Kuster Statement on Proposed Omnibus Funding Legislation
**Bill would increase funding for opioid epidemic**
**Funding includes $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants**
** $3.4 billion is included for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)**
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the release of a proposed omnibus spending bill that would fund government operations through September, 2017. The legislation includes $3.8 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) which will help address the opioid misuse crisis. The bill also includes $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants and $3.4 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), programs that had been proposed for elimination in President Trump’s skinny budget:
“This bipartisan funding bill that we are considering is an example of how compromise should work in Washington. While this bill isn’t everything I would have liked to see, it is the result of good faith compromise and hard work. As the co-chair and founder of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I’m encouraged that this funding bill provides needed resources for those on the front lines of the substance misuses crisis. I’ll continue to advocate for a funding distribution formula that takes into account the needs of areas, like New Hampshire, that have unfortunately been hardest hit by the addiction epidemic.
“Additionally, I’m pleased that funding for important infrastructure and economic development programs, including the Community Development Block Grants program, were included in the omnibus. I’ve heard from rural communities throughout my district concerned about what the elimination of this program would mean for them. These are exactly the types of successful programs that we should be expanding to create jobs and increase our economic competitiveness.
“The legislation also includes funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program which is critical to the most vulnerable seniors and families in our state. I’m glad that Republicans and Democrats were able to come together to protect this vital programs that helps Granite Staters in need keep their homes warm during the cold winter months.
“I’ve heard from people throughout the Second District about the importance of these programs to the economy and quality of life in their communities. This omnibus underscores the importance of engagement by community leaders and voters who have expressed support for funding these priorities. While the omnibus is promising, I look forward to carefully reviewing the details of the legislation in its entirety as I consider my support for the measure.”