Senator Mark Warner Addresses NVTC Board
Senator Mark Warner joined the NVTC Board of Directors on January 17 at the Inova Center for Personalized Health for a discussion on a wide range of current issues before Congress.
Sen. Warner began by providing updates on his efforts to provide leadership in addressing the serious delays in the security clearance process, including plans to a dialogue amongst interested Senators and substantially increase communication with the Executive Branch and private sector to accomplish tangible results. He specifically outlined needed reforms he has discussed with a technology business working group and NVTC, including continuous evaluation, reciprocity and improved information sharing between agencies, portability, how technology can be used to expedite and streamline the investigation process, the implementation of a substantially shorter time frame, and protected funding for clearances. He expects there will be both public and private Senate hearings on the issue and would like NVTC’s participation in the public hearings in late February.
Sen. Warner also addressed IT modernization in the federal government, including the new Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT), sharing that he hopes the government can begin shifting away from legacy IT maintenance, which presently consumes about 80 percent of the Federal IT budget, to acquisition of smarter technology options. The Senator also discussed issues that concern him in the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and provided insight on current debate over the budget and immigration reform, including the issue of H-1B visas.
On the economy and innovation, Sen. Warner emphasized the changing nature of work and the growing impact of the gig economy on the national market. He spoke about his bipartisan legislation that would create a portable benefits grant program which would test models that allow benefits to travel with gig and contract workers.
Sen. Mark Warner spoke to the NVTC Board of Directors on Jan. 17.
During a question and answer session, Sen. Warner discussed ongoing efforts to fuel entrepreneurship across the Commonwealth, including increasing access to investment opportunities for startups. In addition, he highlighted cybersecurity and unmanned systems as two innovation areas where Virginia can take national leadership. Finally, Sen. Warner also discussed how coordination and communication across industries will be an essential part of protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Sen. Warner concluded by encouraging the Northern Virginia technology community to share their unique insights around policy issues impacting the country and Commonwealth.