Compromise gun law will save lives

Published 7:23 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

By Tim Kaine

Following the horrific shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo and communities across the country, Congress finally took action to curb gun violence. 

Tim Kaine

For the first time in decades, we passed meaningful legislation that included provisions similar to what I proposed in my “Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence,” including improving background checks, strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence and incentivizing states to implement laws to remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others. I proudly voted for this bill, and while it doesn’t have everything I wanted, it’s going to save lives. This victory lays the foundation for more progress, and I’m going to keep working to make our communities safer.

Following the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision taking away a woman’s right to make personal health care decisions, I’ve been reaching across the aisle to see if we can find a bipartisan consensus to restore that right legislatively. I’m not giving up on finding legislative solutions to federally protect reproductive freedom.

I’ve also been working to pass my child care proposal that I introduced with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Too many parents are currently locked out of the workforce because they can’t find affordable child care and too many child care providers are forced to quit their jobs because they can’t pay their bills. Our proposal will lower child care costs for families, help parents get back into the workforce and raise wages for hard-working providers.

Last month, I also voted to extend child nutrition waivers that help keep kids fed, expand support for toxic-exposed veterans and deliver critical support for Virginia’s servicemembers and defense community:

  • Keep Kids Fed Act: The Senate unanimously passed legislation to extend school breakfast and lunch flexibilities so that schools and day cares can continue to provide summer meals for needy children from low-income food-insecure families. I’ve been pushing for this extension, and I’m glad President Biden signed this bill into law.
  • PACT Act: The Senate passed bipartisan legislation to expand health care and resources for more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed post-9/11 combat veterans. The bill will also authorize a new community-based outpatient clinic in Hampton Roads. It’s currently awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives and then will go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): Representing Virginia’s military community is deeply important to me. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I proudly voted the Fiscal Year 2023 NDAA out of committee. The bill includes numerous provisions I helped secure, including a 4.6% pay raise for our troops, support for military families, and more funding for shipbuilding and military construction projects in Virginia. Now, the full Senate will debate and vote on the bill.

Tim Kaine, a Democrat, represents Virginia in the U.S. Senate. He can be reached at senator@kaine.senate.gov.