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Virginia's Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Frank Wolf Address NVTC Members at Technology Town Hall Forum

NVTC and co-host PSC held a Technology Town Hall Forum with Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Representative Frank Wolf on Friday, Jan. 10 at Sprint’s Reston offices. In front of a sold-out audience of more than 200 technology business leaders, the candidates shared their insights on the budget, sequestration levels and other issues impacting the national and local economy.

Sen. Warner began his remarks by discussing several topics of importance to him, including cybersecurity, government accountability and immigration reform. In addition, he shared his thoughts on the rollout problems with the Affordable Care Act.

Mark Warner.
Senator Mark Warner addresses the audience at the Technology Town Hall Forum, co-hosted by NVTC and PSC, on Jan. 10, 2014.

Describing Congress’ recent budget agreement as the “last of the small deals,” Warner expressed his belief that any future budget negotiations must include changes to entitlements and revenues in a grander bargain, since all the “low-hanging fruit” has already been tackled. He stressed that the single biggest job creating action Congress can make now is to get “our fiscal house in order,” allowing the government and businesses to develop a longer-term plan.

Rep. Wolf also emphasized the fact that the bipartisan budget deal was a positive move by Congress and President Obama, but that it does not solve the country’s issues in the long run. He stated his belief that the nation will decline without an economic “grand bargain” where everything is on the table. But he also argued that dealing with the nation’s fiscal challenges could lead to a renaissance for the country.

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Representative Frank Wolf speaks to the audience at the Technology Town Hall Forum, co-hosted by NVTC and PSC, on Jan. 10, 2014.

In addition, Wolf advocated for funding for the country’s science programs, saying that the U.S. must “think big,” particularly in the NASA space program, and must make science a priority. Finally, he urged companies and the nation to do more to address hunger in America, calling for a National Commission on Hunger.

During a Q&A session with the audience, Warner and Wolf addressed the need for increased revenue for research and workforce training, cybersecurity threats posed by countries like China, a working tax code for economic growth, and a comprehensive budget package. Finally, they both addressed the challenge of working in an increasingly partisan Congress and the need for legislators to “break bread” and unite to tackle the country’s challenges and take advantage of opportunities.