Tim Kaine

Summary

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CNN, Some Person et al.October 6, 2020 (Short)

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Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2006 – 2010; Lt. Governor from 2002 – 2006; Mayor from 1998 – 2001

“Tim has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. Tim believes that health care is a right … and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care.”

US Senate

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprise the legislature of the United States.

The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety, with each state being equally represented by two senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 50 states currently in the Union, there are 100 U.S. Senators.  The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Web: Senate website   Wikipedia  Ballotpedia   C-SPAN  Current Members

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Mark Warner

Current Position: US Senator since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2002 – 2006

Overview: N/A

Tim KaineTim Kaine

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2006 – 2010; Lt. Governor from 2002 – 2006; Mayor from 1998 – 2001

“Tim has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. Tim believes that health care is a right … and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care.”

Summary

Article Title
CNN, Some Person et al.October 6, 2020 (Short)

Article text

Top News

Summary

Article Title
CNN, Some Person et al.October 6, 2020 (Short)

Article text

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2006 – 2010; Lt. Governor from 2002 – 2006; Mayor from 1998 – 2001

“Tim has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. Tim believes that health care is a right … and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care.”

About

Tim Kaine 1

Source: Government page

Tim Kaine has helped people throughout his life as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher and elected official. He is one of 30 people in American history to have served as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator.

Early Commitment to Public Service

Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. His parents taught him the value of hard work and showed him how small businesses and technical skills strengthen this country every day. After graduating from the University of Missouri, Tim started his public service career by running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. He trained teenagers to become carpenters and welders, equipping them with skills to lift up themselves and their communities. As Tim says, his work in Honduras was “a North Star” that led to his commitment to advance job opportunities for everyone. His time there reinforced three core values that are still a central part of his life today: “Fè, familia, y trabajo” – “Faith, family, and work.”

Family Life

Tim met Virginian Anne Holton at Harvard Law School and they married in 1984 in the same church in Richmond they attend to this day. They have three adult children. Anne, a former legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge, served as Virginia Secretary of Education from 2014 until 2016. Before that, Anne ran Great Expectations, a program that offers tutoring, career coaching, and other services to help young adults aging out of foster care and attending Virginia community colleges transition to successful, independent adulthood. She now teaches education policy and government at George Mason University – Tim calls her the best public servant he knows. Anne’s father Linwood Holton, a former Republican Governor of Virginia, was critical to integrating Virginia’s public schools, putting the Commonwealth on the path to progress we see today.

Early Career

After law school, Tim practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race, disability, or family status. In 1998, Tim helped win one of the largest civil rights jury verdicts ever in a case involving discrimination against minority neighborhoods by an insurance company. He also began teaching law part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987.

Elected Office

Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city council member and four years later, Mayor of Richmond. When he was first elected to City Council in Richmond, the city had one of the highest homicide rates in America, and he worked with law enforcement and the community to find solutions that brought down the rate of violent crime. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006. While serving as Governor, Tim improved the education and health care systems, and by the end of his term, leading publications ranked Virginia the best state to raise a child and the best state for business. He visited a school in every county and city in the Commonwealth and helped Virginia make it through the worst recession since the Great Depression. He also responded to the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech by strengthening Virginia’s background check system and pushing his legislature to do more to make communities safer.

In the Senate

Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012 as a can-do optimist skilled in bringing people together across old lines of party, race, or region. Tim has spent his time in the Senate focused on improving the lives of Virginians. He has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. As co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, Tim focuses on expanding access to job-training programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the modern economy. Tim has helped lead efforts in the Senate to reduce unemployment for military families and veterans. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, a Senator from one of the states most closely connected to the military, and the father of a Marine, Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. He works to ensure that the military has the resources it needs to keep the country safe and that servicemembers and veterans receive the benefits and care they have earned. He has also been the leading voice against Presidents starting wars without a vote by Congress. Tim believes that health care is a right, not something reserved just for those who can afford it, and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. This includes legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance and to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. Tim serves on Senate Committees where he is able to work on those priorities every day for Virginians: the Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees. He is Ranking Member of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.

For more information: Wikipedia  Open Secrets   Balletopia

Experience

Work Experience

  • Lawyer
  • Law school teacher
    University of Richmond
    1987

Education

  • JD
    Harvard Law School
    1983

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington, D.C. Office
231 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4024
Fax: (202) 228-6363

Manassas, Virginia office
9408 Grant Avenue, Suite 202
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone: (703) 361-3192
Fax: (703) 361-3198 G

Virginia Beach, Virginia office
222 Central Park Avenue Suite 120
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: (757) 518-1674
Fax: (757) 518-1679

Web

Campaign Site, Government Page, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook

Politics

Recent Elections

2018 US Senator

Tim Kaine (D) 1,910,370 57.0%
Corey Stewart (R) 1,374,313 41.0%
Matt J. Waters (L) 61,565 1.8%
Write In (Write-in) 5,125 0.2%
TOTAL 3,351,373

2012 US Senator

Tim Kaine (D) 2,010,067 52.8%
George Allen (R) 1,785,542 46.9%
Write In (Write-in) 9,410 0.2%
TOTAL 3,805,019

2005 Governor

Tim Kaine (D) 1,025,942 51.7%
J. W. Kilgore (R) 912,327 46.0%
H. R. Potts, Jr () 43,953 2.2%
Wirte In (Write-in) 1,556 .1%
TOTAL 1,983,778

2001 Lt. Governor

Tim Kaine (D) 925,974 50.3%
J. K. Katzen (R) 883,886 48.1%
G. A. Reams (L) 28,783 1.6%
Write In (Write-in) 490
TOTAL 1,839,133

Finances

KAINE, TIMOTHY M (TIM) has run in 5 races for public office, winning 4 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $627,777,400

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Armed Services
Budget Committee
Foreign Relations
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: BillTrack 50

Issues

Governance

Budget

Tim supports a smart and balanced approach to budgeting that funds our national defense, children’s health care, education, substance abuse prevention, and other key programs. He has become a leader in helping Congress come to bipartisan, multi-year spending agreements that fund these critical domestic priorities and the military.

Tim is a supporter of two-year budgeting, a process he used as Governor of Virginia, to help businesses and agencies plan ahead and save money. Since taking office, Tim has raised concerns about the negative effects crisis-to-crisis budgeting has on the nation’s economy, and he has done everything he can to roll back the non-strategic sequester cuts that have been hurting our national security and communities across Virginia. Tim believes fiscal policy should not be determined by political brinksmanship, and he opposes across-the-board cuts that hurt key priorities like education and health care, hampering our economic growth. Tim will continue to fight back against any efforts to slash funding for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — programs that offer a critical lifeline for seniors, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable Americans. Tim is committed to finding common ground on budget reforms that strengthen the economy over the long run. He has always believed we should combine targeted spending reductions with strategic revenues by reducing tax loopholes. Tim was disappointed with the partisan Republican tax bill passed in December of 2017, which is projected to add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years while prioritizing big breaks to large corporations and those at the top over hardworking Virginia families. Tim supports reforms to the tax code that put middle-class families and small businesses first.

Civil Rights

As a former civil rights attorney, Tim has spent his career fighting for the rights of all Americans. He and his wife Anne have dedicated their careers to making Virginia a place that provides equal opportunity for everyone, and he’ll keep fighting in Congress until the federal government ensures equal voting rights, equal pay, and protection against discrimination no matter one’s race, sex, nation of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age.

As Senator, Tim has pushed to ensure the protection of fundamental freedoms for all Americans. He has worked to protect minority groups from discrimination in housing, the workplace, and education. He is committed to ensuring equal treatment for all Americans under the law. Concerned by the lack of recognition of African American history, Tim led efforts to propose a commission commemorating 400 years of African American history in the United States. Tim partnered with the NAACP, Congressman Bobby Scott, and a bipartisan group of Senators to announce legislation to create this commission, which passed into law in 2017.

As Governor, he promoted equal protection by banning discrimination against state employees on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, veteran status or disability.

Women’s Rights

Tim has been a strong voice for women’s equality. He believes we must permanently end a culture where a woman who speaks out faces doubt or retribution about experiences with sexism, harassment, and assault. Tim has pledged his support for women everywhere who fear coming forward. He has called on the Senate to hold hearings on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and successfully called for the public release of data on the Senate’s sexual harassment claims and settlements. Tim believes our nation is not doing nearly enough to address the fact that women still do not have an equal role in many areas of our society. He also co-sponsored the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was signed into law in 2013. As Lieutenant Governor and Governor, he made it a priority to update laws on sexual violence and improve the treatment of survivors.

Tim supports the constitutional right of women to make their own reproductive choices. He opposes efforts to weaken Roe v. Wade and defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that 22,000 Virginians rely on for health care. He is an original cosponsor of legislation to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.

Tim co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act because he strongly believes men and women must be paid equally for the same work. The current inequity amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost over a woman’s lifetime. As every dollar counts for families trying to make ends meet, gender-based discrimination harms the well-being of families and households — which depend on the wages of working mothers as well as working fathers — across the country.

Criminal Justice Reform

Tim has worked hard to improve the criminal justice system and strengthen police relationships with local communities. He is concerned about persisting racial inequalities in the criminal justice system and believes Congress must do more to address them.  In the Senate, Tim has supported legislation to reduce over-incarceration, including the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a bipartisan compromise bill to reduce over-incarceration and improve community safety by reforming “three-strike” laws and expanding access to rehabilitation and reentry programs. Tim believes our nation must improve the way it treats mental illness and addiction so those who need treatment do not end up in local jails that lack the resources necessary to deliver care.

Tim believes that by investing in education and skills-training opportunities for those in the federal, state, and local prison systems, society can help reduce repeat offenses and give formerly incarcerated individuals a chance at a successful life. He is an advocate for drug courts and programs that emphasize treatment over incarceration for non-violent drug offenders. He has also worked to strengthen financial protections for men and women seeking to reenter society after leaving prison, urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to protect inmates from predatory practices.

Democracy

Voting Rights

Tim believes that voting is a fundamental right in our democracy that must be protected. He was extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder to gut key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. For decades, the Voting Rights Act was responsible for dramatically increasing minority voting, and, in turn, minority representation. He has voiced concern that since the weakening of the law, many states have limited access to the ballot box through voter ID laws by limiting weekend voting, closing voting locations, and stripping voter rolls. In response, Tim joined colleagues to introduce legislation that would restore and protect Americans’ Constitutional right to vote. Tim is also concerned about the use of partisan gerrymandering to disenfranchise minority voters and will continue be a strong advocate for nonpartisan redistricting.

Economy

Jobs & the Economy

Tim is focused on creating economic opportunity for all Virginians. He believes that by supporting small businesses, raising wages, improving education and workforce training, and investing in new industries, the United States will continue to be a global economic leader.

Tim supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour because he believes no family working full time should live in poverty. He believes all Americans should have access to good jobs that put them on the path to economic success, and he supports strengthening workforce training programs to help make that goal a reality. Drawing from his experience in Virginia, Honduras, and his dad’s ironworking shop, Tim has been a leader in the Senate on efforts to support skills-training programs that prepare workers for good-paying, in-demand jobs. Tim co-founded the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus and has championed legislation — including bills that have become law — to expand students’ access to high-quality CTE programs and help prepare American workers for jobs in the modern economy, including in the cybersecurity industry.

Tim sees small businesses as the drivers of job creation and economic growth in Virginia and across the nation. He supports policies to help them grow and thrive by increasing their access to capital and lowering barriers to entry for minority entrepreneurs. Tim has been an advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses as well as companies that provide opportunities for veterans, military families, and people with disabilities. He is a strong supporter of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is concerned about the largest banks getting bigger while the number of small community banks continues to decline. Tim has supported a bill to prevent this consolidation and expand consumer protections for servicemembers, veterans, those with impaired credit, seniors, and people hurt by data breaches. This legislation will help Virginians in rural and underserved communities secure loans to buy a home, send their kids to college, and start small businesses.

Tim has long supported smart tax reforms that provide relief to middle-class families and make the tax code fairer and simpler. He was disappointed that the partisan Republican tax law prioritized corporations and those at the top over hardworking Virginians.

Virginia has served as a model for the nation by prioritizing investments in education and workforce training, as well as embracing global fair trade, which led to the international expansion of Virginia businesses. Tim believes that we can strengthen America’s economic recovery and create jobs by embracing the growth strategies that have worked in the Commonwealth. Tim served as Governor of Virginia during the worst recession since the Great Depression. Throughout his term, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and Tim helped recruit several major employers to move to the Commonwealth. During his tenure as Governor, Virginia was named the best state for business in America.

Agriculture

Tim is a strong advocate for Virginia’s farmers. Agriculture and forestry comprise the largest industry in the Commonwealth, contributing $91 billion to the economy and supporting more than 442,000 jobs. He supports a robust farm safety net, protecting our natural resources, and defending federal nutrition assistance that helps the neediest among us.

Tim was a major proponent of the most recent farm bill, the Agricultural Act of 2014, which strengthened crop insurance, maintained the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program and other nutrition aid, advanced partnerships with farmers to reduce runoff in impaired watersheds like the Chesapeake Bay, expanded agricultural export markets, and bolstered local food networks to allow more businesses and consumers to buy from local farmers — all while saving $23 billion over the next decade. Tim has stood up for Virginia’s farmers throughout his time in the Senate, working on efforts to lift the unfair Chinese ban on Virginia poultry that has persisted on and off, and supporting reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which helps small and mid-sized Virginia farmers and agricultural exporters sell their goods abroad. Tim has raised serious concerns about President Trump’s actions that could threaten Virginia agricultural products and thousands of jobs. Tim has also worked to secure federal funding for agricultural research, so that top-flight institutions like Virginia Tech and Virginia State University can continue to develop new, effective methods of farming.

From his time as Governor, Tim has worked to defend the Chesapeake Bay, a cornerstone of the Virginia economy that supports the tourism, recreation, and seafood aquaculture industries. He has fought back against President Trump’s plans to slash Chesapeake Bay funding and introduced bipartisan legislation to direct more funds within the farm bill’s conservation title to top-priority watersheds like the Bay.

Education

Education

Tim believes that we must improve access to quality education if we want to prepare students and workers for success in the modern economy. He supports smart investments in education — from pre-kindergarten to college and workforce training — and has learned through years of experience in Virginia that no one path is right for everyone. Drawing from his years working in his dad’s ironworking shop and his experience teaching in Honduras, a key focus of Tim’s work in public service has been strengthening career and technical education (CTE) programs that teach students skills to succeed in high-demand, good-paying jobs.

Tim believes a well-educated population is the key to having the most talented nation on earth. Under Tim’s leadership as Governor, Virginia’s innovative investments in education turned the Commonwealth into a magnet for talent. Through decades of experience, Tim learned that a huge part of remaining an attractive location for emerging industries and expanding businesses is having a skilled workforce.

To return America to the top country in the world for education, Tim supports reforms like broadening our early childhood education system, strengthening our K-12 public schools, supporting high-quality teachers and school leaders, renewing our focus on career and technical education, and dramatically reducing the cost of college. As Governor, he expanded the number of children enrolled in Pre-K by nearly 40 percent and helped expand the number of college and university facilities in Virginia to attract top students and faculty. In 2007, under Tim’s leadership, Education Week ranked Virginia the state where a child was most likely to succeed.

In the Senate, Tim has made improving America’s education system a central focus of his work, playing an instrumental role in the bipartisan Senate education reform bill, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This legislation decreased the emphasis on standardized testing and gave states more flexibility. It also included provisions Tim wrote to help prevent sexual assault and improve access to K-12 career and technical education programs. Tim is a founder and co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, which promotes improving access to career and technical education programs to ensure students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century. Tim knows that not everyone’s path to a successful career will or should go through a four-year college, and he is working to create a better understanding of the critical role CTE and workforce training programs play in growing our economy. In addition to his provisions enacted into law, Tim has sponsored several pieces of legislation to raise the quality of CTE programs at schools in Virginia and across the country.

Tim is concerned about the overwhelming burden of student loan debt on millions of Americans, and he’s supported policies to expand access to affordable higher education, improve financial aid, offer loan forgiveness for public service workers, and help students understand their debt obligations upfront. An estimated 56% of Virginia college students graduate with student debt. Key parts of Tim’s legislation to give public servants like servicemembers and teachers the debt relief they earned passed into law in 2018, and he will continue pushing for solutions so Americans are not held back by mountains of debt.

Environment

Environment and Energy

Tim believes that America’s energy production should always be trending in the direction of cleaner tomorrow than today.

From the Chesapeake Bay to the Cumberland Gap, Virginia’s great outdoors are a priceless treasure that Tim is determined to safeguard for future generations to enjoy. Tim has long been an outspoken leader in support of clean energy and policies to combat climate change. As Governor, Tim put in place the Commonwealth’s first comprehensive clean energy plan. He supports investing in renewable energy, including offshore wind and solar, which would create new jobs and make Virginia a leader in clean energy development. Tim believes that by advancing an energy strategy that moves us from carbon-heavy to low-carbon, we can reduce pollution, bolster our national security, and create American jobs that cannot be outsourced.

After hearing concerns from local communities and the Department of Defense, Tim announced his opposition to opening Virginia’s coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. Tim has spoken out against the Trump Administration’s offshore drilling proposal that could threaten military assets in Hampton Roads as well as the environment and tourism industry. Tim has called on the Administration to listen to local voices on Virginia’s coast, which are overwhelmingly opposed to offshore drilling.

Virginia faces a unique set of challenges because of its coastal exposure to sea level rise caused by climate change, and Tim is committed to reducing this risk. He believes the U.S. should be an international leader on climate change and that President Trump’s decision to retreat from the Paris Climate Agreement is short-sighted. Tim believes the country that won World War II and the race to put a man on the moon should be able to cut approximately 1/4th of our carbon pollution by 2025. In the Senate, Tim has been a leader on efforts to combat sea level rise and flooding in Hampton Roads, which threaten readiness at local military installations and homes in the surrounding communities. Tim introduced the BUILD Resilience Act, which would spur investments in resilient infrastructure to reduce the risk of climate effects like flooding and extreme storms to communities like Hampton Roads. He has also been an advocate for protecting the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s National Parks like Shenandoah, its National Wildlife Refuges like Chincoteague, and its truly unique places like Tangier Island.

Tim respects the role coal production has historically played in traditional coal communities in Southwest Virginia, and as Governor, he supported the construction of the state-of-the-art Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County, one of the most advanced clean coal plants in the United States. He recognizes the sacrifice coal miners have made over a lifetime of dangerous work, and he is fighting on behalf of them in the Senate so they receive their hard-earned pensions and health benefits. Tim has supported clean coal research funding that could help revitalize Southwest Virginia’s economy, and he has co-sponsored legislation to stimulate large-scale federal and private sector investment to reduce carbon pollution through advanced clean coal technologies.

Tim has also pushed for robust funding for heating assistance programs. He has continually joined colleagues of both parties to urge the President and Senate appropriators to boost funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), two programs that play an important role in providing vulnerable populations and low-income households with affordable home energy.

Health Care

Tim believes that health care is a right. He remains committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act and improving the health care system to give all Americans access to quality health care they can afford. Tim has fought tirelessly against efforts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to take health care away from millions of Americans, including Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

Tim supports giving Americans more options for affordable health insurance, and he has co-authored a proposal to do just that: Medicare-X. Medicare-X would create a low-cost public option for health care, available in every ZIP code, allowing Americans to choose between the existing private insurance plans or a public one. Medicare-X would build on the Medicare framework of doctors to establish a public insurance plan offered on the individual and small business health exchanges. The Medicare-X plan initially would be available in areas where there is a shortage of insurers or higher health care costs due to less competition—including rural communities—then expand to every ZIP code in the country.

Tim believes we must do more to lower health care costs while improving the quality of care through promoting preventive care, effectively using new technology, paying our health care providers by patient outcomes, and finding ways to reduce defensive medicine and lower malpractice premiums without taking rights away from injured people. Tim opposed President Trump’s actions that sabotaged the health care system and increased costs for Virginians. Recognizing that measures are now needed to stabilize the markets in the wake of President Trump’s reckless decisions, Tim worked across the aisle on legislation to do just that.

Tim is a strong supporter of Medicare and Medicaid — critical programs that provide health care and economic security to seniors, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable Americans. He continues to fight against any efforts to dismantle these programs and has been a vocal supporter for Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which will provide hundreds of thousands of people with access to care. He has also introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat Alzheimer’s disease and support caregivers who sacrifice so much to help their loved ones. Tim has championed bipartisan legislation to fund pediatric cancer research, named in honor of Gabriella Miller of Loudoun County, a powerful advocate for pediatric research who passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 10. The bill became law in 2014 and has already provided $50 million for the Pediatric Research Initiative Fund.

Tim is also closely focused on the drug and opioid addiction crisis harming communities across Virginia and the nation. From the coalfields in Southwest Virginia to the suburbs in Fairfax County, he has heard from families who have lost children to drug overdoses, law enforcement officers who are facing increases in drug-related crimes, and businesses who struggle to find workers who can pass a drug test. He has introduced bipartisan legislation to help reduce opioid overdose deaths through improved access to the life-saving drug naloxone, a bill to hold the FDA accountable for the approval of new, potentially dangerous opioid drugs, and a bill to incorporate job training into drug addiction recovery programs.

Immigration

Immigration

Tim knows that for far too long, our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. He has spoken out forcefully against the Trump Administration’s treatment of Dreamers, discriminatory travel bans, proposals to limit legal immigration, and attempts to tear families apart.

Tim strongly opposed President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, which allowed recipients—known as Dreamers—who were brought here at a young age, to live, work and study in their communities without fear of deportation. After Trump ended DACA and left Dreamers in limbo, Tim helped lead the bipartisan negotiations to find a solution that protected Dreamers, create a path to citizenship, and boost border security. Their proposal received bipartisan support from the majority of Senators but did not receive the 60 votes needed to pass after the Trump Administration announced its opposition to the bill. Tim is also a strong supporter of the Dream Act that would protect Dreamers from deportation and create a path to citizenship.

Tim supported the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013, bipartisan legislation to provide a better visa system to encourage growth of a talented workforce, protect Dreamers, enhance border security, and create a path to citizenship for those living in the shadows. Tim delivered the Senate’s first ever floor speech in Spanish making the case for the comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Kaine has spoken out against the rise in deportations of law-abiding immigrants that are ripping families apart. Tim takes pride that the United States is a nation of immigrants. Since the nation’s founding, the men and women who have come to this country from around the world have been integral to our society, bringing skills and talents that help ensure we remain competitive in a global economy. In the years since Tim was born, Virginia went from ranking 35th to 12th in individual personal income, propelled in part by the influx of immigrants to our communities.

Tim has also been a leading voice in Congress on the importance of protecting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who are living in the U.S. after being displaced by dangerous conditions in their home countries. Tim has urged the Trump Administration to extend and re-designate TPS for several countries where threats still exist and to protect TPS recipients by giving them the opportunity to gain permanent residency in the United States.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure andTransportation

Tim supports major improvements to our nation’s infrastructure that would create jobs and improve daily life for families across Virginia. In the Senate, he has advocated for a robust infrastructure package that makes a significant federal investment to improve roads, bridges, rail (including Metro), water, and broadband. Tim has pushed for federal funding for transportation projects across the Commonwealth and has helped secure grants for major projects like the I-95 Atlantic Gateway multimodal project, a new interstate connector at Norfolk International Terminal, the long overdue replacement of the traffic-clogged Chesapeake Deep Creek Bridge, and rehabilitation of the I-64 Delta Frame Bridges. Tim has spoken out against President Trump’s infrastructure proposal, which puts the burden on already struggling local governments to cover large costs of projects with their own funds or by making many new highway projects toll roads. Virginia has serious transportation needs — like the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Metro, and I-81 — and Tim is disappointed President Trump’s plan skimps on real federal investments to support those needs. Tim has supported a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would make historic investments to modernize our crumbling infrastructure and, by some estimates, create more than 15 million jobs. Tim has also introduced legislation to expand skills training to ensure we have a workforce ready to fill the jobs to complete an infrastructure plan of this nature.

Tim recognizes how vital Metro is to Northern Virginia and has pushed for reforms to improve Metro safety and service while making sure the federal government lives up to its funding commitments. Tim has worked to strengthen federal safety oversight authority over Metro, leading bipartisan legislation to enact the Metro Safety Commission, a tough new safety oversight body with the legal authority to mandate long overdue safety and operational changes to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). In 2017, Tim played a key role in securing $227 million to fix the aging Arlington Memorial Bridge, a critical investment for Northern Virginia commuters and visitors to Virginia and Washington, D.C. that saved the bridge from closing.

Many states would consider themselves fortunate to have either a major international airport or a major international seaport, but Virginia is blessed with both. Making the Port of Virginia and Dulles International Airport all that they can be has been a top priority of Tim’s. He has worked to advance transformative projects at the Port like the Craney Island Eastward Expansion, which will nearly double its cargo capacity, and dredging of Norfolk Harbor to depths that will attract the largest post-Panamax container ships. He has also worked to secure federal funds through HUD and the Army Corps of Engineers for flood-resilient infrastructure to protect the Port, Naval Station Norfolk, and Hampton Roads from sea level rise and recurrent flooding. At Dulles, he has teamed up with the Virginia delegation to secure funds for more Customs and Border Protection officers that will reduce long lines at customs and security, and he has pushed back against changes to the Reagan National slot and perimeter rule policies that would negatively impact Dulles and could increase airplane noise in the neighborhoods surrounding National.

As Governor of Virginia, Tim made infrastructure investment a top priority. He played a key role in making Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles a reality and advanced critical projects like the Norfolk Tide light-rail system and Amtrak service to Lynchburg, which in 2017 was extended to Roanoke. Tim understands that these are the kinds of smart investments that help our economy grow and thrive. He will continue being a strong advocate for fixing our roads, bridges, and rail systems to create jobs, improve the daily lives of commuters, and fuel economic growth in the Commonwealth.

Safety

Preventing Gun Violence

Tim is a strong supporter of commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. In the Senate, he has been a leading voice calling on his colleagues to listen to the overwhelming majority of Americans and finally pass legislation that will make communities safer. He supports universal background checks and banning the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines to keep weapons of war off the streets and out of the nation’s schools. Tim has also co-sponsored legislation to hold gun manufacturers accountable and close loopholes that allow domestic abusers to legally obtain weapons. Tim supported changes that passed into law to strengthen the background record check system and allow the CDC to conduct research on gun violence, but he believes Congress must take further action.

As Governor, Tim helped strengthen the background record check system following the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. As Mayor of Richmond, he helped bring down the city’s rate of gun violence and homicide. Tim has met with students, parents, and teachers across Virginia to listen to their concerns about gun violence, and he will continue calling for a real debate on legislation that addresses this epidemic.

Veterans

Veterans

Tim has made it a top priority in the Senate to support veterans, servicemembers, and their families. He’s been a leader on efforts to reduce unemployment for veterans and military spouses and ensure those who serve our nation receive the health care and benefits they were promised.

There is no state more closely connected to the military than Virginia. The map of the Commonwealth is rich with military history: Yorktown, Appomattox, the Pentagon, and more than 20 military installations. With nearly 800,000 veterans residing in the Commonwealth, Virginia has one of the highest state populations of veterans in America. Tim has fought to ensure veterans receive timely access to good health care and benefits. He has introduced legislation to improve veterans’ access to care, help Vietnam veterans harmed by Agent Orange, and address serious problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also introduced a bill to address opioid overmedication that affects veterans struggling with pain medication so that they can receive safer, more effective pain management services through the VA.

The first piece of legislation Tim introduced in the Senate – the Troop Talent Act of 2013 – was a bill to ease the transition for servicemembers into the civilian workforce. After hearing from veterans across Virginia who could not get hired despite expertise they had gained through military training, Tim wrote this bipartisan bill to help address the challenge. The Troop Talent Act helped align the skills servicemembers acquired in the military with certifications or licenses to make it easier for them to be hired in the civilian workforce. Key provisions of the Troop Talent Act have been signed into law. Tim has also introduced legislation to improve the quality of educational programs for servicemembers and veterans to help them compete and succeed in the workforce after their service.

Tim believes Congress has a duty to support military families, who sacrifice so much for the nation. After meeting with military families across Virginia, Tim learned that one of the biggest concerns facing military spouses is the toll frequent moves and unexpected transfers have on a spouse’s ability to find work and maintain a career. Tim recognizes that this causes financial insecurity for families, hurting our troops’ ability to do their jobs. To help tackle the problem, Tim has introduced several bills—including the Military Spouse Employment Act and the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act—to reduce military spouse unemployment and support military families. Tim believes that by expanding hiring and career opportunities, improving access to continuing education programs, ensuring military families can find affordable child care, and providing better transition and employment resources for military spouses, Congress can better ensure the military is ready to accomplish its mission.

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US SenateUS Senate

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprise the legislature of the United States.

The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety, with each state being equally represented by two senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 50 states currently in the Union, there are 100 U.S. Senators.  The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Web: Senate website   Wikipedia  Ballotpedia   C-SPAN  Current Members

Summary

The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety, with each state being equally represented by two senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 50 states currently in the Union, there are 100 U.S. Senators.  The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Web: Senate website   Wikipedia  Ballotpedia   C-SPAN  Current Members

Starting point for this post is its Wikipedia Entry.

About

From 1789 until 1913, Senators were appointed by legislatures of the states they represented; following the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, they are now popularly elected.

As the upper house, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it; these include the ratification of treaties and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, other federal executive officials, flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers. In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty befalls upon the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. It further has the responsibility of conducting trials of those impeached by the House. The Senate is widely considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere.

The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, who is President of the Senate. In the Vice President’s absence, the President Pro Tempore, who is customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers.

History

The creators of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress primarily as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be equally represented, and those who felt the Legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commonsdid in the United Kingdom. This idea of having one chamber represent people equally, while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was also a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a “People’s House” directly elected by the people, and with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents. The other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation.

First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate. The name is derived from the senatus, Latin for council of elders (from senex meaning old man in Latin).

James Madison made the following comment about the Senate:

In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, the people ought to have permanency and stability.

The Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state’s consent. The District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two “shadow U.S. Senators”, but they are officials of the D.C. City Government and not members of the U.S. Senate. The United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959.

US Senate 1

Historical graph of party control of the U.S. Senate and House as well as the presidency

The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential Electors, regardless of population. In 1787, Virginia had roughly ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has roughly 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are effectively two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are approximately proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation.

Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, Senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, and even bribery and intimidation had gradually led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators.

Membership

Qualifications

Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: (1) they must be at least 30 years old; (2) they must have been citizens of the United States for the past 9 years or longer; and (3) they must be inhabitants of the states they seek to represent at the time of their election. The age and citizenship qualifications for senators are more stringent than those for representatives. In Federalist No. 62, James Madison justified this arrangement by arguing that the “senatorial trust” called for a “greater extent of information and stability of character.”

The Senate (not the judiciary) is the sole judge of a senator’s qualifications. During its early years, however, the Senate did not closely scrutinize the qualifications of its members. As a result, three senators who failed to meet the age requirement were nevertheless admitted to the Senate: Henry Clay (aged 29 in 1806), Armistead Thomson Mason (aged 28 in 1816), and John Eaton (aged 28 in 1818). Such an occurrence, however, has not been repeated since. In 1934, Rush D. Holt Sr.was elected to the Senate at the age of 29; he waited until he turned 30 (on the next June 19) to take the oath of office. In November 1972, Joe Biden was elected to the Senate at the age of 29, but he reached his 30th birthday before the swearing-in ceremony for incoming senators in January 1973.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution disqualifies from the Senate any federal or state officers who had taken the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engaged in rebellion or aided the enemies of the United States. This provision, which came into force soon after the end of the Civil War, was intended to prevent those who had sided with the Confederacy from serving. That Amendment, however, also provides a method to remove that disqualification: a two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress.

Elections and term

Originally, senators were selected by the state legislatures, not by popular elections. By the early years of the 20th century, the legislatures of as many as 29 states had provided for popular election of senators by referendums.[16] Popular election to the Senate was standardized nationally in 1913 by the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment.

Term

Senators serve terms of six years each; the terms are staggered so that approximately one-third of the seats are up for election every two years. This was achieved by dividing the senators of the 1st Congress into thirds (called classes), where the terms of one-third expired after two years, the terms of another third expired after four, and the terms of the last third expired after six years. This arrangement was also followed after the admission of new states into the union. The staggering of terms has been arranged such that both seats from a given state are not contested in the same general election, except when a mid-term vacancy is being filled. Current senators whose six-year terms are set to expire on January 3, 2019, belong to Class I. There is no constitutional limit to the number of terms a senator may serve.

The Constitution set the date for Congress to convene—Article 1, Section 4, Clause 2 originally set that date for the third day of December. The Twentieth Amendment, however, changed the opening date for sessions to noon on the third day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day. The Twentieth Amendment also states that Congress shall assemble at least once in every year and allows Congress to determine its convening and adjournment dates and other dates and schedules as it desires. Article 1, Section 3 provides that the President has the power to convene Congress on extraordinary occasions at his discretion.

A member who has been elected, but not yet seated, is called a “senator-elect”; a member who has been appointed to a seat, but not yet seated, is called a “senator-designate”.

Elections

Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years, Election Day, and coincide with elections for the House of Representatives. Senators are elected by their state as a whole. The Elections Clause of the United States Constitution grants each state (and Congress, if it so desires to implement a uniform law) the power to legislate a method by which senators are elected. In most states (since 1970), a primary election is held first for the Republican and Democratic parties, with the general election following a few months later. Ballot access rules for independent and minor party candidates vary from state to state. The winner is often the candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote. In some states, runoffs are held if no candidate wins a majority. In Georgia, a runoff between the top two candidates occurs if the plurality winner in the general election does not also win a majority. In Washington, California, and Louisiana, a nonpartisan blanket primary (also known as a “jungle primary” or “top-two primary”) is held in which all candidates participate in a single primary regardless of party affiliation and the top two candidates at the primary election advance to the general election. In Louisiana, the blanket primary is considered the general election and the winner of the blanket primary can win the overall election if he or she received a majority of the vote, skipping the run-off. This can lead to a potential situation in those three states in which both candidates advancing are affiliated with the same party and the seat is considered “won” by that party even though a winner has not been determined yet overall. In Maine, instant-runoff voting, known in that state as “ranked-choice voting”, is scheduled to be used for federal elections, including the Senate election, beginning with the 2018 primary election (and the general election, if the people approve Maine Question 1, June 2018).

Mid-term vacancies

The Seventeenth Amendment requires that mid-term vacancies in the Senate be filled by special election. Whenever a Senator must be appointed or elected, the Secretary of the Senate mails one of three forms to the state’s governor to inform them of the proper wording to certify the appointment of a new senator. If a special election for one seat happens to coincide with a general election for the state’s other seat, each seat is contested separately. A senator elected in a special election takes office as soon as possible after the election and serves until the original six-year term expires (i.e. not for a full term).

The Seventeenth Amendment also allows state legislatures to give their governors the power “to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct”. The temporary appointee may run in the special election in their own right.

As of 2015, forty-five states permit their governors to make such appointments. In thirty-seven of these states, the special election to permanently fill the U.S. Senate seat is customarily held at the next general election. The other ten states require that seat remain vacant until an election can be held, often a special elections be held outside of the normal two-year election cycle. In six states, the governor must appoint someone of the same political party as the previous incumbent. In September 2009, Massachusetts changed its law to enable the governor to appoint a temporary replacement for the late Senator Edward Kennedy until the special election in January 2010.

In 2004, Alaska enacted legislation and a separate ballot referendum that took effect on the same day, but that conflicted with each other. The effect of the ballot-approved law is to withhold from the governor authority to appoint a senator. Because the 17th Amendment vests the power to grant that authority to the legislature – not the people or the state generally – it is unclear whether the ballot measure supplants the legislature’s statute granting that authority. As a result, it is uncertain whether an Alaska governor may appoint an interim senator to serve until a special election is held to fill the vacancy.

Oath

The Constitution requires that senators take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. Congress has prescribed the following oath for all federal officials (except the President), including senators:

I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Salary and benefits

The annual salary of each senator, since 2009, is $174,000; the president pro tempore and party leaders receive $193,400. In June 2003, at least 40 of the then-senators were millionaires.

Along with earning salaries, senators receive retirement and health benefits that are identical to other federal employees, and are fully vested after five years of service. Senators are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). As it is for federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants’ contributions. Under FERS, senators contribute 1.3% of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2% of their salary in Social Security taxes. The amount of a senator’s pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of their salary. The starting amount of a senator’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of their final salary. In 2006, the average annual pension for retired senators and representatives under CSRS was $60,972, while those who retired under FERS, or in combination with CSRS, was $35,952.

Senators are regarded as more prominent political figures than members of the House of Representatives because there are fewer of them, and because they serve for longer terms, usually represent larger constituencies (the exception being House at-large districts, which similarly cover entire states), sit on more committees, and have more staffers. Far more senators have been nominees for the presidency than representatives. Furthermore, three senators (Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama) have been elected president while serving in the Senate, while only one Representative (James Garfield) has been elected president while serving in the House, though Garfield was also a Senator-designate at the time of his election to the Presidency, having been chosen by the Ohio Legislature to fill a Senate vacancy.

Seniority

According to the convention of Senate seniority, the senator with the longer tenure in each state is known as the “senior senator”; the other is the “junior senator”. This convention does not have official significance, though seniority generally is a factor in the selection of physical offices. In the 115th Congress, the most-senior “junior senator” is Maria Cantwell of Washington, who was sworn in on January 3, 2001 and is currently 21st in seniority, behind Patty Murray who was sworn in on January 3, 1993 and is currently 9th in seniority. The most-junior “senior senator” is Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who was sworn in January 3, 2015, and is currently 81st in seniority, ahead of senator John Neely Kennedy who was sworn in January 3, 2017 and is currently 98th in seniority.

Expulsion and other disciplinary actions

The Senate may expel a senator by a two-thirds vote. Fifteen senators have been expelled in the Senate’s history: William Blount, for treason, in 1797, and fourteen in 1861 and 1862 for supporting the Confederate secession. Although no senator has been expelled since 1862, many senators have chosen to resign when faced with expulsion proceedings – for example, Bob Packwood in 1995. The Senate has also censured and condemned senators; censure requires only a simple majority and does not remove a senator from office. Some senators have opted to withdraw from their re-election races rather than face certain censure or expulsion, such as Robert Torricelli in 2002.

Majority and minority parties

The “Majority party” is the political party that either has a majority of seats or can form a coalition or caucus with a majority of seats; if two or more parties are tied, the vice president’s affiliation determines which party is the majority party. The next-largest party is known as the minority party. The president pro tempore, committee chairs, and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts (for instance, the “ranking members” of committees) in the minority party. Independents and members of third parties (so long as they do not caucus with or support either of the larger parties) are not considered in determining which is the majority party.

Seating

At one end of the chamber of the Senate is a dais from which the presiding officer presides. The lower tier of the dais is used by clerks and other officials. One hundred desks are arranged in the chamber in a semicircular pattern and are divided by a wide central aisle. The Democratic Party traditionally sits to the presiding officer’s right, and the Republican Party traditionally sits to the presiding officer’s left, regardless of which party has a majority of seats. In this respect, the Senate differs from the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and other parliamentary bodies in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere.

Each senator chooses a desk based on seniority within the party. By custom, the leader of each party sits in the front row along the center aisle. Forty-eight of the desks date back to 1819, when the Senate chamber was reconstructed after the original contents were destroyed in the 1812 Burning of Washington. Further desks of similar design were added as new states entered the Union. It is a tradition that each senator who uses a desk inscribes their name on the inside of the desk’s drawer.

Officers

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The Senate side of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Except for the President of the Senate, the Senate elects its own officers, who maintain order and decorum, manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate, and interpret the Senate’s rules, practices and precedents. Many non-member officers are also hired to run various day-to-day functions of the Senate.

Presiding over the Senate

Under the Constitution, the Vice President serves as President of the Senate. He or she may vote in the Senate (ex officio, for he or she is not an elected member of the Senate) in the case of a tie, but is not required to. For much of the nation’s history the task of presiding over Senate sessions was one of the Vice President’s principal duties (the other being to receive from the states the tally of electoral ballots cast for President and Vice President and to open the certificates “in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,” so that the total votes could be counted). Since the 1950s, Vice Presidents have presided over few Senate debates. Instead, they have usually presided only on ceremonial occasions, such as swearing in new senators, joint sessions, or at times to announce the result of significant legislation or nomination, or when a tie vote on an important issue is anticipated.

The Constitution authorizes the Senate to elect a president pro tempore (Latin for “president for a time”) who presides over the chamber in the vice president’s absence, and is, by custom, the senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service. Like the vice president, the president pro tempore does not normally preside over the Senate, but typically delegates the responsibility of presiding to a majority-party senator who presides over the Senate, usually in blocks of one hour on a rotating basis. Frequently, freshmen senators (newly elected members) are asked to preside so that they may become accustomed to the rules and procedures of the body. It is said that, “in practice they are usually mere mouthpieces for the Senate’s parliamentarian, who whispers what they should do”.

The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the Senate chamber. The powers of the presiding officer of the Senate are far less extensive than those of the Speaker of the House. The presiding officer calls on senators to speak (by the rules of the Senate, the first senator who rises is recognized); ruling on points of order (objections by senators that a rule has been breached, subject to appeal to the whole chamber); and announcing the results of votes.

Party leaders

Each party elects Senate party leaders. Floor leaders act as the party chief spokesmen. The Senate Majority Leader is responsible for controlling the agenda of the chamber by scheduling debates and votes. Each party elects an assistant leader (whip) who works to ensure that his party’s senators vote as the party leadership desires.

Non-member officers

In addition to the Vice President, the Senate has several officers who are not members. The Senate’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary of the Senate, who maintains public records, disburses salaries, monitors the acquisition of stationery and supplies, and oversees clerks. The Assistant Secretary of the Senate aids the secretary’s work. Another official is the Sergeant at Arms who, as the Senate’s chief law enforcement officer, maintains order and security on the Senate premises. The Capitol Police handle routine police work, with the sergeant at arms primarily responsible for general oversight. Other employees include the Chaplain, who is elected by the Senate, and Pages, who are appointed.

Procedure

Daily sessions

The Senate uses Standing Rules for operation. Like the House of Representatives, the Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. At one end of the chamber of the Senate is a dais from which the presiding officer presides. The lower tier of the dais is used by clerks and other officials. Sessions of the Senate are opened with a special prayer or invocation and typically convene on weekdays. Sessions of the Senate are generally open to the public and are broadcast live on television, usually by C-SPAN 2.

Senate procedure depends not only on the rules, but also on a variety of customs and traditions. The Senate commonly waives some of its stricter rules by unanimous consent. Unanimous consent agreements are typically negotiated beforehand by party leaders. A senator may block such an agreement, but in practice, objections are rare. The presiding officer enforces the rules of the Senate, and may warn members who deviate from them. The presiding officer sometimes uses the gavel of the Senate to maintain order.

A “hold” is placed when the leader’s office is notified that a senator intends to object to a request for unanimous consent from the Senate to consider or pass a measure. A hold may be placed for any reason and can be lifted by a senator at any time. A senator may place a hold simply to review a bill, to negotiate changes to the bill, or to kill the bill. A bill can be held for as long as the senator who objects to the bill wishes to block its consideration.

Holds can be overcome, but require time-consuming procedures such as filing cloture. Holds are considered private communications between a senator and the Leader, and are sometimes referred to as “secret holds”. A senator may disclose that he or she has placed a hold.

The Constitution provides that a majority of the Senate constitutes a quorum to do business. Under the rules and customs of the Senate, a quorum is always assumed present unless a quorum call explicitly demonstrates otherwise. A senator may request a quorum call by “suggesting the absence of a quorum”; a clerk then calls the roll of the Senate and notes which members are present. In practice, senators rarely request quorum calls to establish the presence of a quorum. Instead, quorum calls are generally used to temporarily delay proceedings; usually such delays are used while waiting for a senator to reach the floor to speak or to give leaders time to negotiate. Once the need for a delay has ended, a senator may request unanimous consent to rescind the quorum call.

Debate

Debate, like most other matters governing the internal functioning of the Senate, is governed by internal rules adopted by the Senate. During debate, senators may only speak if called upon by the presiding officer, but the presiding officer is required to recognize the first senator who rises to speak. Thus, the presiding officer has little control over the course of debate. Customarily, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader are accorded priority during debates even if another senator rises first. All speeches must be addressed to the presiding officer, who is addressed as “Mr. President” or “Madam President”, and not to another member; other Members must be referred to in the third person. In most cases, senators do not refer to each other by name, but by state or position, using forms such as “the senior senator from Virginia”, “the gentleman from California”, or “my distinguished friend the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee”. Senators address the Senate standing next to their desk.

Apart from rules governing civility, there are few restrictions on the content of speeches; there is no requirement that speeches pertain to the matter before the Senate.

The rules of the Senate provide that no senator may make more than two speeches on a motion or bill on the same legislative day. A legislative day begins when the Senate convenes and ends with adjournment; hence, it does not necessarily coincide with the calendar day. The length of these speeches is not limited by the rules; thus, in most cases, senators may speak for as long as they please. Often, the Senate adopts unanimous consent agreements imposing time limits. In other cases (for example, for the budget process), limits are imposed by statute. However, the right to unlimited debate is generally preserved.

Within the United States, the Senate is sometimes referred to as “world’s greatest deliberative body”.[36][37][38]

Filibuster and cloture

The filibuster is a tactic used to defeat bills and motions by prolonging debate indefinitely. A filibuster may entail long speeches, dilatory motions, and an extensive series of proposed amendments. The Senate may end a filibuster by invoking cloture. In most cases, cloture requires the support of three-fifths of the Senate; however, if the matter before the Senate involves changing the rules of the body – this includes amending provisions regarding the filibuster – a two-thirds majority is required. In current practice, the threat of filibuster is more important than its use; almost any motion that does not have the support of three-fifths of the Senate effectively fails. This means that 41 senators can make a filibuster happen. Historically, cloture has rarely been invoked because bipartisan support is usually necessary to obtain the required supermajority, so a bill that already has bipartisan support is rarely subject to threats of filibuster. However, motions for cloture have increased significantly in recent years.

If the Senate invokes cloture, debate does not end immediately; instead, it is limited to 2 additional hours unless increased by another three-fifths vote. The longest filibuster speech in the Senate’s history was delivered by Strom Thurmond, who spoke for over 24 hours in an unsuccessful attempt to block the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Under certain circumstances, the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 provides for a process called “reconciliation” by which Congress can pass bills related to the budget without those bills being subject to a filibuster. This is accomplished by limiting all Senate floor debate to 20 hours.

Voting

When debate concludes, the motion in question is put to a vote. The Senate often votes by voice vote. The presiding officer puts the question, and Members respond either “Yea/Aye” (in favor of the motion) or “Nay” (against the motion). The presiding officer then announces the result of the voice vote. A senator, however, may challenge the presiding officer’s assessment and request a recorded vote. The request may be granted only if it is seconded by one-fifth of the senators present. In practice, however, senators second requests for recorded votes as a matter of courtesy. When a recorded vote is held, the clerk calls the roll of the Senate in alphabetical order; senators respond when their name is called. Senators who were not in the chamber when their name was called may still cast a vote so long as the voting remains open. The vote is closed at the discretion of the presiding officer, but must remain open for a minimum of 15 minutes. A majority of those voting determines whether the motion carries. If the vote is tied, the vice president, if present, is entitled to cast a tie-breaking vote. If the vice president is not present, the motion fails.

Filibustered bills require a three-fifths majority to overcome the cloture vote (which usually means 60 votes) and get to the normal vote where a simple majority (usually 51 votes) approves the bill. This has caused some news media to confuse the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster with the 51 votes needed to approve a bill, with for example USA Today erroneously stating “The vote was 58-39 in favor of the provision establishing concealed carry permit reciprocity in the 48 states that have concealed weapons laws. That fell two votes short of the 60 needed to approve the measure“.

Closed session

On occasion, the Senate may go into what is called a secret or closed session. During a closed session, the chamber doors are closed, cameras are turned off, and the galleries are completely cleared of anyone not sworn to secrecy, not instructed in the rules of the closed session, or not essential to the session. Closed sessions are rare and usually held only when the Senate is discussing sensitive subject matter such as information critical to national security, private communications from the president, or deliberations during impeachment trials. A senator may call for and force a closed session if the motion is seconded by at least one other member, but an agreement usually occurs beforehand. If the Senate does not approve release of a secret transcript, the transcript is stored in the Office of Senate Security and ultimately sent to the national archives. The proceedings remain sealed indefinitely until the Senate votes to remove the injunction of secrecy. In 1973 the House adopted a rule that all committee sessions should be open unless a majority on the committee voted for a closed session.

Calendars

The Senate maintains a Senate Calendar and an Executive Calendar. The former identifies bills and resolutions awaiting Senate floor actions. The latter identifies executive resolutions, treaties, and nominations reported out by Senate committee(s) and awaiting Senate floor action. Both are updated each day the Senate is in session.

Committees

The Senate uses committees (and their subcommittees) for a variety of purposes, including the review of bills and the oversight of the executive branch. Formally, the whole Senate appoints committee members. In practice, however, the choice of members is made by the political parties. Generally, each party honors the preferences of individual senators, giving priority based on seniority. Each party is allocated seats on committees in proportion to its overall strength.

Most committee work is performed by 16 standing committees, each of which has jurisdiction over a field such as finance or foreign relations. Each standing committee may consider, amend, and report bills that fall under its jurisdiction. Furthermore, each standing committee considers presidential nominations to offices related to its jurisdiction. (For instance, the Judiciary Committee considers nominees for judgeships, and the Foreign Relations Committee considers nominees for positions in the Department of State.) Committees may block nominees and impede bills from reaching the floor of the Senate. Standing committees also oversee the departments and agencies of the executive branch. In discharging their duties, standing committees have the power to hold hearings and to subpoena witnesses and evidence.

The Senate also has several committees that are not considered standing committees. Such bodies are generally known as select or special committees; examples include the Select Committee on Ethics and the Special Committee on Aging. Legislation is referred to some of these committees, although the bulk of legislative work is performed by the standing committees. Committees may be established on an ad hocbasis for specific purposes; for instance, the Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee created to investigate the Watergate scandal. Such temporary committees cease to exist after fulfilling their tasks.

The Congress includes joint committees, which include members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Some joint committees oversee independent government bodies; for instance, the Joint Committee on the Library oversees the Library of Congress. Other joint committees serve to make advisory reports; for example, there exists a Joint Committee on Taxation. Bills and nominees are not referred to joint committees. Hence, the power of joint committees is considerably lower than those of standing committees.

Each Senate committee and subcommittee is led by a chair (usually a member of the majority party). Formerly, committee chairs were determined purely by seniority; as a result, several elderly senators continued to serve as chair despite severe physical infirmity or even senility. Committee chairs are elected, but, in practice, seniority is rarely bypassed. The chairs hold extensive powers: they control the committee’s agenda, and so decide how much, if any, time to devote to the consideration of a bill; they act with the power of the committee in disapproving or delaying a bill or a nomination by the president; they manage on the floor of the full Senate the consideration of those bills the committee reports. This last role was particularly important in mid-century, when floor amendments were thought not to be collegial. They also have considerable influence: senators who cooperate with their committee chairs are likely to accomplish more good for their states than those who do not. The Senate rules and customs were reformed in the twentieth century, largely in the 1970s. Committee chairmen have less power and are generally more moderate and collegial in exercising it, than they were before reform. The second-highest member, the spokesperson on the committee for the minority party, is known in most cases as the ranking member. In the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Ethics, however, the senior minority member is known as the vice chair.

Recent criticisms of the Senate’s operations object to what the critics argue is obsolescence as a result of partisan paralysis and a preponderance of arcane rules.

Functions

Legislation

Bills may be introduced in either chamber of Congress. However, the Constitution’s Origination Clause provides that “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”. As a result, the Senate does not have the power to initiate bills imposing taxes. Furthermore, the House of Representatives holds that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation bills, or bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. Historically, the Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House. However, when the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice. The constitutional provision barring the Senate from introducing revenue bills is based on the practice of the British Parliament, in which only the House of Commons may originate such measures.

Although the Constitution gave the House the power to initiate revenue bills, in practice the Senate is equal to the House in the respect of spending. As Woodrow Wilson wrote:

The Senate’s right to amend general appropriation bills has been allowed the widest possible scope. The upper house may add to them what it pleases; may go altogether outside of their original provisions and tack to them entirely new features of legislation, altering not only the amounts but even the objects of expenditure, and making out of the materials sent them by the popular chamber measures of an almost totally new character.

The approval of both houses is required for any bill, including a revenue bill, to become law. Both Houses must pass the same version of the bill; if there are differences, they may be resolved by sending amendments back and forth or by a conference committee, which includes members of both bodies.

Checks and balances

The Constitution provides several unique functions for the Senate that form its ability to “check and balance” the powers of other elements of the Federal Government. These include the requirement that the Senate may advise and must consent to some of the president’s government appointments; also the Senate must consent to all treaties with foreign governments; it tries all impeachments, and it elects the vice president in the event no person gets a majority of the electoral votes.

The president can make certain appointments only with the advice and consent of the Senate. Officials whose appointments require the Senate’s approval include members of the Cabinet, heads of most federal executive agencies, ambassadors, Justices of the Supreme Court, and other federal judges. Under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, a large number of government appointments are subject to potential confirmation; however, Congress has passed legislation to authorize the appointment of many officials without the Senate’s consent (usually, confirmation requirements are reserved for those officials with the most significant final decision-making authority). Typically, a nominee is first subject to a hearing before a Senate committee. Thereafter, the nomination is considered by the full Senate. The majority of nominees are confirmed, but in a small number of cases each year, Senate committees purposely fail to act on a nomination to block it. In addition, the president sometimes withdraws nominations when they appear unlikely to be confirmed. Because of this, outright rejections of nominees on the Senate floor are infrequent (there have been only nine Cabinet nominees rejected outright in United States history).

The powers of the Senate concerning nominations are, however, subject to some constraints. For instance, the Constitution provides that the president may make an appointment during a congressional recess without the Senate’s advice and consent. The recess appointment remains valid only temporarily; the office becomes vacant again at the end of the next congressional session. Nevertheless, presidents have frequently used recess appointments to circumvent the possibility that the Senate may reject the nominee. Furthermore, as the Supreme Court held in Myers v. United States, although the Senate’s advice and consent is required for the appointment of certain executive branch officials, it is not necessary for their removal. Recess appointments have faced a significant amount of resistance and in 1960, the U.S. Senate passed a legally non-binding resolution against recess appointments.

U.S. Senate chamber c. 1873: two or three spittoons are visible by desks

The Senate also has a role in ratifying treaties. The Constitution provides that the president may only “make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur” in order to benefit from the Senate’s advice and consent and give each state an equal vote in the process. However, not all international agreements are considered treaties under US domestic law, even if they are considered treaties under international law. Congress has passed laws authorizing the president to conclude executive agreements without action by the Senate. Similarly, the president may make congressional-executive agreements with the approval of a simple majority in each House of Congress, rather than a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Neither executive agreements nor congressional-executive agreements are mentioned in the Constitution, leading some scholars such as Laurence Tribe and John Yoo to suggest that they unconstitutionally circumvent the treaty-ratification process. However, courts have upheld the validity of such agreements.

The Constitution empowers the House of Representatives to impeach federal officials for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” and empowers the Senate to try such impeachments. If the sitting President of the United States is being tried, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the trial. During an impeachment trial, senators are constitutionally required to sit on oath or affirmation. Conviction requires a two-thirds majority of the senators present. A convicted official is automatically removed from office; in addition, the Senate may stipulate that the defendant be banned from holding office. No further punishment is permitted during the impeachment proceedings; however, the party may face criminal penalties in a normal court of law.

The House of Representatives has impeached sixteen officials, of whom seven were convicted. (One resigned before the Senate could complete the trial.) Only two presidents of the United States have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Both trials ended in acquittal; in Johnson’s case, the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.

Under the Twelfth Amendment, the Senate has the power to elect the vice president if no vice presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College. The Twelfth Amendment requires the Senate to choose from the two candidates with the highest numbers of electoral votes. Electoral College deadlocks are rare. The Senate has only broken a deadlock once; in 1837, it elected Richard Mentor Johnson. The House elects the president if the Electoral College deadlocks on that choice.

 

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Mark Warner

Current Position: US Senator since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2002 – 2006

Overview: N/A

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2009
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): Governor from 2002 – 2006

Overview: N/A

About

Mark Warner

Source: Government page

Senator Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008 and reelected to a second term in November 2014. He serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Rules Committees as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Vice Chairman. During his time in the Senate, Senator Warner has established himself as a bipartisan leader who has worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to cut red tape, increase government performance and accountability, and promote private sector innovation and job creation. Senator Warner has been recognized as a national leader in fighting for our military men and women and veterans, and in working to find bipartisan, balanced solutions to address our country’s debt and deficit.

From 2002 to 2006, he served as Governor of Virginia.  When he left office in 2006, Virginia was ranked as the best state for business, the best managed state, and the best state in which to receive a public education.

The first in his family to graduate from college, Mark Warner spent 20 years as a successful technology and business leader in Virginia before entering public office. An early investor in the cellular telephone business, he co-founded the company that became Nextel and invested in hundreds of start-up technology companies that created tens of thousands of jobs.

Senator Warner, his wife Lisa Collis, and their three daughters live in Alexandria, Virginia.

From Wikipedia

Prior to his congressional career, Warner was the 69th Governor of Virginia holding the office from 2002 to 2006, and is the honorary chairman of the Forward Together PAC. Warner delivered the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Apart from politics, Warner is also known for his involvement in telecommunications-related venture capital during the 1980s; he founded the firm Columbia Capital.

In 2006, he was widely expected to pursue the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections; however, he announced in October 2006 that he would not run, citing a desire not to disrupt his family life. Warner was considered to be a potential vice presidential candidate, until he took himself out of consideration after winning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Contested by his gubernatorial predecessor, Jim Gilmore, Warner won his first election to the Senate in 2008 with 65% of the vote. Warner won reelection to the seat in 2014, defeating Ed Gillespie, who had previously served as Counselor to the President underGeorge W. Bush and chairman of the Republican National Committee. Warner’s margin of victory—only 17,000 votes—was much narrower than expected.

Early life, education, and business career

Warner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Marjorie (née Johnston) and Robert F. Warner. He has a younger sister, Lisa. He grew up in Illinois, and later inVernon, Connecticut, where he graduated from Rockville High School, a public secondary school. He has credited his interest in politics to his eighth grade social studies teacher, Jim Tyler, who “inspired him to work for social and political change during the tumultuous year of 1968.” He was class president for three years at Rockville High School and hosted a weekly pick-up basketball game at his house, “a tradition that continues today.”

Warner graduated from George Washington University, (GW), earning his B.A. in 1977 with a 4.0 GPA and a minor in political science. He was valedictorian of his class at GW and the first in his family to graduate from college. At GW he worked on Capitol Hill to pay for his tuition, riding his bike early mornings to the office of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT). When his parents visited him at college, he obtained two tickets for them to tour the White House; when his father asked him why he didn’t get a ticket for himself, he replied, “I’ll see the White House when I’m president.”

Warner then graduated from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1980 and coached the law school’s first intramural women’s basketball team. Warner has never practiced law. In the early 1980s, he served as a staffer to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT). He later used his knowledge of federal telecommunication law and policies as a broker of mobile phone franchise licenses, making a significant fortune. As founder and managing director of Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm, he helped found or was an early investor in a number of technology companies, including Nextel. He co-founded Capital Cellular Corporation, and built up an estimated net worth of more than $200 million. As of 2012, he was the wealthiest U.S. Senator.

State activism

Warner involved himself in public efforts related to health care, telecommunications, information technology and education. He managed Douglas Wilder’s successful 1989 gubernatorial campaign and served as chairman of the state Democratic Party from 1993-95. He created four investment funds across Virginia and donated millions to charity, which he later touted in political campaigns.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Founder and managing director of a venture capital firm.
    Columbia Capital,
  • Co-Founder
    Capital Cellular Corporation

Education

  • BA
    George Washington University
    1977
  • JD
    George Washington University
    1980

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington, D.C.
703 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2023

Abingdon
180 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone: 276-628-8158

Norfolk
101 W. Main Street
Suite 7771
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: 757-441-3079

Richmond
919 E. Main Street
Suite 630
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-775-2314

Vienna
8000 Towers Crescent Drive
Suite 200
Vienna, Virginia 22182
Phone: 703-442-0670

Web

Campaign Site, Government Page, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

1996 U.S. Senate election

He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 against incumbent Republican John Warner (no relation) in a “Warner versus Warner” election. Mark Warner performed strongly in the state’s rural areas, making the contest much closer than many pundits expected.He lost to the incumbent, 52%-47%, losing most parts of the state including the north.

Governor of Virginia

2001 election

Then-Gov. Mark Warner as the state commander in chief of theVirginia Army National Guard andVirginia Air National Guard

In 2001 Warner campaigned for governor as a moderate Democrat after years of slowly building up a power base in rural Virginia, particularly Southwest Virginia. He defeated Republican candidate Mark Earley, the state attorney general, in a “Mark versus Mark” election, with 52.16 percent, a margin of 96,943 votes, and also Libertarian candidate William B. Redpath. Warner had a significant funding advantage, spending $20 million compared with Earley’s $10 million.

Warner also benefited from dissension in Republican ranks after a heated battle for the nomination between Earley, backed by religious conservatives, and then-lieutenant governorJohn H. Hager, some of whose supporters later openly backed Warner. In the same election, Republican Jerry Kilgore was elected attorney general, and Democrat Tim Kaine was elected lieutenant governor. In his campaign for governor in 2001, Warner said that he would not raise taxes.

Tenure

After he was elected in 2002, Warner drew upon a $900 million “rainy day fund” left by his predecessor, James S. Gilmore, III.Warner campaigned in favor of two regional sales tax increases (Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads) to fund transportation. Virginians rejected both regional referendums to raise the sales tax.

In 2004, Warner worked with Democratic and moderate Republican legislators and the business community to reform the tax code, lowering food and some income taxes while increasing the sales and cigarette taxes. His tax package effected a net tax increase of approximately $1.5 billion annually. Warner credited the additional revenues with saving the state’s AAA bond rating, held at the time by only five other states, and allowing the single largest investment in K-12 education in Virginia history. Warner also entered into an agreement with Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Virginia Senate to cap state car tax reimbursements to local governments.

During his tenure as governor, Warner influenced the world of college athletics. “Warner used his power as Virginia’s governor in 2003 to pressure the Atlantic Coast Conference into revoking an invitation it had already extended to Syracuse University. Warner wanted the conference, which already included the University of Virginia, to add Virginia Tech instead — and he got his way.”

Warner’s popularity may have helped Democrats gain seats in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2003 and again in 2005, reducing the majorities built up by Republicans in the 1990s. Warner chaired theNational Governors Association in 2004-05 and led a national high school reform movement. He chaired the Southern Governors’ Association and was a member of the Democratic Governors Association. In January 2005, a two-year study,[12] the Government Performance Project, in conjunction with Governingmagazine and the Pew Charitable Trust graded each state in four management categories: money, people, infrastructure and information. Virginia and Utah received the highest ratings average with both states receiving an A- rating overall, prompting Warner to dub Virginia “the best managed state in the nation.”

Kaine and Kilgore both sought to succeed Warner as governor of Virginia. (The Virginia Constitution forbids any governor from serving consecutive terms; so Warner could not have run for a second term in 2005.) On November 8, 2005, Kaine, the former mayor of Richmond, won with 52% of the vote. Kilgore, who had resigned as attorney general in February 2005 to campaign full-time and who had previously served as Virginia secretary of public safety, received 46% of the vote. Russ Potts, a Republican state senator, also ran for governor as an independent, receiving 2% of the vote. Warner had supported and campaigned for Kaine, and many national pundits considered Kaine’s victory to be further evidence of Warner’s political clout in Virginia.

On November 29, 2005, Warner commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt to life imprisonmentwithout the possibility of parole. Lovitt was convicted of murdering Clayton Dicks at an Arlington pool hall in 1999. After his trial in 2001, Lovitt’s lawyers stated that a court clerk illegally destroyedevidence that was used against Lovitt during his trial, but that could have possibly exonerated him upon further DNA testing. Lovitt’s death sentence would have been the 1,000th carried out in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment as permissible under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution in 1976. In a statement, Warner said, “The actions of an agent of the commonwealth, in a manner contrary to the express direction of the law, comes at the expense of a defendant facing society’s most severe and final sanction.” Warner denied clemency in 11 other death penalty cases that came before him as governor.

Warner also arranged for DNA tests of evidence left from the case of Roger Keith Coleman, who was put to death by the state in 1992. Coleman was convicted in the 1981 rape and stabbing death of his 19-year-old sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy. Coleman drew national attention, even making the cover of Time, by repeatedly claiming innocence and protesting the unfairness of the death penalty. DNA results announced on January 12, 2006 confirmed Coleman’s guilt.

In July 2005, his approval ratings were at 74% and in some polls reached 80%.[17] Warner left office with a 71% approval rating in one poll.

U.S. Senate

2008 election

Warner was believed to be preparing to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, and had “done everything but announce his candidacy” before suddenly stating in October 2006 he would not run for president, citing family reasons. Warner declared on September 13, 2007 that he would run for the U.S. Senate being vacated by the retiring John Warner (no relation) in 2008.

Warner delivers the keynote address during the second day of the2008 Democratic National Conventionin Denver, Colorado.

Warner immediately gained the endorsement of most national Democrats. He held a wide lead over his Republican opponent, fellow former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, for virtually the entire campaign. Warner delivered the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

In a Washington Post/ABC News Poll dated September 24, 2008, Warner held a 30-point lead over Gilmore.

In the November election, Warner defeated Gilmore, taking 65 percent of the vote to Gilmore’s 34 percent. Warner carried all but four counties in the state—Rockingham,Augusta, Powhatan and Hanover. In many cases, he ran up huge margins in areas of the state that have traditionally voted Republican. This was the most lopsided margin for a contested Senate race in Virginia since Chuck Robb took 72 percent of the vote in 1988. As a result of Warner’s victory, Virginia had two Democratic U.S. Senators for the first time sinceHarry Byrd, Jr. left the Democrats to become an independent (while still caucusing with the Democrats) in 1970.

Tenure

Upon arriving in the U.S. Senate in 2009, Warner was appointed to the Senate’s Banking, Budget, and Commerce committees. Warner was later named to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2011.

In 2009, Warner voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus bill. As a member of the Budget Committee, he submitted an amendment designed to help the government track how the stimulus dollars were being spent.

When offered the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in preparation for the 2012 election cycle, Warner declined because he wanted to keep a distance from the partisanship of the role.

In the fall of 2012, Warner was approached by supporters about possibly leaving the Senate to seek a second four-year term as Virginia’s governor. After considering the prospect, Warner announced shortly after the November 2012 elections that he had chosen to remain in the Senate because he was “all in” on finding a bipartisan solution to the country’s fiscal challenges.

Warner became the senior senator on January 3, 2013 when Jim Webb left the Senate and was replaced by Tim Kaine, who was lieutenant governor while Warner was governor.[

In 2014, Ed Gillespie criticized him for using tax payer money to fly in a luxury airplane.

Warner was ranked as the 10th most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate from theAmerican South after West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member’s bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member’s co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party). Likewise, Warner has been identified as a radical centrist, working to foster compromise in the Senate.

Recent Elections

2014 US Senator

Mark Warner (D) 1,073,667 49.1%
Edward Walter Gillespie (R) 1,055,940 48.3%
Robert Christopher Sarvis (L) 53,102 2.4%
Write In () 1,811 .1%
TOTAL 2,184,520

2008 US Senator

Mark Warner (D) 2,369,327 65.0%
James Jim S. Gilmore, III (R) 1,228,830 33.7%
Glenda Gail Parker () 21,690 0.6%
William B. Redpath (L) 20,269 0.6%
Write in (Write-in) 3,178
TOTAL 3,643,294

2001 Governor

Mark Warner (D) 984,177 52.2%
M. L. Earley (R) 887,234 47.0%
William B. Redpath (L) 14,497 0.8%
Write In (Write-in) 813 .0%
TOTAL 1,886,721

Source: Virginia Department of Elections

Finances

WARNER, MARK ROBERT has run in 2 races for public office, winning 2 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $36,488,482. (note: seems to include only two senate races and not previous Governor  race).

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Select Committee on Intelligence (Vice Chairman)
Committee on Finance
Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs
Committee on the Budget
Committee on Rules & Administration

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Government Page

Issues

Governance

Transparency

On the Senate Budget Committee, Warner was appointed chairman of a bipartisan task force on government performance in 2009. Warner was a lead sponsor of the 2010 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which imposed specific program performance goals across all federal agencies and set up a more transparent agency performance review process.

On May 21, 2013, Warner introduced the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (S. 994; 113th Congress), DATA. “The legislation requires standardized reporting of federal spending to be posted to a single website, allowing citizens to track spending in their communities and agencies to more easily identify improper payments, waste and fraud.” On November 6, 2013, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee unanimously passed DATA.

On January 27, 2014, a version of the White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) marked up version of the bill was leaked. This White House version “move[s] away from standards and toward open data structures to publish information” and “requir[es] OMB in consultation with Treasury to review and, if necessary, revise standards to ensure accuracy and consistency through methods such as establishing linkages between data in agency financial systems…” Senator Warner’s responded with the following statement: “The Obama administration talks a lot about transparency, but these comments reflect a clear attempt to gut the DATA Act. DATA reflects years of bipartisan, bicameral work, and to propose substantial, unproductive changes this late in the game is unacceptable. We look forward to passing the DATA Act, which had near universal support in its House passage and passed unanimously out of its Senate committee. I will not back down from a bill that holds the government accountable and provides taxpayers the transparency they deserve.”

On April 10, 2014, the Senate voted by unanimous consent to pass the bill, which was then passed by the House in a voice vote on April 28, 2014.

Civil Rights

Gun laws

On April 17, 2013, Warner voted to expand background checks for gun purchases as part of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment.

In 2017, he called himself a strong supporter of second amendment rights and vowed to advocate for responsible gun ownership for hunting, recreation, and self-defense.

In January 2019, Warner was one of forty senators to introduce the Background Check Expansion Act, a bill that would require background checks for either the sale or transfer of all firearms including all unlicensed sellers. Exceptions to the bill’s background check requirement included transfers between members of law enforcement, loaning firearms for either hunting or sporting events on a temporary basis, providing firearms as gifts to members of one’s immediate family, firearms being transferred as part of an inheritance, or giving a firearm to another person temporarily for immediate self-defense.

Democracy

Campaign finance

In June 2019, Warner and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Preventing Adversaries Internationally from Disbursing Advertising Dollars (PAID AD) Act, a bill that would modify U.S. federal campaign finance laws to outlaw the purchasing of ads that name a political candidate and appear on platforms by foreign nationals in the midst of an election year.

Economy

Between 2010 and 2013, Warner invested considerable time and effort in leading the Senate’s Gang of Six, along with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Together, Chambliss and Warner sought to craft a bipartisan plan along the lines of the Simpson-Bowles Commission to address U.S. deficits and debt.

Although the Gang of Six ultimately failed to produce a legislative “grand bargain”, they did agree on the broad outlines of a plan that included spending cuts, tax reforms that produced more revenue, and reforms to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security—entitlement reforms that are opposed by most Democrats. Although President Obama showed interest in the plan, leaders in Congress from both parties kept a deal from being made. In 2011, the bipartisan Concord Coalition awarded Warner and Chambliss its Economic Patriots Award for their work with the Gang of Six.

Minimum wage

In April 2014, the United States Senate debated the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 1737; 113th Congress). The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938(FLSA) to increase the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10 per hour over the course of a two-year period. The bill was strongly supported by President Barack Obama and many Democratic Senators, but strongly opposed by Republicans in the Senate and House. Warner expressed a willingness to negotiate with Republicans about some of the provisions of the bill, such as the timeline for the phase-in. Warner said that any increase needs to be done “in a responsible way.”

Finance

From the start of his Senate term, Warner attempted to replicate in Washington, D.C. the bipartisan partnerships that he used effectively during his tenure as Virginia governor. In 2010, Warner worked with a Republican colleague on the Banking Committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), to write a key portion of the Dodd-Frank Act that seeks to end taxpayer bailouts of failing Wall Street financial firms by requiring “advance funeral plans” for large financial firms.

In 2013, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress gave Sens. Warner and Corker its Publius Award for their bipartisan work on financial reform legislation.

In 2018, Warner became one of the few Democrats in the Senate supporting a bill that would relax “key banking regulations”. As part of at least 11 other Democrats, Warner argued that the bill would “right-size post-crisis rules imposed on small and regional lenders and help make it easier for them to provide credit”. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have stated their opposition to the legislation.

Health Care

On a video in his senate office, Warner promised Virginians, “I would not vote for a health-care plan that doesn’t let you keep health insurance you like.” [33]

He voted for the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA, commonly called Obamacare), helping the Senate reach the required sixty votes to prevent it from going to a filibuster. (As there were exactly 60 Democratic Senators at the time, each Democrat can be said to have cast the deciding vote.) He and 11 Senate freshmen discussed adding an amendment package aimed at addressing health care costs by expanding health IT and wellness prevention.

In January 2019, Warner was one of six Democratic senators to introduce the American Miners Act of 2019, a bill that would amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to swap funds in excess of the amounts needed to meet existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land fund to the 1974 Pension Plan as part of an effort to prevent its insolvency as a result of coal company bankruptcies and the 2008 financial crisis. It also increased the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund tax and ensured that miners affected by the 2018 coal company bankruptcies would not lose their health care.

Safety

Defense

In 2011, Warner voted for the four-year extension of the USA PATRIOT Act. In 2011, he engaged Northern Virginia’s high-tech community in a pro-bono effort to correct burial mistakes and other U.S. Army management deficiencies at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2012, he successfully pushed the Navy to improve the substandard military housing in Hampton Roads.

Also in 2012, he pushed the Office of Personnel Management to address chronic backlogs in processing retirement benefits for federal workers, many of whom live in Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs. Warner was successful in pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand access to PTSD treatment for female military veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In August 2013, Warner was one of twenty-three Democratic senators to sign a letter to the Defense Department warning of some payday lenders “offering predatory loan products to service members at exorbitant triple digit effective interest rates and loan products that do not include the additional protections envisioned by the law” and asserting that service members along with their families “deserve the strongest possible protections and swift action to ensure that all forms of credit offered to members of our armed forces are safe and sound.”

Warner was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the Navy’s highest honor for a civilian, for his consistent support of Virginia’s military families and veterans.

Start ups, Saudi Arabia

Warner was the original Democratic sponsor of the Startup Act legislation and has partnered with the bill’s original author Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) to introduce three iterations of the bill: Startup Act in 2011, Startup Act 2.0 in 2012 and Startup Act 3.0 in early 2013. Warner describes the legislation as the ‘logical next step’ following enactment of the bipartisan JOBS Act.”

In 2015, Warner criticized the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, saying: “I’m concerned in particular with some of the indiscriminate bombing in Yemen … [Gulf states] need to step up and they need to step up with more focus than the kind of indiscriminate bombing.”

In June 2017, Warner voted to support Trump’s $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

In May 2018, Warner voted for Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director.

In 2016, American foreign policy scholar Stefan Halper served as an FBI operative and contacted members of the Donald Trump Presidential campaign. In May 2018, Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned Republican lawmakers that it would be “potentially illegal” to reveal the identity of Stefan Halper.

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