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Rep Shea-Porter Named a 2014 Defender of Children

First Focus Campaign for Children: Shea-Porter “Delivered for Kids”

MANCHESTER—Once again, Carol Shea-Porter’s leadership on children’s issues in Congress has earned national recognition. Today, nonpartisan advocacy group First Focus Campaign for Children named Shea-Porter a 2014 Defender of Children.

“Lots of politicians talk about kids’ issues, but few back it up,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the Campaign for Children. “Congresswoman Shea-Porter delivered for kids.”

Shea-Porter said, “I appreciate this recognition from First Focus.  New Hampshire’s children are our future, and I am proud to be their advocate. Too often, kids’ health, education, and well-being have been neglected by the 112th and 113th Congresses, when they should be our nation’s top priority.”

Shea-Porter is the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus, and has led initiatives to improve education, awareness, and treatment for asthma, which is the most common chronic childhood disease. Other recent Shea-Porter accomplishments on behalf of children included her success in fixing a Medicaid glitch that temporarily affected several New Hampshire kids and families this February, and her vote to restore funding for early childhood education programs like Head Start in the bipartisan budget compromise that reversed some of the reckless 2011 sequester’s budget cuts.

In selecting Champions, the First Focus Campaign for Children noted leaders who introduced, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation to meet children’s needs. In addition, the organization considered Members who demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children.

The advocacy organization recognized as “Champions for Children” 50 Members of Congress for their extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation. An additional 50 Members were recognized as “Defenders of Children” for their support of policies that advance the well-being of children. The 2014 Champions and Defenders are:

2014 Champions for Children


Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)


Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)

Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Rep. George Miller (D-CA)

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

2014 Defenders of Children


Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)


Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)

Del. Donna Christensen (D-VI)

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)

Rep. Ted Deutsch (D-FL)

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

This is the Campaign for Children’s fourth annual class of Champions for Children. For more information about past honorees, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.

NH’s Congressional Delegation Praise TIGER Grant To Replace The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge

By Eric L. Reuter via Wikimedia Commons

By Eric L. Reuter via Wikimedia Commons

Shaheen and Ayotte: Replacement of deteriorating infrastructure is critical to Seacoast region, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation welcomed an announcement last night that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award $25 million in grant funding for the replacement of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.  The 70-year-old bridge, which connects Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, is rated structurally deficient, and requires immediate replacement to ensure public safety and continuation of interstate commerce.

“This is terrific news for New Hampshire and especially the Seacoast region, which relies on the Sarah Long Bridge for interstate travel and commerce,” Shaheen and Ayotte said. “The replacement of this aging infrastructure will help support transit and economic activity in New Hampshire and Maine, as well as national security needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which relies on the bridge’s rail component.  Replacing the bridge has been a bipartisan and regional effort, and we are pleased that New Hampshire and Maine’s DOTs worked together to successfully compete for this federal grant.”

“This is good government to invest in our infrastructure, and I am very pleased that $25 million in funds will come to the Seacoast to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.  “The New Hampshire and Maine delegations supported this TIGER grant because we all understand that the Sarah Long Bridge is vital to our safety, our economy, and national security.  I congratulate the New Hampshire and Maine Departments of Transportation for their successful application.” 

“I am thrilled that the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replacement project will be awarded a $25 million Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) VI grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I was proud to join the rest of New Hampshire Congressional Delegation in advocating for this critical grant to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which stretches between Portsmouth and Kittery, ME. Investments in infrastructure benefit NH families and businesses, and boost the economy of our entire state. While this is welcome news, much work remains across New Hampshire. Our state earned a “C” grade for its infrastructure, and I’ll continue fighting in Congress to fund critical upgrades to our roads, bridges, and other projects.”

In 2013, Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte joined members of Maine’s congressional delegation in inviting Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to visit the bridge, and they have consistently advocated for the bridge’s replacement in letters, hearings, and in meetings with U.S. Department of Transportation officials.

Previously, Shaheen and Ayotte partnered with members New Hampshire’s and Maine’s congressional delegations to obtain funding for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth.

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Tours Manchester Tower

image003Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter toured the control tower at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport with Andre Jean, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) A90 Legislative Representative for Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON); Jeffrey Carpenter, the Manchester ATCT Union President; Barrett Brown, the Air Traffic Manager at Manchester ATCT; and Mark Brewer, Airport Director.  The airport services 2.45 million passengers each year and is New England’s third largest cargo airport, processing more air cargo each year than all other regional airports in New England combined.

“I strongly support investing in our infrastructure and I am always proud to advocate for the Manchester Airport,” Shea-Porter said. “I am grateful to the hard-working men and women that make air travel so safe.”

Congresswoman Shea-Porter has long been a supporter of investment in infrastructure.  In May, Shea-Porter announced that the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport received three separate grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) totaling over $1.8 million. In February, she and the rest of the state’s Congressional delegation called on the FAA to keep the Manchester Air Traffic Control Tower open overnight. The Administration ultimately complied with the request and stated it would not close the tower overnight. In 2013, the Congresswoman and 19 House colleagues successfully pushed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to maintain control of airport exit lanes, which will save the airport approximately $225,000 annually.

How And Why Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Has Dedicated Her Life To Helping People (VIDEO)

Carol Shea Porter 1

“The America dream is slipping away from the middle class,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter at the annual New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

“Carol made the commitment to helping people” said Paul O’Connor, President of the Metal Trades Council at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in his introduction of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

Carol Shea porter 2There is no better advocate for working families in New Hampshire than Congresswoman Shea-Porter. She has stood up against right-wing attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She stood strong in her opposition to the “Ryan Plan” that would slash funding to programs like Head Start and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She opposed the draconian cuts mandated by Sequestration that forced furloughs on federal workers throughout the country.

In Washington she spoke up for working families countless times by calling for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. At the breakfast she explained how wage stagnation has hurt working families.

“What Americans want is a decent enough wage, they weren’t asking for 50% of the company, they just wanted to be fairly paid for their labor and they wanted to be able to take care of their families. They wanted to pay their mortgage or their rent, save for retirement, educate their children, and have a little money left over Friday night for pizza,” Shea-Porter said.

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

In contrast, one of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents, Brendan Kelly, actually said the minimum wage should be “a dollar and a half” in a recent GOP primary debate.

Shea-Porter went into great detail about how corporations like Walgreens (who have since reversed their decision) are moving to change their corporate citizenship, commonly called inversion, to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Working families in New Hampshire need a true leader like Congresswoman Shea-Porter in Washington. In a recent primary debate, all of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has already drastically lowered the uninsured population of New Hampshire.

In the First Congressional District, the choice for New Hampshire is clear and after watching this video I think you will agree.


Watch Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter tell it like it is in her short speech at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

Shea-Porter Visits Portsmouth Naval Shipyard with Vice President Biden

BidenPORTSMOUTH, NH – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter visited and toured the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) with Vice President Joe Biden.  Senator Shaheen, Congressman Mike Michaud, and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree also participated in today’s event.  Captain William Greene, Commander of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Paul O’Connor, President of the Metal Trades Council, and other shipyard management and labor leaders hosted the Vice President and the delegation members.

“I was very pleased that the Vice President had the opportunity to see the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard today.  The incredible workforce is a model of excellence. The work they do is vital to our national defense and our local economy,” Shea-Porter said. “I am proud to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, where I will continue to work to protect the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its essential defense mission.”

Congresswoman Shea-Porter has worked to protect New Hampshire’s economy and PNSY workers from the reckless budget cuts of sequestration. She cosponsored legislation that would cancel sequestration, she held meetings with Shipyard leaders, and she spoke directly with the Secretary of Defense about furloughs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

This year, Shea-Porter also passed legislation through the House of Representatives that ensures the Department of Defense use its existing methodology to determine which workforce is the most cost-efficient for new work—rather than to rely on informal arrangements or arbitrary decisions—allowing it to reap the savings.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is one of four public shipyards in the United States. In 2010, Shea-Porter secured more than $11.9 million in funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to add to and reconstruct the Shipyard’s Structural Shops, which will help the Shipyard remain competitive and efficient.

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce Endorses Carol Shea-Porter in NH-01

Shea-Porter Awarded 100% Rating for Supporting Women Workers and Business Owners

ROCHESTER, NH– The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce this week endorsed Carol Shea-Porter for New Hampshire’s First District, citing her support for women in the workplace and woman-owned small businesses.

“I worked in my mother’s small business and I understand the challenges small business owners and their families face, so I‘ve introduced and supported legislation that helps them launch and grow. I have also advocated for them for six years on the Make it in America Working Group, so I am grateful for this recognition and endorsement by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce,” said Shea-Porter.

The Women’s Chamber rated Shea-Porter as a 100% champion of women’s economic priorities for her actions to “support the economic vitality and security of her community,” according to Women’s Chamber CEO Margot Dorfman.

Dorfman added, “Carol Shea-Porter is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Fair Minimum Wage Act and the FAMILY Act. She will always work to support and stabilize Social Security funding to protect our seniors and will work to assure that small business gain access to the capital they need to grow and fuel American job growth. The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce is proud to endorse Rep. Shea-Porter for re-election to Congress.”

When making its endorsement decision, the Women’s Chamber also considered Shea-Porter’s commitment to strengthening small businesses, her active support for the “Make it in America” manufacturing initiative, and her work to keep jobs in New Hampshire instead of shipping them overseas.

Today We Celebrate “Women’s Equality Day,” And Continue To Push Forward To Real Equality For Women

Suffragist Picketing“On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified, securing for women the fundamental right to vote,” proclaimed President Obama.  “The product of decades spent organizing, protesting, and agitating, it was a turning point on the long march toward equality for all, and it inspired generations of courageous women who took up this unfinished struggle in their own time.  On the anniversary of this civil rights milestone, we honor the character and perseverance of America’s women and all those who work to make the same rights and opportunities possible for our daughters and sons.”

“In the 21st century, a mother should be able to raise her daughter and be her role model—showing her that with hard work, there are no limits to what she can accomplish,” continued Obama.

Just take a moment to think of all of the incredible achievement women have made in the last 94 years.

“On Women’s Equality Day, we continue the righteous work of building a society where women thrive, where every door is open to them, and their every dream can be realized,” concluded Obama.

No matter how far we have come, there is always work to be done.

“As we mark Women’s Equality Day, we must come together to close the wage gap and ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “All across the nation, women continue to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This doesn’t just hurt women, but hurts working Granite State families across New Hampshire. That’s why I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to help put an end to wage discrimination based on gender.”

“In addition to this wage gap, women face family-unfriendly policies that negatively impact their careers and slow down economic success,” opined Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These barriers not only hold back women and their families, but also our economy. That’s why I support a women’s economic agenda – because we need policies that will give women a fair shot to succeed.”

“Women’s Equality Day is a call to action and a reminder that in the year 2014, there is still much work to be done toward achieving full equality for women,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

For more than two decades, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to make a difference for women in New Hampshire. As Governor, she strengthened the state’s equal pay law and in the U.S. Senate, she cosponsored both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the work place. She strongly supports increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to give a raise to thousands of working New Hampshire women who currently make up nearly 70% of the state’s minimum wage earners. Last month, she and her colleagues introduced the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and ensure that employers cannot deny their female employees access to basic health care, like contraception or mammograms.

Senator Shaheen took this as a golden opportunity to highlight the vast differences between herself and her main political opponent, Scott Brown.  “There is a real choice in this election. I’m fighting for equal pay for equal work, to increase the minimum wage to give thousands of hardworking women get a raise, and to make sure women can make make their health care decisions with their doctors, not their employers. My Republican opponents don’t share those values.”

Former Massachusetts Senator, and now New Hampshire Senate candidate, Scott Brown, cosponsored the Blunt Amendment in the U.S. Senate, which would have allowed employers to deny women access to coverage for basic health services they opposed on moral grounds, such as contraception or mammograms. Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight to receive equal pay for equal work. Even Scott Brown’s own campaign co-chair noted that he was out of touch with ‘many, many, New Hampshire women’ on access to contraception coverage.  And when a reporter tried to ask him about the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision he hid in the bathroom rather than discuss the topic.

This should be a wake up call for all women, young and old that we have yet to reach real equality.  Take this day as a reminder to register to vote this year.  It could have been your mother or your great-grandmother that had to fight for their right to vote.  Honor them by registering, and exercising your Constitutional right to vote this November.


Read President Obama’s Proclamation of Women’s Equality Day.

Read Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s full Op-Ed on Women’s Equality Day

Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) Host Roundtable on Multimodal Transportation

CSPPortsmouth, NH – Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) hosted a roundtable on the future of multimodal transportation and livable communities.  The event brought together State and Federal Department of Transportation staff, regional planning officials, business owners, and bike-walk activists.  

“I was proud to help secure TIGER grant funding that made the Memorial Bridge possible.  In order to rebuild our infrastructure and create a transportation system for the 21st Century, we need a public-private partnership. Federal investment in infrastructure spurs economic development. I support creating a National Infrastructure Development Bank and I am working in Congress to help states, communities, and businesses with transportation and infrastructure challenges.” Shea-Porter said.

“Congresswoman Shea-Porter is a leader in Congress in working to ensure that America’s infrastructure remains world class. New Hampshire has always been a trailblazer in searching for new, innovative ways to face our country’s challenges, and I’m happy to see that tradition continuing. This roundtable shines a spotlight on the reasons we need multimodal transportation options if we want to build communities that are healthier, secure, livable, and economically viable. It’s a pleasure to spend time with Carol and other experts and leaders who understand that,” said Blumenauer.

In Congress, Congresswoman Shea-Porter was instrumental in securing TIGER Grant funding to rebuild the red-listed Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth. The Memorial Bridge was successfully awarded $20 million in federal funding. The Congresswoman has repeatedly supported increased funding for transportation alternatives, and has fought to bring federal transportation funds to New Hampshire.  She is also a cosponsor of HR 2553, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act, which would leverage private investments to create billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.


Congressman Earl Blumenauer is a leading advocate for rebuilding and renewing America – from repairing the nation’s roads and bridges, to modernizing our water and electrical infrastructure. Blumenauer is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he works to strengthen long-term infrastructure finance.  Since being elected to Congress in 1996, he has traveled to hundreds of communities across the country, supporting economic development and sustainable transportation options.

Participants at yesterday’s roundtable included Paul Yarossi, President HNTB Holdings; Roger Bowers, VP Government Relations HNTB; Larry Major, Government Relations Pike Industries; Rad Nichols, Executive Director COAST Busses; Rick Taintor, City of Portsmouth Planning; Juliet Walker, City of Portsmouth- Bicycle coordinator; Mark Nelson, City of Portsmouth Public Works; Jeff Latimer, Owner of Gus’ Bike Shop; Bob Spiegleman, Bike Walk Activist; Tim Blagden, Executive Director NH Bike-Walk Alliance; Rebecca Harris, Director Transport NH; David J. Preece, CEO Southern NH Planning Commission; Scott Bogle, Senior Transportation Planner, Rockingham Planning Commission (also the head of Seacoast greenway); Eric Weiss, Trail Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance;  Patrick McKenna, Deputy Commissioner NH DOT; Patrick Bauer, FHWA NH Division Administrator.


The NH AFL-CIO Make Endorsement Announcement for U.S. Senate, NH Governor, Congress

New Hampshire AFL-CIO endorses Shaheen, Hassan, Shea-Porter and Kuster in November elections

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO announced its top slate of candidates for the 2014 elections today, pledging to support the reelection bids of Senator Shaheen, Governor Hassan, and Congresswomen Shea-Porter and Kuster. The state’s largest labor federation is prepared to roll out an aggressive field campaign to turn out voters in support of these working family champions.

“As our economy recovers, we need leaders who will commit to creating economic opportunity for New Hampshire families,” said New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie. “Governor Hassan has worked across party lines to support job creation for middle class families. Our representatives in Congress successfully protected thousands of jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from furloughs under sequestration. This is the kind of bold leadership that will ensure that New Hampshire’s economic recovery will translate into more opportunities for working families.”

“Working people know how critical this election is. In the last year, we’ve seen what can happen in New Hampshire when we work together to solve big problems. Yet too many people are still struggling and living paycheck to paycheck. We need to protect the leaders who care about the struggles of working people, deliver on their promises to us, and are willing to work together to expand opportunity for all.”

Shea-Porter Announces TIGER 2013 Grant Agreement Reached for Northcoast Railroad

ROCHESTER, NH – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) announced that a Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) 2013 grant agreement has been formally reached for the New Hampshire Northcoast Rail Improvement Project.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) has awarded $1.4 million to be used to make repairs and improve sections of the rail line between Ossipee and Rochester.

In 2013, Congresswoman Shea-Porter and the entire New Hampshire delegation urged then-DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to support NHDOT’s competitive grant application for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad Project, which will enable the railroad to expand its freight service on the line and operate it more efficiently.

“The Northcoast line connects to the national freight rail network via Boston and is a vital transportation link for the Granite State. These repairs will complete a multi-year effort to modernize the rail line in partnership with local communities and the private sector,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “We must invest in the transportation infrastructure necessary to move the New Hampshire economy forward, and I will continue to fight to bring more TIGER grant dollars to our state.”

The full text of the letter follows:

May 29, 2013

The Honorable Ray H. LaHood, Secretary
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC  20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:

We write in support of the Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) V grant application submitted by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) for the upgrade and repair of 42 miles of main line rail between Rochester and Ossipee, NH in Strafford and Carroll Counties.

The New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad is a short-line freight railroad that provides service through Rochester, Ossipee and the southeastern and central regions of New Hampshire.  The Northcoast line connects to the national freight rail network via Boston and is a vital link for an economically-distressed area of our state.  Industrial sector companies depend on services from this railroad, but are impacted by low weight limits that necessitate additional shipments and deter some suppliers from using the line.  

NHDOT is applying for support to repair this section of rail to allow car shipments of up to 286,000 pounds, the North American standard, to travel the full length of this corridor.  These repairs will complete a multi-year effort to modernize the rail line undertaken in partnership with the local community and the private sector.  The upgrades to the track will improve safety and reliability while enabling increased speeds for trains traveling through the corridor.  The higher weight limit will enable existing customers to more efficiently access markets and help spur economic growth in the region.

We support NHDOT’s competitive grant application for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad Project and urge your serious consideration of this proposal.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Jeanne Shaheen                                                              Kelly A. Ayotte
United States Senator                                                    United States Senator

Carol Shea-Porter                                                           Ann McLane Kuster
Member of Congress                                                       Member of Congress

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