See below for video of Sen. Mark Warner’s “press availability” earlier today. A few highlights include:
- Sen. Warner is looking forward to the US House voting on his “joint consolidation student loan bill,“ which would “provide relief to borrowers who need to separate their joint consolidation loans, including separate applications for borrowers who are victims of abuse or for borrowers who are unable to get in touch with their fellow borrower.” Excellent legislation!
- Sen. Warner says that Sen. Kaine and he have “achieved $135 million in specific projects around the Commonwealth of Virginia” that he’s hopeful will end up in the final appropriations bill.
- “This is a movie that I think we’ve all seen before, and the expectation today is that we’re NOT going to go through any kind of ridiculous, stupid government shutdown…Virginia being the most dependent state upon federal spending, military spending…the last one obviously under President Trump, 35 days, caused enormous havoc….The time is short…”
- On Ukraine, Sen. Warner said: “I am confident that the Senate will continue to support the president’s request for additional funding to Ukraine, roughly $14 billion…with Ukraine making enormous gains…we need to continue to arm our Ukrainian allies…Ukraine is on the offense. As much territory as they can reclaim before the winter sets in is extraordinarily important. I know President Zelenskyy is going to speak to the UN General Assembly tomorrow…I think it’s curious that Russian President Putin – I know what kind of reception he’d get – he’s not even attending the UN General Assembly…increasingly, Russia is a pariah state…In terms of the efforts of the Russians to hold a, frankly, fake referendum in parts of the area they control…if they bring about one of these referenda very quickly…it should be greeted by the rest of the world as what it is, a sham election forced upon in many cases unwilling participants, and I think there would be no…credibility.”
- On the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Sen. Warner said “I’ve not seen any of the details” on Manchin’s proposal, “so I’m not going to weigh in on that at this point.” More broadly, Sen. Warner said that he supports permitting reform, citing the level of delay for offshore wind. “This permitting process is literally adding years and that simply drives up costs…all you need to do is put some level of time restriction in place…[or] you can do [permitting processes] simultaneously…Our permitting process right now in this country is broken.”
- On the Youngkin administration’s new model policies rolling back protections for transgender students, Sen. Warner said “I thought it was curious that this was announced late on a Friday afternoon simply to…certain right-wing media…I guess one of the things I’ve heard from the governor’s office is that he wants to return more control to parents. In many ways, I agree with that. But what seems to be a little bit contradictory…my understanding is this new policy would literally say, if a parent for example had accepted their trans student’s pronoun choices, that the parents’ acceptance of how they thought their kid ought to be addressed, they don’t have the right to make that decision, it has to somehow go and get a court order…it does seem a little bit contradictory in terms of respecting parents and how they ought to appropriately raise their children.”