Mark Warner on the issues

mark warnerStatements from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner on his visit to Buena Vista on Monday on student debt, the V-A scandal and Iraq.


On student debt: “One of the reasons that I’m asking folks to rehire me is whether the same fair shot that I got is going to be available to the young people here today. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I got out of college and law school with about $15,000 worth of debt. Today American student debt is crushing the next generation of Americans. You shouldn’t go broke if you go to college in America today. Student debt is higher than credit-card debt. We’ve got to find rational ways to bring that down.”

On the V-A scandal: “What is happening at the V-A is a tragedy and a disaster. And while Congress has come together in a bipartisan way and passed $17 billion in additional assistance to our veterans, no veteran should have to wait weeks or months to get the healthcare that they deserve, and spend years going through a bureaucratic process. To get the V-A fixed is going to take more than money. It’s going to take a change in culture. It’s going to take a recognition that in 2014, you shouldn’t have 1980s software scheduling your healthcare appointments. We owe an obligation to our veterans, and whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we need to make sure that we’re giving them the care, the service and the respect that they deserve.”

On Iraq: “I think we need to keep all military options on the table. I think it’s appropriate that the president has taken these bombing actions that has both humanitarian aspects and freeing up the dam near Mosul. But I also think we need to see Iraqis themselves step up. They have to show the ability to form a government that includes all religious sects. And we need to see other nations in the region, for example, the Sunni majority nations in the gulf, the European nations, step up as well. ISIS is a threat to every civilized nation in the region and in the world. You have to keep all options on the table. I think what we need to see is leverage that U.S. leadership into a broader coalition. This is a level of barbaric activity that should not be allowed in the 21st century.”

– Compiled by Chris Graham

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