Monday, December 29, 2014

Senator Mark Warner's New Year Message

From U.S. Senator Mark Warner:


"Dear Priscilla,

As 2014 comes to an end, we finally saw some signs of bipartisanship in Congress: majorities in both the House and the Senate approved an 11th hour spending agreement and a number of bipartisan bills were approved. While the House and Senate budget agreement was far from perfect, it did honor last year’s bipartisan agreement to limit federal spending and we have reduced our federal deficit. It also removed the danger of another disruptive government shutdown, which would have hit Virginia harder than any other state.

Additionally, the Virginia delegation worked together to make sure the spending agreement protected many of our shared priorities:

We supported our nation’s security and protected thousands of Virginia shipyard jobs by getting funds for the overhaul of the Navy aircraft carrier George Washington.

We protected funding for capital improvements to the aging METRO transit system.

And we strengthened the federal partnership to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. I also was proud to partner on successful legislation to increase transparency and accountability to help us defend what we’re already spending to clean-up the Bay.

During the 113th Congress, I also successfully enacted into law some commonsense legislation to make government work better for you.

Our DATA Act will make it possible for you to track every dollar of federal spending on a single website.

We also got a law passed to begin eliminating dozens of outdated and redundant federal reports – reports that employees and agencies produce every year, but which nobody ever reads.

I’m also proud we approved reforms at the Veterans Administration, including my proposal to have leading Virginia technology companies provide a blueprint to improve customer and patient service at the V-A. I’ll stay on top of this to see that our veterans receive the services and respect they deserve.

When the Senate reconvenes in the new year under new management, I remain hopeful we will focus on ways we can work together to strengthen the economic recovery and create jobs.

We should take advantage of low interest rates to jumpstart infrastructure investments, creating jobs by partnering with the private sector to repair our crumbling roads, bridges, and airports.

I have a series of ideas and several bipartisan partners lined-up to push to make college more affordable, and make student debts more manageable, because no one should go broke going to college.

We also need to look for ways to cut the red tape and lower the barriers for folks to launch their own businesses. Most of our country’s new jobs come from start-up ventures, and we should do all we can to promote innovators and entrepreneurs.

It is the honor of my life to represent Virginia, first as your Governor and now in the Senate, and if I can ever be of help to you and your family, please contact me.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday season.

Respectfully,

[nice signature graphic]
Mark R. Warner
"