Senate Republicans Turn Their Backs on Virginia

Late last night, Virginia’s Senate Democrats passed an historic spending plan for the billions of dollars allocated to the Commonwealth via the federal American Rescue Plan. However, GOP members of the chamber voted down major relief for families and businesses.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw and Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Virginia’s families and businesses need our help, but 18 Republican Senators decided that investing in the Commonwealth’s recovery and future was not worth their vote. They shot down funds for:

  • Small business investments via the Rebuild Virginia program

  • Rural broadband expansion for remote work and school

  • Rent and utility relief to help families’ bottom lines

  • Healthcare infrastructure to help people get and stay healthy

  • Ensuring those out of work can get the benefits they need and find work

  • Expanding mental health services

  • Helping children stay healthy by improving school air quality and access to healthy food

  • Supporting law enforcement through pay bonuses

“We are sent to Richmond to do the work of the people. While the people were asleep last night, 18 Republicans abandoned them. Virginians deserve better than radical rhetoric.”

Senate Finance Chair Janet Howell said: “It has been the tradition in the Senate to work together across party lines on major items such as the budget. That tradition was continued when every Senator, Democrat and Republican, was given an opportunity for input. Only four Republicans replied to my request for input. While I wish the budget could have passed in a more bipartisan fashion yesterday evening, Senate Republicans chose instead to squander their chance to stand up for their constituents and Virginians as a whole, instead grandstanding and bloviating through the night.”

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