Congresswoman Elaine Luria Praises Senate for Passing the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act, Urges President to Sign Bill into Law

June 14, 2019
Press Release
House Passed Companion Measure in May

WASHINGTON – House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Chairwoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today praised this week’s unanimous Senate passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. In May, Congresswoman Luria spoke on the House floor and voted in support of this bipartisan bill that she proudly cosponsored. The House passed the bill 410-0.

If the bill is signed into law by the President, it will bring long overdue health and disability benefits to an overlooked group of veterans.

“I am thankful that the Senate fulfilled its obligation to ensure that Blue Water Navy Veterans receive the proper care and benefits that they have earned,” Congresswoman Elaine Luria said. “This bill corrects a decades-long injustice that prevented many of our veterans from receiving critical benefits and assistance. I am happy that the House of Representatives and the Senate did their part. I urge the President to step up to the plate and sign this bill into law.”

Ahead of House passage of the bill, Congresswoman Luria presided over her first Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee legislative hearing, where the bill was discussed.

Background:

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 benefits based on herbicide (Agent Orange) exposure that are currently available to those who served on land within Vietnam. In January, a federal appeals court reversed that determination in Procopio v. Wilkie. The House and Senate have now acted to pass legislation to secure benefits for tens of thousands of Blue Water Navy Veterans.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.

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