Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb, in a conference call with Virginia media organizations today, called on state’s new Republican governor, Bob McDonnell to “come up here and work with us” to help job-creating infrastructure and transportation initiatives for the state.
While he said he was “disappointed” that President Obama’s new $8 billion high-speed rail initiative did not include Virginia, he said that he strongly supports new rail initiatives, including for freight purposes.
Webb noted that Virginia’s unemployment problems are widely varied in the state, from areas in Northern Virginia where the unemployment rate is only 4 percent, to those in far southwest Virginia where it is over 20 percent. He said that Obama’s federal stimulus initiatives did produce “some positive results” for jobs, but that much more needs to be done in the area of infrastructure and transportation development.
On another issue, responding to a question about the President’s call to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell” for lesbians and gays in the military, Webb said he felt it is “extremely important” that military leaders, and the military “writ large” be brought in to “play a role in the assessment of this issue.” He noted that the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which he sits, will begin hearings on the policy initiative within the next two weeks.