See below for video and highlights from Sen. Mark Warner’s latest press availability.
- According to Sen. Warner, “we are in the final hours of finishing an agreement to avoid what I call ‘stupidity on steroids,’ which would have been violating…the debt ceiling…the ramifications of that would have been maybe one of the stupidest things that could have ever happened in my whole tenure in Washington, and that is saying something because there have been plenty of other stupid things that have happened over the years.” Sen. Warner said this would have been extremely damaging – potentially the military not being paid, interest rates going up, Social Security checks not going out, etc., etc., and would have “sent shockwaves around the world.” In sum, it would have been “crazy crazy crazy.” Now, we’ve “simply delayed this decision until December 3.” Sen. Warner advocates removing the debt ceiling as a political tool going forward…
- Sen. Warner talked about the importance of passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the “Build Back Better” program (which he said would probably end up at a topline number of $2.1 trillion).
- On the slowness of mail delivery, Sen. Warner said this problem “is going to take more focus from my office,” it is “part of a problem that has come when, during [the Donald Trump administration] there was a political appointee put in as Postmaster General, Mr. DeJoy, who came in and frankly made dramatic changes to the Postal Service in the midst of COVID, in the midst of a national election, changes that he had to walk back but we’re still paying the price for some of that disruption.” Sen. Warner added that he hopes the Postal Board will look at the Postal Service’s top leadership, including DeJoy.
- On the 2021 Virginia election, Sen. Warner said he understands that “a lot of Virginians are tired, at least in terms of grappling with politics,” that in Virginia “there is no rest for the weary,” but the “good news” is that “the General Assembly has made voting easier than ever.” Given problems with the Postal Service, Sen. Warner encouraged people to mail back their ballots early, or to drop them off in person. Sen. Warner added that the “issues are extraordinarily important,” that under Democrats Virginia is the “best-managed state in the country.” Sen. Warner said “if we turn the keys to somebody [like Glenn Youngkin] who’s embracing the Trump ‘Big Lie’…that’s right out of the Donald Trump playbook…I’d be very afraid if we changed direction in the governor’s office or the House of Delegates, you could see the kind of restrictive voting laws that have been passed in Georgia and Texas creep into Virginia.” We also could see the “enormous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose,” as we’ve seen in Texas.” And we could hurt Virginia’s attractiveness to business if we make Virginia less open and welcoming by “veer[ing] off to the right…into the kind of Trumpian approach.” Sen. Warner urged Virginians to get out and vote, saying there’s “a lot at stake.”
- Sen. Warner talked about the importance of support for HBCUs, including in the “Build Back Better” plan.
- Sen. Warner said we need to invest in government agencies’ computer systems, including cybersecurity.
- Sen. Warner said it’s “extraordinarily dangerous to spread the ‘Big Lie’ about the integrity of our voting system. I’ve run a lot of elections in Virginia – I’ve not won all of them, I lost my first election, but I absolutely trust the integrity of our voting system. You undermine the very principles of democracy if you suddenly say every loser gets to say, ‘well I only lost because the election system was crooked.’ That’s the kind of mindset that takes place in Russia, the kind of mindset that takes place by the Communist Party in China…in a country like Belarus or certainly countries in South America or Africa, where there IS constant interference in the electoral system. And any leader or aspiring leader that makes these kind of false claims without any evidence at all…it is the height of irresponsibility.”