WASHINGTON – Returning to the nation’s capital after an active Veterans Day weekend in Virginia’s Second District, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) this week supported a bipartisan slate of bills to help local veterans and their families.
“Earlier this week, on Veterans Day, we paid tribute to our nation’s heroes, but Congress should be thinking of veterans every day,” Congresswoman Luria said. “The House this week passed legislation that prioritizes our women veterans, streamlines communication between veterans and the VA, and more. My hope is Congress keeps up the pace and continues to ease burdens for America’s bravest men and women.”
The House overwhelmingly passed all the legislation, including Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s Deborah Sampson Act. A member of the Women Veterans Task Force, Congresswoman Luria helped shape this landmark legislation, which aims to create equitable access to health care, housing, legal services, and other resources and benefits for women veterans. The bill is named after a Revolutionary War veteran, Deborah Sampson Gannett, who served in the Continental Army and who was awarded a full military pension by Congress for her military service. More than 200 years later, 17 percent of the post-9/11 veteran population are women.
Another bill, Congressman Joe Cunningham’s VA Tele-hearing Modernization Act, would permit veterans to appear in cases before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals by picture and voice transmission from locations other than facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This bill addresses a chief concern Congresswoman Luria heard at her most recent town hall, where Eastern Shore constituents and leaders conveyed the need for flexible communication options between the VA and residents in rural areas.
Other bills passed by the House this week include the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Act of 2019, Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act, and the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, which Congresswoman Luria cosponsored.
Congresswoman Luria spent 20 years in the Navy and now represents more than 102,000 veterans, the highest total of any district in Virginia. Last weekend, she held a town hall, appeared at the City of Norfolk’s Veterans Day ceremony, and spoke at a pinning ceremony honoring World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans.