Federal Forum featuring Senator Mark Warner
April 13, 2017
T.A. (Tim) Groover, PE
Government Affairs Committee Chair
Senator Mark Warner conducted a Federal Forum with members of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance on Wednesday, April 12. The Forum dealt with numerous challenges facing the country. While briefly touching on the need for infrastructure spending, most of the Forum dealt with national security and tax reform.
As Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Warner is a leader in a bipartisan investigation into reported Russian interference with the November election. “Everyone on our committee, from the most liberal to the most conservative, wants to get to the bottom of this.” Senator Warner stated more than once that he believes this challenge is the most important issue he has tackled since being in public office. And that includes when he was Governor of Virginia. “If we get to the point where we cannot trust the results of our elections, we’ve lost one of the most precious things that make us the country we are.”
When asked what country he considers the biggest threat to the United States, Warner turned again to cyber defense. He referenced Russian and Chinese hacking but also said individual hackers pose a real danger. “For about 2% of the cost of an aircraft carrier, an organized network of hackers can do serious damage to a country like the United States.”
Warner said he agrees that tax reform is necessary. He mentioned the need to create a better balance between online retailers and traditional merchants. The United States should “simplify and rationalize our tax code,” Warner said, calling it “the most complicated tax code in the world.”
Warner has traditionally been seen as a moderate who looks for opportunities to work across party lines. “Being a former business owner, I don’t know of any business that succeeds when their main strategy is to trash their competition all day every day. Yet that seems to be the norm today in politics." He shared his believe that neither political extreme is doing much to contribute to solving the big problems we face.