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Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine applauded the announcement of 10 drug manufacturers who agreed to participate in the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program.
The act was passed last year to allow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time in history.
This will help lower costs for millions of Americans.
CMS will now negotiate directly with drug companies and the new prices will begin January 1, 2026.
Then CMS will select 15 new drugs that will be eligible for negotiation in 2027.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated these negotiations will lower Medicare spending by $98.5 billion over 10 years.
To view the full announcement, click here.
Mark Warner joined with a few other Senators to urge the FCC to enforce existing regulations aimed at ending robocalls.
The letter written by the Senators also requests that the FCC offer instructions similar to the FTC’s Business Guidance resource which provides plain language answers directly to businesses.
Similar guidance will help telemarketers and sellers understand and comply with regulations.
The Senators mentioned that some new regulations may be appropriate but cited current regulations like the start of the Do Not Call Registry in 2003 and the protections issued in 2012 regarding artificial and prerecorded automated dialing systems.
More recently the TRACED Act in 2019 provided additional resources to regulators to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers.
A link to the full letter is available here.
The Senate Finance Committee voted 26-1 yesterday to approve the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act.
The bipartisan legislation is aimed at helping address rising prescription drug prices by regulating intermediaries who manage prescription drug benefits for health insurance companies.
Included in the act are multiple bills proposed by Senator Mark Warner including the PBM Reporting Transparency ACT which holds PBMs accountable for providing good value to seniors and Medicare by making more information available to the public about their contracts.
The IMPROVE Part D Regulations Act is also included which requires listening sessions to be held about improvements to Medicare Part D.
An amendment in the bill was also proposed by Warner which ensures smaller pharmacies receive fair reimbursement when serving medically complex patients.
Governor Glenn Youngkin and Senator Mark Warner came together earlier this week at a conference in Fairfax in a bipartisan effort to encourage global leaders to bring microchip manufacturers to the Commonwealth.
Governor Youngkin highlighted a number of attractive benefits in bringing manufacturers to Virginia including lucrative incentives, the proximity to the federal government, the country’s defense contracting hub, one of the largest cargo ports, and one of the best public and private university systems.
The event held at Northrop Grumman’s global headquarters in partnership with Virginia Tech highlighted the Virginia Alliance of Semiconductor Technology program which is building a pipeline of graduate students to enter the semiconductor field.
The federal government recently dedicated $52 million in an incentive package that Senator Warner was heavily involved in developing to help bring semiconductor projects to the country as currently only 12% of chips are made domestically.
Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order #24 on Friday which banned the use of certain Chinese owned mobile phone applications and websites in state government technology.
This order most notable bans the use of TikTok, WeChat, and any other applications developed by ByteDance Limited or Tencent Holdings limited on state government devices and WiFi networks.
Businesses contracting with the state are also prohibited from using those applications within the state’s IT infrastructure.
Among privacy and cybersecurity concerns, Attorney General Jason Miyares mentioned the ongoing investigation regarding TikTok’s effect on the mental health of our youth.
Senator Mark Warner also released a statement supporting the Governor’s decision.
To read Executive Order #24 in full, click here.
Senator Mark Warner and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the construction of a new bicycle-pedestrian bridge crossing the Potomac River between Arlington and D.C..
The $20 million project was funded by the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Program that was a part of Warner’s authored Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
This bridge is a component of the larger Long Bridge project which aims to relieve the bottleneck in the area.
The project also includes the construction of a new two track railroad bridge and expanding the existing railroad corridor.
The total project will cost $1.9 billion but is estimated to bring $6 billion in benefits to the region by 2040.
Congressman David Price (D-NC), and Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) commend the passage of their bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act, which will now head to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“I introduced this bill in direct response to a constituent’s experience with a joint consolidation loan for which he remained wholly responsible for after a divorce. I am delighted by the passage of this common-sense bill that will bring immense relief to borrowers who are victims of abusive or uncommunicative spouses,” said Congressman David Price. “For decades, these borrowers have been trapped, with no legal options available, and this bill will give them the ability to regain their financial freedom. I look forward to this bill arriving on the President’s desk and delivering for America’s federal student debt borrowers.”
“For too long, individuals have been tied to abusive or unresponsive ex-partners through joint student loans,” said Senator Warner. “This legislation offers financial freedom to those who have spent decades unfairly held liable for their former partner’s debt. I am thrilled to see the House of Representatives pass this legislation and look forward to getting it in front of President Biden as quickly as possible to start offering relief to borrowers.”
From January 1, 1993 until June 30, 2006, married couples were able to combine their student loan debt into joint consolidation loans. Both borrowers agreed at the time to be jointly liable for repayment, which proved problematic if they wanted to separate the loans. Congress eliminated the joint consolidation program effective July 1, 2006, but did not provide a means of severing existing loans, even in the event of domestic violence, economic abuse, or an unresponsive partner. As a result, there are borrowers nationwide who remain liable for this consolidated debt without legal options for relief.
The Joint Consolidation Loan Separation (JCLS) Act would allow both borrowers to submit a joint application to the Department of Education (ED) to split their joint consolidated loan into two separate federal direct loans. It would also allow one borrower to submit a separate application if they are experiencing domestic or economic abuse or are unable to reasonably reach the other borrower. The remainder of the joint consolidated loan will be split proportionally.
While the universe of borrowers still making payments on a joint consolidation loan is relatively small, this legislation would greatly benefit the individual borrowers who are most in need of relief (including victims of abuse and those who are unable to get in touch with their ex-spouse).
This bill has the support of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Consumer Law Center, American Federation of Teachers, North Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence, and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. This bill was included in the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization during the last two Congresses.
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced Virginia received $1.9 million in federal funding that will be invested in increasing safety for the state’s motorists.
The main focus will be on commercial motor vehicles which were involved in 5000 crashes and 100 fatalities last year.
$1 million will go towards the Department of Motor Vehicles to enhance crash data analysis as well as improving and increasing the reporting of data.
This will help identify trends, problems, and help target spending.
Other funding will go to high risk areas of Chesterfield County and Virginia Tech who will begin driver education programs at high schools around the state and sessions in partnership with the AARP.
The money to fund these programs comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High Priority Grant program.
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $46.3 million in federal funds are coming to the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water.
The funds will be used to replace lead service pipes throughout the state to help protect public health.
Both senators pointed towards the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi as a driving force to improve Virginia’s water infrastructure.
The funding is through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was negotiated by Senator Warren with support from Senator Kaine.
The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Virginia Senator Mark Warner issued a statement on President Biden signing his CHIPS act.
Warner stated by email that the CHIPS and Science Act will lower costs for families, strengthen the nations security and create manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Nearly everything that has an on switch contains a chip of this type.
Only 12 percent of these types of chips are produced in the United States.
The newly signed Warner backed act will include $52 billion in funding to manufacture chips here in America.
Warner adds that this will help America compete against countries like China for the technology or the future.
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.