News from Representative Luria

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Dear Friend,

During this national health emergency, I remain committed to working for Coastal Virginians. Scroll below for a recap of my week!


Exploring Ways to Help Homeless Veterans


On Tuesday, my colleagues on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC) and I participated in the first-ever virtual bipartisan congressional committee forum. As COVID-19 affects tens of thousands of homeless veterans, we must assist them in this difficult time.

In the forum, we explored innovative ways to give our veterans the support they need to succeed. Due to COVID-19’s spread, many veterans’ housing shelters are mandated to reduce their capacities. In Hampton Roads, we have many vacant hotel rooms, due to the slowdown in tourism. One opportunity I examined was partnering with outside organizations, like hotels, to find accommodations for veterans.

I enjoyed working with my fellow HVAC members in a virtual capacity and look forward to participating in more virtual hearings so we that can continue serving our veterans. 

 

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Click above to watch me participate in the forum.

 

Proposing Solutions to Help Small Businesses

 

As a former small business owner, I know small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. Small businesses provide over 115,000 jobs, accounting for over half of all employees in our district, and their impact cannot be overstated. During this national health and economic emergency, we must give small businesses the support they need.

In a hearing at the House Committee on Small Business, I voiced several concerns of our local businesses. I provided recommendations to help local seasonal businesses and aquaculture industries. Also, I recommended that the Committee help all businesses have an equal shot of receiving aid. They can do this by incentivizing banks to serve new customers and prohibiting them from considering the size of a loan when processing applications.

 

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Click above to watch me speak before the House Committee on Small Business.

 

Reducing Prescription Drug Costs for TRICARE Beneficiaries


Recently, I joined Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester to introduce The Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act. This bill will ensure military families and retirees can affordably access prescription drugs while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, TRICARE beneficiaries pay a $10 copay for a 90-day supply of a generic drug and $29 for name-brand drugs via mail order. However, beneficiaries who pick up their prescriptions at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) do not pay copays. Due to the spread of COVID-19, some installation commanders suspended access for retirees and survivors. This prevents many TRICARE beneficiaries from accessing MTF pharmacies. As a result, they must transfer their prescriptions to the mail order of a retail pharmacy.

By temporarily eliminating the copay on mail order prescriptions, The Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act will help TRICARE beneficiaries access their medicine without endangering themselves or mission critical MTF personnel.

 

Calling Upon House Leadership to Vote on Legislation to Help Veterans with Disabilities

 

Over nine million veterans receive services from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is unacceptable that some veterans cannot access critical information due to accessibility issues. Oftentimes, blind veterans are unable to have the same quality of care because the VA heavily relies on websites and kiosks to provide information. That is why I am urging House leadership to bring the Department of Veterans Affairs Website Act to the floor for a vote.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Website Accessibility Act is the Senate companion to my VA Website Accessibility Act, which passed the House last October. This bill will require VA to identify barriers that can prevent veterans from accessing VA websites, applications, or files. The VA will then submit a report on these findings to Congress and create a plan to address these barriers. If passed, this bill will pave the path to expanding access to benefits to more than 211,000 veterans.

 

Reaching Out to Fishery & Aquaculture Industry Stakeholders

 

On Friday, I spoke with several stakeholders of the fishery and aquaculture industries. These ranged from owners of seafood restaurants and watermen to the mayors of Chincoteague and Tangier. Our conversation came after I sent a letter urging the Department of Commerce to quickly and fairly implement CARES Act relief for aquaculture and seafood industries. During our call, we discussed how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting small businesses and localities throughout Coastal Virginia, the federal resources available to provide economic relief, and how I can best advocate for our region.

 

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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