In today’s press availability (see video, below), Sen. Mark Warner covered a bunch of topics, including the “Rural Jobs Act” (“takes a very successful program of new market tax credits, but sets aside $1 billion…for communities that are less than 50,000 in population”); the “Endless Frontiers Act” (to “take on the challenge economically and technologically with China”); increasing semiconductor production in the U.S.; investment in 5G; etc. But I mostly wanted to highlight Sen. Warner’s comments about “the tragic circumstances in the Middle East” as well as the Republicans’ opposition to a 1/6 commission.
- “I strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself. The idea that Hamas is indiscriminately sending rockets into civilian areas in Israel is wrong. But at this moment, for anyone who wants to see peace, we need…an immediate cease-fire. The death of Palestinians, the death of Israeli citizens is not aiding the process of getting back to a more stable Middle East. I am concerned as well with the number of Israeli Arab citizens who have taken to the streets in an unprecedented way, pushing back against some of the actions of the Netanyahu government. As a long-term supporter of Israel, it is critically important that we see this ceasefire come about right now, so that the bloodshed can end…and…deal with the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip and for that matter…the Israeli Arab citizens as well…All that needs to start with a ceasefire. Again, Israel’s right to defend itself, I will always stand by, but we need a ceasefire now to end the bloodshed and let the folks get talking on a more active basis…Some of the actions that were taken by the Netanyahu government during Ramadan…particularly in terms of the eviction of certain Palestinian families in East Jerusalem unfortunately sparked some of these flames. And again, I say this as a staunch defender of Israel…”
- On the January 6 commission, Sen. Warner said: “As somebody who was on the floor of the Senate on January 6th, when the insurrectionists broke in and trashed our Capitol…they were out for blood…and the feeling that day among…virtually all of us was that this violation of our Capitol needed to come to an end and those who were responsible need to be held accountable. And I was very proud of [Sen. McConnell’s] statement…where he called out, appropriately…Trump for helping light the fuse for that insurrection. So I was bitterly disappointed that the idea of a bipartisan commission…played completely straight so we can get the answers…there are still so many questions that are unanswered…so will we practically get to the 60 votes? Probably not. I think we still ought to go on record as to where you stand on having an independent commission, since so many of these members in the days right after January 6 said they were all for it. I’m not sure what changed other than the fact of fear of Donald Trump. But if we don’t get an independent commission, I sure as heck hope that the appropriate committees in the Senate will finish their investigations…There are questions that the American people deserve the answers to…so we know what happened…be better protected from it happening again…[and] the rise of domestic violent extremists on both ends of the political spectrum but disproportionately coming from white supremacists is a grave national threat to our security in this country. And we ought to acknowledge that the same way that Canada, the UK, Germany and Norway have acknowledged that in their countries their biggest threat to internal security is the rise of right-wing, white supremacist groups.”