Press Releases

Sens. Warner, Kirk to Introduce Cybersecurity Amendment to Ukrainian Aid Bill on Monday

~ Ukraine Known to be Haven for Hackers, Cybercriminals ~

Mar 23 2014

As the U.S. Senate this week considers a significant Ukrainian aid package, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced on Sunday that they will introduce a bipartisan amendment creating a law enforcement partnership between the United States and Ukraine to combat cybercrime and improve cybersecurity.
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today sent a bipartisan letter to the head of the Federal Trade Commission requesting establishment of a Merchant and Retail Industry Information Sharing Analysis Center (MRI-ISAC), which would allow stores and retail businesses to share threats and vulnerabilities about data breaches and hacking attempts.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today sent a bipartisan letter to the head of the Federal Trade Commission requesting establishment of a Merchant and Retail Industry Information Sharing Analysis Center (MRI-ISAC), which would allow stores and retail businesses to share threats and vulnerabilities about data breaches and hacking attempts. Earlier this month, Sen. Warner led a Banking subcommittee hearing on recent data breaches impacting millions of customers at Target, Neiman Marcus and other leading national retailers.

"Establishing this center will allow the retail industry to better share information that could help prevent the types of widespread consumer data thefts we now are seeing," Senator Warner said. "’Forewarned is forearmed,’ and the private sector should consider establishing this framework so they can share up-to-date information about the serious and growing threat of hacking, cyber and identity theft.”

"There has been a 30-percent increase in data breaches from 2012 to 2013, with more than 100 million people affected by the recent Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches," Senator Kirk said. "That is why we are calling for Target and other large retailers that handle sensitive personal information to establish an MRI-ISAC, which will enable stores and businesses to share threats and vulnerabilities before these hackers strike again. The more information that is shared amongst these retailers, the safer American consumers will be."

A number of industries utilize ISACs, due to the sensitive nature of the information they handle. There are currently 16 other existing ISACs, which represent critical industries in our country. Cyber threats and hackers are often discovered through these centers, and the information is then shared with the institutions in order to combat these attacks.

Text of the letter is below:

February 11, 2014

Chairman Edith Ramirez

Federal Trade Commission

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20580

Dear Chairwoman Ramirez:

In light of the recent data breaches that occurred at the end of 2013 and early 2014 at a number of merchants, and to follow up on information we received at our hearing on February 3, we write to urge the Federal Trade Commission to support the establishment of a Merchant and Retail Industry Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), or “MRI-ISAC”.

Similar to other sixteen existing ISACs, such as the Financial Institutions ISAC (“FI-ISAC”), representing critical infrastructure industries of our country, the MRI-ISAC could receive alerts and information from a number of sources, including government agencies and law enforcement, and provide valuable information regarding emerging cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and risk information about cyber and physical security risks faced by the merchant and retail industry. The MRI-ISAC could then provide education to ISAC members on best practices and the most effective security measures. The MRI-ISAC could also be used to quickly disseminate information about suspected malware and cyber crime activity throughout the industry to better protect the systems, to mitigate the damage spread to other merchants and retailers, and ultimately to mitigate the damage to the number of consumers impacted.

The MRI-ISAC would also establish a database to collect information on the thousands of threats and vulnerabilities for years of data to be used in investigations by members. Further, the database will further the analysis efforts to establish trends, do research and conduct investigations.

A number of industries have utilized ISACs because of the sensitive information their industry either stores or handles. It is logical for these firms to take these additional security measures and safeguards, and as the payment systems evolve it is becoming more evident that others that store and/or handle similar sensitive information could also benefit from the formation of an ISAC for their industry.

Several industry ISACs, including the financial services ISAC, have official government sponsors. As the government agency responsible for responding when a merchant breach occurs, we urge the FTC to become the official government sponsor for an MRI-ISAC and assist industry coordinate efforts to establish an MRI-ISAC.


Sen. Warner to Lead Banking Cmte. Hearing on Target Debit/Credit Card Data Breach

First congressional hearing in wake of Target data breach

Jan 31 2014

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee’s National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee, will lead a hearing on Monday, Feb. 3rd on ways to better safeguard consumers’ financial data. This will be the first congressional hearing held in the wake of the high-profile credit and debit card data breaches involving retail giant Target and others.

Sen. Warner Urges Banks to Offer Better Consumer Protections for Users of Prepaid Cards

Legislation targets hidden fees commonly charged on prepaid cards

Jan 09 2014

Following a holiday season in which a record number of consumers were expected to use prepaid cards, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation requiring banks to more fully disclose the hidden fees often charged for the use of these cards. Issuers of prepaid cards currently are not required to provide the same level of consumer information and disclosure required of most other gift cards and credit cards.

Sen. Warner Calls for Hearing into Target Consumer Data Breach

Target hack shows we “must become even more vigilant against breaches and improper use”

Dec 30 2013

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today requested a hearing by the Senate Banking Committee to examine whether companies and financial service providers are taking all actions necessary to safeguard consumer data and protect against fraud and identity theft, and whether stronger industry-wide cybersecurity standards are needed.

Sens. Warner & Merkley to Co-Chair Hearing on Virtual Currencies

Will hear testimony from Director of FinCEN, CEO of Bitcoin payment processor

Nov 18 2013

On Tuesday, November 19, Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) will co-chair a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee that will explore the development of virtual currencies, their current and potential future use, and the regulatory, monetary, and national security impacts and issues associated with them.

Warner, Kaine call for nationwide examination of tax lien programs

~ Citing Abuses of Veterans and the Elderly, Warner and Kaine Join 10 Senators in Call for Investigation ~

Sep 20 2013

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined Senator Ron Wyden and nine other Senators in urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to examine the protections for consumers facing tax liens and foreclosure in light of consumer abuses revealed in recent media reports.

Sen. Warner Joins 15 Colleagues in Urging Greater Consumer Protection for Workers Paid with Payroll Cards

Senators call on consumer agencies to help protect workers from exorbitant fees

Jul 12 2013

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has joined 15 of his colleagues in calling for an investigation into the fees and practices associated with pre-paid “payroll cards,” cards some employers use to pay their employees instead of payroll checks or direct deposit

Sens. Warner & Corker Lead Bipartisan Effort to Reform America's Broken Housing Finance System

Bill protects taxpayers, winds down Fannie & Freddie, preserves market liquidity

Jun 25 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced bipartisan legislation today to strengthen America’s housing finance system by replacing the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a streamlined, privately-capitalized system that preserves market liquidity and protects taxpayers from bailouts during any future economic downturns

Sens. Warner & Corker ask Holder to Clarify "Too Big to Jail" Comments

~ Bipartisan letter: “No institution, individual or executive should be above the law” ~

Mar 12 2013

Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN), members of the Senate Banking Committee, wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today asking him to clarify his "too big to jail" remarks, comments he made last week regarding enforcement actions on money laundering and terrorism financing activities based on the size of the culpable institution.
Senators Warner (D-Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today led a bipartisan letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Acting Chairman Marty Gruenberg and Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry urging financial regulators to consider the impact new Basel III capital standards would have on community banks.

Menendez, Reed, Warner, Merkley lead call for FHFA to fix flawed study on principal reductions

Taxpayers and homeowners deserve fair and complete answers, the Senators wrote

Apr 04 2012

Senator Warner led a group of 30 Senators today calling on Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Edward DeMarco to provide Congress with an accurate analysis of the effects on taxpayers of using principal forgiveness versus other mortgage modification options such as principal forbearance for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Senators introduce bipartisan Volcker fix to ease market confusion

Links effective date to regulators completing their work

Mar 22 2012

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mark Warner (D-VA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tom Carper (D-DE) and Bob Corker (R-TN) today introduced bipartisan legislation that provides for the implementation of the Volcker rule after the agencies have issued their final rules, rather than two years after the date Dodd-Frank was signed into law.

Sen. Warner introduces job creation bills promoting tech-start up & IPOs

~ Bipartisan legislation targets talent, capital and university R&D ~

Dec 08 2011

Senator Warner today introduced bipartisan legislation that would update regulatory and tax policies to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to launch new companies, creating jobs and broadening economic opportunities. Today's initiative builds upon bipartisan legislation Senator Warner introduced last week that is designed to make it easier for growing companies to access investment capital.

Sen. Warner cosponsors bipartisan plan to make it easier for growing firms to go public

Reforms Would Spur Job Creation by Boosting Smaller Companies’ Access to Capital

Dec 02 2011

Senators Warner, Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) today announced a bipartisan plan to make it easier for growing firms to go public so they can expand and create jobs. The proposal would make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to access capital through public markets.

Warner discusses new jobs initiative with Virginia small business owners, bankers

~Highlights efforts to boost access to capital so they can hire and grow~

Jun 18 2010

RICHMOND – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) met today with Virginia small business owners and lenders to discuss his specific efforts to help small businesses grow and put more Virginians back to work. Since last fall, Senator Warner has worked closely with the White House to design new tools to help small businesses access needed capital to help strengthen the economic recovery.