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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Sharing the New Hampshire Approach

May 21, 2018
Catching up with Annie

Dear Friend,

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting Nashua Fire Chief Brian Rhodes for the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force roundtable on successful treatment strategies to address the opioid epidemic. Rhodes oversees Nashua’s successful ‘Safe Stations’ intervention program, a first in the nation model that uses fire stations as a designated safe environment for individuals seeking treatment. As communities in New Hampshire and across the country continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic, it is critical that we promote and invest in innovative programs – like Safe Stations – that are getting people into treatment and recovery and saving lives. Overcoming substance use disorder is no easy feat, but the panelists the Task Force heard from know what it takes and are making a real difference for those who are suffering from this disease. I appreciate Chief Rhodes and the other participants sharing their first-hand experiences, and I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle to help them tackle this crisis. 

Chief Rhodes shares his experience overseeing the Nashua Safe Station with my colleagues and I on the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force.

Our veterans deserve convenient access to high quality healthcare and services. That’s why I’m encouraged that Congress has taken a step closer to honoring this commitment with the passage of the VA MISSION Act, which I co-sponsored. This bill includes an important provision I advocated for that recognizes the unique challenges veterans in New Hampshire face and expands access to the Choice Program to all Granite State veterans. It also extends family caregiver support to veterans from the pre-9/11 era so that veterans of all wars and their caregivers can receive the same support from VA. I spoke in favor of this legislation and I’m pleased it received such bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. You can watch my remarks HERE

Friday’s rejection of the Republican Farm Bill underscores the need to go back to the drawing table and advance a better, bipartisan bill. The Farm Bill has always been a piece of legislation that brings together Republicans and Democrats, and I have said from the beginning that it is imperative we work together, find common ground and do right by family farmers in the Granite State and across the country. This partisan Farm Bill would have led to nearly 17,000 Granite Staters losing nutrition assistance while providing a massive giveaway to large agribusiness and not giving adequate support to smaller farmers. This bill also would have slashed mandatory spending for critical conservation programs, and failed to provide any additional, dedicated funding to address the opioid crisis in rural America. I supported the 2014 Farm Bill, and stand ready to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to write a bill that reflects consensus, not cruelty.

Speaking on the floor about the House rejection of the Farm Bill. Watch here.

Events like the telephone town hall I hosted on Thursday are wonderful opportunities to hear from you about the issues that matter to the 2nd District, and I thank the thousands of you who joined the call. I was able to discuss my priorities for this year and hear from you on what Congress should focus on in the coming months. As always, please don’t hesitate to call my Concord office at 603-226-1002 or my Washington, DC office at 202-225-5206 with any questions or ideas you have—I enjoy hearing from you! 

Thank you and have a wonderful week.