See below for video and highlights from Sen. Mark Warner’s latest media availability.
- On the “state of play around the so-called reconciliation bill,” Sen. Warner said “we are looking at a [real] deadline that comes this Sunday, October 31, when the highway transportation bill…extension expires..” So, Sen. Warner “implore[s] all of my colleagues…to go ahead and pass the once-in-50-year, bipartisan infrastructure bill…as soon as possible.”
- Sen. Warner said the “sausage making has been pretty ugly,” but that we are “very close to closing out a deal” on passing the rest of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, which Sen. Warner said will also help with the “supply chain” and the economic recovery in general.
- Sen. Warner said he scratches his head about why we can’t pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and give “the people of Virginia…the country a win.” He added that if it passed this week, it would help Terry McAuliffe, but that McAuliffe will be “ok regardless of that.” Sen. Warner noted that early vote numbers have clicked up in McAuliffe’s favor.
- On the revenue side, Sen. Warner said he’d like to “get rid of some of the Trump tax cuts,” “raise corporate rates to 25%, raise capital gains to 28%…take the top rates back to 39%.” “That may not come to be the final product, because in a 50/50 Senate, everybody can be king or queen for a day, and some members are exercising that right.” Sen. Warner supports a small tax on stock buybacks; closing the loophole on the 3.8% increase for high earners put in place with Obamacare; aligning our country’s minimum corporate tax with the rest of the world around 15%; maybe imposing some sort of “billionaire’s tax” (he said he’s reviewing Sen. Wyden’s proposal); tweaking the estate tax; etc. Sen. Warner said it’s important to get a deal, but also to take the time to get the details right.
- On the climate component of the reconciliation bill, Sen. Warner said “climate change is real and it is a threat to our country…to frankly everybody on the planet….and it is NOW…we ought to be all in.” Sen. Warner said it’s about the existential threat but also about job/economic opportunities in clean energy, energy storage, etc. Right now, Sen. Warner said China is dominating these areas, and “it’s crazy for America not to do it.” Sen. Warner would support clean energy tax incentives and also put a price on carbon (which, he argues, would help U.S. manufacturing). He said he’s “working on folks like Sen. Manchin” on this. He added that the report that there will be “over $500 billion of market-based tax incentives around climate in the final reconciliation bill I think is a dramatic step forward.”
- Sen. Warner said the fact that the idea of more people voting being a GOOD thing no longer being agreed upon by Republicans is the fault of Donald Trump – “the loser who still can’t accept that…[and] to excuse his loss has tried to basically…undermine the integrity of our voting system.” Sen. Warner said it’s “stunning” that there actually are candidates in Virginia who claim that “election integrity” is the top issue.
- Sen. Warner said it’s “outrageous the number of election poll workers…being threatened by Trumpites and others who support Trump” just for “doing their civic duty.” Sen. Warner ripped “advocates of the Big Lie.”
- Sen. Warner said “the rest of the nation is looking at Virginia” and hopes Virginia will “continue to lead the nation” after Tuesday’s election. Sen. Warner said he’s “much more optimistic today than I was 10 days ago that Terry’s going to be successful,” based on the early vote numbers ticking up.
- Sen. Warner said he hopes there’s an ability to get “some components” (e.g., on “DREAMers,” “TPS,” some path to legal status for undocumented people) of immigration reform into the reconciliation bill. He said he’d love to do it through “regular order,” or if not then through “reconciliation.”