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Luria highlights priorities after House Armed Services Subcommittee markups for NDAA

Elaine LuriaAfter the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee and Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee met to mark up parts of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY21, Congresswoman Elaine Luria highlighted her priorities on behalf of Virginia’s Second Congressional District as well as our military at large.

“As the representative of a district that is home to thousands of servicemembers and military families, advocating for the needs of those who serve through the NDAA process is critical for our community,” said Luria. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve this bill.”

Notable components of the House NDAA championed by Congresswoman Luria are:

  • Military Pilot Cancer Incidence Study Act: Luria introduced this bipartisan bill to help the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs fully understand the incidence of cancer diagnosis and mortality among pilots in the uniformed services in order to ensure access to quality preventive health care for servicemembers.
  • Defense Community Infrastructure Program: Luria has been a strong advocate for robust funding for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program, which would provide federal funds to augment local funding of projects that improve base access and resilience such as road improvements and upgrades to schools, hospitals, utilities, and daycare centers near military installations.
  • Shipbuilding Plan: Noting that the Navy has promoted a 355 ship navy without having a plan to achieve that quantity, Luria recommends prohibiting the Navy from retiring any commissioned ships until the 2020 Naval Integrated Force Structure Assessment is provided to Congress and shown they have a coherent vision for the current and future fleet.
  • Air Force Tanker Fleet: Luria recognizes the critical role that tanker aircraft will play in future conflicts and the challenges in the KC-46 PEGASUS program. She supports maintaining the current KC-135 and KC-10A fleet until the KC-46 program delivers and demonstrates the replacement aircraft.
  • Aircraft Carrier Maintenance: Luria supports reaping the entire investment in our aircraft carrier construction projects by prohibiting decommissioning prior to the first refueling.
  • Submarine Construction: In contrast to the Senate NDAA, Luria supports full investment in submarine construction by fully funding two VIRGINIA class submarines which is included in the House NDAA. Our combatant commanders consistently request funding for the Virginia class program, and Luria will continue to advocate for this necessary funding.
  • Commissaries and Exchanges: Luria requires additional studies about cost savings and potential reductions in servicemember and veteran benefits prior to allowing any action to consolidate military exchanges and commissaries.
  • Military Housing: Luria intends to ensure that military families are given resources they need in order to perform their duties. On-base military housing is critical for so many that are deployed—and Luria has been a staunch advocate for a military families tenant’s bill of rights and adequate oversight of military housing and safe living conditions.
  • Military Medical Relief: Luria supports language to prohibit realignment or reduction of authorized military medical end strength as well as any delays regarding moving military family members 65 and retiree medical treatment from military treatment facilities to the TRICARE network.

augusta free press
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