Kuster to Vote in Favor of Bipartisan Funding Legislation that Includes New Hampshire Priorities, Averts Government Shutdown
(Washington, DC) – Tonight, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) will vote in favor of bipartisan legislation to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2019. The funding measure provides appropriations for programs important for the Granite State advocated for by Kuster and averts another government shutdown. Kuster also blasted the expected announcement of an emergency declaration by President Trump.
“I’m encouraged that we’ve come together to advance a bipartisan spending measure to keep the government open and deliver for the American people,” said Kuster. “This compromise legislation promotes 21st Century border security as well as humanitarian support for migrants in detention, alternatives to detention, and family case management. Importantly, we’ve funded initiatives critical to combating the opioid epidemic by enhancing interdiction efforts. I’m pleased that this legislation also includes provisions that will bolster investments in rural infrastructure and broadband, environmental protection through the Land and Water Conservation fund, efforts to combat sexual violence, and programs for our veterans.”
“I’m alarmed by President Trump’s plan to announce a national emergency on the southern border to construct an unnecessary, medieval wall to fulfill a campaign promise,” Kuster continued. “I’m committed to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact effective, comprehensive reforms that will truly address the challenges faced by our immigration system. The President failed to convince Congress or the American people of the need for his wall and this move is a blatant effort to circumvent the will of Congress and the people.”
New Hampshire priorities included the omnibus funding bill include:
Rural Development: $3.64 Billion for USDA-Rural Development programs, including $625 million in dedicated funding for infrastructure investments in Rural America. This funding will help deploy critical rural broadband initiatives, expand affordable housing opportunities and invest in wastewater infrastructure systems.
Conservation: $435 Million for Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will provide funding to preserve and expand outdoor recreational opportunities for Granite State communities. Congresswoman Kuster has long supported a permanent reauthorization of LWCF and advocated for robust funding for the program.
Law Enforcement: $303.5 Million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program which helps local law enforcement hire police officers and provides tools and training to enhance policing efforts.
Sexual Assault: $178 Million in DOJ Grant funding to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs.
Safe Water: $1.2 Billion – EPA Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which helps provide technical assistance to rural communities throughout NH
DOJ Opioid Programs: $347 million for programs under the Department of Justice, which was $17 million more than Fiscal Year 2018. Kuster led a 57 member strong, bipartisan letter requesting robust and increased funding to programs established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, including those for the Department of Justice.
Border Personnel: $58.7 million to hire 600 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers crucial for detecting illicit opioids trafficked into the country via ports of entry. This increase is similar to the increase envisioned by the Border and Port Security Act, a bill supported by Kuster.
Border Technology: $23.2 million to CBP for opioid detection equipment. Kuster joined a bipartisan letter in support of the INTERDICT Act, a bill championed by the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which authorized important investments into innovative equipment to help CBP personnel detect opioids. Additionally, Kuster supported the Border and Port Security Act which would have required additional investments into the opioid detection equipment at the border.
Drug Courts: $77 million for Drug Courts. Kuster joined a bipartisan call for robust support.
High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas: $280 million for High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), an important drug interdiction and trafficking surveillance program operated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in conjunction with multiple state and Federal agencies. Kuster joined a letter supporting robust funding for this program.
Drug-Free Communities: $100 million in funding for ONDCP’s Drug-Free Communities program which seeks to prevent opioid and substance use dependence by educating Americans, especially children, in issues surrounding substance misuse. Kuster joined a bipartisan letter supporting this crucial funding.