The government is now funded through September, but another deadline is hanging over Congress that imperils the economy of Virginia.
The last time Congress wrangled over the debt ceiling the federal government lost its triple A credit rating. Credit rating agencies say Virginia could also lose its pristine credit rating if the federal government gets locked in partisan warfare once again.
That could make borrowing more expensive for cash strapped locales, according to Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly.
While there's another threat of a government shutdown on March 27 unless the U.S. Senate and Congress reach some type of compromise, members of Virginia's Congressional delegation say some progress is being made. There's even a possibility of reducing the impacts of sequestration on Virginia.
Three budget amendments by Senator Mark Warner were approved. They address spending transparency, duplicate reports, and the federal retiree backlog.
The federal government’s role in the use of drones inside the U.S. may be expanding, but state lawmakers have put the brakes on deploying them within Virginia’s borders. Legislation that’s now under review by Governor McDonnell would place a moratorium on state and local use of drones. The unmanned aircraft could not be deployed for two years—while parameters and safeguards are studied.
Concerns that drones could violate rights and invade privacy prompted an alliance between the state ACLU and lawmakers to put drone deployments on hold—at least temporarily.
Officials in Virginia are bracing for the impact of the federal budget cuts that start trickling down. Lawmakers in the commonwealth disagree about what should be done with the sequestration.
So now they’re dealing with the fallout: cuts to education, housing, healthcare, conservation programs – the list is seemingly endless. Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says many federal workers and contractors in the commonwealth will feel those cuts directly.
Virginia’s newest U-S senator, Tim Kaine, delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor this week. His first address to his colleagues came much earlier than expected.
The Senate floor is viewed by many as a sacred space. That’s why most freshmen lawmakers wait months before addressing their peers in the austere chamber. But with billions of dollars in budget cuts slated to rip through his state on Friday, Senator Kaine broke unwritten Senate protocol and spoke on the floor before even finishing his second month in office.