WMAL Interview - REP. DON BEYER - 01.19.18

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7:05 AM - INTERVIEW - CONGRESSMAN DON BEYER - D-VA -- Representative for Virginia's 8th congressional district since 2015

TOPICS:

Latest on the looming GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:

  • Congress hurtles toward shutdown. The House passed a bill to keep the government funded for another four weeks, but prospects in the Senate look dim. (Politico) -- Congress is careening toward the first shutdown in more than four years, with Republicans and Democrats at a seemingly intractable impasse over government funding and the fates of young immigrants facing deportation. Though House Republicans voted Thursday night to keep the government open, the real drama is in the closely divided Senate, where it's unclear what, if anything, can clear the chamber's supermajority threshold. The Senate couldn't even agree on holding a vote on Thursday night, adjourning after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spurned Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's request to hold a vote and, assuming it failed, restart bipartisan negotiations on immigration and government spending levels. Senators said they expected a vote on Friday, but had little idea what would come next.

  • Beyer and Wittman Introduce Bill To Protect Federal Workers’ Pay As Threat of Government

    Virginia Reps. Don Beyer (D) and Rob Wittman (R) introduced a bill Thursday that would guarantee back pay for federal workers affected by a possible furlough in the event of a government shutdown. In a press release Thursday afternoon, the two lawmakers announced a bill with 40 bipartisan co-sponsors that would guarantee no federal worker loses pay as a result of a possible government shutdown. The federal government runs out of money at midnight Friday. “We are working hard to avoid a government shutdown, but if it comes our bill would protect federal workers from the worst of the consequences,” Beyer said in the release. “This legislation is designed to shield civil servants, who need to support their families, from the disastrous effects of Congress’ failure to agree on a budget measure. We hope it will not be needed, but time is running out,” he said. Virginia is home to a large number of federal employees, and the two districts represented by Beyer and Wittman, Virginia's 8th and 1st, respectively, represent nearly 120,000 federal workers, according to the release.

AMAZON PICKS NORTHERN VIRGINIA ON THEIR SHORT LIST:

  • - His thoughts on Northern VA listed on Amazon's short list for a 2nd headquarters: DC, Md. and Va. Make Amazon's List for 2nd Headquarters. The D.C. metro area is one step closer to potentially being home to Amazon's second U.S. headquarters. Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Northern Virginia were among the 20 metropolitan areas the online retailer chose to move to the next phase of the company's search. Amazon said in the coming months, it will work with each city "to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community."

NANCY REAGAN

“[This] bill is the equivalent of someone coming in and changing the furniture in your house without asking you,” Beyer said

Beyer Blasts Bill Renaming Gravelly Point Park for Nancy Reagan

Rep. Don Beyer (D) criticized a bill that would rename Gravelly Point Park for former First Lady Nancy Reagan as it passed a U.S. House of Representatives committee earlier today.

The bill failed once in the House Natural Resources Committee, but then was brought up again and passed 18-16 on a party-line vote.

It now heads to the House floor for debate and a final vote, with similar actions required by the U.S. Senate before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

But Beyer, a committee member whose district includes Arlington County, took exception to the efforts to rename the park near Reagan National Airport’s main runway as Nancy Reagan Memorial Park. The bill, H.R. 553, is sponsored by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and has 51 Republican co-sponsors.

In remarks to the committee today (Wednesday), Beyer criticized the bill for not taking sufficient public input from residents of Arlington and Alexandria, the communities closest to Gravelly Point.

“[This] bill is the equivalent of someone coming in and changing the furniture in your house without asking you,” he said. “First, you would have liked them to ask you, and even if you do like the furniture, you probably would have wanted input since it’s your house…Gravelly Point is not a national tourist attraction, it’s where local families go to have a picnic, throw a ball around, put a blanket down and watch the planes coming in and out, and it’s also where almost every Northern Virginia Uber driver sits to wait for a pickup.”

Beyer also called the bill a “pet project” by conservative advocacy group Americans For Tax Reform, which looks to minimize “the government’s power to control one’s life.”

“This is what some call Washington at its worst — when we ignore the will of the local community to appease the desire of a moneyed, special interest,” Beyer said.

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