VIDEO: Congresswoman Luria Speaks on Behalf of Gold Star Families

May 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Elaine Luria spoke on behalf of Gold Star Families and her bipartisan bill that would provide tax relief to survivors of the fallen.

Congresswoman Luria’s Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, H.R. 2481, would fix a consequence of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that is causing Gold Star Families to see drastic tax increases.

At a press conference today, Congresswoman Luria made the following remarks. (VIDEO here.)

I’m Congresswoman Elaine Luria, and I represent Virginia’s Second District. We’re all in Congress because we see room for improvement in America – especially in the help that we provide to our servicemembers, veterans, and military families.

As a 20-year Navy veteran myself, I know it’s not just the brave men and women who fight for America, but the families who support them every step of the way. Military wives, husbands, daughters, sons – they all deserve our highest attention and devotion, especially survivors of the fallen.

Today, we gather to discuss ways to fix problems in the ways we provide benefits to those courageous survivors, the ones left behind by brave servicemembers who gave their lives for our country.

When a group of Gold Star Widows from Virginia Beach contacted me about how their tax bills had jumped thousands of dollars since the recent tax law in 2017, I knew that I had to do something to fix this problem. That’s why I took action to introduce the bipartisan Gold Star Tax Relief Act, which fixes the drastic tax hikes that many Gold Star Families have experienced.

A common practice among Gold Star Families is to pass benefits along to their children. This practice became much harder when the children’s taxes climbed from 12 to 15% all the way to 37%.

A number of families across my district in Coastal Virginia have shared their stories about how this tax law impacted their lives.

One woman, the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan, saw the taxes for her son rise by $4,000 in 2018. Another family by $6,000, another by $2,500. This is all an unacceptable burden on these families who have already given the ultimate sacrifice.

What this tax bill did to Gold Star Families was wrong, but I have been heartened to see so many of my colleagues join with me in a bipartisan effort to right this wrong.

As of today we have 124 cosponsors and have received the endorsements of Gold Star Wives of America, the American Legion, the Military Officers Association of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and many other veterans service organizations, as well as a bipartisan caucus within the House called the For Country Caucus, consisting all of military veterans serving in the 116th Congress.

With this momentum, we can fix a problem for so many heroic families and ensure the security of their benefits in the future.

The full press conference can be seen here.

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.