John W. Warner

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John Warner served as the a Senator for Virginia from 1978-2008

John William Warner was the Senior Senator for the state of Virginia. He is a Republican and was first elected in 1978 and retired in 2008 map).

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how John W. Warner voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Warner voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Body armor for the troops

In 2004, Warner sponsored the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, which reported out of conference committee with $435 million in appropriations for individual body armor.

Main article: Congressional Actions Providing Body Armor to Troops

Statements and action on the Iraq war

On November 27, 2005, Warner stated, "we've got to stay firm for the next six months. It is a critical period..." [1]

In January 2007, seeking a "softer alternative" to a resolution opposing a troop "surge" in Iraq introduced by Sen. Joe Biden, Warner introduced a resolution which stated, "the Senate disagrees with the 'plan' to augment our forces by 21,500, and urges the President instead to consider all options and alternatives for achieving the strategic goals set forth below with reduced force levels than proposed." Warner stated, "I personally, speaking for myself, have great concern about the American G.I. being thrust into that situation, the origins of which sometimes go back over a thousand years."

On February 17, 2007, Warner was one of seven Republicans to cross party lines and vote in favor of cloture on a non-binding resolution opposing the troop "surge." The measure failed 56-34.

In March 2007, it was revealed that Sens. Warner and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) had been discussing the possibility of breaking ranks and coming up with a compromise piece of legislation regarding the President's plan for a troop surge in Iraq and the over $120 billion Iraq War spending bill.

Following remarks by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on June 25, 2007 calling for an immediate change of course in Iraq, Sen. Warner praised Lugar for making the statement. Warner, agreeing with Lugar's assessment, stated that he too felt the September 2007 reporting date for the president's "surge" in Iraq was too long to wait to revise U.S. policy there.[2]

Main article: Congressional actions regarding President Bush’s 2007 proposed troop “surge” in Iraq

On July 12, 2007, Sens. Warner and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) introduced an amendment to the FY2008 defense appropriations bill that would require the President to devise an exit strategy from Iraq within three months. Seeking bipartisan support, the measure was an attempt at a "third path" in Iraq war legislation, between Democrats' call for an immediate troop withdrawal, and Republicans' call for support of President Bush's troop "surge." The amendment essentially demands that the President develop an alternative plan for Iraq war policy if the "surge" fails by the September progress report deadline. "It would require Bush by Oct. 16 to provide Congress with a plan for the redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq and a change in their current combat mission to guarding Iraq’s borders, training its security forces, fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, and protecting U.S. installations. The measure recommends that Bush design plans that can be implemented by Dec. 31." The measure also calls for a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the prospect's of Iraq's stability, along with a review of the intelligence findings that underpinned the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq. The provision includes an "expectation" that the President would request another authorization of force for the war when he reports to Congress in September.

Main article: FY 2008 Defense Department authorization

On August 24, 2007, Sen. Warner called on President Bush to begin a troop withdrawal from Iraq by Christmas of that year. The announcement came shortly after Warner made a four day trip to the Middle East and the release of a new National Intelligence Estimate, which showed mixed results in Iraq and stated that Iraqi politicians have been "unable to govern effectively." Although less sweeping than what many of his Democratic colleagues had called for, as one of the most prominent Republican voices for national security on Capitol Hill, Warner's comments were thought to have a significant effect of congressional support for the war and President Bush's troop "surge." Warner stated, "I can think of no clearer form of that than if the president were to announce on the 15th that, in consultation with our senior military commanders, he's decided to initiate the first step in a withdrawal of armed forces. I say to the president respectfully, 'Pick whatever number you wish.' . . . Say, 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year. That's the first step." Warner did not repeat a call for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down that several of his Senate colleagues had, but he did also state that "I really firmly believe the Iraqi government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Maliki, have let our troops down."[3]

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Positions on energy and the environment

After the 2006 elections, Warner announced his intentions to challenge Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) for the Ranking Member position on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This had large implications for global warming policy as the likely incoming chair, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Warner have both expressed desire to combat global warming while Sen. Inhofe has called it a hoax. [1]

War on Terror detainee legislation

In September 2006, Warner drew attention as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee when he joined with fellow Republicans John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to oppose legislation backed by the Bush Administration that would have given the government wide freedoms in the treatment, interrogation and prosecution of terror detainees. In addition, the legislation would have included a reinterpretation of the U.S. duties under the Geneva convention. The three senators proposed their own, more moderate legislation dealing with the same issue. [2]

On September 21, the three dissenting senators reached a compromise with the White House which included many of the provisions from the administration's initial bill, but eliminated the use of secret evidence unavailable to the defense during terror trials and any explicit reinterpretation of the Geneva Convention. [3]

Executive power

In July 2006 Warner expressed ambivalence towards a bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit to get presidential signing statements declared unconstitutional. While he opposed the signing statement issued by Bush on the Congressional torture ban in the 2006 defense authorization bill, he stopped short of supporting the Act, stating, "It’s confusing... You have a signing, the culmination of a deliberative process. Then, to quote the old biblical phrase, the Lord giveth with one hand, and taketh from the other.”[4]

Judicial Filibuster

In 2005, Warner was one of fourteen senators (Gang of 14) to forge a compromise on the Democrats' proposed use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and three Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor, Jr.) would receive a vote by the full Senate.


Virginia Senator John Warner (born February 18, 1927) was raised in Washington, D.C. where he attended the elite St. Albans School. He enlisted in the Navy in January 1945, shortly before his 18th birthday. He served until the following year, leaving as a Petty Officer 3rd Class. He then attended Washington and Lee University and was awarded a B.S. degree in basic engineering sciences in 1949. Warner then entered the University of Virginia Law School. [5]

He joined the Marines in October 1950, after the outbreak of the Korean War, and served in Korea as a ground officer with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He continued in the Marine Corps Reserves after the war, eventually reaching the rank of captain. He then resumed his studies, receiving his law degree in 1953. That year, he became a law clerk to Chief Judge E. Barrett Prettyman of the United States Court of Appeals. In 1956 he became an assistant US attorney; in 1960 he entered private law practice.

In February 1969, Warner was appointed Undersecretary of the Navy under the Nixon administration and the Viet Nam War. In 1972, he succeeded John H. Chafee as Secretary of the Navy. He participated in the Law of the Sea talks, and negotiated the Incidents at Sea Executive Agreement with the Soviet Union.

He married actress Elizabeth Taylor in 1976 and they divorced 1982. He married real estate agent Jeanne Vander Myde in 2003.

Senate career

Warner was elected to the Senate in 1978. He is among the minority of Republicans to support gun control laws. He voted for the Brady Bill and in 1999 was one of only five Republicans to vote to close the "gunshow loophole." In 2004 Warner was one of three Republicans to sponsor an amendment by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that sought to provide for a ten year extension of the ban on assault weapons. He also supports legal abortion, though he has voted in favor of most limitations on the procedure.

Senator Warner is unrelated to former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who ran against him in the 1996 election.


On August 31, 2007, Warner announced that he would not seek reelection after finishing out his term. Warner attributed the retirement to not having the energy for another term, saying "The Senate requires you to go full bore, six or seven days a week, tremendous energy, go to Iraq, jump in and out helicopters, get on the cargo planes, no sleep... and I’ve got to assess, at this age, whether it is fair to Virginia to ask for a contract for another six years."[4]

Treatment for heart ailment

Warner was admitted to Virginia’s Inova Fairfax Hospital on October 2, 2007 for treatment related to a heart ailment. His chief of staff, Carter Cornick, said the condition did not appear to be more serious than an irregular heartbeat. Warner’s office issued a statement saying the senator would be home that weekend and be back to work the next week. After his regular morning schedule Warner went to the Office of the Attending Physician which made an appointment for him at the hospital later in the day. He later was admitted to the hospital and treated for atrial fibrillation. The Mayo Clinic website said the condition causes “poor blood flow to the body and symptoms of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and weakness. Most people with atrial fibrillation have an increased risk of developing blood clots that may lead to stroke.” Warner was to undergo a second “routine” procedure on October 3, 2007.[5]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00002061&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for John W. Warner
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations

Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on John W. Warner. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


On March 15 2010, it was announced that former Senator John W. Warner had joined the board of Aurora Flight Sciences. The Washington, D.C. office contact information for the company is

Aurora Flight Sciences
1101 14th Street NW, Suite 803
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-664-1000

Articles and resources


Related SourceWatch articles


Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Airland, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Seapower, Senate Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs/Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs/Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs/Subcommittee on State Local and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 1978
First Took Current Office:
January 2, 1979
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Secretary of the Navy, Under Secretary of the Navy, Assistant US Attorney
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. Main Street Centre II, 600 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-771-2579 / Fax: 804-782-2131
2. 4900 World Trade Center, Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: 757-441-3079 / Fax: 757-441-6250
3. 1003 First Union Bank Building, 213 South Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: 540-857-2676 / Fax: 540-857-2800
4. 235 Federal Building, PO Box 887, 180 West Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone: 276-628-8158 / Fax: 276-628-1036

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: February 18, 1927

  1. Meet the Press "Transcript for November 27," MSNBC, November 27, 2005.
  2. "GOP Senators back Lugar’s Iraq shift," Think Progress, June 26, 2007.
  3. Peter Baker and Jonathan Weisman, "Warner Calls for Pullouts By Winter," Washington Post, August 24, 2007.
  4. Kate Phillips, "Senator Warner Announces Retirement," The New York Times, August 31, 2007.
  5. Emily Pierce, "Warner Treated for Heart Ailment," Roll Call, October 2, 2007.