Warner, Kaine, and Scott Applaud Approval of Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project and Over $39 Million in Federal Funding to Support Project
Oct 31 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (D-VA) and U.S. Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) applauded the Administration’s announcement of its approval of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project off the coast of the Hampton Roads region, which is expected to power over 650,000 homes, create thousands of jobs, and grow Hampton Roads’ economy. The CVOW project will be the largest commercial-scale offshore wind project in America.
In addition to the approval of the project, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced $39,265,000 in federal funding for the City of Norfolk Economic Development Authority, which is working to convert an existing marine terminal and berth to an offshore wind logistics facility that will support the CVOW project and other projects. Specifically, the funding will make improvements to the berth to support heavy lift requirements and construction of a floating pier. This funding will go toward existing efforts to transform Lamberts Point, also known as Fairwinds Landing, into an offshore wind hub. The funding was awarded through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).
“Virginia’s economy wins when we work together to embrace innovative technologies. We’re thrilled that the Administration approved the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project and announced significant federal funding to build an offshore wind logistics facility,” said the lawmakers. “Today’s announcement reaffirms Virginia as a leader in offshore wind. It wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of stakeholders in the region, investments we’ve secured to support the Port of Virginia, and legislation we passed in Congress, like the Inflation Reduction Act, to advance clean energy. We look forward to continuing to work with regional leaders during the next phases of this project and seeing the positive impacts this will have for the region’s economy.”
Warner, Kaine, and Scott have long supported the CVOW project and advocated for the project’s approval. Warner, Kaine, and Scott have secured significant funding for the Port of Virginia, including $20 million in funding for improvements to Portsmouth Marine Terminal that will allow it to serve as a staging area to support the manufacturing and movement of offshore wind goods to support the CVOW project. The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by one vote in the Senate and was supported by Warner, Kaine and Scott, included significant incentives to accelerate the production of renewable energy and support projects like this one.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today passed a measure led by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that prohibits the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from operating or providing federal funds for drones produced in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba.
This amendment will now be included in the Appropriations Minibus package to fund Military Construction/Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and agencies related.
“Drones have tremendous potential to transform our society,” said Sen. Warner. “But we have a responsibility to ensure that as the adoption of this technology continues to grow, we are not advancing the goals of our adversaries. I’m thrilled to see this measure pass to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to purchase or import products that go against U.S. interests.”
“Taxpayer dollars should never fund drones manufactured in regions that are hostile toward our nation, including Communist China,” said Sen. Blackburn. “As the world rapidly becomes more technologically advanced, it’s vital that we protect critical U.S. sectors from the increasingly aggressive New Axis of Evil and their partners. My amendment will help curb the importation of drones produced by our adversaries, keeping our nation safer and encouraging manufacturing here at home.”
Sen. Warner's amendment will withhold funding included in this appropriations package for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that could be used to benefit drone companies:
- Located in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba;
- Owned or subject to the influence or control of any government listed above; or
- Included in the Consolidated Screening List, which the United States Government uses to maintain restrictions on certain exports, reexports, or transfers of items.
The amendment also will prohibit the FAA or its contractors from procuring or operating drones produced in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba.
In June 2023, Sens. Warnerand Warner introduced a version of this amendment as standalone legislation, the Stemming The Operation of Pernicious and Illicit (STOP Illicit) Drones Act.
Oct 30 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) – Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Co-Chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, and former technology entrepreneur – issued the statement below after President Joe Biden announced a new executive order on Artificial Intelligence.
“I am impressed by the breadth of this Executive Order – with sections devoted to increasing AI workforce inside and outside of government, federal procurement, and global engagement. I am also happy to see a number of sections that closely align with my efforts around AI safety and security and federal government’s use of AI. At the same time, many of these just scratch the surface – particularly in areas like health care and competition policy. Other areas overlap pending bipartisan legislation, such as the provision related to national security use of AI, which duplicates some of the work in the past two Intel Authorization Acts related to AI governance. While this is a good step forward, we need additional legislative measures, and I will continue to work diligently to ensure that we prioritize security, combat bias and harmful misuse, and responsibly roll out technologies.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), today announced the promotions of William Wu to serve as Staff Director and Maria Mahler-Haug as Deputy Staff Director of the Committee.
“I am thrilled to announce the selection of William Wu and Maria Mahler-Haug to head the Senate Intelligence Committee’s experienced and diverse leadership team. Will and Maria have deep expertise in national security and the Intelligence Community as well as significant Capitol Hill and executive branch experience that will serve them well in conducting careful oversight over our nation’s most sensitive matters,” said Chairman Warner.
William Wu first joined SSCI in 2021 as Deputy Staff Director. He replaces former Staff Director Michael C. Casey, who was recently confirmed as Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. Prior to joining SSCI, Wu served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and in the executive branch, including at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget, and on the National Security Council staff. In addition to his public service, he was also previously on the investment team at In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit strategic investor that partners with the technology startup and venture capital communities to deliver cutting-edge capabilities to the national security enterprise. Additionally, Wu is an Army combat veteran, with deployments to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. He received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Maria Mahler-Haug has served as Professional Staff Member and Designee to U.S. Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2019. Previously, she served as Military Legislative Assistant to Senator Bennet, advising on national security matters, with a focus on China, emerging technologies, democracy and the Middle East. Mahler-Haug was a 2013-2014 Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, completing rotations at the German Ministry of Defense office of NATO policy and at the German export credit agency, Euler Hermes. Previously, she served as Policy Aide to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), supporting the senator’s responsibilities as a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. Mahler-Haug has also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives. She graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s in International Relations.
Oct 24 2023
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and nine Democratic colleagues in a call to the Department of Labor (DOL), urging Acting Secretary Julie Su to hold companies accountable to the fullest extent of the law for serious violations of child labor laws. Specifically, the Senators urged DOL to go after companies that benefit from illegal child labor by continuing to rely on contractors found liable of breaking labor laws and exploiting vulnerable children.
This letter comes amid an ongoing inquiry by DOL into Tysons, Perdue, and their contractors following an alarming report by New York Times Magazine. This report raised serious concerns about the influx of unaccompanied noncitizen children working long hours in dangerous conditions, including 14 year-old Marcos Cux, whose arm was nearly torn off while working around dangerous machinery at a Perdue complex on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. In the letter, the Senators urge the Department to consider steps to reduce such exploitation and provide vulnerable children – particularly recently arrived unaccompanied migrant children – safe and age-appropriate workforce development opportunities.
The senators wrote, “There have been multiple reports in recent months regarding the continued use of illegal child labor across the United States. We appreciate the efforts the Biden Administration and the Department of Labor (DOL) are taking to eliminate this scourge. However, these recent reports highlight the need to take further steps to protect children from dangerous employment that could result in injury and even death.”
“Child labor violations do not occur in a vacuum—often, these violations take place alongside multiple other types of labor violations. A recent federal investigation found that a 17-year-old worker who fell 24 feet from the roof of a home improvement store in October 2022 was not only doing work that violated child labor laws, but that the roofing contractor had also failed to pay 30 employees their full wages and exposed other workers to dangerous fall hazards,” they continued. “Reports show that children are particularly vulnerable to these types of dangerous, low-paying jobs, as their adult counterparts often are able to find better pay elsewhere. Companies who have been found to exploit their workers—children or otherwise—must be monitored closely to ensure these types of egregious violations do not reoccur.”
“We also urge you to consider additional means by which to provide eligible vulnerable noncitizen youth—particularly recent arrivals who are unaccompanied—access to safe and appropriate work opportunities. The Department has received funding from Congress to support programs that provide workforce development opportunities to ensure that youth have access to age-appropriate jobs and subsidized training. These programs offer opportunities for training and skills development to attain an on-ramp to quality career pathways,” the senators wrote. “However, it is often difficult for such vulnerable children to navigate our labor laws without assistance. Some may not understand laws related to applying for work permits, and may not be aware that certain jobs, such as cleaning positions in a meatpacking plant, are extremely dangerous and unlawful. We strongly encourage DOL to ensure that workforce development programs and opportunities are accessible in areas that need them most, including areas of the country where repeated child labor exploitation has occurred.”
In addition to Sens. Warner, Kaine, and Durbin, the letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
A copy of the letter is available here and below:
Dear Acting Secretary Su:
There have been multiple reports in recent months regarding the continued use of illegal child labor across the United States. We appreciate the efforts the Biden Administration and the Department of Labor (DOL) are taking to eliminate this scourge. However, these recent reports highlight the need to take further steps to protect children from dangerous employment that could result in injury and even death. We urge you to consider the steps outlined below to continue to reduce such exploitation and provide vulnerable children with safe and appropriate work opportunities.
We urge you to continue to ensure that companies that contract with violators of child labor laws and benefit from child labor exploitation are held responsible to the fullest extent possible under the law. After an investigation by DOL found more than 100 children cleaning meatpacking plants around the country, the cleaning company, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., was ordered to pay a $1.5 million fine, but according to report at the time, none of the corporations that benefited from the children’s work were investigated. While we agree that subcontractors who directly hire children for these dangerous jobs should be held accountable, we firmly believe that DOL also should investigate companies that choose to work with such subcontractors. We are pleased that the Department recently opened a federal investigation into whether corporations can be considered employers when children enter their factories through contractors. Are additional measures needed from Congress to better hold employers across all levels accountable for violations of child labor laws?
Child labor violations do not occur in a vacuum—often, these violations take place alongside multiple other types of labor violations. A recent federal investigation found that a 17-year-old worker who fell 24 feet from the roof of a home improvement store in October 2022 was not only doing work that violated child labor laws, but that the roofing contractor had also failed to pay 30 employees their full wages and exposed other workers to dangerous fall hazards. Reports show that children are particularly vulnerable to these types of dangerous, low-paying jobs, as their adult counterparts often are able to find better pay elsewhere. Companies who have been found to exploit their workers—children or otherwise—must be monitored closely to ensure these types of egregious violations do not reoccur.
We also urge you to consider additional means by which to provide eligible vulnerable noncitizen youth—particularly recent arrivals who are unaccompanied—access to safe and appropriate work opportunities. The Department has received funding from Congress to support programs that provide workforce development opportunities to ensure that youth have access to age-appropriate jobs and subsidized training. These programs offer opportunities for training and skills development to attain an on-ramp to quality career pathways. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) authorizes several youth-targeted programs, which are the primary DOL-administered workforce development programs for youth.
Participants in programs authorized under Title I of WIOA must be authorized to work in the United States. Notably, unaccompanied children of working age are eligible to apply for a work permit six months after they apply for asylum, or if the Department of Homeland Security has determined they are abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent and therefore are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
However, it is often difficult for such vulnerable children to navigate our labor laws without assistance. Some may not understand laws related to applying for work permits, and may not be aware that certain jobs, such as cleaning positions in a meatpacking plant, are extremely dangerous and unlawful. We strongly encourage DOL to ensure that workforce development programs and opportunities are accessible in areas that need them most, including areas of the country where repeated child labor exploitation has occurred. To what extent does the Administration work to connect noncitizen children—particularly recently arrived unaccompanied children—to state or local workforce development resources or provide other resources to ensure these children understand U.S. labor laws and workforce training opportunities?
Thank you for your continued work to eradicate child labor exploitation. We strongly support such initiatives, and are committed to collaborating with you to protect our nation’s young people from exploitation.
Warner and Kaine Announce over $90 Million in Federal Funding to Lower Virginians' Home Energy Costs
Oct 24 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $93,123,844 in federal funding to help low-income individuals and families in Virginia pay for home heating costs, cover utility bills, and help weatherize homes to lower their energy bills as winter approaches. The funding is awarded through the Administration for Children and Families’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and was made possible by last year’s government funding bill, the stopgap government funding bill Sens. Warner and Kaine voted to pass in September, and the bipartisan infrastructure law.
“With winter just around the corner, it is crucial that every Virginian is able to stay safe from the cold,” said the senators. “Today’s funding will help ensure that families and individuals throughout the Commonwealth have the support they need to pay their bills and lower their energy costs.”
The funding will be allocated to the Commonwealth and distributed on a need basis.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for lowering energy costs and have consistently advocated for funding for LIHEAP, which provides federally funded assistance to reduce the costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and minor energy-related home repairs. The senators also supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), landmark legislation that helps lower energy costs by making energy efficient appliances more affordable, invests in home energy repairs, and supports the costs of solar projects.
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) selected two projects in Virginia as part of the first phase of EDA’s Regional Tech Hubs Program.
The Tech Hubs Program, made possible by the CHIPS and Science Act, bipartisan legislation strongly supported by both senators, aims to strengthen U.S. economic and national security by investing in regions across the country that have the assets, resources, and potential to become globally competitive innovation centers focused on the technologies and industries of the future. Specifically, this U.S. Department of Commerce program brings together diverse public, private, and academic partners into collaborative consortia focused on driving inclusive regional growth. With their existing innovation assets as a foundation, these Tech Hubs are envisioned to build the workforce of the future, enable businesses to start and scale, and deploy and deliver critical and emerging technologies.
In the Richmond/Petersburg region, the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub was designated as one of 31 inaugural Tech Hubs in regions across the country that show potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors. Led by the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, this consortium will ensure that critical pharmaceuticals are manufactured here in America by employing regional assets, scientific capacities, and public and private investment to accelerate the growth, innovation, and sustainability of the U.S.-based pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. This comes as increasing overseas manufacturing creates supply chain vulnerabilities and difficulties in pharmaceutical quality regulation and monitoring. The designation of the Richmond/Petersburg region as a Tech Hub builds off last year’s award of $52.9 million from the EDA’s Regional Challenge program to the Virginia Advanced Pharma Manufacturing (APM) Cluster, led by the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority and located in the Richmond/Petersburg region. That award, dedicated to expanding the domestic supply chain for essential medicines and critical active pharmaceutical ingredients, was made possible by the American Rescue Plan that the senators voted for and by the senators’ efforts to advocate directly for the project.
“The CHIPS and Science Act continues to deliver significant wins for Virginia, supporting the creation of an Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub in the Richmond-Petersburg region. I was proud to support this project, which will help make the Richmond-Petersburg region a critical hub for the manufacturing of advanced pharmaceuticals. Today’s announcement will help boost the American pharmaceutical industry while creating 21st century jobs for Virginians,” said Sen. Warner.
“Manufacturing critical medicines, including insulin, in America is good for patients, our workers, our economy, and the stability of our supply chains. That’s why I’ve worked for decades to boost our biotechnology sector in the Richmond region. I helped form and grow the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority, a leader of this project, while I was on Richmond City Council, served on the Authority’s board while I was Richmond’s mayor, and appointed its board members while I was governor. Now as Senator, I worked to secure funding from the American Rescue Plan for the project and pushed to make this competitive Tech Hub designation possible. I’ll keep working to advance this critical economic development project for Central Virginia,” said Sen. Kaine.
This designation is part of the first phase of the novel Tech Hubs program that will invest directly in high-potential U.S. regions and aim to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s strategy to supercharge their respective technological industry to create jobs and strengthen U.S. economic and national security. Designated Tech Hubs are now eligible to apply for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50 and $75 million in each of 5-10 Designated Hubs. The consortium was selected from 198 applications from regional consortia that include industry, academia, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners. The Tech Hubs span regions across 32 states and Puerto Rico and represent a cross section of urban and rural regions.
In the New River Valley and Danville, the Virginia Additive Manufacturing and Applied Materials Strategy Development Consortium was awarded a Strategic Development Grant, which will go towards advancing a regional strategy based in the New River Valley to develop and deploy additive manufacturing system technologies for heavy industry to re-shore manufacturing and to strengthen domestic supply chain resilience.
“Today’s selection of Virginia’s Additive Manufacturing and Applied Materials Strategy Development Consortium as a Tech Hubs Strategy Development Grant recipient is great news for the New River Valley, Southside, and for the Commonwealth as a whole. I am proud to have supported this application and look forward to continuing the growth of the regions’ innovation economy,” said Sen. Warner. “The CHIPS & Science Act, which I was proud to author and lead through Congress, continues to bring high-paying, competitive jobs to Virginia.”
“Last month, I visited MELD manufacturing in Christiansburg and saw up close the strength of Virginia’s Additive Manufacturing and Applied Materials Strategy Development Consortium. Today’s exciting announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce is a recognition of the incredible work Virginians have already accomplished through this partnership, and their great potential for job creation in the future. As Seapower Chair on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am particularly impressed with how these innovations will enhance our national security. I will continue to do all that I can to support economic development in the New River Valley and applaud the innovators there that keep Virginia at the cutting-edge,” said Sen. Kaine.
Led by the New River Valley Regional Commission, this consortium will leverage the grant to increase local coordination and planning activities to strengthen the region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technologies critical to U.S. economic and national security. This consortium was selected for a grant from a competitive pool of 181 applications.
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
Oct 20 2023
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and six Democratic colleagues in a call to President Biden to prioritize additional resources to strengthen security at the Southwest border in order to stop the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl through ports of entry. As states across the country, including the Commonwealth of Virginia, struggle with soaring overdose rates, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shows drugs are overwhelmingly being smuggled through U.S. ports of entry. In response to CBP agents reporting finding pills in seat cushions, car batteries, metal walkers, and bicycle frames, the Senators are pushing for increased funding for security and surveillance for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“We have long supported increasing funding for comprehensive measures to enhance border enforcement, management, and security,” the senators wrote. “The situation at our border is complex, and it will take continued leadership and funding to stem the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl, smuggling, and transnational criminal organizations that operate along our border.”
Overdose deaths, particularly among young people, are increasing across the United States. In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than 112,000 people died from a drug overdose between May 2022 and May 2023, with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids causing the vast majority of overdoses. Virginia was among 37 states in which accidental drug overdoses were the largest cause of death for people under 40 years old in 2022.
Specifically, the senators are pushing for additional CBP agents and increased processing and screening capacity at ports of entry, as well as acquiring non-invasive inspection technology to stop drug smugglers before their fentanyl hits American fentanyl.
In addition to Sens. Warner and Casey, the letter was signed by Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
A copy of the letter is available here and below:
Dear President Biden:
As you consider the critical funding needs of our Nation, we urge you to prioritize additional funding, resources, and innovative strategies to strengthen the security of our southwest border and address the multiple, overlapping challenges there. We have long supported increasing funding for comprehensive measures to enhance border enforcement, management, and security. The situation at our border is complex, and it will take continued leadership and funding to stem the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl, smuggling, and transnational criminal organizations that operate along our border.
Overdose deaths, particularly among young people, are increasing across our Nation. In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than 112,000 people died from a drug overdose between May 2022 and May 2023, with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids causing the vast majority of overdoses. Furthermore, according to a new analysis reported in September 2023, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and Virginia were among the 37 states in which accidental drug overdoses were the largest cause of death for people under 40-years-old in 2022. In Montana, accidental overdoses of young people under 40 increased by 121% from 2018 to 2022.
The increasing rates of overdose deaths are clearly being driven, in part, by fentanyl trafficking across our border. From FY 2019 to FY 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizures of fentanyl nearly tripled. So far in FY 2023, CBP has already seized over 25,000 pounds of fentanyl. In March, it was reported that CBP seized more than 21 million fentanyl tablets in the Nogales, AZ port of entry over the prior five months—more than the number of tablets seized during the entire previous year. Highlighting the complex situation that CBP must navigate when seizing fentanyl, officials have indicated that individuals are smuggling pills inside seat cushions, car batteries, metal walkers, and even hollowed-out bicycle frames. Furthermore, CBP data has shown that drugs are overwhelmingly being smuggled through U.S. ports of entry—particularly in Arizona and California—and we must do more to ensure that our CBP Officers have the funding, tools, and technology necessary to be able to stop this surge of fentanyl into our country.
Strengthening our southwest border is not only vital to our national security, but also our public health. To achieve this, we must prioritize additional funding for the Department of Homeland Security for its critical border security operations, including funding construction and infrastructure improvements at our ports of entry. We also urge you to invest funding to hire additional CBP Officers, increase processing and screening capacity at ports of entry along the border, engage in a wide range of counter-drug activities, and acquire additional non-intrusive inspection technology to substantially increase the number of passenger cars and cargo that are scanned at the border. This border security technology will provide CBP Officers with more tools to support their mission and more frequently interdict fentanyl and other illicit drugs. These types of technology and resources will provide CBP with enhanced capabilities to detect the transport of illicit drugs, contraband, invasive species, and other dangers in inbound and outbound cargo at parts of entry.
For years, we have voted to enact additional funding to address the complex challenges at our southwest border by focusing on smart security measures and enhanced technology. We continue to support strong investments in border security measures that will keep our Nation safer and increase the capacity, personnel, and technology that are available to enhance the security of our border. Thank you for your attention to our request and these critical funding needs.
Oct 19 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $71,816,110 in federal funding to reduce power outages, enable more clean energy sources to reach the electric grid, and provide consumers with cost-saving insights into their power use. The funding, made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law, which both senators helped pass, was awarded through the Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program.
“Communities across Virginia need access to consistent, affordable power – especially as we face increasing threats of severe weather and surging demand on our electric grid,” said the senators. “We’re glad to see federal money headed straight to Virginia to make sure we limit power outages, utilize more clean energy, and help folks save money on their power bills.”
The funding is distributed as follows:
- $38,162,015 for the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative for the Enabling EV and DER Adoption through DERMS, AMI, and Fiber Integration Project. This funding will deploy a distributed energy resources management system, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and a fiber utility network. AMI allows consumers to access cost-saving plans that offer different electricity prices throughout the day. This project will also support the expansion of clean energy within the Rappahannock Tribal Designated Area and lay the fiber network necessary to transmit vast amounts of grid data.
- $33,654,095 for Dominion Energy for the Analytics and Control for Driving Capital Efficiency Project. This funding will expand grid management capabilities to integrate $70 million of clean energy and eliminate approximately 500 outages per year. Additionally, funding will improve grid planning by collecting real-time electrical grid data, increase network capacity to accommodate rising electric use, and work alongside academic institutions to invest in the clean energy jobs pipeline.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve resiliency and invest in clean energy across the Commonwealth. In addition to the GRIP program, the bipartisan infrastructure law provided $47 billion for climate resilience measures to help communities address the impacts of severe weather and $7.5 billion to expand electric vehicle charging stations across the country. Sens. Warner and Kaine also supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), landmark legislation that will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. In August, Sen. Warner broke ground on the largest-ever clean energy project at a U.S. airport alongside Dominion Energy, which will power 37,000 homes and businesses in Northern Virginia. In April, Kaine hosted an event with the U.S. Department of Energy in Big Stone Gap to discuss clean energy tax credits, economic development, and job creation in the IRA. Additionally, Sens. Warner and Kaine have advocated and secured hundreds of millions in federal funding for initiatives that reduce utility costs for Virginians, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Warner and Kaine Push to Extend Funding for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program to Lower Internet Costs
Oct 19 2023
WASHINGTON, – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and 29 of their colleagues in urging Congressional leadership to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is set to run out in a few months. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which Warner and Kaine helped pass, to lower high-speed internet costs for low-income Americans. Over one million households in Virginia are eligible for the ACP, and approximately 424,000 Virginia households are currently enrolled in the program.
“We write to urge you to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides over 21 million working families with financial assistance for broadband access, to help bridge the digital divide so they can continue to afford the broadband services they need for work, school, health care, and more,” wrote the senators. “Should ACP funding not be extended, millions of Americans could be at risk of losing access to broadband.”
“Failing to extend funding would be irresponsible,” they continued. “We urge you to extend funding for the ACP in a government appropriations package and include a long-term solution that ensures efficient spending of taxpayer dollars.”
Virginians can go to GetInternet.gov to sign up for the ACP and find participating providers in their area.
As Governors and Senators, Warner and Kaine have long championed efforts to expand broadband access and lower internet costs in Virginia. Virginia has received over $1.5 billion through the BIL to expand broadband. The Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill that Warner and Kaine voted for included $364 million for the ReConnect program to help rural communities access the internet. During the pandemic, the senators secured significant funding for broadband through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the December 2020 government funding bill, which included COVID relief, and the American Rescue Plan Act.
In addition to Warner, Kaine, and Rosen, the letter was signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The full letter can be found here and below.
Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker Pro Tempore McHenry, Leader McConnell, and Leader Jeffries:
We write to urge you to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP); which provides over 21 million working families with financial assistance for broadband access; to help bridge the digital divide so they can continue to afford the broadband services they need for work, school, health care, and more.
The ACP has been crucial to increasing broadband connectivity for millions of Americans, allowing them to maximize educational opportunities, stimulate economic growth, lower health care costs, and increase telehealth opportunities, while also ensuring that Americans can access the tools necessary to succeed in our growing and diversifying economy. As you finalize a government appropriations package, we urge you to include full funding for the ACP as well as a long-term solution that provides a sustainable, responsible funding stream, so that millions of Americans don’t lose access to critical connectivity services.
Established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the ACP lowers the out-of-pocket cost of broadband service and devices for working families. The program provides a monthly discount of up to $30.00 per month off the cost of Internet service and equipment as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 off a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.2 In qualifying rural communities and qualifying Tribal lands, the monthly discount may be up to $75.00 per month. This means that hardworking families across the country, small business owners, veterans, and seniors are all able to receive financial assistance to afford high-speed internet.
We know how important having reliable broadband is to the over 21 million households participating in the ACP, representing approximately 41 percent of eligible households enrolled nationwide. More are signing up every day because they need assistance to afford broadband where they live, work, and learn. At the current rate of usage, if Congress does not appropriate additional funds to the ACP, the program’s funds will be exhausted in just a few short months, several years earlier than the target date in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Should ACP funding not be extended, millions of Americans could be at risk of losing access to broadband. We would take significant steps backward in the progress we’ve already made to connect more Americans to the internet through additional federal broadband investments. In just the last 6 months, we’ve invested billions of dollars to build out critical infrastructure, making sure the most rural areas of our country have access to broadband services. The ACP ensures families can now afford those services. We cannot let them face a connectivity cliff by letting this program run out of money with no future assistance.
Failing to extend funding would be irresponsible. Without an extension, nearly 21 million families already enrolled in the ACP will lose access to affordable broadband services that are critical to their everyday lives; and, should this funding lapse, hardworking families previously enrolled in the ACP would have to go through the process of reenrolling, creating unnecessary obstacles for obtaining affordable, reliable broadband.
Thanks to the ACP, access to broadband services is becoming a reality for families and providing new opportunities for success. If this is the digital future, we cannot shut people out. We must extend funding for this vital program to ensure that the families already signed up, and the millions of other families that are still eligible to sign up, are not forced off a program that has given them a lifeline to access high-speed internet, including essential access to work, school, and health care services. We urge you to extend funding for the ACP in a government appropriations package and include a long-term solution that ensures efficient spending of taxpayer dollars. We appreciate your consideration of this request.
Oct 19 2023
WASHINGTON – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the below statement after convening an unclassified roundtable discussion on critical minerals financing with senators, domestic industry, finance and U.S. government officials:
“As global demand for critical minerals continues to grow at exponential rates, the U.S. must identify secure sources of these minerals that are essential components for technologies critical to national security, including military equipment and defense systems, vehicles, and our energy grid.
“Currently, China dominates the mining, refining, and processing for a vast number of these minerals – in many cases controlling nearly 100 percent of the end-to-end supply chain – and is actively seeking to control additional resources. To ensure the U.S. has a resilient supply chain for these critical minerals, the U.S. must, alongside allies, proactively secure investments in and operations of critical minerals projects in the U.S. and abroad.
“We were pleased to co-host this bipartisan roundtable, bringing together key industry leaders, U.S. government officials, and many of our colleagues, to discuss how the U.S. can unlock investment in and operations of critical minerals projects in the U.S. and abroad to meet exponential demand increases for these minerals and reduce our dependence on China. We look forward to continuing this work with responsible stakeholders.”
Oct 18 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement:
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has received and reviewed intelligence related to the attack on al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. Based on this information, we feel confident that the explosion was the result of a failed rocket launch by militant terrorists and not the result of an Israeli airstrike.”
Oct 18 2023
WASHINGTON – As conflict in the Middle East continues as a direct result of the violent and horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is pushing the Biden Administration to ensure that the U.S. response includes efforts to address emergency needs in Gaza, curb crypto-financed terrorism, and continue supporting the release of American hostages.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of State, Sen. Warner and a number of his colleagues stressed the dire situation of more than one million people who have fled the violence and are in need of lifesaving humanitarian assistance as Gaza is predicted to run out of food and water within days.
Sen. Warner and his colleagues wrote, “The United Nations estimates that Gaza will run out of food and water within days. Healthcare facilities are overwhelmed, running desperately short on supplies and impacted by the lack of electricity. The humanitarian needs on the ground have dramatically increased over the past week, and conditions will likely continue to deteriorate in the days and weeks ahead.”
Urging Secretary of State Blinken to provide strong U.S. funding towards the United Nation’s request for $294 million in needed assistance, they continued, “Displaced people around the world depend on lifesaving humanitarian assistance from the UN and its partners to feed their families, receive medical treatment, and secure shelter. The United States should continue its steadfast support for Israel while also doing our part to help the UN assist innocent civilians as they flee the violence.”
In a separate letter to the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Sen. Warner and a group of colleagues highlighted alarming reports that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) skirted U.S. sanctions and funded their operations through the use of cryptocurrency. Specifically, they noted that the two groups raised over $130 million in crypto and moved millions of dollars among each other. They also requested answers to a number of questions pertaining to the Administration’s plan to prevent the use of crypto for the financing of terrorism.
Sen. Warner and his colleagues wrote, “That the deadly attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians comes as the group has become ‘one of the most sophisticated crypto users in the terror-finance domain’ clarifies the national security threat crypto poses to the U.S., and our allies. Congress and this Administration must take strong action to thoroughly address crypto illicit finance risks before it can be used to finance another tragedy. As Congress considers legislative proposals designed to mitigate crypto money laundering and illicit finance risks, we urge you to swiftly and categorically act to meaningfully curtail illicit crypto activity and protect our national security and that of our allies.”
In a third letter, Sen. Warner joined a group of colleagues in urging President Biden to build on steps he has already taken, and do everything possible to support the safe release of the Americans currently held hostage by Hamas.
Sen. Warner and his colleagues wrote, “Hamas has already killed 30 Americans and likely injured many more. We agree with your labeling of Hamas’s immoral attacks as an ‘act of sheer evil,’ and a ‘violation of every code of human morality.’ The terrorists responsible for these atrocities hide behind human shields while they threaten to livestream the execution of hostages.”
They continued, “As a result, we urge the United States to continue supporting Israel’s urgent efforts to dismantle the threat of Hamas, provide the necessary resources for Israel’s defense, and continue offering whatever support necessary to immediately and safely rescue kidnapped Americans, with particular attention to those who require urgent medical care. Lastly, many families are painfully waiting for any update on the health of their loved ones who have been taken hostage. We urge you to encourage our allies and partners in the region to place pressure on Hamas to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to have access to the hostages while the United States and Israel work to secure their release.”
Oct 16 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, Virginia lawmakers gathered at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) to celebrate the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s meritorious selection of Jefferson Lab as the Hub Director for the new High Performance Data Facility (HPDF) – a scientific user facility that will specialize in advanced infrastructure for data-intensive science. The project to build the HPDF Hub will be a partnership between Jefferson Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with the two labs forming a joint project team led by Jefferson Lab and charged to create an integrated HPDF Hub design.
U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and their colleagues have worked tirelessly to engage the DOE, stress the extent of Jefferson Lab’s capabilities and potential for growth, and best position Virginia to be selected to host the HPDF. As part of this effort, the lawmakers worked with the General Assembly and Governor Youngkin to secure over $40 million in Commonwealth funds for the planning and construction of a shell building to house the HPDF – a bipartisan feat that demonstrated Virginia’s extraordinary support of Jefferson Lab’s mission and commitment to this project.
The High Performance Data Facility is envisioned as a national resource that will serve as the foundation for advancing DOE’s ambitious Integrated Research Infrastructure (IRI) program, which aims to provide researchers the ability to seamlessly meld DOE’s unique data resources, experimental user facilities, and advanced computing resources to accelerate the pace of discovery. The mission of the HPDF will be to enable and accelerate scientific discovery by delivering state-of-the-art data management infrastructure, capabilities, and tools. The HPDF will provide a crucial national resource for artificial intelligence (AI) research, opening new approaches for the nation’s researchers to attack fundamental problems in science and engineering that require nimble, shared access to large data sets, and real-time analysis of streamed data from experiments. DOE is the leading producer of scientific data in the world, and the HPDF will deliver a platform for a broad spectrum of data-intensive research as we enter the era of exascale supercomputing and exascale data.
Today’s news follows an announcement last year by Sens. Warner and Kaine that over $76 million in federal funding was headed to Jefferson Lab for project support and infrastructure upgrades. Those investments were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by one vote and was supported by both senators.
“The selection of Jefferson Lab as the location and lead of the High Performance Data Facility is a monumental win for the Lab, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “Since my days as Governor, I have pushed to broaden the mission and responsibilities of Jefferson Lab to reflect the current needs of our nation. Today’s announcement is a massive step towards realizing the goal of diversifying the mission of Jefferson Lab by providing the Lab with a critical national resource that will be used to tackle fundamental problems in science and engineering, including artificial intelligence research. I’m thankful for Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy’s commitment to ensuring the U.S. can pave the way for the next generation of advanced data management and for providing Jefferson Lab the opportunity to lead this world-class project. I look forward to working with Jefferson Lab, the Department of Energy, and my colleagues in advancing this project as quickly as possible and look forward to seeing the innumerable scientific advancements that are sure to follow.”
“Jefferson Lab’s designation as the leader of the High Performance Data Facility is a powerful recognition of the contributions Virginians make to the research we need to remain at the cutting-edge of technological innovation,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). “I’m proud to have helped advocate for this designation, and for years have gone to bat through the annual government funding process to support Jefferson Lab’s work. I will continue to do all that I can to secure the resources Virginia scientists need to advance America’s competitiveness and supercomputing capabilities.”
“From Day One of my Administration, we’ve been working with leaders in our delegation, in our General Assembly, and at Jefferson Lab to secure the High Performance Data Facility, an asset that will accelerate research driven economic development in the Commonwealth. I was proud to work with General Assembly leaders to make a $40 million investment to help land this prize that will catalyze our economy for decades to come. Our Administration will continue to support the cutting-edge technological research that has established the Commonwealth as a nationwide leader in innovation,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“We are honored to be selected by the DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program to lead this project,” said Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson. “Building on our extensive experience with large data sets and high performance computing, and our new and ongoing partnerships exploring state-of-the-art approaches to data and data science, we will build a new facility that will revolutionize the way we make scientific discoveries.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for all those committed to innovation and scientific discovery. Since its founding, Jefferson Lab (JLab) has established itself as a world-leader in nuclear physics research while building acumen in the computing realm to manage, store, and interpret data. These two areas of expertise have proven synergistic and advanced the lab’s mission. The location of the High Performance Data Facility will create new opportunities at Jefferson Lab and in Hampton Roads while bringing JLab’s expertise to bear for the entire network of National Labs,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03).
“I am thrilled to see Jefferson Lab selected as the Hub Director for the Department of Energy’s High Performance Data Facility,” Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) said. “Jefferson Lab is a leader in nuclear research, and these investments will unlock vital data science advancements for the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth, and our nation. I am proud to have advocated for this important investment alongside my colleagues at the local, state, and federal levels over the years, and I look forward to the future developments that will follow the completion of this critical project.”
“Jefferson Lab’s High Performance Data Facility is a once-in-a-generation initiative that will catapult Newport News and the Commonwealth to the international frontlines of data analytics and advanced computing,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “This revolutionary facility will transform scientific research and discovery. In addition to workforce and economic development impacts, there are innumerable opportunities for higher education, research, STEM learning, and commercial investments. This exciting new project, coupled with Jefferson Lab’s already robust scientific and educational offerings, will make Newport News an even greater hub of innovation and research.”
“This project will be one of the greatest economic development projects to come to Newport News in recent memory,” said State Senator Monty Mason, who represents Jefferson Lab as Senator of the 1st District. “As a steadfast advocate on the state level, I am proud to have secured critical state funding for the planning and preparation of this project. The city and the entire peninsula will be strengthened by this facility, bringing 100s of new jobs with salaries well over the region's median income, boosting our local economy, and further solidifying the Virginia peninsula as a leader in science innovation.”
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of collaboration between members of the Virginia General Assembly and our federal delegation to bring a High Performance Data Facility to Jefferson Lab. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am excited that the Commonwealth’s investment will leverage between $300 million to $500 million in federal funds for this transformative opportunity,” said State Delegate and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Barry Knight.
“The investments made today by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Virginia into the High-Performance Data Facility mark the beginning of an unparalleled chapter for the laboratory and the wider educational community,” emphasized Dr. Sean J. Hearne, President and CEO of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). “This cutting-edge research facility serves as a gateway to explore the rapidly expanding realm of data science, offering extensive research and educational opportunities that are poised to redefine our world.”
“The Friends of Jefferson Lab, a coalition of business leaders spanning from Richmond to the oceanfront, are delighted Jefferson Lab has been chosen as the site for the high performance data facility,” said Alan Witt, Chair of Friends of JLab. “Jefferson Lab is a vital asset to Hampton Roads and the addition of this facility will add greatly to the economic, scientific, and educational fabric of the Virginia Peninsula, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Specifically, the HPDF will have a “hub-and-spoke” model in which Jefferson Lab and LBNL will host mirrored centralized resources. It will enable high priority DOE mission applications at “spoke” sites by deploying and orchestrating distributed infrastructure at the spokes or other locations. Under Jefferson Lab’s leadership, the Jefferson Lab/LBNL partnership will assemble a world class HPDF Hub project team to deliver a geographically resilient and innovative HPDF core infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of a wide diversity of users, institutions, and use cases. This Jefferson Lab-led partnership will itself provide the template for the first spokes partnerships and blaze new paths in institutional engagement and outreach in the emerging era of AI- enabled integrated science.
As identified in the DOE’s Mission Need Statement for the High Performance Data Facility approved August 2020, DOE anticipates that the total project cost of the HPDF project, including the hub and spokes, will be between $300 million and $500 million in current and future year funds, subject to the availability of future year appropriations.
Warner Urges Action Against Google and Meta over Failure to Remove Content Depicting Murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward
Oct 12 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), wrote to Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Lina Khan urging the Commission to take action against Google and Meta over their failure to remove graphic videos depicting the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In August 2015, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, employees at CBS affiliate WDBJ, were murdered by a former co-worker while reporting live on WDBJ’s morning broadcast. The live footage as well as the killer’s own recorded video have circulated online since. For years, Andy Parker, Alison’s father, has been vocal about the damaging impact that this footage has had on his family, including during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I am deeply troubled by this response, as the burden of finding and removing harmful content should not fall to victims’ families who are grieving their loved ones,” Sen. Warner wrote. “This approach only serves to retraumatize them and inflict additional pain. Instead, I firmly believe that the responsibility lies solely with the platform to ensure that any content violating its own Terms of Service is removed expeditiously.”
In March 2020 and October 2021, Mr. Parker submitted complaints to the FTC and requested a Section 5 investigation of deceptive practices in connection with YouTube and Meta (then Facebook).The complaints argue that YouTube and Meta have failed to enforce their terms of service by neglecting to remove videos of the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward from their platforms. Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits ''unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce,” with a deceptive act defined as one that misleads or is likely to mislead a consumer acting reasonably.
Sen. Warner continued, “It has been over three years since Mr. Parker and the Georgetown University Law Clinic filed their first complaint regarding this case, and Mr. Parker continues to endure harassment as a result of the videos remaining on these platforms. Given the practices outlined above, I ask that your agency consider all possible avenues to ensure that companies like Google and Meta uphold their Terms of Service, not only in Mr. Parker’s case but also in other instances where their platforms may host violent and harmful content.”
Sen. Warner is one of Congress’ leading voices in demanding accountability and user protections from social media companies and has previously pressed Meta on Facebook's role in inciting violence around the world.
Text of the letter can be found here and below.
Dear Chairwoman Khan,
I write today in support of my constituent, Mr. Andy Parker, and his urgent requests for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Google and Meta over their failure to remove videos depicting the tragic murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In light of this behavior, we ask that your agency engage closely with Mr. Parker regarding his complaints and explore all possible avenues to ensure that Google and Meta uphold their Terms of Service in relation to violent and harmful content.
In August 2015, journalist Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were shot and killed during a live television interview in Moneta, Virginia. Following this horrifying event, footage captured by the assailant, as well as video from the live news broadcast, were uploaded to several online platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Despite the platforms having policies banning violent content and repeated requests from Mr. Parker and volunteers acting on his behalf to remove this distressing footage, these videos continue to exist on all three platforms to this day. Even more troubling, the footage has been circulated widely by conspiracy theorists who subject the victims’ families to further harm and harassment by falsely claiming the attack was a hoax.
While both Google and Meta purport to have robust content moderation protocols, Mr. Parker's experience demonstrates that the responsibility of removing harmful content often falls upon the victims’ families. It is my understanding that Google responded to Mr. Parker’s complaints by directing him to flag and report each individual video of the attack on YouTube. Further, Instagram’s policy states, “If you see a video or picture on Instagram that depicts the violent death of a family member, you can ask us to remove it. Once we've been notified, we will remove that specific piece of content.” I am deeply troubled by this response, as the burden of finding and removing harmful content should not fall to victims’ families who are grieving their loved ones. This approach only serves to retraumatize them and inflict additional pain. Instead, I firmly believe that the responsibility lies solely with the platform to ensure that any content violating its own Terms of Service is removed expeditiously.
For years, volunteers from the Coalition For A Safer Web have reported videos of Alison’s murder and requested repeatedly for the videos to be taken down on Mr. Parker’s behalf. Disturbingly, only some of the flagged videos have been removed, with many still viewable on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. While Meta has responded that it removed certain videos from Facebook and Instagram, there are still clear violations of their Terms of Service present on their platforms, with videos of Alison Parker’s murder, filmed by the perpetrator, still accessible on Instagram. While YouTube appears to have more thoroughly removed content of Alison Parker’s murder filmed by the perpetrator, content containing disturbing footage of the moment of attack is widespread. Through the continued hosting of videos showing the heinous attack on Alison Parker and Adam Ward and other violence, these platforms fail to provide users with an experience free of harmful content despite claiming to do so.
It has been over three years since Mr. Parker and the Georgetown University Law Clinic filed their first complaint regarding this case, and Mr. Parker continues to endure harassment as a result of the videos remaining on these platforms. Given the practices outlined above, I ask that your agency consider all possible avenues to ensure that companies like Google and Meta uphold their Terms of Service, not only in Mr. Parker’s case but also in other instances where their platforms may host violent and harmful content. Further, I ask that you engage closely with Mr. Parker as you consider this request and provide him with a prompt response to his complaints.
I look forward to further engagement with you regarding Mr. Parker’s complaints. Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.
“Today, Hamas terrorists launched an unprovoked and despicable attack on Israeli civilians. The United States must stand firmly beside our friend and partner Israel as it defends its security and its citizens. The Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded the announcement that all 10 drug manufacturers whose drugs were selected for price negotiation with Medicare have agreed to participate in the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program. The Inflation Reduction Act, which the senators helped pass last year, allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time in history, which will help lower costs for millions of Americans.
In August, CMS announced the first 10 drugs covered under Medicare Part D—among the costliest for the Medicare program without generic competition—that will be eligible for the program. The drug manufacturers had until October 1 to decide whether to participate in negotiations or face penalties. Nationwide, Medicare enrollees covered under Part D paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022 for these 10 drugs. In Virginia, Medicare Part D enrollees have more than 193,000 active prescriptions for these 10 medications.
“Too many Americans aren’t able to afford the medications they need, and that’s why we fought to include a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices,” said the senators. “Today’s announcement that all 10 drug manufacturers will participate in the Inflation Reduction Act’s drug price negotiation program is a positive step towards lowering prescription drug costs for millions of seniors. We’re glad that the program continues to progress and look forward to seeing its full impacts in the years ahead.”
Under the law, CMS will negotiate directly with drug companies, and the first set of negotiated prices will go into effect on January 1, 2026. CMS will then select up to 15 more Part D drugs eligible for negotiation for 2027 and will continue to build on this progress in subsequent years by negotiating prices of more prescription drugs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the drug price negotiation program will lower Medicare spending by $98.5 billion over 10 years.
Warner and Kaine have championed policies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and long fought to allow CMS and to negotiate drug prices for those on Medicare. The senators repeatedly introduced legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate the best price of prescription drugs for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. Additionally, Warner, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, helped author the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability (MEPA) Act, bipartisan legislation approved by the Committee in July 2023 to help address rising prescription drug prices by regulating the middlemen who manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers and which included key provisions authored by Warner.
Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee, previously introduced legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for Medicare Exchange plans, created under his Medicare-X Choice Act, and the Medicare Part D program. In May 2019, he gave a speech on the Senate floor highlighting stories from Virginians from Martinsville, Norfolk, Arlington, and Virginia Beach who have been hurt by the high cost of prescription drugs and calling for reforms to bring drug prices down. In May 2023, he voted to pass the bipartisan Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act, legislation to lower drug costs, out of the HELP Committee. He has also authored and cosponsored bills to strengthen the pipeline and increase transparency for critical medicines and more efficiently usher drugs to the market by making key improvements to the Food and Drug Administration’s review process for interchangeable biosimilars.
Statement of U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine on Inspector General Report Detailing Failures at Hampton VA Medical Center
Oct 02 2023
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement in response to the release of a Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General report detailing failures at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Hampton, VA that led to the delayed diagnosis and treatment during the period of 2021 to 2022:
“We are deeply saddened and troubled to learn that deficiencies in primary and specialty care services at the Hampton VA Medical Center led to a veteran’s delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment. The promise of quality and timely health care is one of the most important commitments we make to the brave men and women who serve our nation, and this Inspector General report makes it clear that the Hampton VA failed to live up to that promise. In a separate report last year, the Inspector General noted additional coordination and follow-up concerns. This new report sadly broadens the impact of some of those failures. This report outlines alarming logistical and communication failures, as well as failures pertaining to the coordination of care among providers, all of which impacted the veteran’s ability to have appropriately urgent and well-managed care. We will continue to engage with leadership at the Hampton VA to pursue accountability and ensure the quick and full implementation of the new recommendations outlined in the report.”
Statement of U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine on Senate passage of a continuing resolution to keep the government funded
Sep 30 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after the Senate approved a stopgap funding bill to fund the government through November 17:
“Today, at the very last possible moment, Congress finally acted to avert a painful, pointless government shutdown. This deal only became possible when House Republicans turned to Democrats for the votes they couldn’t muster within their majority to keep the government open. We are gravely disappointed that a few extreme Republicans in the House were able to prevent the inclusion of additional aid for our allies in Ukraine, even as 330 members of the House – Republicans and Democrats – voted just three days ago in support of funding for Ukraine. However, this bill will keep the federal government open for the next 47 days, during which we’ll continue to work to pass bipartisan spending bills that renew our commitment to Ukraine in its fight for democracy and advance crucial Virginia priorities, including addressing the child care crisis, expanding broadband access, and giving our servicemembers a raise.”
Statement of U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine on Shutdown Impact on Virginia Small Businesses
Sep 29 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, with one day remaining until the government funding deadline, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine issued the following statement on the need to fund the government and the consequences for Virginia’s small businesses:
“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy, and many of these businesses rely on support from the Small Business Administration to operate. Every day the government is shut down, critical access to capital provided by the Small Business Administration will be delayed, forcing Virginia small businesses who rely on this funding to make tough decisions about how they’re going to continue to stay open. The only reason we’re in this position is because of a small but loud group of members in the House who are refusing to fund the government if they don’t get everything they want. We remain committed to working in a bipartisan way to fund the government as quickly as possible.”
A government shutdown prevents the Small Business Administration (SBA) from approving new small business loans or modifying existing loans through the 7(a) and 504 programs. It is estimated that an average of $2,122,200 in financing for Virginia small businesses will be delayed every day the government is shut down. So far this year, the SBA has approved 955 loans with a total value of over $488 million to Virginia businesses through the 7(a) program.
A recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices Survey found that 91% of small business owners say it’s important for the federal government to avert a shutdown. 70% of small business owners said their business would be negatively impacted. Among that 70%, 93% believe their revenue would take a hit if the government shuts down, and 67% believe their customer demand would go down due to economic uncertainty and instability.
Warner, Kaine, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Provide Back Pay for Federal Contractors Ahead of Possible Shutdown
Sep 29 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, with one day left to pass a government funding bill before a potential shutdown, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined their colleagues to introduce legislation that would secure back pay for the thousands of federal contract workers who face furlough or reduced work hours during a potential shutdown. Unlike federal government employees, federal contract employees—many of whom serve in modestly paid jobs like custodians and cafeteria workers—have no assurances that they will receive back pay to make up for the wages they miss during a shutdown. In addition to Sens. Warner and Kaine, the legislation is also sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
“It’s a shame that a few members in the House of Representatives are refusing to do their jobs, and it’s disgraceful that this stands to impact the many federal contractors that keep our government facilities running,” said Sen. Warner. “Without the guarantee of a paycheck, the thousands of dedicated federal contractors who show up every day may be forced to pick between keeping a roof over their heads or putting food on the table. I am glad to introduce this legislation to ensure that when Congress struggles to act, our federal workers contractors do not suffer long-term consequences.”
“Our federal contractors make critical contributions to the federal government’s delivery of services that Virginians, Americans across the country, and our national security depend on,” said Sen. Kaine. “In 2019, I was glad to successfully negotiate the passage of legislation to secure back pay for federal workers during shutdowns, and will keep working until Congress
The Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act seeks to ensure federal contract workers, including low-wage food service, janitorial and security service workers, are fairly compensated for the wages and benefits lost due to a lapse in appropriations. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Provide contract workers, including low-wage service workers, with back pay and restored paid leave benefits, if used, after a government shutdown;
- Cover costs associated with back pay for workers in an amount equal to their weekly compensation up to $1,442, which is 250% of the federal poverty level for a family of four; and
- Require the Office of Federal Procurement Policy submit a report on federal contractors accessing back pay.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have been outspoken about the devastating impacts of a government shutdown. In 2019, during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Sens. Warner and Kaine took a series of actions to protect affected workers, including guaranteeing back pay for federal employees, urging back pay for contractors, introducing budget amendments to protect federal workers, and urging OPM to prevent the termination of dental and vision insurance for federal employees.
A copy of the bill text can be found here.
"IAM members are grateful for the unwavering dedication of Reps. Pressley, Holmes Norton and Norcross in the House, and Sen. Tina Smith in the Senate, for championing the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Their leadership shines a beacon of hope for tens of thousands of IAM federal contract members, and countless more federal contract workers across the country, who tirelessly serve our nation alongside federal employees. This vital legislation, ensuring back pay compensation after government shutdowns, acknowledges the profound impact these men and women make to allow our nation to function. Beyond mere statistics, this legislation safeguards the livelihoods of hardworking families, preventing the painful ripple effects of missed payments and financial hardships. Let’s all stand united in support of our federal contract workers and their families."
“A government shutdown hurts every family regardless of race, occupation and zip code. However, it is beyond time for every member of Congress to acknowledge how devastating a government shutdown is for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who work hard to keep our government operating in both good and bad times as federally contracted workers. Security officers, janitors and other workers employed by federal contractors contribute so much to our country by administering vital programs, taking care of our nation’s parks, and keeping our office buildings safe. Yet, they risk permanently losing the income they need to pay rent, buy groceries or keep the lights on," said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. "That’s why passing the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act of 2023 is so critical when our nation is on the verge of a government shutdown. Providing federally contracted workers with back pay would help ensure they have an opportunity for true recovery.”
“Contracted janitors and security officers, unlike direct federal employees, have never been able to count on back pay following a government shutdown,” said Manny Pastreich, President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “They live paycheck-to-paycheck and cannot afford to pay the price of a government shutdown that they did nothing to cause. Denying them pay during a shutdown would be catastrophic, even life-threatening for the sole providers who struggle to feed and pay rent for parents, children and dependents, especially those relying on them to pay for treating debilitating medical conditions. Congress must practice basic governance by passing Representative Pressley’s legislation to ensure leaders meet their moral and financial obligation to these hard-working men and women. Before reckless Republicans drive our nation off a cliff to realize their fever dreams, we must not let one more day go by without righting this wrong. Most Americans could not survive without income – why are contracted workers expected to?”
WASHINGTON — Today, with two days until the government funding deadline, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) continued to raise the alarm about the devastating impacts of a shutdown on Virginia. Government funding must be reauthorized before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, but the House of Representatives seems unlikely to pass a full workable spending bill to keep the government running, despite widespread bipartisan momentum in the Senate.
“Government shutdowns aren’t just political noise,” said Sen. Warner. “There’s no state in the country that gets hit harder than Virginia. If we start a shutdown this weekend, you’ll see our federal workers and our members of the armed services forced to work without pay… for the many families that live paycheck to paycheck, how are they going to pay their mortgage? How are they going to make their car payment?”
Over the past several weeks, Sen. Warner has repeatedly called attention to the many negative impacts of a government shutdown. In Virginia, 127,124 women and children are at risk of not receiving vital nutrition assistance. Active-duty servicemembers nationwide – including 129,400 in Virginia – will be forced to continue working without pay. Additionally, 170,000 civilian federal workers could be furloughed. At Virginia airports, 1,913 TSA agents and 633 air traffic controllers would also be required to work without pay.
“Beyond federal workers, you could see slowdowns at our airports as air traffic controllers are impacted,” continued Sen. Warner. “You could see further slowdowns on passport renewals. You could see our National Parks shutter. You could see the valuable research that’s done at the NIH come to a grinding halt. So my hope – and what I commit to do – is everything possible to keep the government functioning.”
On Tuesday night, Sen. Warner voted to move forward on a continuing resolution (CR) that would keep the government open through November 17 at existing spending levels while also authorizing funding for disaster relief and Ukraine. In the days ahead, the Senate will vote on final passage of the CR, but in order to keep the government open, the House would also have to approve this measure.
Warner, Colleagues Reintroduce Bill to Boost Economic Growth in Underserved & Low-Income Communities
Sep 28 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), joined by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to promote lasting economic prosperity in low-income, minority, and rural communities. The Community Development Investment Tax Credit would help unlock more equity and long-term financial capital for community development financial institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs often serve as a backbone for underserved communities including small and disadvantaged businesses, which tend to have fewer banking relationships and less access to credit.
“As someone who worked in the business world long before I ever joined politics, I know well that talent and ambition are not confined by income bracket or zip code. Unfortunately, access to start-up capital often is. CDFIs do the invaluable work of bridging the gap and reaching small businesses in our most vulnerable communities, and we have seen historic investments on this front over the past few years,” said Sen. Warner. “Despite this progress, CDFIs remain in need of additional equity and capital to continue serving their communities. This legislation will create a new tax credit, helping spur important private-sector investments and allowing these community lenders to grow.”
“Our country was built by small business, but many in low-income areas have trouble accessing the financing they need to launch and grow their businesses,” said Sen. Wicker. “CDFI investments play a pivotal role in bridging these gaps. The proposed tax credit in this legislation would help address the challenges faced by small business owners and provide an alternative to predatory loans.”
This bill will help direct support to lenders that focus on underserved communities by creating a CDFI Tax Credit for private sector investors that make equity, equity-equivalent investments, or long-term patient capital available to CDFIs. The bill would benefit CDFIs of all types including banks, credit unions, venture capital CDFIs, and loan funds, while providing institutions with the maximum flexibility and financial support they need to increase wealth in low- and moderate-income communities.
Sen. Warner has been a leader in Congress for CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). To combat hemorrhaging jobs and loss of economic opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Warner 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 – an effort that secured endorsements from a host of other advocacy organizations and civil rights groups. In 2022, Sen. Warner, joined by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), launched the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus (CDFC), a bipartisan caucus dedicated to supporting the missions of CDFIs and MDIs by scaling their ability to lend in underserved communities.
Bill text is available here.
“We thank Senator Warner, Senator Wicker and the other bipartisan co-sponsors of the CDFI Tax Bill, which we strongly support,” said Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association. “ABA is proud to represent a number of CDFIs across the country and this legislation would expand investment in these critically important financial institutions, allowing them to have an even bigger impact in the communities they serve.”
“OFN applauds Senator Warner’s and Senator Wicker’s ?continued leadership in supporting community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act will help drive more private capital to CDFIs offering affordable, responsible financing to low-wealth urban, rural, and Native communities across the country. We look forward to continuing to work with Senators Warner and Wicker to expand the tools available to CDFIs to finance economic justice and opportunity across the country,” said Harold Pettigrew, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network.
“The Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act of 2023 will spur significant private investment in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), increasing the availability of critically-needed long-term capital that will expand CDFIs’ capacity to develop and deploy affordable, responsible loans designed to meet the needs of the communities they serve. This expanded private investment will help CDFI intermediaries, like Inclusiv, support the growth of high-impact CDFI credit unions, allowing them to expand their lending to advance affordable homeownership, grow micro and small businesses, ensure low- and moderate-income homeowners can access energy efficiency and climate resilience home improvements, and more. We are grateful for Senator Warner’s deep commitment to the CDFI movement’s growth and impact,” said Cathie Mahon, President and EO, Inclusiv.
“The CDFI Investment Tax Credit is a smart and strategic tool. The credit uses a very small amount of public resources to leverage a multiple of private dollars and generate enormous community impact,” said Jeannine Jacokes, CEO, Community Development Bankers Association.
“The Independent Community Bankers of America appreciates Senator Warner’s leadership of the CDFI Caucus, and his work with Sen. Wicker on the CDFI Tax Credit Act, which will help spur equity investment in CDFIs, facilitate de-novo formation, and extend credit to underserved communities,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO, Independent Community Bankers of America.
“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) applauds Senators Warner and Wicker for introducing the Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act of 2023. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have time and time again proven their ability to leverage public and private capital to support investments in some of the most underserved communities in the country. This tax credit, by incentivizing long term investments in CDFIs, will allow CDFIs to in turn provide longer term, lower cost loans to finance affordable housing, small businesses, homeownership and essential community facilities in their neighborhoods,” said Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President for Policy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
“The CDFI Tax Credit will provide a powerful tool for community development venture capital funds to raise private investment capital to help us reach scale, bringing good jobs and business development to low-income communities across that nation,” said Kerwin Tesdell, President, Community Development Venture Capital Alliance. “The legislation also includes important fixes to the definition of CDFI that will correct technical issues that have long caused community development venture capital funds to be underrepresented among certified CDFIs.”
“The CDFI Coalition is pleased to add its voice in strong support for the legislation sponsored by Sens. Warner and Wicker to establish a tax credit for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs provide financial products and services in urban neighborhoods and rural areas underserved by traditional financial institutions, particularly those communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment. Throughout the last economic downturn, CDFIs served as economic shock absorbers, providing flexible and patient capital, rigorous risk management, and commitment to the projects in their communities and the sustainability of their borrowers. While traditional lenders fled economically distressed communities, CDFIs stepped in to fill the void. Since the advent of the economic crisis prompted by the pandemic, CDFIs have been on the frontlines of providing financial and technical assistance to small and minority-owned businesses. CDFIs fill a vital niche in the nation's financial services delivery system by serving communities and market sectors that conventional lenders cannot - with the ultimate goal of bringing CDFI customers into the mainstream economy as bank customers, homeowners and/or entrepreneurs. The proposed CDFI Tax Credit will provide a new avenue for CDFIs to raise capital that will be deployed to finance small businesses, construct affordable housing, and support community facilities in disadvantaged communities across the country. CDFIs leverage over $12 in private capital to every $1 in federal support, so the resources authorized by the tax credit will extend far beyond the amount authorized and help CDFIs to fill the widening credit gap encountered by economically disadvantaged communities across the country,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO, Colorado Enterprise Fund and Chair of the CDFI Coalition.
“Senators Warner and Wicker's innovative proposal to drive more resources into our communities is forward-thinking and much needed. CDFIs, whose missions are to create economic opportunity for all, have an unmatched ability to leverage private capital sources, like equity and patient debt, into community-centered initiatives. Unfortunately, the community need is outpacing the resources available to CDFIs therefore it is important to develop new ways to attract and sustain investment into our financial institutions. Additional investment options like the CDFI Tax Credit will be a game-changer for our industry across the country. The VA CDFI Coalition is excited by the possibilities these investments could create across Virginia and hope to see this pass,” said Leah Fremouw, Board President, VA CDFI Coalition.
Statement of U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine on n Urgent Need to Fund the Government and Prevent Costly Delays at Airports
Sep 28 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, with two days remaining until the government funding deadline and the expiration of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) current authorization, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the following statement on the need to fund the government and prevent an especially catastrophic shutdown for air travel. Without action, more than 13,000 air traffic controllers and 50,000 Transportation Security Officers, along with thousands of other FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel would be forced to work without pay, and important trainings and technology upgrades would stop:
“Every government shutdown is ill-timed, but a shutdown on the same day the FAA’s reauthorization lapses would be especially catastrophic for air travel. In Virginia alone, a shutdown would mean thousands of TSA officers and air traffic controllers will be forced to work without pay. We’ve seen in previous shutdowns the havoc that this can wreak for travelers, including long flight delays and extreme wait times at airports. An FAA reauthorization lapse would halt technology upgrades and the training of new air traffic controllers. This is a safety issue that is entirely preventable. It’s time for Congress to do its job and fund the government and continue other important work, including reauthorizing the FAA.”
Virginia is home to 1,913 TSA agents and 633 air traffic controllers who would be required to continue their critical work without pay until a funding deal is reached.
If the FAA’s authorization expires, the agency could miss out on $50 million a day in tax revenue to facilitate smooth and safe air travel experiences. Air traffic controller hiring and training process would also be disrupted, further slowing air traffic, even after a spending deal is reached. The FAA is typically reauthorized every five years.
Statement of U.S. Sens. Warner and Kaine on Shutdown Impact on Vital Nutrition Assistance for Virginia
Sep 27 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, with three days remaining until the government funding deadline, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine issued the following statement on the need to fund the government and protect nearly seven million women and children, including 127,124 in Virginia, who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC):
“A government shutdown not only impacts those near Washington, D.C. It has real, tangible consequences for millions of people across Virginia and America and would be devastating for our economy. Those in Congress who are suggesting otherwise are wrong. In Virginia, 127,124 women and children are at risk of not receiving vital nutrition assistance during a government shutdown. We can and should prevent this from happening by passing a bipartisan bill to fund the government as soon as possible.”
WIC provides federal grants to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. States that receive federal grants on a monthly basis for programs like WIC, Head Start, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are at risk of not being awarded funding if the government shutdown lasts through the first of the next month.