Congresswoman Luria Fights for Rural Electric and Telecommunications Providers

August 19, 2020
Press Release

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Today, Congresswoman Luria announced her support of the Flexible Financing for Rural America Act of 2020 (H.R. 7483), which would allow rural electric and telecommunications providers to request an adjustment to their interest rate or loan under the Rural Utilities Service.

“As a Representative of rural areas, I know how critical it is that we allow electric and telecommunications providers change their loans and interest rates so they can continue providing connectivity across our community,” said Congresswoman Luria. “By allowing this flexibility, smaller rural providers can refinance their debt so that they can stay afloat and provide a critical utility in the time of COVID-19.”

This legislation has the support of rural power providers, such as A&N Electric Cooperative, an Eastern Shore member-owned electrical distribution cooperative which provides power to over 35,000 homes, farms and businesses in Accomack and Northampton Counties.

Congresswoman Luria has been a staunch advocate of rural connectivity during COVID-19. She recently joined a letter sent to both House and Senate leadership advocating for funding to ensure rural students who lack reliable home access to broadband connectivity will not fall behind in their schooling. Congresswoman Luria also joined a coalition of nearly 90 House colleagues in advocating for the creation of a designated fund, administered through the E-Rate program, to equip rural students with online access for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and help close the homework gap during this public health crisis. Congresswoman Elaine Luria voted for the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) Act (H.R. 2), which allots funds to bring affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to all parts of the country—specifically rural areas like the Eastern Shore— by investing $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure to unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban communities. Additionally, in a recent appropriations package, $1.025 billion was given for rural broadband programs that can help constituents on the Eastern Shore.

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.