Congresswoman Luria Supports Two Crucial Fiscal Year 2020 Spending Packages to Avoid Government Shutdown

December 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) voted for two Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations packages advancing key priorities for Coastal Virginia and national security interests.

“I proudly support the two Fiscal Year 2020 spending packages, that will provide significant funding for programs that benefit working families in Coastal Virginia,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Among many other highlights, this critical legislation includes my Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, which would provide urgent relief to Gold Star Families impacted by the 2017 tax law that caused America’s most heroic families to see drastic tax increases. These funding levels will protect national security, preserve the environment, improve coastal resiliency, and support important economic development within the district. I will continue fighting to fund these important programs in Congress to ensure that Virginians have fair representation.”

Highlights of the two appropriations packages include:

Supporting Military Servicemembers, Families, and Communities

  • Tax relief for Gold Star families. This bill includes a fix championed by Congresswoman Luria to eliminate a tax hike causing many Gold Star families to pay thousands in additional taxes. Congresswoman Luria introduced the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act in May and has been advocating tirelessly for a solution to this problem.
  • 3.1% civilian pay raise for Department of Defense Employees
  • $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program to support projects supporting military bases.
  • $70 million for Impact Aid to assist school districts with high concentrations of families living in military housing.

Protecting National Security

  • $1.648 billion for naval nuclear reactors to continue safe and reliable operation of the Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet.
  • $783 million for NASA aeronautics research to support transonics and hypersonics research at NASA Langley.
  • $172 million for the NATO Security Investment program to support responses to threats emanating from Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Shipbuilding and Maintenance

  • $3 billion for the advance procurement of Virginia Class submarines.
  • $1.062 billion for the construction of USS Enterprise (CVN-80).
  • $1.215 billion for the construction of CVN-81.
  • $625 million for ship depot maintenance for USS Boise, USS Hartford and USS Columbus.

Preserving the Environment and Improving Coastal Resiliency

  • $85 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program, the highest funding level in the program’s history, to support conservation projects in Coastal Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.
  • $26 million for the CLARREO-Pathfinder (CPF) to support this mission led by NASA Langley to better understand climate and sea level rise.
  • $1.7 million for Hampton Roads, Norfolk & Newport News Harbor drift removal.
  • $120,000 for Hampton Roads to address emergency shoaling.
  • $400,000 for Chincoteague Inlet refuge harbor.

Investing in Economic Development

  • $333 million for the Economic Development Agency, which has supported the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
  • Increased funding for Community Development Block Grants, which supports low and moderate income families with economic opportunities, such as employment and affordable housing.
  • $25 billion for USDA rural housing to help address critical affordable housing shortages on the Eastern Shore.
  • $640 million in rural broadband investments to support communities such as 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.