Press Releases

Sen. Warner, Rep. Kinzinger Respond to Sec'y. Panetta's Order on F-22 Raptor Oxygen Issue

~ Following meeting with Air Force officials, bipartisan duo says more work to be done ~

May 15 2012

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today instructed the Air Force to restrict F-22 flight activities, and to work with NASA and the Navy to find solutions to F-22 oxygen-deprivation issues. These actions were a direct result of Sen. Warner’s and Rep. Kinzinger’s continued pressure on the Secretary of the Air Force to take action.
"The Pentagon is making difficult but responsible choices as military planners work to cut a half-trillion dollars in defense spending. Due to the consistent, coordinated and bipartisan efforts of Virginia’s congressional delegation, and our strong partnership with state and local officials, the Navy has made the correct decision by committing to maintain the current number of carriers in Norfolk through the year 2020."

Va., Md. Senators urge selection of region as test range for unmanned aircraft

~ “Mid-Atlantic provides existing test ranges, personnel and expertise” ~

Feb 08 2012

U.S. Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today sent a joint letter to the Secretaries of Defense, Transportation and the NASA Administrator urging them to select the Virginia/Maryland region to host an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test range.

Webb, Warner file legislation creating Ft. Monroe Nat'l Park

~ Authorizes National Park Service role at historic Virginia site ~

Jun 29 2011

Senators Webb and Warner today introduced legislation that would establish a unit of the National Park Service at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. The Fort Monroe National Historical Park Establishment Act of 2011 would authorize the Park Service to establish a national park presence at the Fort to preserve historic and natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Sen. Warner: "Troubled" by Pentagon's continued lack of cooperation, disclosure on JFCOM

“Unconvinced any significant analysis was conducted” prior to Aug. 9th announcement

Oct 27 2010

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner today wrote Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates expressing disappointment and frustration with the Pentagon’s continued lack of transparency or cooperation on the August 9th decision to close the Virginia-based U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). Since the Aug. 9 announcement, Senator Warner has worked with congressional colleagues and state, regional, and local leaders to marshal the compelling arguments to maintain JFCOM functions in Hampton Roads, but, as today’s letter makes clear, the Pentagon has not been receptive or responsive.

“It is unprecedented for the Pentagon to issue a recommendation of this significance without providing members of Congress, the Governor, and other state and local leaders a meaningful opportunity to participate in the process,” Senator Warner said. “I remain deeply disappointed in the way this process has been handled so far, and will continue to take whatever steps are available to make sure Virginia is allowed to make its case in a meaningful way.”

The full text of the letter follows:

The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Gates: 

Since you first revealed your recommendation to the President to close the U. S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and reduce service-support contracts as part of a series of initiatives designed to gain efficiencies in the Department of Defense (DoD), we have been troubled by the lack of transparency associated with your actions. While we commend your efforts to reduce overhead and to apply savings to force structure and modernization, the failure to consult more fully with Congress in a transparent way works against the Department’s ultimate goal of becoming more cost-conscious and efficient in providing for our nation’s defense. 

I recently received a packet of documents from your office that included various background memos on a variety of topics, many of which had little to do with the questions we asked.  There was also little new information provided, and many of our questions remain unanswered.   The few answers that were provided were largely incomplete, and none addressed our repeated requests for the memorandums, business case analysis and decision-making criteria that supported the August 9th decision.   These pre-August 9th documents are crucially important, because in last month’s USJFCOM Congressional hearings, none of the DoD witnesses could recall the Pentagon making a decision of this magnitude without an analysis being completed first.  Since you still have not released any information to support your recommendation, I remain unconvinced that any significant analysis was conducted.

As you are aware, Senator Webb and I have introduced companion legislation to the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will halt this recommendation until our requests are satisfied.  It is important that Congress is afforded the opportunity to thoroughly review all data, analysis, and other documentation supporting the proposal, which we require in order to make critical military funding choices for the Department.  Moreover, Senator Webb has made it clear that he will place a “hold” on all civilian and flag/general officer nominations until our requests for information are answered, and I support this action.

I make these requests of you and your office with respect for the difficulty of your position and the day-to-day decisions you must make.  I also do not make these requests lightly but with the backing of the broader community that has made Virginia such a significant partner to JFCOM.  The fact that the first Commander of JFCOM, Admiral Harold Gehman, strongly opposes the disestablishment of JFCOM, saying: "The original mission of Joint Forces Command is as valid today as when it was created," is, on its own, a cause for serious concern and reason to scrutinize this recommendation.  

We urge you to allow Congress the opportunity to review the cost assessments, business case, and recommended courses of action prior to any decisions on JFCOM’s fate. The best way to accomplish this is to have a substantial face-to-face meeting between the Pentagon’s JFCOM Task Force and our team of technical experts, many of whom have spent 30 or more years in military uniform.  Moving forward, it is our hope that both the Administration and the Department of Defense will give the Virginia delegation a chance to make our case about why jointness is important to our national security.

Sincerely,

Mark R. Warner                                                                      
United States Senator 

Webb, Warner announce $148 million in public safety funds for Virginia

Federal grants help fund state, local law enforcement as well as public safety organizations

Oct 15 2010

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner today announced $148 million in federal grants to Virginia agencies, municipalities, and public safety organizations. The 296 U.S. Department of Justice grants support public safety projects across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Sens. Warner, Webb announce $26 million in grants for rural broadband expansion

Grants will provide high-speed, affordable broadband and create jobs

Aug 19 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Jim Webb announced today that Virginia has received a combined $26 million in federal grants for three regional projects that will expand rural broadband access, creating hundreds of jobs and providing a platform for additional economic activity and job creation. The U.S. Department of Commerce grants target rural and economically distressed areas with low rates of broadband accessibility.
"I can see no rational basis for dismantling JFCOM since its sole mission is to look for efficiencies and greater cost-savings by forcing more cooperation among sometimes competing military services," Senator Warner said in response to news that the Defense Department has announced plans to shut-down the Joint Forces Command, a Hampton Roads-based command which trains troops from different services to fight together.

Sens. Webb and Warner announce $5.5 million in transportation grants to seven Va. regional airports

Grants will extend or repave runways, purchase snow removal and other safety equipment

Jul 29 2010

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) announced today that Virginia has received nearly $5.5 million in grants to upgrade runways and purchase safety equipment at seven regional airports in Virginia. The U.S. Department of Transportation grants are for use in projects intended to enhance safety and bring airports up to Federal Aviation Administration standards. The projects include renovating runways and, in some cases, purchasing new firefighting or snow removal equipment.

Warner, Webb Urge Interior to Expedite Development of Offshore Oil & Gas Resources

~Say Revenue-Sharing Formula will Attract Jobs to Virginia, Boost Domestic Energy Production~

Jan 27 2010

Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) today called on the Secretary of the Interior to promptly commence steps to ensure that the Virginia Lease Sale, for the development of oil and gas resources off the coast of Virginia, remains on track for 2011.

Warner, Webb, Nye Urge IRS to Approve Tax Deduction for Drywall Homeowners

~ Casualty loss deduction would be significant for 80+ Virginia homeowners ~

Nov 25 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Rep. Glenn Nye have joined members of Congress from two other states in urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to approve a tax deduction known as a "casualty loss" for homeowners in Virginia, Florida and Virginia who are dealing with the structural defects and health problems associated with contaminated drywall. Casualty loss deductions allow property owners to deduct from their taxes a portion of the decrease in value of the property following sudden or unexpected damage. The joint letter to the IRS is below.

Warner, Webb Announce Labor Dept. Assistance for Ex-International Paper Employees

~ Earlier lumber mill lay-offs separate from recent paper mill closure announcement ~

Nov 25 2009

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has approved Transition Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for former employees of International Paper's (IP) lumber mill in Franklin. The mill, which employed about 120 people, closed early this summer because of a decline in product demand due to increased foreign imports. According to company officials, the mill produced pine lumber board and was not directly involved in the operations of IP's Franklin paper mill.