Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped to pass H.R. 4502, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This bill authorizes funding through the next fiscal year for key Granite State priorities and investments in families across the country.
“Now is the time to make bold, purposeful investments in Granite State families and America’s future, and the legislation the House passed today does just that,” said Rep. Kuster. “I was proud to support this funding bill to set families up for success by creating jobs, growing opportunities for the middle class, and providing a lifeline for the nation’s most vulnerable. I will continue working to deliver real results for Americans in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“Importantly, this bill includes critical investments in the care for our nation’s veterans and provides record levels of funding to advance mental health treatment and health care services for our nation’s heroes,” Kuster continued. “The legislation passed today includes an amendment I sponsored to increase funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission, headquartered in Concord, to ensure we can continue bolstering rural economic development and job creation in Granite State communities. I was pleased that the House advanced this historic legislation and I urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bill.”
This bill includes Fiscal Year 2022 funding for:
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies:
- Keeping Families Warm: Provides more than $3.9 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to provide heating assistance to vulnerable Granite Staters.
- Protecting Vulnerable Children: Provides $300 million for legal, post-release, and child advocacy services for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States. Rep. Kuster’s advocacy helped lead to a $88 million increase in funding for this program.
- Combating the Addiction Crisis: Provides more than $5.5 billion for substance use treatment, including $2.8 billion for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants and $2.0 billion State Opioid Response Grants.
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies:
- Helping Families Keep Food on the Table: Provides $105.7 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and expands access for millions to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
- Investing in Rural Broadband: Provides $800 million for the ReConnect rural broadband program. The first ReConnect grant was awarded in New Hampshire earlier this spring.
- Addressing the Climate Crisis: Provides $347.4 million to tackle climate change through investments in sustainable agriculture, research, and clean energy development.
- Getting High-Value Technical Assistance to Farmers: Rep. Kuster led a bipartisan amendment that increased funding for the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program to $3.3 million. In New Hampshire, ATTRA offers programs like “Armed to Farm,” agriculture training for military veterans transitioning to farming.
- Energy, Water Development, and Related Agencies:
- 21st Century Clean Energy Investments: Provides $3.77 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office at the Department of Energy to secure American leadership in the transition to a clean energy future.
- Supporting Rural Jobs: Provides $34 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), which funds economic development projects in New Hampshire’s rural counties. Rep. Kuster successfully amended the bill to increase NBRC funding from $32 million to $34 million.
- Financial Services and General Government:
- Grows Opportunity for Small Businesses: Invests in programs to help small businesses and entrepreneurs access capital and contracting opportunities through $1 billion for the Small Business Administration.
- Protects Consumers: Supports working and middle-class families by increasing funding for consumer protection activities at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies:
- Protecting Our Scenic Lands and Wilderness: Provides mandatory full funding of $900 million for the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the first time in the program’s history. New Hampshire conservation projects will receive approximately $4.5 million of this funding in FY22.
- Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies:
- Supports Our Veterans: Provides critical investments in health care for our nation’s heroes by including a record $97.6 billion for Veterans Medical Care.
- Bolstering Veteran Housing: Enhances VA’s ability to reach homeless Veterans with $2.2 billion for Homeless Assistance Programs.
- Addressing Mental Health Challenges: Provides over $13 billion in funding for Mental Health care and treatment for over 2 million Veterans who receive mental health services through the VA.
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies:
- Increasing Affordable Housing: Provides $11.3 billion in funding for new affordable housing, including $1.85 billion for the HOME Invest Partnership Program.
- Preventing Homelessness: Provides $3.4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants to help rehouse and respond to people experiencing homelessness.
- Combating Lead Poisoning: Provides $460 million for the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, which provides funding to state and local governments to reduce lead-based paint hazards.
- Helping Low-Income Families Build Wealth: Provides $200 million for Family Self-Sufficiency, a program which creates incentives and structure for families living in low income housing to build wealth. Rep. Kuster led the charge to increase funding for this program by $45 million.
- Sheltering Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence: Provides $52 million for programs that provide rapid re-housing and support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence -- a provision championed by Rep. Kuster.