MARION, Va. (WJHL) – U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) made a stop at the site of the future Appalachian Center for Hope in Marion on Thursday.

Kaine helped secure $650,000 in federal funding to support the center’s work in Smyth County.

The senator said that the COVID-19 pandemic set the recovery community back. However, he said the need for more treatment facilities is clear.

“We need more trained substance use healthcare providers and peer counselors,” Kaine said. “This is going to be one way we can tackle it.”

Kaine said addressing the issue of substance abuse will be a priority on Capitol Hill. Despite a divided Congress, Kaine said federal legislators will do more.

“We’ve picked this as one of the areas where, even in a divided Congress, we think we can do more,” Kaine said.

Another important topic around Washington is gun control. Kaine said that adding more gun control measures may not be easy.

“The dynamic is going to be difficult,” Kaine said. “A Democratic Senate, Republican House, it will be difficult.”

Kaine said that he’s still going to work toward adding gun control measures.

Looking ahead to 2024, Kaine stated that he’ll support President Joe Biden if he decides to run for re-election.

“If President Biden indicates that he’s going to run again, I’m going to support him,” Kaine said.

Kaine announced in January that he will run for his third term in the Senate in 2024.