House Passes Defense Authorization Including Kuster Amendment to Reopen Hanover, NH Child Care Facility Scheduled to Close
Today, the House of Representatives passed the William (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains multiple provisions that Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped advance, including reopening the child care facility at the Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, investigating the causes of high unemployment rates for post-9/11 women veterans, and improving the Department of Defense’s efforts to prevent overdose deaths. The legislation also strengthens the Department of Defense’s ability to protect Americans from viruses like COVID-19, provides a pay raise for service members, and prevents the U.S. from resuming nuclear weapons testing.
“The closure of the child care center at the Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab (CRREL) pulled the rug out from under dozens of working parents in New Hampshire,” said Kuster. “I am grateful to my colleagues for unanimously adopting my amendment to compel the Army Corps of Engineers to re-open the childcare facility at CRREL in Hanover. Closing this facility was irresponsible — especially during a global pandemic. I was proud to support the National Defense Authorization Act today to provide a pay raise for our men and women in uniform, prevent the United States from conducting nuclear tests, and support these child care services in New Hampshire.”
“The IFPTE Local 4, workforce at Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our Congressional Representatives Ann Kuster and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire and Peter Welch of Vermont for their amendment to the language included in the House Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA that will save the childcare center here in Hanover” said Larry Dennis, President of IFPTE Local 4, and Andrew Bernier, Chief Steward of IFPTE Local 4, Chapter 1. “This legislation authored by our loyal members of Congress will prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research and Development Center from implementing their plan to permanently close these much needed facilities, causing extreme hardship on the workers and their families. We thank Representatives Kuster, Pappas and Welch for their diligence in saving our childcare center which will allow our workforce to continue to provide mission critical research and development during these trying times.”
Rep. Kuster authored the following provisions that were included in the House passed legislation:
Childcare Center at CRREL
- Rep. Kuster’s amendment directs the Army’s Engineering Research and Development Center to reopen all childcare facilities it closed in FY20, including the facility at CRREL. This provision was cosponsored by Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Peter Welch (D-VT).
- Rep. Kuster’s amendment directs the Department of Defense to consider the role of overdose reversal drugs in their policy and data tracking to prevent opioid overdoses. This will provide the Department of Defense with the information it needs to save lives.
- Rep. Kuster’s amendment directs the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs to study why post-9/11 women veterans experience joblessness at a higher rate than the rest of the veterans community.
- Rep. Kuster’s amendment directs the Comptroller General to study the vulnerabilities created by foreign call centers supporting the Department of Defense.