Earlier today, Sen. Mark Warner – fresh off helping to negotiate the massive, $3.5 *trillion* “reconciliation” infrastructure package (which will create jobs, rebuild infrastructure, act on the climate crisis, expand Medicare, etc.), had a bunch to say about that, and other topics. Check out the video, and highlights, below, and thanks to Sen. Warner for his hard and effective work representing Virginia in the U.S. Senate!
- Sen. Warner reiterated the announcement made last night about the agreement on a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package. Sen. Warner said this will be “new funding over the next 10 years in critical areas for our country,” also that it is a “fiscally responsible plan.”
- Sen. Warner: “This is a moment in history when the United States needs to reassert itself in terms of how it deals with our families…children…the existential crisis of climate change…the kind of investments we need to compete with China.” “And in all those areas, climate change in particular, this will be far and away the most significant investment and policy changes that we’ll ever make...free community college for the first two years…bring some of that tax fairness back to our system…once-in-a-generation investments in infrastructure.” That will mean, by the way, “revisit[ing] the 2017 tax code.”
- On the climate components of the “reconciliation” infrastructure plan, Sen. Warner said “we are looking at use of the tax code…things around…border adjustment fees,” adding that we have to take action for climate reasons, but also that this is around a $60 trillion market around clean energy.
- Sen. Warner also talked about the bipartisan, $579 billion investment in “hard” infrastructure, including investment in upgrading the electric grid, making record investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electrifying school buses, etc. Sen. Warner said this bipartisan bill is more challenging in terms of paying for it, and that part of it will be better tax enforcement of existing rules (in contrast to the “wink and a nod” under Trump that “you could avoid paying taxes if you had the right advice”). According to Sen. Warner, the bipartisan infrastructure bill could be on the Senate floor “as early as next week.”
- Sen. Warner also talked about legislation on protecting federal workers from COVID-19 as the “delta variant” spreads, the child tax credit, and putting together a “comprehensive cyber strategy.”
- On whether or not he’s worried about losing Republican support for the bipartisan infrastructure package; Sen. Warner said “I actually think we’re going to have many more than 10 or 11 Republicans supporting the bipartisan legislation.” Sen. Warner added that “every one of our Republican colleagues” knew that Democrats were also going to do a reconciliation package, so that “if some of them bail as this goes forward…that’s not because they did not know this was coming.” “These deals have a tendency to wax and wane…but I really expect and hope that we will at least start on this legislation next week.”
- On the appointment of former Park Police chief Robert D. MacLean to head up a task force to review Interior Department law enforcement bureaus policies and practices, Sen. Warner said “I’m pretty disappointed; this is an individual that not only was engaged with the, I believe, inappropriate…Trump photo op that was a disgrace in Lafayette Park, but…this police chief was also the person that buried the efforts for sitting U.S. Senators…to get information about the death of Bijan Ghaisar…we still have not gotten all the answers, his family deserves answers, thank god at least Fairfax County has started prosecuting this case.”