Tag: Mark Warner
If you really want to enjoy this video, I suggest you take a shot every time you hear Mark Warner use the words "moderate," "bipartisan," or "work across the aisle." Cheers! :)
According to the Washington Post, "A group that includes victims of the Virginia Tech massacre and their families said Monday that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virginia) met privately with them and gave his commitment to support a federal law requiring that buyers at gun shows undergo background checks before purchasing firearms." Yesterday, however, Webb's office issued a statement that "was noncommital about Webb's support for the so-called gun show loophole."
As far as Sen. Warner is concerned, "family members met with Warner on June 9 and he was noncommittal on the issue." His office also issued a statement yesterday:
Senator Warner has a record of supporting Second Amendment rights and he will weigh any future proposals that come before the full Senate. He also will continue to work for full funding to make sure the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is complete and up-to-date - improvements that were mandated by Congress following the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy.Can anyone translate that from "politician" into "English?" Heh.
"I'd love to hear from Senator McConnell and some of the others specifics, not just general attacks..."
"I'm still relatively new to this job, and I didn't get the memo yet that we weren't actually supposed to get stuff done in a bipartisan way...this should not be a partisan bill."
"We need to set financial rules of the road for the next 50-60 years. We had pretty good rules of the road that were set in the '30s that lasted us 80 years; I'd love to see a bill that would put the next 80 years rules in place."
..."It appears that the Republican leader either doesn't understand or chooses not to understand the basic underlying premise of what this bill puts in place."It's frustrating, but this is how Republicans are on practically every issue these days. Just like when they attack, without any apparent shame, their own ideas - "cap and trade" (came out of the Reagan Administration), the "individual mandate" (Republican alternative to the "employer mandate"), for instance. Now, they're attacking financial reform developed by a centrist Democrat (Mark Warner) and a Republican (Bob Corker)? It's utterly bizarre, except when you realize that they'll say anything in order to win the next election. That's all it comes down to with these people, unfortunately, and it's very sad to see. Anyway, I'm glad to see Mark Warner hitting back and pointing out Mitch McConnell's utter "hypocrisy" and "sound-bite solutions." I'm also glad to see Warner working on solving the problem, "in the arena," as opposed to sniping from the back benches...
"Again," says Warner, "it's either that they don't understand or they choose not to understand. There's nobody in the financial sector who believes this. They'd laugh at the proposition that $50 billion is enough to get you through the resolution process if a couple of firms go down. What we've heard time and again is that the challenge in a crisis is to buy enough time to keep the lights on for a few days till you get the FDIC in here. You could make it smaller. Corker and I spoke about $25 billion. But this is funded by the industry."
"And here's the hypocrisy of the Republican leader's comments," continues Warner. "I can guarantee you that if there had not been some pre-funding, the critique would've been: 'Look at these guys! They've left the taxpayers exposed! What's going to keep the lights on for these few days? It's going to be Treasury funds or Federal Reserve funds. The taxpayer will be exposed!' "
"If you haven't spent time with these issues," Warner sighed, "it's easy to pop off with sound-bite solutions that don't work."
UPDATE: Sen. Warner sets the record straight.
...Sen. Mark Warner "had a root canal today," said spokesman Kevin Hall. "The irony is that it's 'drill, baby, drill' day." (No TV sound bites, alas, to support Obama's offshore-oil decision.) Warner will recover at home, then head to events in southern Virginia next week.Good one by Kevin Hall, and get well soon to Mark Warner!
P.S. For Mark Warner's real reaction to the offshore oil drilling announcement yesterday, see here. In short, Warner believes "This is good news and a positive step forward as we work to expand our nation's domestic energy production." Hmmm...root canal or offshore oil drilling, tough choice.
I agree with some of their points that we don't go far enough on cost containment...but how this bill is implemented is really going to be where the rubber hits the road. I, for one, believe there's more we can do around this issue of cost containment. And I would hope in the coming weeks and months, rather than fighting to repeal, that they would join with us in finding that common ground to make this legislation even better.
I certainly agree with Mark Warner that "there's no free market in health care." I also agree with him that, when it comes to our health care system, "the system is so broken...the status quo is gonna kill us." Which, I'm pretty sure, is why Warner voted "yes" on health care reform.
This video is a classic example of why I like and admire Mark Warner, but also why he frustrates me at times.
On the "like and admire" part, obviously Warner is an extremely smart guy, a hard worker, and a leader among leaders. That's all great. I also admire the fact that Warner is working so hard on such an important issue as reforming Wall Street, which as a wealthy businessman, he certainly understands.
So, what's the problem here? No, it's not the mere fact that he's working with a Republican; I'm totally fine with that. Instead, what I'm troubled by is that Sen. Warner seems to be saying that having a more "centrist" and "bipartisan" solution represents an end in and of itself. I simply don't see it that way. In my way of thinking, the goal is to come up with the best - most effective, helps the most people, makes as much progress as possible. etc. - possible legislation, not to have it be "centrist" (even if it's labeled "radical centrist," whatever that is) or "bipartisan" per se.
For instance, let's say that experts - scientists, economists, whatever - determine that the optimal solution to Problem Y is Solution Z, but Solution Z is not considered to be "centrist" ideologically, and also does not have "bipartisan" support. Does that mean we should scrap it? I'd say the answer to that question is "clearly no," but I'm honestly not sure what Sen. Warner's answer would be.
Thus, on health care reform, clearly the public option is a "win-win-win" that helps "bend the cost curve down," reduces the federal budget deficit, and provides people with more choice in health insurance. For the life of me, I can't figure out why anyone would oppose this, yet Mark Warner appears to do just that, in large part because he seems to feel it's not "centrist" or "bipartisan." I really don't understand that line of reasoning; how is the public option - giving people more choice while reducing costs - inherently "left" or "right?" And how is it inherently not "bipartisan," except insofar as Republicans have determined to be monolithically against anything Democrats offer in this area? Got me.
In this case, the issues mainly relate to how tightly regulated Wall Street will be; what those regulations specifically will be, for instance, how free banks will be to own/invest in hedge funds and private-equity funds; how much power shareholders will have over the companies in which they own stock; how strongly the federal government will regulate the financial system; and how much protection consumers will have.
All of these are important issues, and in my way of thinking I care a lot more about whether they're handled right than whether they are politically "right" or "left." All else being equal, certainly bipartisanship would be nice. But, in the end, I simply do not consider bipartisanship to be an end in and of itself. If it is, then remind me again why we have two political parties, one that's supposed to be broadly "conservative" (but in reality has lurched to the far right) and the other that's supposed to be broadly "progressive" (but in reality is more corporatist/centrist)? In sum, I'm all for bipartisanship, and I have nothing against "centrist" solutions, as long as the starting point has each party fighting strongly for the ideas it believes in, and willing to go to the mat because it honestly believes those ideas would bring the most benefit to the most Americans. Is that too much to ask?