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Video: Sen. Mark Warner Comments on “tragedy that’s taken place down in Buchanan County”; “I told you so” Regarding TikTok; “Freedom to Travel Act,” Inflation, Social Media Companies’ “get out of jail free card,” etc.

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See below for video and a few highlights from Sen. Mark Warner’s press availability yesterday.

  • On “the tragedy that’s taken place down in Buchanan County,” which got “hit with extraordinarily dangerous and devastating floods,” Sen. Warner said he’d talked to Gov. Youngkin and “stand[s] ready to do anything and everything I can” regarding federal assistance to flood-damaged areas.
  • On the “security conditions around the website TikTok,” Sen. Warner said this is somewhat of an “I told you so” situation, that TikTok is “a company that is controlled by a Chinese parent,” and that “these Chinese tech companies…by Chinese law are required to share their…data with the Communist Party.” Sen. Warner called this a “huge national security threat.” Sen. Warner added that he personally would not any of his devices, given that the data could end up with the Chinese Communist Party.
  • On the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Sen. Warner said “we’re still…all reeling.” He said he’s joined with other Democrats in the Senate to create a law called the Freedom to Travel Act, so that no state can penalize women for traveling to another state where abortion is still safe and legal. Warner said that this Supreme Court decision highlights the point that “elections matter.”
  • On the Hampton V.A., Sen. Warner expressed anger and frustration that a veteran did not get appropriate care, that protocol and standards were missed in this case, etc. Sen. Warner said “we’ve got to get to the bottom of this” so that it “never happens again.”
  • On possibly cutting back on import tariffs against China, Sen. Warner said he’s open to that, but that he also thinks “our biggest long-term economic, strategic and technology challenge in the 21st century is China” under the Communist Party. He added that “we should not long term be reliant on particularly Chinese products, oftentimes for example rare-earth minerals, we all want to move to electric vehicles, where China controls most of the materials…that go into an electric battery, that is a long-term bad solution for America…We need to secure a domestic , or at least a domestic combined with our allies, supply chain.” Sen. Warner also stressed the importance of passing the CHIPS Act.
  • On inflation, Sen. Warner said it is “obviously hurting Americans all across the country,” that “we are going to need to see the Federal Reserve continue to ratchet up interest rates.” He said that he’s “disappointed…that we couldn’t have done more…on support for affordable child care.” He added that gas prices appear to have peaked and start to slightly decline, that we need OPEC countries to ratchet up their oil production. He noted that a lot of the problem relates to Putin’s “brutal invasion of Ukraine.”
  • On social media posts being part of the application process to purchase a firearm, Sen. Warner said we saw “warning signals on social media” with the shooter in Highland Park and in other cases. He said there’s an existing law, Section 230, that basically gives social media companies immunity for anything posted on their platforms. That means they have “no immunity,” a “get out of jail free card.” So Sen. Warner wants to change the law so that the same standard should apply to something  on social media that, if you said it in the “real world,” would get you sued or otherwise penalized.

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