Virginia Rep. Luria Blasts Biden Defense Budget over Plan to Decommission Ships

Representative Elaine Luria (D-Virginia-02) blasted the Biden administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 $773 billion Defense Budget proposal, criticizing a plan to decommission ships in favor of cost savings. Luria, a Navy veteran, is facing a potentially serious re-election challenge with Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) and Jarome Bell, also Navy veterans, fighting for the GOP nomination. The area includes a large number of military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk.

“I have delayed putting out a statement about the Defense Budget because frankly it would have been mostly full of words you might expect from a Sailor, but here goes: It sucks,” Luria wrote in a series of tweets Tuesday.

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Virginia Rep. Wittman and Washington Rep Kilmer Announce New Caucus Focused on Navy’s Public Shipyards

Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) announced a new caucus focused on the Navy’s four active public shipyards on Friday. Other members of the Public Shipyard Caucus include Representatives Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) and Bobby Scott (D-VA-03).

“The Public Shipyard Caucus is the only congressional caucus focused exclusively on the nation’s public shipyards and serves as a venue to discuss public shipyard issues, increase stakeholder support for public shipyards, and raise awareness of their importance to Congress,” a Wittman press release states.

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Virginia General Assembly Hit by Ransomware Attack

The Virginia General Assembly has been hit by a ransomware attack affecting key legislative systems as legislators and staffers prepare for the 2022 session that begins on January 12. Multiple state agency websites were offline Monday afternoon.

The Legislative Information System (LIS), which hosts legislation and the Code of Virginia, warned in an error message, “We’re experiencing a service outage with some of our servers. The Budget Portal, Law Portal, Reports to the General Assembly, and some other data may not be accessible. Our team is currently working to restore the service. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

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Virginia Reps. Cline and Good Cosponsor Multiple Bills Protesting Vaccine Mandates

Congressmen Ben Cline (R-Virginia-06) and Bob Good (R-Virginia-05) are protesting Democrat-led COVID-19 vaccine mandates by cosponsored multiple bills. House Republicans lack the ability to pass bills without Democratic buy-in, but that hasn’t stopped them from introducing multiple bills targeting mandates in November. Cline touted his support for the bills in a Tuesday newsletter.

“Businesses across the country are desperate for workers, and our Nation is facing a critical supply chain shortage. As grocery store shelves sit empty, and communities struggle to recover, President Biden should be doing everything possible to encourage Americans to show up to work. Instead, it is the Administration’s plan to implement a vaccine mandate that would force millions of Americans out of work,” he wrote.

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Virginia Rep. Wittman Backs Prince William County’s Request for Money to Build a Mental Health Crisis Center

Representative Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01) is supporting Prince William County’s efforts to build a crisis stabilization center, asking Virginia’s House Finance Committee Chair Luke Torian (D-Prince William) to use federal COVID-19 relief to help fund the project.

“The impacts of mental health have major reverberations throughout our communities. From students experiencing anxiety and intense loneliness due to extended virtual learning, to extreme cases of depression as a result of a veteran’s PTSD, the need for effective and available mental health services to support those suffering from a mental health crisis or occurrence is a critical necessity,” Wittman wrote in an October 27 letter announced in a Friday press release.

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Virginia Spending Included in House Version of National Defense Authorization Act

The House of Representatives passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday, including an amendment protecting three Virginia-based guided missile cruisers from decommissioning.

“Countering China’s expansionist ambitions starts at sea,” Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said in a press release Friday.

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House Armed Services Committee Passes Bill Protecting Three Guided Missile Cruisers Based in Virginia

A major defense bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday, with spending for Virginia. Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said that Republicans led an effort to include an amendment that, in part protects three guided-missile cruisers based in Virginia from decommissioning. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 passed 57 to two. It includes a top-line spending level of $740 billion, up from President Joe Biden’s proposed $715 billion, according to Defense News.

“While defense is often and rightfully viewed as a national priority, here in Virginia, this additional funding fuels economic growth and the creation of jobs. This growth will further translate to funding for state priorities such as roads, schools, and law enforcement. With many of these ships built, maintained and repaired in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s economy especially stands to benefit from the passage of the FY22 NDAA,” Wittman said in a press release.

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Virginia Congressional Leaders React to Ongoing Afghanistan Crisis

President Biden addressed the nation late Monday afternoon to discuss the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Some congressional leaders were furious at the Biden Administration’s lack of leadership on the issue. Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ-02), a former Democrat who switched parties in 2020, lashed out and called for the resignation of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) hinted Monday that the Cabinet should consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Biden.

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Wittman Introduces Bill That Calls for an Investigation of the COVID-19 ‘Lab Leak’ Theory

Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01) is calling for sanctions against top Chinese health officials until they allow an independent investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of COVID-19. Wittman and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-New York-21) introduced The World Deserves to Know Act on Tuesday.

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Rob Wittman Discusses the Dragging Feet of Congress and the Mechanics of Operation Warp Speed

Friday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed the U.S. Representative of Virginia’s First District to the show to discuss how Congress is dragging its feet on appropriations bills and the details of a coronavirus vaccine.

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