News from Representative Luria

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Dear Friend,

During this difficult time, I am taking concrete actions to help our local economy, military personnel, students, and more. This week, I exercised my constitutional duty safely and transparently when I voted to support small businesses in need of economic relief. I joined initiatives to bolster broadband access for students in rural areas, provide military medical professionals the pay they deserve, and to help our local fishery and aquaculture industries. Scroll down for a recap!


Voting to Help Small Businesses, Hospitals, and Health Care Workers


Our federal response to COVID-19 must prioritize public health while providing small businesses and their employees the economic relief they need so that we can more quickly recover from this crisis. Small business owners across Coastal Virginia depend on funding from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to weather this storm. Additionally, we must ensure that our hospitals and health care workers have the resources they need to keep our communities safe and healthy.

On Thursday, I voted to replenish funding for the PPP and to allocate funds toward hospitals and health care providers. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide an additional $310 billion in funding for the Small Business Administration’s PPP and $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The bill also allocates significant funding to bolster our public health response to COVID-19. It includes funds to cover expenses related to expanding COVID-19 testing and for reimbursements to hospitals and health care providers.

While the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act was an important step, there remains more work to be done. I am committed to working with the Administration and Congressional leadership to deliver for our community.


Advocating for Military Medical Professionals Aboard USNS Comfort


Across our country, military medical professionals are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, risking their health and wellbeing to help others. As Hampton Roads military medical professionals support New York aboard USNS Comfort, I am joining an effort to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

Currently, military medical servicemembers do not qualify for hazard pay. This is compensation for servicemembers whose duties involve inherent danger. That is why I cosponsored the Pandemic Hazard Pay Expansion Act. This bill would provide frontline military medical professionals with an additional $250 per month in hazard pay. Military medical servicemembers put themselves in danger to serve our country, and I urge Congress to honor their service by quickly passing this bill.


Demanding Quick Action for Our Local Fishery & Aquaculture Industries


Fishery and aquaculture industries throughout Coastal Virginia and America are suffering from the economic fallout of COVID-19. These industries, which are critical to the health of our regional economy, have experienced a severe decline in demand and markets. We need immediate action to ensure that Virginia’s fishery and aquaculture industries continue to thrive in the future.

In March, I supported the CARES Act, which allocated $300 million for the fishery industry. However, commercial fishermen, seafood producers, and other stakeholders in these industries still have not seen this aid. I joined two bipartisan initiatives urging Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to rapidly provide this assistance in a fair and transparent manner. Time is of the essence, and Secretary Ross must work with all stakeholders to protect our fishery and aquaculture industries.


Ensuring That All Students Can Continue Learning During the Pandemic


With schools shifting to online learning, we must ensure that students have reliable internet access. In rural areas, one in four residents is unable to reliably connect to the internet. This makes it harder for these children to complete schoolwork. That’s why I joined a bipartisan effort urging House and Senate leadership to provide funding to make sure students who lack reliable home internet access will not fall behind at school.

The letter recommends that Congress includes $2 billion in E-Rate funds in the next COVID-19 relief package. The E-Rate program helps schools and libraries gain affordable internet access by giving them significant discounts. By providing this funding, we can expand internet access to students in need and help more students complete school assignments at home.


Announcing Grant Funding Awarded to Eastern Shore Rural Health


I am happy to announce that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $1,152,305 in grant funding to the Eastern Shore Rural Health System to help them with their COVID-19 response.

During this unprecedented public health emergency, it is critical to give health care providers the resources they need. Last month, I supported the CARES Act to bolster the federal COVID-19 response – including protecting rural communities. It is great to see that this funding will help our health care providers on the Eastern Shore.

In the News

Please know that during this trying time, my team and I stand ready to serve our community. For helpful resources to help you and your family navigate through this public health emergency, please see here. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our offices via the numbers below.

Sincerely, 

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