Rep. Elaine Luria discusses goals, looks ahead to 2020 elections

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 18:14:10-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Rep. Elaine Luria will head back to Washington on Tuesday to begin her second year in Congress.

Her first year saw political turmoil in Washington with the impeachment of President Trump and tragedy at home with a mass shooting in her district. Now, the U.S. faces tensions with Iran.

"As we look around here in Hampton Roads, anyone who serves on a ship or a squadron will surely see tensions are escalating in the Gulf, what does that mean for me or my husband or wife or neighbor?" Luria told News 3 on Sunday. "Many people are worried how this could escalate and whether future deployments could be resulting."

Elaine Luria

Luria is hoping to get more information about the strike this week, but believes it was justified. "[Qasem] Soleimani was a bad man and has the blood of hundreds of our allies on his hands. I think the action that was taken is justified. The world is a better place because he's no longer there," she said.

As she heads back to Washington, she lists her accomplishments in her first year as helping veterans with disabilities, helping to secure more money for Chesapeake Bay cleanup and tax relief for Gold Star families.

In 2020, she wants to keep the local military presence strong. "Those issues are not just national defense. They're jobs and livelihood for many people in Hampton Roads, so I'm very focused on those," she said.

She does feel like there's unfinished business on the issue of guns. The House voted to pass a bill to expand background checks almost a year ago, but the Senate hasn't acted on it. "As a legislator, there's very much we need to do on that front. I very much support universal background checks, which we passed over 250 days ago."

Looking ahead to this fall's elections, Luria is endorsing Joe Biden in the Democratic primary for president. As the party continues its debate between progressives and moderates, Luria is on Biden's side with about two months to go before Super Tuesday in Virginia. "I think that he's very pragmatic. He has all of the experience that he needs to walk right into the job and get started and send our country back in the right direction."