NORFOLK, Va. - Rep. Elaine Luria was an early supporter of President-elect Joe Biden. Now, she heads back to Washington with the military as a big focus.
A big part of Biden's foreign policy plan calls for restrengthening relationships with allies. "I think we need to repair some of those relationships with our NATO allies and other allies around the world," said Luria. "I think he's the right person to lead us in that direction."
Luria is going back to Washington herself after winning re-election in Virginia's second congressional district. She says a key focus for her is helping veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and may have been exposed to toxic materials in burn pits. "It's very important that we don't let this be many decades overdue - that we address their healthcare issues and make it easier for the veterans to get the healthcare they deserve based on exposures during their service," said Luria.
Right now, the goal by law remains to get the Navy to a 355-ship fleet. Luria says aircraft carriers remain an important part of the fleet and hopes lessons have been learned from the USS Gerald R. Ford. The aircraft carrier is scheduled to deploy about six years late.
"I think we need to look at what type of technology we’re investing in and make sure it's mature before we spend the taxpayer dollars on these new technologies," she said.
Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord as well as re-enter the Iran Nuclear Deal. Luria differs with Biden on Iran. She says she would've voted against it had she been in Congress at the time. "I'm not enthusiastic about a prospect of reconsidering the Iran deal," she said. "However, it is absolutely essential that we find a way to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."
And on this Veterans Day - a reminder of the sacrifice as leaders get ready for the next four years. "It just means a lot to us that there's a holiday where people take time out to remember the people who served our country in uniform," said Luria, who is a Navy veteran herself.