Catching Up with Annie
Fighting the good fight
Washington, D.C., February 15, 2019
Funding the Government
Last night, I voted in favor of bipartisan legislation to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2019. I’m encouraged my colleagues and I have come together to advance this measure to keep the government open and deliver for the American people. This bill 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 the bill 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.
A Fabricated Emergency
I’m alarmed by President Trump’s announcement of a national emergency on the southern border. This fake emergency is the true threat to our national security. President Trump is proposing taking money from our military and critical drug apprehension efforts to construct an unnecessary, medieval wall to fulfill a campaign promise. Nearly 90 percent of illicit narcotics cross the border through ports of entry and President Trump is proposing taking billions of dollars from drug interdiction efforts. That is nonsensical. 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.
Fighting for People like Bodhi
On Wednesday, I highlighted the story of Bodhi Bhattarai of Contoocook, New Hampshire at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing titled, “Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Reverse Affordable Care Act (ACA) Sabotage and Ensure Pre-Existing Conditions Protections.” Bodhi was diagnosed at the age of two with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which necessitates a wheelchair for his mobility. Thanks to the ACA, there is no longer a broad-based exclusion to wheelchairs, or to all the other affordable healthcare that helps Bodhi lead a fulfilling life. But those protections have been threatened by guidance issued by President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services. The legislation I introduced last week, the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act, would rescind that guidance and maintain protections for Bodhi and the millions of other Americans who have a pre-existing condition. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the ACA and improve access to affordable healthcare for people in New Hampshire and across the country.
Providing Affordable, Quality Health Care
I was pleased to announce my support yesterday of the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act, which would expand access to Medicare to allow people aged 50 to 64 to buy into the program. It would also authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs. I’ve spoken with Granite Staters throughout the 2nd district about the need to improve access to healthcare and lower the costs of care and prescription drugs. We know the vast majority of people who use the Medicare program are happy with its service and I believe opening up enrollment to a larger segment of the population will offer an affordable, quality care option for people nearing retirement age in New Hampshire and across the country.
Addressing Contaminants like PFAS in Drinking Water
I am disappointed and concerned with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s announcement yesterday about its action plan to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water. We need an aggressive response to address the prevalence of PFAS and other contaminants that are threatening the health and wellbeing of Granite State families, and unfortunately yesterday’s announcement does not measure up to that need. The response to PFAS requires stronger enforcement mechanisms and comprehensive clean up and mitigation efforts that this plan fails to adequately outline. I will continue to work with the EPA and my colleagues to pursue policies that protect communities in New Hampshire and across the country.
Sharing the Stories of Veterans
On Wednesday, I announced that my office is seeking the stories of Granite State veterans for the Veterans History Project, which is run by the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. This project collects and preserves the stories of our brave veterans so that future generations can hear directly from those who have served about the realities of war. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I know that those who serve often keep their experiences to themselves. This project provides Granite State Veterans the opportunity to share their stories and have them archived at the Library of Congress for all to learn from. More information on how to participate in the project can be found here.
‘Raising the Roof’ on Saturday Night Live
I was certainly surprised to find myself featured as Annie “Raise the Roof” Kuster on such an iconic program as Saturday Night Live (SNL) last weekend. Wearing white to honor the Suffragettes at last week’s State of the Union was a powerful visual message but I didn’t imagine that my excitement would end up on SNL. You can read more about the SNL clip here.
I Want to Hear from You
Your input is incredibly valuable to me. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my Washington, DC office at 202-225-5206 or my Concord office at 603-226-1002. Thank you for everything you do to make New Hampshire such a great place to call home. Enjoy your weekend!