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Mark Warner on Homeland Security

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Governor

 


World-class benefits for military veterans

Q: What changes would you propose to the current compensation and benefits provided to active-duty military personnel, injured service members and veterans?

Warner: We must keep our military strong by providing compensation and incentives that allow us to meet our recruiting goals and result in our soldiers wanting to stay in the military for longer. We must recommit to providing world-class health care and education benefits to our troops and military veterans. They stand for us on the battlefield, and we must stand with them when they come home. Improving the services veterans receive is not only good government, it is a debt of gratitude we owe them for their sacrifices and accomplishments.

Jim Gilmore: As a veteran myself, I believe we must provide for our service members and their families while they serve and that our injured service members and veterans must not be left behind.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in The Virginian-Pilot , Oct 17, 2008

Remove the “ghost fleet” of 100 aging ships in James River

In 2002, Governor Warner tackled a problem ignored by his predecessors when he called for removal of the federal government’s James River Reserve Fleet. This “Ghost Fleet” was a collection of about 100 aging, decommissioned ships owned by the Navy, the Army and other government agencies, anchored in the middle of the James River. Some of the ships were rusting and many contained oil, asbestos and cancer-causing toxins that could be released into Virginia’s waters if they sank during a storm.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, markwarner2008.com, “Issues” , Mar 9, 2008

Relax wiretapping restrictions for the FBI

Source: Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test , Nov 2, 1996

Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-SV019 on Feb 17, 2011

Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze.

Warner signed exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze

Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation's veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze's effect on our nation's veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.

We urge you to classify VA's delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Eliminate Redundant Government Hiring," May 9, 2017): It's not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president's executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to "include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs." That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?

Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn't mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they've been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President's America First Budget Blueprint.

A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees' skills and time.

Source: Letter on DVA 17LTR-DVA on Jan 26, 2017

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Page last updated: Jan 13, 2018