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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Kuster, Stefanik Lead Bipartisan Call for Northern Border Regional Commission Funding in Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

Apr 2, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, DC) –Congresswomen Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) are leading a bipartisan call on the leaders of the House and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees to include funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) in the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The White House Office of Management and Budget recently proposed eliminating funding for the NBRC in its FY20 Budget Blueprint. The letter, to House Subcommittee Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and Ranking Member Mike Simpson (ID-02), and Senate Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), urges the inclusion of $25 million in the bill for the NBRC, with $4 million for forestry projects and $1 million for the State Capacity Grant Program specifically.

“NBRC aims to increase rural job opportunities and leverage federal funds to partner with private enterprises to revitalize areas around the Canadian border,” the members wrote. “Furthermore, NBRC grants have been utilized to expand business enterprises in rural communities, support workforce development initiatives and revitalize infrastructure along the northern border.”

“The NBRC has served as a successful resource for innovative and entrepreneurial projects, and the elimination of funding for this Commission would have a negative impact on job creation in the Northeast,” the Members continued. “The NBRC is a smart and strategic use of taxpayer dollars and leverages significant private capital for projects in our states. It is clear that we need to be encouraging economic and community development and we commend the work of the subcommittee for previous support to this vital program.”

Created by the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized in the 2018 Farm Bill with bipartisan support, the NBRC is a Federal-State partnership that invests in the economic development of rural communities in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. As a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee and Agriculture Committee, Kuster helped secure provisions in the final 2018 Farm Bill to strengthen the NBRC and expand the reach of the program. In addition, she led a bipartisan call to the governors of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York urging support for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) and introduced bipartisan legislation, the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Actto continue funding for the NBRC. This legislation was included in the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report. Kuster has also highlighted the importance of the program to senior members of the Trump Administration.

 

The full letter is available here and below.

 

April 1, 2019

 

Senator Lamar Alexander                               Senator Dianne Feinstein

Subcommittee on Energy and Water             Subcommittee on Energy and Water

Committee on Appropriations                        Committee on Appropriations

Room S-128, U.S. Capitol                                Room S-128, U.S. Capitol

Washington, DC 20510                                   Washington, DC 20510

 

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur                      Congressman Mike Simpson              

Subcommittee on Energy and Water             Subcommittee on Energy and Water

Committee on Appropriations                        Committee on Appropriations

H-307, U.S. Capitol                                          1016 Longworth House Building

Washington, DC 20510                                   Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Chairwoman Kaptur, Ranking Member Simpson, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:

We are writing to you today regarding the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a rural economic development partnership in our districts that supports job-creating infrastructure projects.  We urge you to include $25 million in the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for the NBRC, which would greatly benefit rural economic development in the Northeast. Specifically, we are requesting an allocation of $4 million from base funds for forestry projects, and an additional $1 million for the State Capacity Grant Program.

Reauthorized in the 2018 Farm Bill with bipartisan support, the Northern Border Regional Commission invests in the economic development of rural communities in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.  Regional Commissions in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta make similar investments in their communities.  There are nearly 700 counties included in the areas served by these three Commissions, which include areas hardest hit by massive manufacturing job losses. 

NBRC aims to increase rural job opportunities and leverage federal funds to partner with private enterprises to revitalize areas around the Canadian border. Furthermore, NBRC grants have been utilized to expand business enterprises in rural communities, support workforce development initiatives and revitalize infrastructure along the northern border. In addition, the NBRC can provide assistance to states in creating comprehensive economic development plans that incorporate the resources and input of local governments and the general public to identify high-need project areas.

We strongly oppose the recent proposal by the Office of Management and Budget’s FY20 Budget Blueprint to eliminate funding for the NBRC. The NBRC has served as a successful resource for innovative and entrepreneurial projects, and the elimination of funding for this Commission would have a negative impact on job creation in the Northeast. The NBRC is a smart and strategic use of taxpayer dollars and leverages significant private capital for projects in our states. It is clear that we need to be encouraging economic and community development and we commend the work of the subcommittee for previous support to this vital program.

We support $25 million for NBRC and respectfully ask to include this amount in the FY20 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working together on this important program.  

Sincerely,

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