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Virginia
SENATOR
Civil Rights
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Position held

Governor, Virginia State

Tenure

2002 — 2006

Position held

Senator, US Senate

Tenure

2008 — 2021

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Quotes on the Issues

Civil Rights

Senator Warner introduced the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer No Hate Act with several of his Senate colleagues, including Sen. Tim Kaine, in 2019. This act aimed to address the recent surge in hate crimes by improving reporting of these crimes, increasing law enforcement prevention and training on hate crimes, establishing hate crime hotlines to help victims get the assistance they need, and allowing for judges to require community service or education for those who commit hate crimes. When Heather Heyer was killed protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017, Sen. Warner also pushed President Trump to sign a resolution condemning white supremacy.

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Healthcare

Sen. Warner worked with a bi-partisan group of his colleagues on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance to pass the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017. This bill aims to improve health outcomes for those on Medicare who are living with chronic conditions, and modernizes Medicare benefits to better meet the needs of today’s seniors. Sen. Warner also fought to expand Medicare and Medicaid coverage as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to ensure that everyone was adequately cared for through the coronavirus pandemic.

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Healthcare

Sen. Warner is committed to making sure that every Virginian has access to adequate medical care, and is focused on making sure that health care systems are in place in our rural communities in particular. In 2013, Wellmont Health System announced they would close Lee County’s only hospital. Since then, Sen. Warner worked with Lee County residents, stakeholders, local government leaders fighting to re-open the hospital.  In 2018, the Lee County Hospital reopened it’s urgent care center, and the hospital is expected to fully reopen in 2020.

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Healthcare

As a senior member of the Senate finance committee, Sen. Warner has been on the front lines of the fight to reduce prescription drug prices. He is a proud supporter of the bi-partisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA), which includes his proposal to allow Medicaid to pay for drugs on a value system based on effectiveness, not on profit margins for pharmaceutical companies. Sen. Warner has also long supported allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs directly with the pharmaceutical industry.

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Healthcare

In the Senate, Senator Warner has defended protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions — he opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act because doing so would have cost 22 million Americans their healthcare. When the Trump administration started allowing the sale of junk health plans that put Americans at risk, Sen. Warner led the opposition, and forced Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate to vote on whether Americans’ insurance should cover pre-existing conditions. In 2019, Sen. Warner introduced the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act to prevent the promotion of “junk” health care plans that would increase costs for millions of consumers and lack adequate protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

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In 2019, Sen. Warner joined Sen. Tim Kaine and 44 of his other colleagues in the Senate to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 to build on the landmark Voting Rights Act. This important legislation aims to address barriers to participating in our elections, especially for systematically disenfranchised communities and communities of color, and to provide the federal government with adequate tools to address discriminatory changes to state voting law and procedure.

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Defense

Virginia’s military bases and contractors do more than just keep us safe – they are huge economic drivers for the Commonwealth. Sen. Warner recognizes that importance and is vigilant about identifying and actualizing opportunities to expand Virginia’s defense economy. He helped win approval for the block buy of two new aircraft carriers which will help sustain an estimated 25,000 jobs in Hampton Roads. Sen. Warner has further pushed for increased funding for military construction across Virginia. In 2019, he helped secure half a billion in funding for projects which will stimulate economic activity and create work for our military personnel and civilians alike. He also led the effort to relocate the F-22 flight and maintenance formal training units to Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

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Defense

For years, Sen. Warner has been beating the drum that private providers of military housing often supply substandard, defective or even dangerous accommodations. Too many Virginia military families complained of black mold or splintered flooring and heard nothing from their landlords, and Warner knew we needed to make a change. In 2019,  the President signed into law Sen. Warner’s Ensuring Safe Housing for Our Military Act, as part of the annual defense bill.  The legislation gives military families new tools to hold private military housing corporations to account when they fail to provide safe living conditions for our military families. The annual defense bill also included language Sen. Warner supported creating the first-ever Tenants Bill of Rights for military families.

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Defense

For years, Sen. Warner has been devoted to improving performance and reducing strain on Virginia’s VA hospitals. The Daily Press says Warner headed up “the bipartisan push for veteran healthcare projects across the country, including a new VA medical center to be constructed in south Hampton Roads.” Warner’s advocacy has helped keep plans for new facilities on track and top of mind for decision-makers in the federal government. Sen. Warner is deeply committed to making sure that every veteran in Virginia has access to the high-quality services they need.

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Environment

Sen. Warner supports investing in clean, renewable sources of energy, including wind and solar. During his time in the Senate, he pushed for investment in offshore wind projects along Virginia’s coasts, some of which were approved by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2014. Virginia is ripe with opportunities for offshore wind — not only because of its ideal geography, but because the Commonwealth houses the capability and technical expertise to supply the parts needed to push these projects forward. Clean energy not only benefits our environment, it provides good jobs for hardworking Virginians.

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Environment

Communities up and down Virginia’s coast have made clear that offshore drilling poses a threat to their communities. When the Trump administration announced their offshore drilling plan, Sen. Warner rushed to bring together his colleagues from both sides of the aisle to oppose any new drilling. Drilling off Virginia’s eastern shore would be disruptive to the fragile natural ecosystem, threaten important Naval operations, stymy the work of NASA at Wallops Island, and cause outdoor recreation and aquaculture to suffer. Sen. Warner will continue to stand up against expanded drilling proposals in the Senate to protect Virginia’s natural beauty and outdoor tourism industries.

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Environment

Climate change is one of the largest threats to our health, economy, and national security. Sen. Warner has worked in the Senate to address this growing danger, supporting legislation like the Clean Economy Act, which sets a 2050 goal for net-zero carbon emissions, and has broad support from labor, environmental, and public health groups.

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Drug Policy

Sen. Warner also worked to address the opioid crisis across the Commonwealth by including more counties in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, which facilitates information-sharing and coordination between federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement branches with the goal of reducing the sale of illegal drugs and addressing the opioid crisis.

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Drug Policy

Sen. Warner has helped get millions in grant funding to Virginia communities most impacted by opioids. He was proud to support and helped write portions of the 2018 opioid crisis response bill which allocated an additional $8.4 billion to fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts. The legislation included Sen. Warner’s proposal to expand the use of telemedicine for addiction patients, making it easier for disabled people and those in rural communities to access high quality medical professionals.

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Education

In a rapidly changing economy, Virginia needs to ensure that people have the job skills necessary to compete and succeed. A four-year college education is not the right choice for every student, and Mark has worked as Governor and as a U.S. Senator to expand access to qualified worker training and certification programs. He turned abandoned warehouses into job development centers in some of the Commonwealth’s most financially distressed communities, and his commitment to workforce training earned him a spot in the Virginia Career and Technical Education Hall of Fame.

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Education

As Governor, Mark Warner created grant programs to help localities provide greater access to qualified early childhood education programs, and strengthened child care center standards. He has continued to fight for grant funding for early childhood education in the commonwealth as a Senator.

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Education

Under then-Governor Warner’s leadership, Virginia’s education system made enormous gains through innovative reform initiatives that enlisted community support to help students, parents, teachers and schools that were academically challenged. Gov. Warner launched initiatives to mentor young teachers, promote more stable staffing in challenged rural and inner city schools, and equipped talented school administrators with special training and tools to begin turning- around failing schools. Gov. Warner’s 2004 successful bipartisan budget and tax reforms provided the largest increase in K-12 educational support in Virginia’s history.

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Economy

In 2017, Sen. Warner co-sponsored the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. This bi-partisan measure cut federal red tape, making it easier for community banks to lend to  consumers, farmers, and small businesses. The Bipartisan Policy Center lauded this bill’s “real bipartisan support,” and called it evidence that “old-fashioned legislating isn’t dead.”.

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Economy

Sen. Warner worked hard to incorporate legislation to create economic opportunity zones in the latest tax package to support economically distressed areas. Already, hundreds of Virginia’s communities most in need have successfully gained opportunity zone status. The program will be a significant economic driver for the commonwealth and Warner is proud of his work to make it possible.

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