Kuster & Bipartisan Group of House Members Introduce Legislation to Continue Funding for Northern Border Regional Commission
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), along with Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), John Katko (NY-24) and Claudia Tenney (NY-22) introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would continue funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) and extend its authorization for five years. The bill would also allow the NBRC to include promoting the development of renewable energy resources to meet their 40% minimum of projects, and it would permit NBRC to attract businesses from outside the United States.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission plays a critical role in driving the economic growth and community development in some of New Hampshire’s most economically distressed communities,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This is a program that has created jobs while improving rural infrastructure projects and both Republicans and Democrats recognize the value of the Northern Border Regional Commission to rural communities in the Northeast. While President Trump regrettably eliminated the NBRC in his FY2018 budget, this bill demonstrates the NBRC’s strong bipartisan support in Congress and our collective commitment to helping rural towns and non-profits succeed. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this commonsense legislation in the next Farm Bill.”
"This legislation is critical to growing our North Country economy and creating good paying jobs in our region," said Congresswoman Stefanik. "As a Member of the Northern Border Caucus, I am pleased to support this important reauthorization and will continue to work with my colleagues to expand the economy along our Canadian border."
“I’m proud to cosponsor legislation to reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “The NBRC has been a critical source of flexible federal investment for Maine communities in need, and has supported necessary infrastructure improvements, facility upgrades, and economic development. As Maine continues to take its economy in new directions, we can’t afford to lose this valuable partner.”
“The Northern Border Regional Commission plays a vital role in spurring development in some of Vermont’s most economically challenged communities,” said Rep. Welch. “The success of the NBRC has shown that by funding local economic development, we not only jumpstart local economies but we lay the groundwork for long-term investment in the region. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that Congress continues supporting this essential program for Vermont and other border communities.”
“The bipartisan support for this bill reflects the importance of the Northern Border Regional Commission and the broad recognition that it must continue performing its critical economic development work in Northern New Hampshire and beyond,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I’m glad to join with my colleagues in this effort to preserve the boost this Commission gives to a historically underserved region of the country.”
Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, the NBRC is a Federal-State partnership that is comprised of a Federal Co-Chair and the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The commission was established to organize federal funding towards specific state economic and community development projects in rural parts of the Northeast. Currently, the NBRC is required to provide at least 40% of their grants to develop 1) transportation infrastructure of the region, 2) basic public infrastructure of the region, and 3) to develop the telecommunications infrastructure in the region. The commission is also currently prohibited from trying to attract businesses from other regions within the NBRC.