Abigail Spanberger has always served her country and community. She began her career of public service as a federal law enforcement officer working narcotics and money laundering cases with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Following her love of country, public service, and languages, Abigail joined the CIA as a case officer. She worked undercover her entire time at the Agency — collecting intelligence, managing assets, and overseeing high-profile programs to combat terrorism and keep Americans safe.
In 2014, Abigail left government service to begin a career in the private sector and bring her family back home to Virginia. When she saw partisan politics and division threatening the country she dedicated her life to defend, Abigail decided to run for Congress.
In 2018, she became the first Democrat since 1968 to be elected to represent Virginia’s 7th Congressional district. In the U.S. House, Abigail serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Agriculture Committee. Her top priorities include strengthening our country’s national security and fighting for Virginia families by lowering prescription drug costs, creating jobs, and cleaning up Washington.
Abigail has consistently been ranked as the most bipartisan Member of Congress from Virginia — as well as the one of the most bipartisan Members of Congress overall.
Abigail grew up in Henrico County. She attended J.R. Tucker High School’s Spanish immersion program and is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia. After college, Abigail moved to Germany and earned her MBA from a dual-degree German-American program between the GISMA business school and Purdue University. Abigail and her husband Adam are parents to three daughters.
CUTTING COSTS & GROWING VIRGINIA’S ECONOMY
Virginians are getting squeezed by high costs, which is why I’m committed to addressing inflation head on. I’ve prioritized getting products back on our shelves, lowering the costs of consumer goods, and combatting consolidation and price-gouging in several major industries. We cannot ignore this major economic crisis.
Virginia has consistently been ranked as one of the top states for business in America — but we can and must do more to keep it that way. In Congress, I am focused on making smart investments in our workforce, fixing outdated physical infrastructure, cutting red tape for Virginia’s small businesses, and creating family-sustaining jobs.
Our growing economy also requires physical infrastructure improvements that will keep us competitive with other countries around the world. To support Virginia jobs, I was proud to help negotiate and pass the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021. This physical infrastructure package will rebuild our roads and bridges, reduce traffic and congestion on Virginia’s highways, and help complete long overdue water infrastructure projects in our region. We are already seeing the benefits here in Virginia’s Seventh District.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how thousands of Virginia small businesses faced severe challenges. I was proud to provide many of these local businesses with the assistance they needed through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), reduce burdensome regulations that were hurting their operations, and help keep the doors of Virginia’s terrific restaurants, bars, and breweries open. Thanks to the hard work, determination, and ingenuity of Virginia’s business owners and their employees, we are on a path towards a strong recovery.
I also strongly support organized labor, as unions have historically been a driver of economic stability within America’s middle class. This has been true for my own family, as my grandfather — a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades — was able to raise his four children as a young widower because of the stability his union employment provided. From conversations with local employers, I know that union apprenticeship programs remain an invaluable asset as they train the next generation of skilled workers.
In Congress, I am committed to making sure our Commonwealth remains the best place to raise a family, start a business, and reach new opportunities.
LOWERING HEALTHCARE & PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS
Over my past two terms serving the people of Virginia, the dominant concern facing Virginians has been the ability to afford and access healthcare coverage and lifesaving prescription drugs.
I believe no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and getting the care, medication, or treatments they need because of rising prescription drug costs. No one should lose or be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like diabetes or cancer, and no one fighting a serious illness should face the fear of lifetime coverage caps.
In conversations across our Virginia communities, I’ve repeatedly heard from our neighbors about the personal impacts of skyrocketing prescription drug prices. That’s why I was proud to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act that will finally give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, allow Virginia’s seniors to see Medicare out-of-pocket drug prices capped at $2,000 per year, and cap insulin prices for Medicare beneficiaries at $35 per month. For far too long, Virginia’s seniors have felt the burden of sky-high prescription drug costs. In Congress, we answered those calls.
Additionally, I’ve been proud to lead bipartisan legislation passed in the U.S. House that would bring greater transparency to prescription drug negotiations and help hold drug industry middlemen accountable for contributing to price hikes.
And as the country returns to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still faced with another pandemic: the substance abuse disorder crisis. During the pandemic, Virginia saw record rates of drug overdoses and overdose-related deaths. To combat this crisis, I have championed programs that expand local access to treatment, and I have proudly worked directly with community leaders, law enforcement officials, religious organizations, and healthcare professionals to provide effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services to those impacted.
We can improve our healthcare system, while lowering costs, protecting coverage, and achieving better outcomes, but it requires tremendous political will and a commitment to look at our options creatively.
PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE
Every Virginian deserves a shot at a secure retirement. I am fiercely committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare, both of which some of my colleagues are now threatening to undermine.
Virginia’s workers have paid into these programs with the understanding that they were paying for retirement security later in life. I oppose any attempts to privatize these systems or to cut benefits that were promised. I will continue to be a reliable voice in support of meeting our obligations to Virginia’s seniors — today and into the future.
CLEANING UP WASHINGTON
The United States of America was founded on the principle that our government is of and for the people. I have long pushed for reforms that will restore faith in our democracy, hold elected officials accountable for abuses of power, and make sure the voices of Virginians are heard in Congress.
I also believe that Members of Congress should spend their days working for the people, and not themselves. That’s why I have been leading the charge to require that Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — place their stocks in a blind trust as soon as they enter Congress. This requirement would help eliminate the perception of impropriety in the halls of Congress, and it would reaffirm to our citizens that their lawmakers are working for the interests of the people they serve — not their own financial interests.
Additionally, I believe that the Citizens United ruling is one of the most destructive decisions ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. It ushered in an era of unchecked and unaccounted for political spending. I support campaign finance reform and efforts to reduce the influence of money in politics. I support efforts to bring greater transparency to campaign finance, overturn the Citizens United decision, and block illegal foreign funds from influencing our elections.
I do not not accept corporate PAC money, because when I meet with businesses – small or large – across our district, I want voters to know it’s because they’re giving me insights that matter to my job as a representative, not corporate PAC dollars for my campaign.
I have a record of working tirelessly to draft and pass commonsense legislation that matters to the people I represent – whether they voted for me or not. I pursue policy solutions with Members of Congress from across the political spectrum, and I’m consistently ranked one of the most bipartisan Members of Congress by the nonpartisan Lugar Center.
I also proudly serve as vice chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is a group of 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans committed to working together to address some of the country’s greatest challenges.
HONORING VETERANS & MILITARY FAMILIES
Unemployment, homelessness, and suicide rates among our nation’s veterans are unacceptably high, and I’ve worked to ensure that we, as a country, make the process of transitioning from active duty to civilian life a positive one for our veterans.
In Congress, I’m also working to protect veterans’ continued access to quality healthcare through our VA system and strengthen programs to improve our veterans’ transitions to the civilian workforce through credentialing, education, and job training programs. I will never stop fighting to make sure our nation’s veterans and their families receive the benefits they’ve earned through their selfless service, including mental health benefits.
I have also been doggedly focused on addressing the impact of toxic exposures on America’s veterans, and I am fighting to make sure these veterans receive the healthcare and recognition they deserve.
SAFEGUARDING FREEDOMS FOR WOMEN
I am the only pro-choice candidate in Virginia’s Seventh District. After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nearly 50 years of legal precedent in Roe v. Wade, I have been a vocal advocate in Congress to make sure lawmakers are doing everything possible to protect fundamental rights.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is already creating consequences for women across the country. I will always support defending women’s access to reproductive healthcare and federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other providers that protect healthcare access to women and men. Embedded in the Court’s decision was a concurring opinion that put at risk other rights and freedoms, like access to contraception and marriage equality. In Congress, I have voted with a majority to ensure federal protections for marriage equality, interracial marriage, access to contraception, and interstate travel for reproductive care.
A woman’s right to choose is a profoundly personal issue with real consequences for the lives of American women. Green-lighting states to ban abortion in all cases — including rape or incest — would only endanger the lives of those grappling with the hardest decision of their lives. These harrowing decisions should remain between a woman, her family, and her doctor.
I am also focused on the issue of mothers dying during childbirth at unacceptable rates in Virginia and across our country — particularly in our African American and Hispanic communities. In Congress, I am a Member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, and I have helped introduce the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act — which focuses on combating high maternal mortality rates, investing in the perinatal workforce, and supporting community organizations carrying out this hard work. In the United States in 2022, no mother should worry about dying during childbirth.
I am also focused on closing the gender pay gap and ensuring women come out of the pandemic with increased work opportunities. According to a recent study, in the Commonwealth, women with full-time jobs are paid an average of $42,342 annually compared to $54,392 for men for the same amount of work. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, this pay disparity means Virginia women are paid 78 cents for every dollar paid to men for the same amount of work.
When I was first elected to Congress in 2018, I entered the U.S. House with the largest class of women in history. Despite the history-making year, there is still so much to do to protect women’s rights. As the mother of three young daughters, the future of women’s rights is not only important – but personal.
STRENGTHENING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY
As a former CIA case officer, I have devoted my career to identifying the threats facing our country. Now, as a Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have been focused on advancing a tough, smart national security strategy.
Across the globe, we are seeing the hubris and alarming rise of autocracies — from China to Russia. In the face of aggression, I believe that we need to stand strong as a beacon of democracy, maintain strong relationships with our allies and security partners, and invest in our economic competitiveness here at home. I have voted to provide military and humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine, and I have pushed for greater investments in American industries to reduce our dependence on companies tied to the Chinese Communist Party.
Our elected leaders should understand and acknowledge the interconnected nature of our national security, our foreign policy, and our economic prosperity. We must also continue to value and support our military, diplomats, intelligence officers, and civil servants, as they work together to serve our country and protect our nation. And as our country continues to be threatened by foreign adversaries, we also need to take real, concrete steps to strengthen our election, telecommunications, and national security systems.
SUPPORTING FARMERS & VIRGINIA’S RURAL ECONOMY
Virginia’s Seventh District is home to thousands of acres of rich farm and forestland, and our farmers help feed and fuel the world. As the only Virginian serving on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, I am working in Congress to make sure the voices of Virginia’s farmers, producers, and agribusinesses are heard. On the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, I serve as Chair of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee — where I help bring crop and livestock producers to the table on issues related to protecting Virginia’s natural resources. Additionally, I am focused on expanding market access, cutting burdensome regulations on the ag industry, and leveling the playing field for smaller producers. Right now, the big four meat and poultry producers control the vast majority of the meat processing industry — and I’ve worked to crack down on anti-competitive processes and restore the idea of free-market enterprise in this sector.
While we have made great progress bringing broadband internet to rural counties across Virginia, I remain focused on ensuring every community has access to this vital infrastructure. Reliable access to high-speed, broadband internet can determine whether or not Virginians can grow their businesses, finish their homework, or stay connected to vital telehealth services. Since arriving in the U.S. House, I’ve led multiple efforts to expand internet access to everyone in Virginia’s rural communities and in underserved areas across the country.
SECURING OUR BORDERS & FIXING OUR BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
Our immigration system is broken. In the face of Washington’s hyper-partisanship, I remain committed to finding a bipartisan pathway towards fixing it. I also believe in building a stronger and more effective response to the security and humanitarian situation at our southern border. And as a former federal agent, I oppose any efforts to create safe havens for violent criminals.
As a federal law enforcement officer, I worked on money laundering and narcotics cases. And as a CIA officer, I worked on counterrorism and international drug trafficking cases — so I recognize the threat posed by cartels and transnational criminal organizations. I am committed to pushing back against their influence, preventing their illicit substances — like fentanyl — from coming to America’s streets, and protecting the vulnerable populations on whom they prey.
I also believe that we must address the root causes of instability and violence in Central America that lead to illegal migration, and during my first year in Congress, the President signed into law my bipartisan legislation to combat narcotics trafficking and human smuggling networks in the region. I understand the security threats we face, and I know we can secure our borders and points of entry without breaking from American values or tearing families apart.
America is a nation founded by and strengthened by immigrants. For so many, America is still the land of opportunity – and I believe we should welcome outsiders to our soil via an earned pathway to legal status as long as they abide by the law, work hard, and pay taxes. I am also an advocate for DACA recipients, the young undocumented migrants who did not make the choice to come to America themselves.
FUNDING THE POLICE
As the daughter of a career law enforcement officer, and as a former federal agent, I know what it means to put on the badge. And I know what it is to feel that extra worry when a loved one leaves for work each day. For these reasons – and many more – I am a steadfast supporter of Virginia’s local law enforcement officers.
Virginia’s police officers readily take on roles and responsibilities far outside their job descriptions. In conversations I have with law enforcement across VA-07, I am reminded about the pressing need to retain these dedicated public servants and to recruit additional officers. It is essential that we hire, train, and retain dedicated and honorable men and women to keep our communities safe.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Too many Americans die each year due to violence, suicide, or accidents involving firearms — and the unwillingness of some lawmakers to address this problem has left our citizens and our children vulnerable.
As a former federal law enforcement officer, I carried a gun and two extra magazines every day. Because of that, I understand the responsibility that comes with carrying a firearm. I also recognize that most gun owners who own to hunt, for example, are understanding of the responsibility that comes with gun ownership. I support the Second Amendment. I also believe that commonsense gun safety laws are necessary to curb the gun violence epidemic we are facing today.
Addressing gun violence and protecting lives should not be a partisan issue; it is a public safety issue. I support the application of the same background check standard for all firearm purchases, and I have voted multiple times to close online and gun show loopholes. States that require background checks for all purchases have fewer suicides by gun, fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed, and fewer women killed by an intimate partner. 94 percent of Americans support background checks for all firearms purchases, as well as the Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
I have also voted in favor of additional, commonsense gun legislation — such as limiting high-capacity magazines, strengthening Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), and raising the assault-style weapons purchase age to 21. I also support a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and transfer of assault-style weapons, which was in place from 1994 to 2004 and dramatically reduced the number and lethality of mass shootings in America.
I also support ensuring that states have the ability to provide current information to the NICS database to ensure informed background checks, and I support funding the research of gun violence as a public health issue. Members of Congress must have the courage to address this problem and implement policies that will help keep our children, law enforcement officers, and communities safe.
SUPPORTING VIRGINIA STUDENTS
As a proud graduate of Virginia public schools and a mother of three children who attend Virginia public schools, I am committed to strengthening our public education system — including our early childhood programs like Head Start. Our children hold the keys to the future of our economy, our national security, and the health of our communities.
In Congress, I’ve supported increasing access to affordable workforce training and apprenticeship programs for Americans whose path to employment and success does not require a four-year degree.
Additionally, I have championed efforts to help students and their families afford these career and technical education training programs. I am proud to be a tireless advocate for our nation’s students from the day they enter school to the day they graduate— and I want to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in a competitive, global economy.
DEFENDING RACIAL JUSTICE, EQUITY, AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Every person must be treated with dignity and have equal rights under the law. No person in a free and fair society should make less money, be denied government services, pay more for healthcare, lose a job or housing opportunities, or face discrimination in the community or workplace because of their gender, race, creed, national origin, disability, whom they love, or anything else that defines them.
In Congress, I remain committed to protecting marriage equality and LGBTQ rights — and I’ve been proud to help introduce and pass the Equality Act. I also support the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. I support the rights of individuals with disabilities and will work to preserve the protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
I also support criminal justice reform to ensure that our justice system is fairly sentencing offenders regardless of race or economic status, and that we’re addressing issues related to addiction in our jails and prisons. I also support bolstering reentry efforts, which reduce recidivism and ensure that those who have paid their debt to society have the knowledge and resources necessary to become employed and engaged community members.
I’m committed to advancing policies that make important, best practice reforms such as banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, improving anti-bias training, increasing accountability, limiting the continued militarization of local police departments, and strengthening community relationships. I have worked with lawmakers in both parties on these efforts as well as law enforcement, civil rights, and community organizations.
As a kid, I cherished the time I spent outdoors, trekking through the woods or picnicking in parks with my family. As an adult, I know how lucky we are to have Virginia’s mountains, rivers, and beaches. It is our responsibility to protect these resources for our children and generations to come by investing in alternative and renewable energy sources and decreasing air and water pollution.
Climate change is a direct threat to the safety and strength of America’s future. The science is real — and the next generation of Virginians is counting on us to take this threat seriously. In Congress, I have worked with colleagues in both parties to create good-paying clean energy jobs, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, protect our air and water, and safeguard Virginia’s public lands for recreation and conservation alike.
I was proud to support that Inflation Reduction Act, which will make smart, responsible investments towards combating the climate crisis. The law will boost voluntary conservation programs at USDA, support clean energy jobs, and significantly cut down on pollution.
Practical and effective solutions matter most when confronting the climate crisis — and that means bringing more Virginians to the decision-making table on this issue. On the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, I chair the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee. I know that Virginia is home to many successful conservation efforts, and I have been honored to get to know many agribusinesses and farms that have long deployed voluntary conservation practices that are both beneficial for Virginia’s environment and our region’s economy. I am proud to be their voice in Congress.
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