Two General Assembly committees grilled former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Youngkin’s pick for Secretary of Natural Resources. Senate Democrats may use their 21 to 19 majority to block his confirmation, a rare move in Virginia politics, but potential swing vote Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) may be open minded. On Wednesday, House Democrats hammered Wheeler in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee.
Before the meeting, House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said she hoped Youngkin would rescind the nomination.
“Mr. Wheeler’s tenure as Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator set back our national climate policy by a generation. We cannot afford more of the same in Virginia,” Filler-Corn said in a press release.
Virginia House District 10 is one of Republicans’ best chances to flip a House seat in the election; Republicans hope to retake the majority by winning a net six seats. The district includes part of Loudoun County, where the local school board has become a battleground and a national bellweather for the GOP’s new messaging on education. Statewide politicians have made repeated stops in the area, and GOP challenger Nick Clemente and Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) have together raised over $2 million, placing the district number one among the 100 House seats for fundraising, according to The Virginia Public Access Project.
“I think Gooditis is probably the second most likely Democrat to lose in the House,” CNalysis Executive Director Chaz Nuttycombe said. “I think Nick Clemente is definitely the strongest recruit that the GOP has going up against the Democrats.”
The House of Representatives passed Congressman Don McEachin’s (D-VA-04) Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Act on Tuesday. If passed in the Senate, the bill will require the Secretary of the Interior to study potentially designating a Heritage Area in the region of the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia – North Carolina border.
“The Great Dismal Swamp is an incredibly important historical, archaeological, and environmental site for the Commonwealth,” McEachin said in a press release. “The Swamp was once a home and refuge to African American and Indigenous populations and enabled robust economic activity between the communities that called it home. Not only does it have immense cultural significance, the Swamp also plays a crucial role in our continued fight against the climate crisis.”
Virginia has a high concentration of bad drivers, according to a recent study from Insurify, which found that 26.52 percent of the commonwealth’s drivers have a past traffic citation. With a national average of 21.34 percent, Virginia ranks fourth place on the list — only Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska have a higher percentage of drivers with past traffic citations.
The Chesapeake City Council voted 6-1 with one “present” vote to approve a Second Amendment sanctuary city resolution on Tuesday evening. The council also voted to add a clause to the resolution asking “the Governor of Virginia and the General Assembly to preserve the authority of local governing bodies to make legislative decisions to the best interest of the citizens.”