News from Representative Luria

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From fighting for Gold Star Families to making history as a subcommittee leader in Congress, last week was one of my busiest in Washington yet!

Protecting Gold Star Families

I have introduced a bill to repeal an egregious tax hike on our Gold Star Families, which has forced many to pay thousands of dollars in extra taxes on survivor benefits.

 

I am proud to lead this bill and reach across the aisle. An equal number of Democrats and Republicans are co-sponsoring the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act with me. Our legislation would reclassify survivor benefits, significantly reducing the amount of taxes a family would have to pay on them.

Both parties agree. We must fix a broken system and ensure Gold Star Families are not victims of a tax hike.

Leading My First Subcommittee Hearing

Last week I had the honor of leading my first subcommittee hearing for the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

 

At this hearing we discussed key legislation like the VA Website Accessibility Act, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, and the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019.

 

Leading this subcommittee is an awesome honor, a historic milestone, and an immense responsibility. As a Navy veteran myself, I am thrilled to helm this important panel and help our American heroes succeed after their service.

Advocating for the VA Second’s Infrastructure Priorities

This past week I spoke out for our district’s infrastructure needs, chiefly keeping the Chesapeake Bay clean, providing rural broadband access, and making coastal resiliency a priority.

 

All of these are vital to the success of the district and, in some cases, the very survival of residents. For example, in Coastal Virginia, sea level rise and recurrent flooding aren’t political talking points or challenges for the future. They are problems we are dealing with right now, today, this very moment.

 

I will continue to fight for our infrastructure needs, and I look forward to seeing these problems receive the attention they require.

Fighting for Accountability From VA Suicide Support

Veteran suicide has become a major issue in this country, and the fact that VA has a success benchmark of only 65% is unacceptable.

 

It is also unacceptable that, in a recent hearing, when I asked about this benchmark, top VA officials were unable to answer even basic questions about it.

 

For an issue that is so important and supposedly a chief concern for leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs, I expect more.

Hiring a Wounded Warrior Fellow

We recently added caseworker Terra Johnson to our staff. A Hampton resident, Terra will serve as a Wounded Warrior Fellow in our Virginia Beach office, where she will be working directly with active-duty and veteran constituents and act as a facilitator between constituents and federal, state, and local agencies, as well as veterans service organizations.

 

Terra is a 15-year Air Force veteran who was stationed at Langley Air Force Base for nine years before serving a year in South Korea. She has worked for the U.S. Army, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration.

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It was great to catch up with CDR Andrea Slough, a former shipmate and Naval Academy company-mate during a visit from the Under Secretary of the Navy!

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We have made curbing veteran suicides a priority in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Members on both sides of the aisle have been affected by this issue, and we are working together to tackle this epidemic.

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Clean drinking water should be a human right. Here I am meeting with Town of Chincoteague leaders to understand drinking well contamination, as well as other local issues.

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It is always great to be able to take time to enjoy the natural beauty of Coastal Virginia. Thank you to The Nature Conservancy for hosting this conversation at the Brownsville House in Nassawadox.

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Saturday’s event in Chesapeake is an opportunity for interested students and their families to learn more about how to apply for a Congressional Nomination to attend a service academy. RSVP here!

Please follow my official Facebook and Twitter pages, and check out our website!

I hope you will take some time to read the news articles below.

It’s the honor of my lifetime to serve you and Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. As always, you have my word that I will continue working hard each day, and I welcome your thoughts!

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