Home Mark Warner Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says Passage of “CHIPS” Bill a “Sputnik Moment”...

Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says Passage of “CHIPS” Bill a “Sputnik Moment” for USA; Favors “targeted [student loan] debt relief”; Says “having Medicare negotiate for drug prices is a huge deal”

Also: "Sen. Manchin is my friend, but has moved away from rolling back some of the Trump tax cuts. Frankly, raising taxes on the top 1% of Americans or having them pay a little more fair share actually is ANTI-inflationary."

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See below for video and highlights from Sen. Mark Warner’s latest weekly media availability.

  • “It’s finally, finally, finally going to happen. The Senate today is going to pass the so-called CHIPS+ legislation, a bill that’s had more names than probably any piece of legislation I’ve ever worked on...I actually think from an historic standpoint…maybe looked back as one of the most significant pieces of legislation Congress has gotten to the president in years if not decades.” The bill will make sure that “we control our destiny in terms of semiconductors.”
  • “If Xi were to move militarily on Taiwan or even on an economic blockade and cut off the supply of those semiconductor chips to the rest of the world or to the United States…we would not have a recession, we would have a depression…We need to make sure that we have control over the supply chain [for national security, jobs and inflation].” The fact that it’s taken so long to pass this bill has allowed other countries to jump ahead of us and cost us $10s of billions in investment in America.
  • “It is incumbent upon us from a national security standpoint, from a jobs standpoint, and from just plain values, because these technologies – do you really want an artificial intelligence system that’s controlled by the Communist Party? That ought to scare the dickens out of all of you. We’ve got to set the rules, guidelines, and with our allies around the world on these emerging technologies. And I think this piece of legislation will be looked at as historic in those areas…I think this may be as important as the ‘Sputnik moment’ was back in the late 1950s where we’d kind of gone to sleep at the switch, until the then-Soviet Union put a satellite up before America, and we responded under President Kennedy’s leadership in unprecedented ways. I think this is the first step of America regaining its leadership in technology and innovation.”
  • The science component of the bill includes authorizations for increased funds for the Department of Energy’s national labs, the National Science Foundation, creation of ten regional technology hubs, etc.
  • On student loans, Sen. Warner said “I think it’s been very appropriate that there’s been a pause on people who owe student loans during COVID. I think if the president wanted to extend that pause for…two or three more months…I’m ok with that. I do have some concerns about a complete willingness to write off all of that student debt. There are many cases where people have been taken advantage, but there are many cases where people are in professional careers and they will recoup those dollars. And I do feel a little bit of unfairness for people who paid back their student or didn’t go to college, that it is a bit of a complete wiping off of that student debt…I am in favor of targeted debt relief for, let’s say, the first $10,000 or a bit more, or I really think we ought to be focusing on how can we bring down the interest rate costs on that student debt?…There would be relief, but it would still make sure that those dollars got repaid.”
  • On inflation and gas prices, Sen. Warner said “clearly, we’ve got high inflation, and I think the Fed…the administration…business leaders got this wrong a year-plus ago when they thought it was simply transitory. But the causation of this inflation is a whole series of factors, but two of the biggest are the war in Ukraine…and secondarily the kind of complete lockdown approach that China took with COVID. You know, when you shut down a country that is as large as China, that screws up the supply chain and drives up costs…I think it’s probably appropriate that the Fed raise interest rates…So far, at least, even if this quarter shows some slowing of economic growth, I mean, I’m a pretty old guy at this point, I’ve lived through a lot of recessions, I’ve never seen a recession where there’s as strong a job market as there is now…As long as we see 250k, 350k, 450k a month job growth…I don’t think we’re going to be in a full, classic recession even if the definitions of a recession are met.  I wish some of my colleagues would be more about promoting growth policies rather than simply criticizing the administration…I don’t hear them criticizing [Trump’s] economic policies…If you have people banging the drum ‘recession, recession, recession,’ it becomes in many ways a self-fulfilling prophecy, and maybe that’s good for short-term politics for some in this country, but it’s not good for the economic well being of Virginians and Americans.”
  • “I think having Medicare negotiate for drug prices is a huge deal…This is an area where I changed my view…We’ve seen too many places where those drug costs have gone up dramatically more than even inflation…You talk about something that will help people with inflation…Only the Democrats at this point could do that and somehow be viewed as that being not a big thing. I think it’s a very big thing. I’m hopeful. It’s going to be an ugly process, just the way Reconciliation is done. But I do think and hope and believe that we will get that legislation to the president’s desk, at least out of the Senate, before the end of next week…That will provide immediate economic relief to families in terms of drug costs.”
  • Sen. Manchin is my friend, but has moved away from rolling back some of the Trump tax cuts. Frankly, raising taxes on the top 1% of Americans or having them pay a little more fair share actually is ANTI-inflationary.”

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