Congressional leaders from Hampton Roads meet with local businesses leaders to discuss offshore wind energy, inflation and more


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — All four of Hampton Roads’ congressional representatives were in Norfolk Monday afternoon to speak to the business community.

Congressional Reps. Bobby Scott, Elaine Luria, Donald McEachin and Rob Wittman participated in a forum hosted by the Hampton Roads Chamber to discuss how Washington is impacting business in the region.

Attending the luncheon were representatives from Dominion Energy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Bon Secours, Sentara and more.

To start, each representative spoke to the room about the topics they’re passionate about.

Republican Rep. Rob Wittman explained why he didn’t support the infrastructure bill.

“It’s great to have a one-time influx of money but the question is how do we sustain this?” said Wittman.

Wittman also said he wanted to see money included in the bill for improving the nation’s shipyards, many of which haven’t seen major upgrades since World War II. Shipyard improvements were not included according to Wittman.

Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott touted the success of the infrastructure bill for this community and how the spending bill known as the Build Back Better Act will help ease a pain many feel every day: inflation.

Rep. Donald McEachin agrees the spending bill will help inflation.

“I think this time next year things will be back to normal,” said McEachin.

Scott and McEachin pointed out numerous accomplished economists also agree.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria says she supports Build Back Better, but she stopped short of directly saying she believes it will help inflation.

“It does help people get back into the workforce,” said Luria. “I think overall it will help people in many ways.”

Something all four representatives could agree on was the need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act and soon. The NDAA is what funds the military and is passed every year usually on a bipartisan basis. The bill’s passage is crucial according to local representatives.

“We’re the only country on earth that has two oceans to defend,” said McEachin. “That’s a big job and requires a big Navy.”

The House already passed a version of the NDAA.

Now they’re waiting on the Senate.

“It’s critical it passes before the end of the year,” said Wittman. “We’ve had 60-plus years where the NDAA has passed and we can’t make this the year this doesn’t happen.”

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