News from Representative Luria

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Dear Friend,

I am excited to tell you about a productive week in Congress. This past week, the House voted to pass my Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2020, I led the first-ever virtual DAMA Subcommittee forum, and more! Scroll down for a recap.

 

Successfully Leading an Effort to Help American Veterans

 

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed my Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2020. This bipartisan bill would put more money in the pockets of American veterans by implementing cost-of-living increases on a variety of benefits for veterans and their families. These include wartime disability compensation, compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses, and dependency and indemnity compensation to children. My bill is an important step to ensure that many veterans and their families can maintain the value of their benefits and quality of life.

As we face these unprecedented times, I continue to keep our nation’s veterans at the top of my mind while they face challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this public health emergency, it is more important now than ever to provide this cost of living adjustment to disabled veterans who depend on their benefits to pay for necessities. I’m thankful to Ranking Member Mike Bost for his support, and I urge my Senate colleagues to quickly pass this economic relief and pay raise for our veterans.

 

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Click above to watch me speak on the House Floor in support of my bill.

 

Leading the First-Ever Virtual DAMA Subcommittee Forum


As Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Subcommittee, I had the honor of presiding over the subcommittee’s first virtual forum on Wednesday. In the forum, we discussed veterans’ disability medical examinations (DMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the Veterans Health Administration (VDH) stopped performing all DMEs. As a result, compensation and benefit (C&P) examinations for veterans have stopped. This puts countless veterans in a position in which they cannot receive these important examinations that are needed to determine their compensation, even if they were previously scheduled. Throughout the forum, several experts, my DAMA colleagues and I discussed a litany of concerns related to the VDH’s decision to halt DMEs. These include how the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) intends to safely and swiftly resume exams, when they will resume, how they will communicate this, and how they will address the backlog of examinations. 

 

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Click above to watch me give opening remarks and question witnesses throughout the forum.

 

I am concerned that the VHA’s decision to halt C&P examinations will negatively impact veterans in our district. We need answers from the VHA regarding their plan to safely resume C&P examinations. I’m grateful to the veteran service organizations who joined me yesterday to engage in this important issue and discuss the best path forward to protect veterans’ benefits during this unprecedented public health emergency.


Advocating for the U.S. Postal Service


Families, small businesses, and nonprofits across the Commonwealth rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), especially during this public health emergency and economic crisis. Virginia employs nearly 17,000 postal workers who provide critical services to maintaining everyday life for our community during these uncertain times. They deliver important packages like medicine, essential goods for small businesses, and learning materials for students. That is why I am joining my Virginia delegation colleagues in calling on Congress to provide the funding necessary to maintain USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, USPS only borrow up to $10 billion. This is much less than the amount that USPS needs to continue its service. Without further funding, USPS will run out of operating funds within months. USPS has proven its value to our people in times of crisis. We cannot afford to lose this invaluable infrastructure that serves our nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the continuation of USPS.


“Lighting the Path: Together We Remember” Virtual Remembrance Ceremony


This Sunday at 4:06 p.m., there will be an online remembrance ceremony at LoveForVB.com to commemorate the tragic May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach mass shooting. This ceremony will contain a variety of tributes designed to allow us to remember and reflect on this tragedy in our own ways and on our own time. Coastal Virginians are also encouraged to leave their porch lights on, in blue or white, to honor those who we lost.

 

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On Friday, I visited the “Lighting the Path: Together We Remember” tribute installation at Building 2. I was joined by Mayor Bobby Dyer, Sheriff Ken Stolle, and Virginia Beach first response leaders as we honored the victims of the May 31, 2019, mass shooting.

 

In the News

Please know that my team and I stand ready to assist our community during this time of need. For resources to help you and your family navigate through COVID-19, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our offices via the phone numbers below.

 

Sincerely,

 

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