On the Road in the Granite State
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I spent last week visiting businesses and schools throughout the Second District.
In Nashua, I unveiled my Women’s Economic Agenda to help level the playing field for New Hampshire women. My new Economic Agenda includes initiatives to address the wage gap between genders, the importance of a fair minimum wage, tax relief for working families, efforts to better support women entrepreneurs, the urgent need to invest in the education of our children from early-childhood through college, the need for women’s comprehensive reproductive health care, and the importance of job training and workforce development, among other issues. I am committed to continuing to work on behalf of Granite State women!
Unveiling my Women’s Economic Agenda
On Tuesday, I was joined by a diverse group of female business owners and other women to unveil my Women’s Economic Agenda in Nashua. These women shared their personal stories with me, and underscored the need for leadership in Congress on issues that affect their ability to succeed in this economy. Tuesday’s event kicked off a series of roundtable discussions I will hold to hear from women throughout the Second District in April.
It is astonishing that even in the 21st Century, women continue to make only 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. We must prioritize initiatives that will help eliminate the wage gap between genders and encourage women to pursue successful careers during these challenging economic times.
Touring a Socially Responsible Small Business in Gilsum
On Thursday, I toured W.S. Badger in Gilsum and heard from employees about the company’s family-friendly work philosophy. I applaud W.S. Badger for embracing a worker friendly and family friendly philosophy, which is essential to the success, health, and happiness of New Hampshire workers. I’m particularly impressed by the company’s ‘Babies at Work’ program, which allows working mothers and fathers to spend valuable time with their children during the work hours. Every company should strive to embrace programs that help our families succeed, and I’m proud to support initiatives like this one in my recently announced Women’s Economic Agenda.
Exciting Work at New England Wire
On Friday, as part of my “Congress at Your Company” tour, I toured New England Wire in Lisbon and heard from owners and employees about what Congress can do to help small businesses like theirs succeed. During the tour, I also highlighted my Jobs and Opportunity Agenda, a common-sense guide to help grow the New Hampshire economy.
It was a pleasure meeting with the owners and employees of New England Wire, an employee-owned New Hampshire company that is clearly going big places. This is a company that has truly embraced the New Hampshire spirit of innovation, and I was very impressed by what I saw on my tour of the facilities. We must continue to support the growth of businesses like this one, which is why I will continue to push to make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent, and continue to advocate for other measures in Congress that foster innovation here at home.
A Step Forward for Vets Health in the North Country
I was absolutely thrilled at last week’s announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open new health clinics in Colebrook and Berlin to better serve North Country veterans. In the 113th Congress, I have urged the VA to open these sites and improve accessibility for North Country veterans, most recently by sending a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki outlining the need for these facilities. The new clinics, which have been approved by the VA as part of an expansion plan for the White River Junction VA Medical Center, will offer a number of crucial health services for North Country veterans, including preventive and primary care, labs, and telehealth services. Our veterans have made extreme sacrifices to serve and protect this great nation, and we must ensure they have access to the health care services they need and deserve when they return home.
Discussing Financial Literacy with the Next Generation of Leaders
I also visited Shaker Road school to take questions from students participating in the Stock Market Game: 2014 Capitol Hill Challenge. During the visit, I heard from the students about their projects, and discussed the importance of encouraging financial literacy among our younger generation. I was so impressed by the Shaker Road students, whose thoughtful, intelligent questions demonstrated their thorough understanding of the stock market and finance in general. Children like these are our nation’s future leaders, and promoting financial literacy among this age group will help protect our nation’s economic security down the road. I was honored to get a chance to hear from these inspiring students, and I wish the competing teams all the best of luck!
Promoting Infrastructure Funding
During a tour of the I-93 expansion project in New Hampshire’s southern tier, I called for increased federal investment in our roads and bridges. I was joined by New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement, along with State Senator Jim Rausch and State Representative Candace Bouchard, the chairs of the New Hampshire State Senate and House Transportation Committees. On the tour, I stressed the importance of continued funding for infrastructure projects like this one.
Last month, I wrote a letter to House Leadership urging that funding for the Highway Trust Fund, which funds projects like the I-93 expansion, not be allowed to run out. As it stands today, the Highway Trust Fund is scheduled to drop below a critical funding threshold by June of this year, which could delay payments to states for vital infrastructure repair projects.
We must make repairing our roads and bridges a top priority. Projects like the I-93 expansion not only help protect the safety of Granite State residents, they also provide better transportation options for our state’s workers, spur the economy, and create jobs.
Have a terrific week and thanks for everything you do to make New Hampshire such a great place to live!