partner to combat the fentanyl crisis. That legislation was included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

Addressing Long COVID Needs: Includes $10 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support access to comprehensive, coordinated, and person-centered care, particularly for underserved, rural, vulnerable, or minority populations that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of Long COVID. Also includes $5 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to establish a network of Long COVID Centers of Excellence that can gather, develop and disseminate data regarding evidence-based treatment; educate and train providers on best practices; conduct outreach to affected populations and community organizations; and coordinate access to care. Sen. Kaine has been a strong advocate for helping individuals with Long COVID, including by leading the bipartisan Long COVID Support Act with Sen. Todd Young (R-IN).

Supporting Rural Health: Includes a $12 million increase for Rural Health programs. This includes a $10 million increase in the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program and a $2 million increase for the Rural Health Outreach program, which supports projects that demonstrate new and innovative modes of outreach in rural areas. Also includes $5 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish an Office of Rural Health. Sen. Kaine supported the establishment of this office as a cosponsor of the Rural Health Equity Act, and led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee in FY23 requesting this funding.

Addressing the Maternal Mortality Crisis: Includes an increase of $10 million for the Implementing a Maternal health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Initiative to combat alarming rates of maternal mortality, as well as an increase of $2.5 million for programs to improve health outcomes during and after pregnancy and reduce disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. Also includes $110.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Safe Motherhood and Infant Health programs, which is a $2,500,000 increase from fiscal year 2023 and more than $1.7 billion for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is a $10,000,000 increase from fiscal year 2023. Sen. Kaine led a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee asking for robust funding for these programs.

Pandemic Preparedness: Includes $3.67 billion for the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). This includes a $20 million increase for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the advanced development of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and devices for potential serious public health threats, and $75 million to establish a new program in manufacturing and production to ensure that critical resources including medical countermeasures and ancillary supplies are manufactured in the United States. 

Increasing Funding for Pediatric Research: Provides $12.6 million to further fund the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act—legislation championed by Sens. Warner and Kaine and named after a child from Loudoun County who died from a brain tumor in 2013. 

Supporting the Refugee Resettlement Program: Includes $133 million for refugee settlement to meet the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2024. 

Expanding Home Energy Assistance: Includes $4.075 billion – an increase of $75 million from Fiscal Year 2023 – for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance to low-income households to help heat or cool their homes. Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for lowering energy costs and have consistently advocated for robust funding for LIHEAP. 

Expanding High-Speed Internet Access: Includes $98 million for the USDA’s ReConnect Program to expand access to high-speed broadband to remote underserved areas. Sens. Warner and Kaine have been vocal advocates for expanding broadband. As Governors and Senators, Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported expanding broadband access in Virginia. During the pandemic, they secured significant funding for broadband through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Sens. Warner and Kaine also joined a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership requesting this funding earlier this year, and Sen. Warner personally secured billions of dollars for broadband expansion in both the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Increasing Military Pay and Compensation: Fully funds the 5.2 percent pay raise for servicemembers, while providing $29.6 billion for housing and $8.4 billion for subsistence – including BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) and BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence—food for servicemembers not living in government quarters).

Economic Support for Underserved Communities: Provides $341 million for the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. Sens. Warner and Kaine requested this funding. Sen. Warner has led efforts in Congress to support CDFIs through legislation including the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act and the creation of the bipartisan Senate Community Development Finance Caucus.  

Small Businesses: Provides $1.2 billion to the Small Business Administration to help small businesses thrive. This funding will support SBA’s lending programs, which increase access to capital for small businesses, as well as their entrepreneurial development programs, which include services that help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, such as the Small Business Development Center and Women’s Business Centers networks.

Addressing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Delays and Customer Service Issues: Includes $12.3 billion for the IRS, which will enable it to continue to update ancient computer systems, improve customer service, and reduce wait times for refunds and other services. Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently pushed the IRS to address poor customer service and severe delays within the department.  

Support for Miners: Includes $12.19 million for Black Lung Clinics. Sens. Warner and Kaine have actively worked to secure benefits for miners and their families suffering from black lung disease. In July, Sens. Warner and Kaine reintroduced the Relief for Survivors of Miners Act, which would ease restrictions to make it easier for miners’ survivors to successfully claim benefits. In June, the Senators also urged the Biden Administration to issue new silica standards to protect miners across America – a push that helped contribute towards the release of those standards.

Restoring the Chesapeake Bay: Includes $93 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program, the primary federal program that coordinates Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection efforts throughout the Bay watershed.

Strengthening Our Ports: Provides $1.2 billion for the Maritime Administration (MARAD), including $213 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), which supports the buildout and modernization of our nation’s ports including the Port of Virginia.

Advancing Scientific Discovery: Includes $8.43 billion – an increase of $330 million from Fiscal Year 2023 – for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science sponsors basic research in the physical sciences and supports 22,000 researchers at 17 national laboratories across the country, including Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia.

Protecting our Courts: Provides $11.4 million to improve security of the Walter E. Hoffman Courthouse in Norfolk, Virginia. Sen. Kaine visited the Hoffman Courthouse in 2020 to observe the serious security vulnerabilities firsthand and the Senators have been fighting to enhance its security ever since. The Senators last wrote to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in January 2023 to push for the long delayed security measures.


WASHINGTON – With summer just around the corner, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has seen a steady rise in requests for assistance regarding passport applications and renewals. Many constituents are expressing frustration caused by prolonged and unexplained delays as to the status of their travel documents. Today, Sen. Warner sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure that the State Department is taking proper steps to clear the passport backlog and fulfill renewal requests.

Specifically, Sen. Warner wrote to Sec. Blinken regarding the now-closed Online Passport Renewal (OPR) System, which received more than 500,000 requests from August 2022 to February 2023. The online system has been unable to keep up with demand, leaving travelers scrambling to replace their passports at the last minute. In addition to costly delays, many constituents who filed to renew their passports online are receiving little to no information on the progress being made with applications regardless of how well in advance of planned travel their requests were filed, leaving many in limbo waiting for their documents.

“In an increasingly online age, I welcome the ability for my constituents to renew their passports through a secure paperless process,” wrote Sen. Warner. “However, the OPR system seems to be fraught with significant errors that have caused Virginians headaches, stress, and unfortunately in some instances, delayed or missed travel. Simply put, the service my constituents have received is unacceptable.”

In his letter, Sen. Warner posed a series of questions to better understand how the State Department plans to address the backlog:

  • How does the agency’s handling of passport applications submitted online differ from those that are filed through traditional processes, either by applying at a Passport Acceptance Facility in person or by U.S. Mail?
  • How does the agency determine the assignment of OPR applications to their Passport Agencies across the country? How does this compare to the assignment of traditional applications received?
  • What is the current average processing time of an application submitted through the OPR process compared to those submitted through the traditional process? Please indicate the processing time for applications submitted under both expedited and routine processing.
  • Does agency data reflect that some Passport Agencies are more successful in processing OPR applications timely than others? If so, what does the agency believe is the source of this imbalance, and how is the agency addressing this problem?
  • Members of my staff have been told by Passport Agency officials that “technical issues” can at times impede the processing of an OPR application and that officials must transfer the application into the traditional system for final processing. Can you further explain these technical issues and what steps the agency is taking to fix these issues?

Sen. Warner’s constituent casework team works daily to help Virginians with a variety of federal agency needs, including help with passport renewal. Constituents experiencing any problems with new passport applications or passport renewals through both online and traditional applications can reach out to Sen. Warner for assistance through his website, available here.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary Blinken:

I write today to express my concern and frustration with the State Department’s Online Passport Renewal (OPR) system. 

The OPR system opened to the public in a pilot status in August 2022, and the agency reports it received more than 500,000 applications before they system closed in February 2023. During that time, many Virginians participated in utilizing this system to submit their passport renewals. Since the start of 2023, my office has received a significant increase in requests from Virginians who are experiencing considerable delays in the processing of their renewal applications filed through the OPR system prior to its closure. In many cases, my constituents filed well in advance of their travel date and paid for expedited processing. That said, the applicants still faced delays and, in some cases, ultimately needed to physically travel to a Passport Agency, often the day before their scheduled travel, in order to have their passport issued.

In an increasingly online age, I welcome the ability for my constituents to renew their passports through a secure paperless process. However, the OPR system seems to be fraught with significant errors that have caused Virginians headaches, stress, and unfortunately in some instances, delayed or missed travel. Simply put, the service my constituents have received is unacceptable. Therefore, I ask that you please address the following questions:

1.      How does the agency’s handling of passport applications submitted online differ from those that are filed through traditional processes, either by applying at a Passport Acceptance Facility in person or by U.S. Mail?
2.      How does the agency determine the assignment of OPR applications to their Passport Agencies across the country? How does this compare to the assignment of traditional applications received?
3.      What is the current average processing time of an application submitted through the OPR process compared to those submitted through the traditional process? Please indicate the processing time for applications submitted under both expedited and routine processing.
4.      Does agency data reflect that some Passport Agencies are more successful in processing OPR applications timely than others? If so, what does the agency believe is the source of this imbalance, and how is the agency addressing this problem?
5.      Members of my staff have been told by Passport Agency officials that “technical issues” can at times impede the processing of an OPR application and that officials must transfer the application into the traditional system for final processing. Can you further explain these technical issues and what steps the agency is taking to fix these issues?

My office has been told that the agency is experiencing “an unprecedented volume of early demand for passports this year.” I commend officials at Passport Agencies across the country for their tireless work in adjudicating millions of passport applications each year. However, it appears that the OPR system’s flaws are directly inhibiting this effort, and I look forward to understanding how the agency will address existing challenges and improve the system for future use.

Thank you.




WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $29,400,000 in federal funding for three Virginia airports. Funds were made available through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Terminals Program. This funding was made possible through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was negotiated by Sen. Warner and strongly supported by Sen. Kaine. 

“Another day, another win from the bipartisan infrastructure law,” the Senators said. “The bipartisan infrastructure law provides sustained investments to make air travel smoother and safer, and we’re glad to see another year of targeted airport investments across the Commonwealth to make that a reality.”

The funding is distributed as follows:

  • $20,000,000 for Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Dulles, VA to replace existing ground loading positions with 14 loading bridges on the Tier 2 Concourse. The project connects directly to the Dulles Aerotrain and indirectly to the public Metrorail. 
  • $5,400,000 for Norfolk International Airport (ORF) in Norfolk, VA to construct a people mover on the pedestrian bridge connecting the departures and arrivals terminal building.
  • $4,000,000 for Richmond International Airport (RIC) in Richmond, VA to replace 21 passenger loading bridges that are beyond their useful life.

These funds come in addition to over $50 million awarded last year to the Dulles and Richmond airports through the Airport Terminals Program. Additionally, the Senators have announced nearly $400 million in funding for various Virginia airports secured through the bipartisan infrastructure law. Last year, Sens. Warner and Kaine negotiated the opening of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Silver Line Extension, which provides Metro service directly to Dulles International Airport.

High-quality photos of Sens. Warner and Kaine’s recent visit to Dulles International Airport are available here. High-quality photos of Sen. Warner’s visit to Richmond International Airport are available here. 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $25,000,000 in federal funding for the expansion of I-64 in New Kent County. Awarded through the Department of Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (RURAL), this funding will add a third lane to I-64 in each direction, widen shoulders, add rumble strips and wider and flatter clear zones for an approximately 10-mile segment in New Kent County.

“This substantial investment for improvements to I-64 will make the highway safer, easier to travel, and help connect our rural communities,” the Senators said. “We see this grant as a sign of progress toward fulfilling the administration’s commitment to closing the I-64 gap by adding a third lane all the way from Hampton Roads to Richmond, but more work remains. We are glad to see the bipartisan infrastructure law continue to deliver funding that will help improve and ease the stress on Virginia’s highway system.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently pushed for infrastructure funding for Virginia to help fund much-needed improvement projects across the Commonwealth. As part of the bipartisan infrastructure law Sen. Warner helped negotiate and Sen. Kaine supported, the Department of Transportation’s RURAL grant program was created to provide funds that paved the way for investments in highway infrastructure throughout Virginia and the country. In May, Sen. Kaine led a push that Sen. Warner joined to urge the U.S. Department of Transportation to make investments to reduce congestion in the I-64 corridor between Richmond and Hampton Roads.



* High-quality photographs of Sen. Mark R. Warner are available for download here *

Photos may be used online and in print, and can be attributed to ‘The Office of Sen. Mark R. Warner’

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $3,712,000 in federal funding from the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration for improvements of the wharf at the Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT), previously known as the Port of Richmond. This funding was made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by Sen. Kaine, which includes $17 billion for port infrastructure to fund waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and land ports of entry.

“The Port of Virginia is essential for Virginia’s economy, serving as a key transportation hub for goods and materials in the Commonwealth,” the Senators said. “This project will continue to grow Richmond Marine Terminal’s service capabilities and allow for quicker and more frequent transport through the port.”

These funds will go towards improving the wharf in order to allow two barges to be worked at the same time at RMT. Currently, the condition of the northern part of the wharf does not permit the safe operation of two cranes working simultaneously, hindering production. This funding will help the RMT double current throughput volume of 43,000 containers per year by 2026.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve and revamp the RMT. In 2018, they announced $456,000 in federal funding to purchase equipment to expand the RMT.


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) celebrated $52.9 million in funding from the federal government for the Petersburg/Richmond region to support job creation and increase American independence from foreign drug manufacturers.

This funding was recently awarded through the Economic Development Administration and funded by the American Rescue Plan, which was supported by the three lawmakers and passed through the Senate by a vote of 50 – 49 and the House by a vote of 220 – 211.

“The American Rescue Plan is the gift that keeps on giving – this time with $52.9 million that will go towards establishing Central Virginia as a hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing. This unparalleled federal investment will help boost American production of essential drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients while creating 21st century jobs for Virginians and tackling our nation’s dangerous overreliance on foreign supply chains for medicines,” said the lawmakers. 

The Virginia Advanced Pharma Manufacturing (APM) and R&D Cluster  –  led by the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority–  is one of 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge – the most impactful regional economic development competition in decades. The projects funded as part of this award include expanding a nascent pharmaceutical manufacturing corridor in Central Virginia through investment in new wet lab space, development of critical infrastructure to sustain industrial capacity in Petersburg, and engagement with local business to enhance the regional pharmaceutical supply chain. The project will also catalyze a new partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University to create new pathways for underserved residents to high-quality training and jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) is an unprecedented competitive federal grant program that provides each regional coalition with significant investments to tackle a wide variety of projects – including entrepreneurial support, workforce development, infrastructure, and innovation – to drive inclusive economic growth. Each coalition’s collection of projects aims to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters – all while embracing economic equity, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. competitiveness globally. Projects span 24 states and include $87 million to two primarily Tribal coalitions and over $150 million for projects serving communities impacted by the declining use of coal.

Sen. Warner helped negotiate portions of the American Rescue Plan and directly advocated for this project. In March, he sat down with the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority and other pharmaceutical industry professionals for a roundtable discussion on the need to manufacture more prescription drugs in Virginia.

While on Richmond City Council, Sen. Kaine played a major role in the formation and growth of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority, served on its board when he was Mayor of Richmond, and appointed board members while he was Governor. In addition to advocating for the American Rescue Plan, which provided the funding for the EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge, Sen. Kaine specifically advocated for this project to win this grant. He also visited the project’s facilities in Richmond and Petersburg in April of this year.

Rep. McEachin proudly supported the American Rescue Plan and engaged with the Biden administration throughout the BBBRC application and selection process in support of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority. He sent multiple letters to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo advocating for this project and held briefings with relevant stakeholders to keep them apprised of developments and receive timely updates.


 WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that $29,856 in federal funding will be awarded to three credit unions in Virginia. The funding, classified as Digital Service and Cybersecurity grants, will go towards strengthening the credit unions’ cybersecurity systems, acquiring technology that allows employees to work remotely, or implementing digital services for members like mobile or online banking. The grants, awarded through the National Credit Union Administration’s 2022 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, are specifically designed to support low-income credit unions and underserved consumers.

“Credit unions help ensure all Virginians have access to the financial resources they need to save for their families, buy a home, or start a business,” the senators said. “This funding will directly support these organizations’ operations so that they can continue to reach out to underserved communities in the Commonwealth.” 

The funding is distributed as follows:

  • $10,000 for the Virginia Educators Credit Union in Newport News, VA.
  • $10,000 for RVA Financial in Richmond, VA.
  • $9,856 for the Richmond Heritage Federal Credit Union in Richmond, VA.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long worked to ensure that underserved communities have better access to financial services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sens. Warner and Kaine secured funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) in pandemic relief packages modeled after Sen. Warner’s Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act.

Most recently, Sen. Warner launched the bipartisan Senate Community Development Finance Caucus to serve as a platform where policymakers can coordinate and expand on public and private-sector efforts in support of the missions of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).


WASHINGTON – With Virginians increasingly concerned about violence and crime in their communities, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and U.S. Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) today announced $996,000 in federal funding allocated to Virginia Commonwealth University for gun violence prevention efforts in Richmond. The funding comes through the Department of Justice as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Byrne Discretionary Grants Program and was secured through the appropriations process by the lawmakers in the FY2022 government spending bill.  

Specifically, the funding will go towards hospital-based crisis intervention for families, friends, and survivors of violence; establishing a data-sharing network for information among law enforcement, health systems, social service providers, and other community partners; as well as evaluation and quality assurance to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts.

“We need to do everything we can to combat the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” the lawmakers said. “We are proud to have secured funding for this program that will help save lives by implementing strong, evidence-based intervention methods to prevent crime.”

“We thank Senators Warner and Kaine and Representative McEachin for their continued support and commitment as we work with public agencies and community partners to tackle gun violence and other social determinants of health that continue to impact our communities,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System. “Funding for the Richmond Gun Violence Prevention Framework will be instrumental in reducing the number of injuries related to violence treated in our hospital."

As part of FY2022 appropriations, Congress revived a process that allows members to make Congressionally Directed Spending requests, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects. Through this process, Sens. Warner and Kaine, along with Rep. McEachin, were able to secure this dedicated funding for the VCU Health System to lead a collaborative gun violence prevention effort with the City of Richmond and other community stakeholders.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been active supporters of increased gun violence prevention measures. Last month, the senators voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – landmark legislation to curb gun violence.



WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,140,321 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), also known as GENEDGE Alliance, in Martinsville. This funding will help GENEDGE better support small and medium-sized manufacturing companies across Virginia with expanding their reach, growing our manufacturing industry, using high-tech solutions, optimizing their facilities, boosting efficiency, and training and mentoring workers.

“The pandemic and war in Ukraine have underscored the importance of supporting domestic manufacturing. We’re excited to announce this funding, which will grow Virginia’s manufacturing industry,” the senators said. “This investment will help ensure small and medium-sized manufacturers have the resources they need.”

GENEDGE is a part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network. In Fiscal Year 2021, the MEP National Network generated $26.20 in new sales growth for manufacturers for every one dollar received in federal funding. 


WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine issued the following statement applauding the historic $58 million federal transportation investment in the Raleigh to Richmond (R2R) corridor announced today:

“We encouraged Secretary Buttigieg to bring this funding to Virginia because when we invest in state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure, we can boost economic development, create jobs, and improve our quality of life. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding, and will keep fighting for similar investments to build on the progress we made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Today’s funding is being allocated through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant program, which aims to both improve travel times and help currently underserved and minority rural communities access rail service. This funding will help support the R2R corridor’s establishment of 162 miles of high-performance passenger rail service between Raleigh and Richmond. Upon completion of the project, more Amtrak trains will be available between Norfolk and Richmond, and between Richmond and long distance destinations to its north and south.

Sens. Warner and Kaine—who helped pass the Warner-negotiated Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which nearly tripled funding for the CRISI Grant program—previously advocated for this investment given its benefits for Virginia and the entire southeast region.


WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Congressman A. Donald McEachin announced $6,355,829 in federal funding for the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to make improvements to Ettrick Station. The improved station will attract additional train service and approximately 10,050 new riders annually.

“We’re excited the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority is receiving these federal dollars to upgrade the Ettrick Station and improve public transportation in the region,” said the lawmakers. “This funding will help enhance safety, increase ridership, and reduce emissions by taking cars off the road.”

The funding was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant program. Specifically, this funding will be used to make improvements to the existing station building and upgrade its parking and lighting. It will also go towards the construction of a new 850 feet long platform in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The funding announced today is in addition to $1 million for the station that Warner, Kaine, and McEachin secured in the FY 2022 government funding bill.


 WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $1,530,000 in federal funding awarded to school districts across the Commonwealth. The funds were administered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of two programs: the 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates and the annual 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates. The funds will go towards the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, propane, compressed natural gas, diesel or gasoline buses that will reduce harmful emissions in the environment.

“We are glad to see so many Virginia school districts receive funding to invest in electric school buses and cleaner vehicles,” the Senators said. “This investment will significantly benefit our communities by reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to helping Virginia school districts compete for additional funding through the $5 billion clean and electric school bus grant program in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”  

The funds will be broken down as follows:

  • $900,000 for three school buses for Petersburg City Public Schools as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates.

This new program provides funds to replace old diesel school buses with new, zero-emission electric school buses. The funds are reserved exclusively for school districts in underserved communities, Tribal schools, and private fleets serving those schools.

  • $250,000 for 10 buses for Newport News Public Schools as part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates.
  • $200,000 for 10 buses for Loudoun County Public Schools as part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates.
  • $100,000 for five buses for Carroll County Public Schools as part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates.
  • $80,000 for four buses for Culpeper County Public Schools as part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates.

This program funds the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas school buses meeting current emission standards.



WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine today announced $350,000 in federal funding for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME) in Richmond to support fair housing. The funding was awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program. Supplemental funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program was included in the American Rescue Plan , supported by Senators Warner and Kaine.

“Too many Virginians are denied equal housing opportunities because of illegal discrimination,” said Senator Kaine. “As a former fair housing attorney, I’ve seen how housing impacts a family’s health and financial well-being. I’m glad this funding will help HOME ensure more Virginians have access to safe and affordable housing.”

“Discriminatory practices should never prevent Virginians from accessing affordable and fair housing opportunities,” said Senator Warner. “I am glad to see these funds go towards providing HOME with the resources needed to help more Virginians in need.” 

Specifically, HOME will use the funding for virtual fair housing workshops and enforcement-related activities. HOME will also hold a Fair Housing Pandemic Roundtable and conduct interviews with Virginians who have been evicted or displaced during the pandemic.

As a former fair housing attorney, Kaine represented Virginians who were denied housing due to discrimination. His first case as a lawyer was referred by HOME, and he subsequently worked with the organization on dozens of other cases.

Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to increase affordable housing and homeownership. In September 2021, Warner and Kaine introduced the Low-Income First Time Homebuyers (LIFT) Act, which would establish a new program to help first-time, first-generation homebuyers – predominately Americans of color – by offering new homeowners a 20-year mortgage for roughly the same monthly payment as a traditional 30-year loan. In October 2021, Warner and Kaine also joined their colleagues in introducing the Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021, which would provide federal grants to assist first-generation homebuyers with qualifying expenses toward purchasing their first home, including downpayment costs, closing costs, and costs to reduce the rates of interest.


 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded an announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it will drop a plan to close the Air Traffic Control Tower at Richmond International Airport between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. The decision follows a November 23 letter from the two Senators that urged the FAA to maintain the Control Tower’s current 24/7 operations.

“We are glad that the FAA listened to feedback from passenger airlines, cargo carriers, fixed base operators, air traffic controllers, and other stakeholders who all opposed the plan to close the air traffic control tower at night,” said Sens. Warner and Kaine. “A busy commercial service airport like Richmond International needs to have a control tower that is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expressing concern that the FAA is considering closing the Air Traffic Control Tower at Richmond International Airport between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. In their letter, the Senators highlight the need for the Control Tower to continue to be operational on a 24/7 basis for airport safety.

“The FAA’s analysis should take into account the critical need for the Control Tower to be open at a busy commercial service airport like Richmond International Airport.  For example, airlines often have flights that are scheduled to arrive before midnight but are delayed and land later,” the Senators wrote.

“We urge the FAA to reconsider the proposed closure of the Control Tower between midnight and 5:00 a.m. We also request a briefing on this matter before any further action is taken,” concluded the Senators.

A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found here and below.

The Honorable Stephen M. Dickson


Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20591

Dear Administrator Dickson: 

We are writing to express our concern that the FAA is considering closing the Air Traffic Control Tower at Richmond International Airport between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.  With passenger airlines and cargo aircraft taking off and landing at the Richmond Airport and maintenance crews and other workers having to be on, or crossing over, the airfield during these hours, the need to ensure safety requires that the Control Tower continue to be operational on a 24/7 basis. 

On October 1, the FAA’s Safety Risk Management Panel hosted a virtual meeting with Richmond Airport officials and various stakeholders.  We understand that the FAA’s proposal has been met with strong opposition from the Richmond Airport, passenger airlines, cargo carriers, the fixed base operators, the air traffic controllers at the Airport, and other stakeholders.

The FAA’s analysis should take into account the critical need for the Control Tower to be open at a busy commercial service airport like Richmond International Airport.  For example, airlines often have flights that are scheduled to arrive before midnight but are delayed and land later.  The Richmond Airport is also an alternate site when airlines must divert flights from landing at other airports due to weather conditions.  The Control Tower also plays an important role in coordinating early morning flights.  Although the flights might take off after 5:00 a.m., coordination between the pilots and the Control Tower may begin before 5:00 a.m. and, consequently, the Control Tower needs to be available. 

We also urge the FAA to consider the Control Tower’s critical role in directing ground traffic at an airport such as the Richmond International Airport, where airfield maintenance and aircraft re-positioning often occur between midnight and 5:00 a.m. 

In summary, given the above concerns, we urge the FAA to reconsider the proposed closure of the Control Tower between midnight and 5:00 a.m.  We also request a briefing on this matter before any further action is taken.

Thank you.




WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), along with U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), introduced legislation to preserve invaluable local resources and help generate economic activity in the Northern Neck. By officially designating the region as a National Heritage Area (NHA), the Northern Neck National Heritage Area Act would deliver critical federal dollars, encourage public-private partnerships, and assign a specific entity – the Northern Neck Tourism Commission – to help protect the Northern Neck’s natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources. 

NPS defines national heritage areas as congressionally designated places where “natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape.” Through their resources, NHAs communicate “nationally important stories” that celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage. Under this legislation, the NHA designation would apply to the land between the Potomac River and Rappahannock River, spanning King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties. 

“As many Virginians already know, the Northern Neck is reflective of the Commonwealth’s unique history, with deep connections to eight Algonquian tribes and a number of American statesmen, including James Madison, James Monroe, and George Washington,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation to help protect the rich history and unique geography of the Northern Neck, and leverage federal dollars to spur long-lasting economic opportunity in the region.” 

“Virginia’s Northern Neck is a source of pride, history, and economic development for the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Kaine. “The beauty and cultural significance of the region attract tourism, strengthening Virginia’s economy and supporting jobs. I’m proud to introduce this piece of legislation to highlight the Northern Neck’s natural beauty and cultural assets, which will bring visitors and economic development.”

“The Northern Neck’s lands and waters showcase a natural beauty unlike any other. As a longtime resident of the Northern Neck, I know our heritage is unique and worthy of preserving,” said Rep. Wittman. “With a history profoundly intertwined with that of the entire nation, it’s only right for us to recognize the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area. I’m proud to join Senators Warner and Kaine in introducing this bipartisan legislation.” 

The introduction of this legislation follows the completion of the Northern Neck National Heritage Area Feasibility Study. The National Park Service (NPS) – which began conducting this study more than a decade ago – recently concluded that the Northern Neck’s themes, local traditions, and natural and historic resources retain “sufficient integrity and opportunities for public engagement” to be eligible for an NHA designation. 

Under this legislation, and as approved by the NPS study, the heritage area would be managed by the Northern Neck Tourism Commission, which would serve as the NHA’s local coordinating entity. 

This legislation would also make federal funding available to the region and empower the commission to carry out an area management plan, including by:

·         Protecting and restoring relevant historic sites and building;

·         Carrying out programs and projects that recognize, protect, and enhance important resources;

·         Developing recreational and educational opportunities in the area;

·         Establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits and programs;

·         Promoting a wide range of partnerships among the federal government, state, tribal and local governments, organizations, and individuals; 

·         Increasing public awareness and appreciation for natural, historical, scenic, and cultural resources in the area; and

·         Ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs identifying points of public access and sires of interest are posted throughout the area

"The Northern Neck has been working together for over 20 years in pursuit of the National Heritage Area Designation.  With designation, the Northern Neck Region will have a greater voice in sharing its stories which contribute to understanding the early origins of our nation. The National Heritage Area Designation recognizes the region for the special place it is, historically, culturally, and for its natural resources. It aligns with the region's tourism strategy as an important economic development driver in this rural area,” said Jerry W. Davis, AICP, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission.    

Sen. Warner, Sen. Kaine, and Rep. Wittman have long advocated for the designation of the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area. Last year, the lawmakers penned a letter requesting an update from NPS on the area’s feasibility study, following apparent delays in its release.

The text of this legislation is available here.


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today applauded $21,649,505 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury to support and advance business ownership among minority entrepreneurs in Virginia. The funding was awarded through the CDFI Rapid Response Program (RRP) – a program established and funded by a record $12 billion investment in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that Sen. Warner authored and successfully fought to include in the December COVID-19 relief legislation. 

“As a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I know that the kind of opportunities that once allowed me to succeed are often out of reach for Black and brown folks, who due to historic and systemic inequities often lack the credit history or banking relationships needed to access capital. To make matters worse, these inequalities have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had disproportionate effects on minority and low-income communities,” said Sen. Warner. “This funding will provide critical resources to Virginia’s CDFIs, which specialize in supporting underserved communities. I’m thrilled to know that these dollars are now headed directly to Virginia to support key priorities including small businesses, affordable housing, and access to consumer financial services. This funding marks a successful first step towards ensuring the recovery is felt by all communities.”

As negotiated by Sen. Warner, the $12 billion investment in CDFIs and MDIs includes $3 billion in grants to be delivered through the CDFI Fund. The nearly $22 million awarded today is part of the first $1.25 billion tranche of that $3 billion in grant funding. These federal dollars will be distributed among 18 Virginia CDFIs – the financial institutions most connected to the Commonwealth’s minority communities – and will ultimately go towards supporting affordable access to credit for Virginians in Black, Latino and low-income communities. 

The funding will be distributed as follows:

Appalachian Community Capital Corporation






Business Seed Capital, Inc.



Capital Impact Partners



Community Business Partnership



Community Investment Collaborative



Democracy FCU



DuPont Community Credit Union



ECDC Enterprise Development Group



Freedom First Federal Credit Union



People Incorporated Financial Services



Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union



Piedmont Housing Alliance



RVA Financial Federal Credit Union



Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.



Virginia Community Capital, Inc.



Virginia Community Development Fund, Inc.,



The Virginia Foodshed Capital








The COVID-19 crisis has only served to exacerbate the existing economic challenges faced by Black and brown Americans. Throughout this crisis, thousands of minority-owned small businesses have closed for good, in part due to difficulty securing bank loans and accessing assistance such as the Paycheck Protection Program. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that while overall small business ownership in the U.S. dropped 22 percent between February and April 2020, Black and Latino ownership dropped by 41 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Unemployment rates for Black and brown Americans have also been consistently higher than that of White Americans.

To combat the hemorrhaging of jobs and economic opportunities during the pandemic, Sen. Warner in July teamed up with then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act in order to strengthen the financial institutions that serve communities of color and increase lending to minority-owned businesses and lower-income borrowers. The effort secured endorsements from the Black Economic Alliance, the NAACP, the National Bankers Association, the National Urban League, the Center for Responsible Lending and a host of other advocacy organizations and civil rights groups. Sen. Warner was later able to secure provisions from the bill in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, providing an unprecedented $12 billion in funding for lenders that predominantly operate in underserved communities.


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in announcing that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the County of Alleghany, Covington, Virginia, for trail improvements along the Jackson River and to bolster the local tourism economy. This EDA grant, to be matched with $600,000 in state funding, is expected to create more than 30 jobs.

“Virginia’s abundance of outdoor recreation activities such as hiking and fishing are at the heart of the Commonwealth’s tourism industry,” said Senator Mark Warner. “With the weather getting warmer and more families taking trips to visit the Commonwealth’s scenic views, I’m pleased to announce these funds to make necessary improvements that will help create jobs and attract more tourism dollars to our communities.” 

“President Biden is committed to getting our tourism sector back up to speed and Americans back to work,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the County of Alleghany will aid in the reopening of the local tourism economy and will retain critical tourism, hospitality, and manufacturing jobs in the state.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will allow for completion of the Jackson River Scenic Trail and the addition of outdoor amenities, which will bolster tourism in Virginia, providing new jobs and economic opportunities.”

“Virginia is home to some of the nation's most beautiful parks, trails, and rivers,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “I’m grateful for this investment in Alleghany County, which will support tourism in the region and boost our quickly-recovering economy.” 

“I am pleased to see this CARES Act funding go toward improvements along the Jackson River,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “This vital investment will help tourism rebound and spur economic activity in Alleghany County.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded the Biden administration for increasing the amount of federal dollars that Virginia will receive for five emergency projects across the Commonwealth. By adjusting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s federal cost share from 75 percent to 100 percent, the Biden administration will help deliver an additional $22,915,050 in federal funding to cover the cost of communicating COVID-19 warnings and guidance to Virginians and procuring and utilizing medical supplies and equipment to combat the virus.

“COVID-19 created an immediate threat to the health and safety of our country requiring emergency response and protective measures. We thank the Biden administration for recently adjusting the federal cost share to help the Commonwealth manage, control, and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said the Senators. “As Virginians continue to wear a mask, social distance, and get tested and vaccinated, we remain committed to ensuring that the Commonwealth has the necessary tools and procedures to continue to tackle this health crisis.”

The following projects will receive funding as listed below:



FEMA Share Previously 


Cost Share Adjustment

Fairfax County




City of Alexandria




Virginia Department of Emergency Management




Centra Health




Virginia Department of Emergency Management









WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that Virginia will receive $79,907,625 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support 26 community health centers across the Commonwealth. The funding – which was made possible through the American Rescue Plan – will be awarded beginning in April by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“For the past year, our community health centers have been on the front lines of providing care to our most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 crisis,” said the Senators. “Thanks to the congressional passage and eventual signing of the American Rescue Plan, we are now able to provide these critical federal dollars so that our community health centers can continue to provide lifesaving care to the folks who need it the most.”

The funding for the 26 community health centers will be awarded as follows:



Award Amount

Neighborhood Health



Blue Ridge Medical Center Inc.



Bland County Medical Clinic Inc. 



Free Clinic of the New River Valley, Inc. 



Piedmont Access to Health Services Inc. 



Clinch River Health Services Inc. 



Harrisonburg Community Health Center, Inc. 



St. Charles Health Council Inc. 



Tri-Area Community Health 

Laurel Fork


Loudoun Community Health Center



Rockbridge Area Free Clinic 



Johnson Health Center 



Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness 



Highland Medical Center 



Central Virginia Health Services, Inc. 

New Canton


Peninsula Institute for Community Health, Inc. 

Newport News


Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Incorporated 



Portsmouth Community Health Center, Inc. 



Daily Planet Inc. 



Richmond, City of 



Kuumba Community Health & Wellness Center, Inc. 



Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, Inc. 



Stony Creek Community Health Center 

Stony Creek


Southern Dominion Health Systems, Inc.



Horizon Health Services, Inc. 



Greater Prince William Area Community Health Center, Inc. 



Health centers will be able to use these funds to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. 


WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will receive $14,052,640.77 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the operation of the Virginia COVID Information Center (VCIC) in scheduling vaccinations and providing timely and accurate COVID-19 general information in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agency (CDC) guidelines. 

“We are pleased to announce this funding to help Virginians pre-register for and schedule vaccinations,” said the Senators. “As vaccine production ramps up, we remain committed to expanding Virginia’s vaccination capacity so that all eligible workers and residents can get their shots as soon as possible.” 

Sens. Warner and Kaine strongly supported the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan, which included $7.5 billion in funding for the CDC and public health departments to expand vaccine distribution and administration. 


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is supporting two major projects designed to increase the reliability of rural electric utility systems in Virginia. The Senators today announced two low-interest loans of $25 million to the Northern Neck Electric Cooperation in Warsaw, Va., and $16 million to the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in Palmyra, Va., through the Electric Loan Program, which targets rural regions where capital is limited to finance infrastructure upgrades, create jobs, and improve rural electric customers' operations in Virginia. 

“We applaud this investment in Virginia’s rural communities,” said the Senators. “These low-interest loans will help improve reliability for local residents and businesses, which in turn strengthens our entire economy.”

The $41 million in funding will be disbursed to the following electric cooperatives in Virginia:

  • $25,000,000 in loans to the Northern Neck Electric Cooperation in Warsaw, VA to build and improve 40 miles of electrical line, fund smart grid projects, and make system improvements. Northern Neck Electric Cooperation will also use the funding to install 45 miles of fiber-optic communication lines.
  • $16,000,000 in loans to the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in Palmyra, VA to build and improve 27 miles of electrical line, fund smart grid projects, and make system improvements.


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $4,000,000 in federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority to help expand access to and improve the quality of mental health and substance abuse programs.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen an increased demand for mental health and substance abuse services,” said the Senators. “We are glad to announce that this funding will provide increased support to expand access to mental health and substance abuse services and treatment in Richmond.” 

During the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that more than a third of Americans were suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The most recent COVID-19 package negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by both senators included $4.5 billion in mental health and substance abuse services. It also included additional funding for suicide and childhood trauma programs. 

The funding was awarded through the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Expansion grant program, which seeks to increase access to and improve the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment services through the expansion of CCBHCs.



WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), joined by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), introduced the Healthy Food Access for All Americans (HFAAA) Act. The legislation aims to expand access to affordable and nutritious food in areas designated as “food deserts” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).                                                                                       

“Today, too many Americans lack access to fresh nutritious and healthy foods. Unfortunately, that reality has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, which has made it even more difficult for working families to seek out and afford healthy foods,” said Sen. Warner. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that will serve as an important tool to combat food insecurity in our communities.”

“Over the past year, we have seen unprecedented need at food banks as Kansans line-up seeking access to nutritional food,” said Sen. Moran. “Even while living in the breadbasket of our nation, food insecurity affects far too many Kansans, a need that has only increased during COVID-19. This bipartisan legislation, which would incentivize food providers to establish and renovate grocery stores, food banks and farmers markets in communities that traditionally lack affordable, healthy and convenient food options, is now more important than ever during this pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made routine tasks like going to the grocery store difficult for millions of Americans—especially for families who live in a food dessert and have to travel an extended distance to access healthy foods.” said Senator Casey. “No one in America should be burdened by a simple trip to the grocery store. The bipartisan Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would provide critical support to expand access to healthy food in underserved communities,” said Sen. Casey.

“Many Americans living in rural communities—including those in West Virginia—have difficulty accessing fresh and nutritious foods. I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation, which will go a long way in helping to improve access to groceries and healthy foods across West Virginia and make it easier for businesses and non-profit organizations to serve our rural communities,” said Sen. Capito.

According to recent data from USDA, nearly 40 million Americans live in food deserts, areas defined to be without grocery stores within one or more miles in urban regions, and ten or more miles in rural regions. In Virginia alone, there are more than one million individuals living in food deserts. Studies have shown that Americans who live in communities with low-access to healthy food options are at higher risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, according to USDA’s own study, people of color are more likely to reside in a food desert.

In an effort to eliminate food deserts in the U.S., the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would provide incentives to food providers to expand access to healthy foods in these underserved communities and reduce the number of food deserts nationwide.

Specifically, the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act, which defines a grocery market as a retail sales store with at least 35 percent of its selection (or forecasted selection) dedicated to selling fresh produce, poultry, dairy, and deli items – would spark investment in food deserts across the country that have a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, or a median family income of less than 80 percent of the median for the state or metro area. It would grant tax credits or grants to food providers who service low-access communities and attain a “Special Access Food Provider” (SAFP) certification through the Treasury Department. Incentives would be awarded based on the following structure:

  • New Store Construction – Companies that construct new grocery stores in a food desert will receive a onetime 15 percent tax credit after receiving certification.
  • Retrofitting Existing Structures – Companies that make retrofits to an existing store’s healthy food sections can receive a onetime 10 percent tax credit after the repairs certify the store as an SAFP.
  • Food Banks – Certified food banks that build new (permanent) structures in food deserts will be eligible to receive a onetime grant for 15 percent of their construction costs.
  • Temporary Access Merchants – Certified temporary access merchants (i.e. mobile markets, farmers markets, and some food banks) that are 501(c)(3)s will receive grants for 10 percent of their annual operating costs.

The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act boasts the support of numerous organizations, including Feeding America, the National Grocers Association, Share Our Strength, and Bread for the World.

“Feeding America commends Senator Warner for confronting the unfortunate fact that the burdens faced by the 40 million Americans living with hunger are even worse for those who live in food deserts. Our network of 200 member food banks understands that areas without affordable, healthy food options have higher rates of food insecurity exacerbated by the lack access to adequate transportation to the nearest food pantry or grocery market. Feeding America supports the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act and believes it is a critical step to give nonprofits and retailers support to increase food access in underserved areas,” said Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer at Feeding America. 

“The National Grocers Association embraces Senator Warner’s efforts to remove the obstacles faced by grocers looking to expand access to nutritious food for rural and urban communities without a supermarket,” said Molly Pfaffenroth, Senior Director of Government Relations at National Grocers Association. “Independent community grocers are the heartbeat of the areas they serve and historically are leaders in reaching out to those most in need of better food options. Communities are stronger both physically and economically when they have better access to healthy food, so we look forward to working with Congress on this important bipartisan legislation.”

“To end childhood hunger in America, we must ensure that low-income families, have equitable access to healthy, affordable food options no matter their zip code or circumstances. Ending food deserts will help more families put food on the table and help children get the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. Share Our Strength supports The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act and thanks Sens. Warner, Moran, Casey, and Capito for their leadership on this issue,” said Billy Shore, Founder and Executive Chair of Share Our Strength. 

“Bread for the World is once again excited to see a bipartisan effort to address food deserts and improve access to nutritious food in low-income areas across America.  With 1 in 6 Americans and 1 in 4 children experiencing food insecurity during this pandemic, this legislation is desperately needed. Bread for the World thanks Senators Warner, Moran, Casey and Capito for introducing this bill to reduce hunger in communities and improve health across the country,” said Heather Valentine, Director of Government Relations of Bread for the World. 

Companion legislation will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and A. Donald McEachin (D-VA).

Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate of expanded access to food assistance for families in the Commonwealth amid the COVID-19 crisis. He has put pressure on the USDA to formally authorize Virginia’s request to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot Program, successfully pushed USDA to waive a requirement that made it more difficult for families to receive USDA-reimbursable meals, and secured a USDA designation that allows food banks to distribute food directly to Virginia families in need while limiting interactions between food bank staff, volunteers, and recipients. In August, Sen. Warner also successfully pushed for USDA to extend critical food waivers to help make sure students have access to nutritious meals while school districts participate in distance learning. The COVID-19 relief package signed into law in December provides $13 billion in nutrition assistance, including a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits. Last month, Sen. Warner introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that allows federal government to pay all costs to states to partner with restaurants and provide food to vulnerable populations.

Bill text for the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act can be found here. A summary of the bill can be found here.


Population of Virginians by city or county living in food deserts as defined in this bill*

Accomack: 4401

Albemarle: 3765

Amherst: 10217

Augusta: 11919

Bath: 4731

Bland: 3901

Botetourt: 7792

Brunswick: 8041

Buckingham: 8400

Campbell: 8756

Caroline: 3278

Carroll: 4767

Charlotte: 12586

Chesterfield: 38638

Culpeper: 18511

Cumberland: 10052

Dinwiddie: 12196

Essex: 8026

Fairfax: 11213

Floyd: 9102

Franklin: 25439

Grayson: 5277

Halifax: 27851

Hanover: 4243

Henrico: 39618

Henry: 22130

Highland: 2321

James City: 4014

King and Queen: 3881

Loudoun: 3869

Mecklenburg: 17632

Montgomery: 32249

Nelson: 5696

Nottoway: 9783

Orange: 4934

Patrick: 11262

Pittsylvania: 23119

Prince Edward: 10624

Prince George: 8543

Prince William: 55128

Rappahannock: 7373

Rockbridge: 15873

Rockingham: 11530

Scott: 7959

Shenandoah: 9068

Smyth: 3913

Southampton: 7958

Spotsylvania: 21803

Stafford: 12818

Sussex: 6377

Tazewell: 12740

Warren: 14335

Wise: 9566

Wythe: 6773

Bristol: 13982

Buena Vista: 6650

Charlottesville: 6616

Chesapeake: 33605

Covington: 3098

Danville: 15545

Franklin City: 8582

Fredericksburg: 8988

Hampton: 38928

Harrisonburg: 9016

Hopewell: 12120

Lexington: 7042

Lynchburg: 29886

Manassas: 7678

Manassas Park: 6248

Martinsville: 6166

Newport News: 38292

Norfolk: 62583

Petersburg: 22639

Portsmouth: 11862

Radford: 12260

Richmond City: 62381

Roanoke City: 39950

Salem: 10424

Suffolk: 9752

Virginia Beach: 27205

Waynesboro: 5240

Williamsburg: 4138

Total: 1,186,877

*The most recent year for which data is available is 2017.