Sen. Mark Warner addresses Purcellville business leaders
One of the first things he spoke to was how he is handling his work.
"This job shouldn't be that hard," Sen. Warner quipped. "It's a sad commentary when getting a small part of your job done is a success."
With about 50 people in the room at Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. on Main Street, Sen. Warner led a discussion and answered questions from the audience focusing a variety of topics, including the budget, Obamacare, infrastructure, minimum wage, student loans and the importance of bipartisanship to get things done on Capitol Hill.
"There are a lot of folks in the Senate who want to do the right thing. We need to move the ball down the field."
"I'm part of every bipartisan gang," Sen. Warner said. "The good news is, we have a budget for this year and next. The height of anxiety was the government shutdown," he added.
The "elephant in the room is the federal budget deficit," Sen. Warner claimed. "The sooner we start solving it the easier it becomes."
"We need to generate more revenues or this problem will bankrupt the country. I am committed to any bipartisan effort," Sen. Warner said.
Sen. Warner touched upon his work on the infrastructure bill, which he recently introduced with Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). He commended the Virginia General Assembly for recognizing that we have a transportation problem.
"The Federal Highway Trust Fund is basically bankrupt. One of the tools we will use is to have a national infrastructure finance authority," he said.
Regarding Obamacare, the "roll out was a fiasco," Sen. Warner admitted. "Any time you pass a major piece of legislation, Congress never gets it right the first time."
"We are working on legislation to get it fixed and make changes to the bill."
After the discussion, Sen. Warner was led on a tour of Catoctin Creek Distillery with owners Scott and Becky Harris, along with Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro. The Senator purchased a couple of bottles of Catoctin's finest to take home with him to try.
Last week, Republican Ed Gillespie announced his candidacy to challenge Sen. Warner, who is up for re-election in November. Mr. Gillespie is one of several Republicans who have come forward to take on the popular first-term Democrat and former governor.
The GOP will choose its nominee in a primary or convention later this year.
Sen. Warner's office declined to comment on the Senate race, stating that the Senator was in Purcellville on official business.
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