News from Representative Luria

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Dear Friend,

Ahead of Fourth of July festivities, here is Part 2 of this week’s edition of our newsletter. (Click here for Part 1.) I hope you have a great holiday weekend!

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act Passes House & Senate; President Signs Into Law

I am so proud to announce that the House and Senate passed the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act, which I cosponsored. The President then signed it into law. The new law will provide long overdue health and disability benefits to an overlooked group of Vietnam War veterans.

Blue Water Navy Veterans are servicemembers who served at sea off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Until recently, Blue Water Navy Veterans were not eligible for VA benefits based on herbicide exposure that are currently available to those who served on land within Vietnam.

It has been an honor fighting to pass this bill through committee and Congress. As a 20-year Navy veteran, I understand the sacrifices that our servicemembers make, and I will continue to stand up for all our veterans.

Because of bipartisan efforts from members of both parties, I know that we are closer to improving the lives of tens of thousands of heroic veterans and their families.

Empowering Veteran Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

As a 20-year Navy veteran, I have seen the impact of military sexual trauma (MST) on many of our veterans. That’s why I was so proud to preside over a recent legislative and oversight hearing to expand VA health care and benefits for veteran MST survivors.

At the hearing, I highlighted the VA’s resistance to recognize that sexual bullying increasingly occurs online. I challenged VA officials on their position and got them to agree that the VA should expressly allow the inclusion of digital and social media records as evidence of MST.

I was so honored to fight for our veterans and to ensure that they all receive the care and the benefits they have earned.

Keeping America Safe

I was excited to see that the House passed nearly $10 billion in funding that I requested for important defense priorities.

My time during the Navy taught me the importance of keeping America safe and assisting our military families.

It has been an honor to advocate for critical defense priorities and for Hampton Roads.

This funding would boost national security while prioritizing the Hampton Roads region. I am glad to see this bill pass the House and I will advocate for the Senate to do the same.  

Protecting our Environment

Last Wednesday, I had the huge privilege of speaking on the House Floor about my support for an amendment to prohibit the use of federal funding from being used to advance offshore drilling and related activities throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

The amendment, which passed as part of a larger funding bill, closely resembles the Defend Our Coast Act, the first bill I cosponsored after taking office.

That bipartisan bill would specifically forbid any drilling, exploration, development, or production of fossil fuels in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia.

During my speech, I spoke about how offshore drilling poses a threat to our military, economy, environment, and ultimately, our beloved Coastal Virginia community.

It was an honor to speak on the House Floor about this important subject. I will continue to make it a priority to protect our beautiful shorelines and thriving economy.

Promoting National Security and Clean Energy

My Nuclear Energy Leadership Act is a bipartisan bill that would help develop advanced nuclear energy programs. This is important in creating jobs, strengthening national security, and promoting clean energy.

This bill would accelerate the research and development of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy must be part of any solution to transition to clean energy, because it provides 55% of our carbon-free energy. That is why I am so proud to have reached across the aisle to introduce this important bill.

Fighting for our Future

I was proud to announce the House’s passage of nearly $13 billion in funding for critical health, labor, and education priorities that I requested. This includes dollars for the Head Start program and career & technical education.

It is so important that we continue to promote and emphasize different paths to employment to put our children, veterans, and others in a stronger position to succeed. I know that these investments will create lifelong advantages for so many people in our communities.

What an honor it has been to join my colleagues to fund resources and programs that will leave a positive impact on countless Virginians!

Advocating for Strong, Resilient Infrastructure

It is evident that Coastal Virginia needs a clean environment and strong infrastructure to thrive. I commend the House for passing more than $75 million in funding that I requested to address local infrastructure priorities.

It was great to see that this funding would go toward the operation and maintenance of Norfolk Harbor and of our inland waterways. Our environment and our economy depend on these investments and I will continue to advocate for this funding to pass through the Senate.

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I had a great time 2019 Pride Fest in Hampton Roads. It was awesome getting to catch up with constituents and to fight to make sure that everyone has equal opportunities under the law.
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I recently had the privilege of speaking to 1,200+ graduates at ECPI University during their commencement. I am proud of all the recent graduates and wish them the best!
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I spent Father’s Day at The All-American Airshow. it was such a fun event! We watched some neat WWII-era planes during the airshow and got to listen a few local bands throughout the day. Also, I had the pleasure of honor of giving a speech to honor our veterans of the past & present and our military families.

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!

Happy Fourth!

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