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Senator Shaheen Votes For CROmnibus Bill While Objecting To Certain Provisions

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Immediate Release:

Legislation funds the government while making strategic investments in job creation and economic growth in New Hampshire

(Washington, DC) – Tonight U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) voted in favor of a bipartisan appropriations bill that funds most government operations through the 2015 fiscal year.

“The spending bill we passed tonight invests in strategic priorities that will support job creation, economic growth and our national security,” said Shaheen. “It is far from perfect, but it is the product of a bipartisan compromise that in my mind was better than any alternative. I’m disappointed by certain provisions included in this bill – including the rolling back of important taxpayer protections from risky behavior on Wall Street. But I’d rather pass this imperfect, bipartisan compromise now, than face a partisan Republican bill next year, one that would be more at odds with the priorities I believe best serve New Hampshire’s economy and middle-class families. This legislation will help to continue our economic growth and avert another costly government shutdown.”

Shaheen provisions and priorities included in the final spending bill include:

New Hampshire’s Economy

The bill includes funding for another round of State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. The STEP program, which Shaheen helped create, is an export initiative that helps states assist small businesses to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The bill also provides funding to complete the activation of the Berlin Prison which will boost the economy in Northern New Hampshire. Shaheen has fought for the opening of the prison since its funding became at risk and has continued to be a leader in the fight to fully open the facility. She has repeatedly pressed Congress and the Obama Administration to prioritize funding and has highlighted the economic boost the prison would have on one of the most economically distressed areas of the state. The facility is expected to create 340 local jobs and provide a $40 million economic boost to Northern New Hampshire.

Pease Air National Guard Base and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

The spending bill includes funding for the new KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker that will be housed at Pease Air National Guard base in New Hampshire. The new tankers will replace the Air Force’s current fleet of 1950’s era KC-135s, and Pease – home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing – is slated to be the first Air National Guard unit to receive the next generation tanker in fiscal year 2018. Shaheen has advocated for Pease to receive the tanker since 2011, and last year, announced that the Air Force had designated Pease as the first Air National Guard unit to receive the KC-46A.

The bill also includes $41 million in infrastructure upgrades to prepare the Pease Air National Guard Base for the new tankers, as well investments in further energy efficiency upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which will reduce costs and improve performance at the shipyard.

Veterans

The spending bill also provides support for service men and women and addresses issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill increases funding for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon Program, which connects service men and women and their families with community support, training, and other services, by $15 million.

The bill also supports job opportunities for veterans by incorporating several of Shaheen’s veteran small business priorities included in her legislation the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act. The bill includes fee waivers for veteran small business owners applying for Small Business Association (SBA) loans who are looking for loans to start or expand their small businesses. The bill also makes important investments to continue reducing the backlog of veterans’ benefits and appeals claims.

Peace Corps

The bill gives victims of rape who serve in the Peace Corps health care equity by providing them with health care coverage to terminate a pregnancy. Peace Corps volunteers will now receive the same basic health care benefits provided to other women on federal health care plans.

Heroin Abuse Intervention Funding

The bill will help local communities in New Hampshire address the growing heroin abuse crisis. It provides critical resources for communities by setting aside $7 million to strengthen law enforcement efforts in states with high incidences of heroin abuse. Shaheen has been working with local, state and federal officials as well as law enforcement and public health experts to identify ways to address the growing heroin and prescription drug problem in New Hampshire. Earlier this year, she announced Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funding for New Hampshire, which will educate young people about the dangers of drug abuse to ultimately reduce youth substance use. The Senate Appropriations Committee also unanimously adopted several provisions Shaheen proposed and which were a direct result of her outreach with federal, state and local officials along with public health and treatment professionals.

Children and Families

The spending bill invests in important programs for children in New Hampshire such as Head Start, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.  It allocates $430 million for the Violence Against Women Act, which is a record level of funding.  These resources are critical to providing the support needed by the millions of women who are the victims of violence.

Wave of Actions by FairPoint Strikers Continues Friday in Manchester

FairPoint Communications

FairPoint strikers converge on company’s Elm Street offices calling for good jobs, quality service, and a Fair Deal for New England

Workers escalating their campaign after negotiators from North Carolina-based FairPoint made no movement at meeting earlier this week

Manchester protest marks the third major action by FairPoint strikers in two days, following events Thursday in Montpelier and Boston

WHEN: Friday, November 21, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: 770 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H.

Fairness at Fairpoint BannerMANCHESTER — A wave of actions by striking FairPoint workers continues Friday in Manchester. Strikers and supporters from across New England are rallying on the picket line outside FairPoint’s Elm Street offices.

The striking workers are calling on the company, which is headquartered in North Carolina, to reach a Fair Deal for New England. They say that deep and damaging cuts the company is seeking in negotiations would make it impossible to deliver quality service to customers.

“The executives back in North Carolina don’t get it, but they’ve created a crisis here in New England,” said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320, which represents FairPoint workers in New Hampshire. “By attacking their skilled workers, FairPoint has left our customers relying on unqualified contractors who can’t do the work.”

The Manchester protest will mark the strikers’ third major action against FairPoint in two days. On Thursday morning, a delegation of strikers and supporters protested against FairPoint’s biggest shareholder — Wall Street hedge fund Angelo, Gordon & Co. — at an investor conference in Boston. At noon, the strikers held a major rally at the Vermont state capitol in Montpelier.

Earlier this week, union representatives participated in an effort to jump-start the deadlocked talks. They attended a meeting Tuesday with the company arranged by a federal mediator. But the meeting broke up quickly after FairPoint officials refused to modify demands for severe cuts that they’ve been seeking since bargaining began this spring.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan issued a statement after Tuesday’s meeting, saying, “I know that FairPoint workers, who stood by the company throughout its bankruptcy proceedings, have brought a constructive approach to the table and offered real concessions, and I encourage FairPoint’s leadership in North Carolina to do the same.”

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin spoke at Thursday’s rally in Montpelier, and said he had talked to the CEO of FairPoint two days earlier. Shumlin said he had urged the CEO to return to the table with the FairPoint strikers so they could “get service back to a level that is acceptable.”

Since the strike began on October 17, FairPoint has been struggling to maintain its northern New England systems with replacement workers hired from out of state. On Monday, Vermont’s Department of Public Service reported that it has received 271 complaints from Fairpoint customers during the strike, a significant increase.

The negotiations for a new contract at FairPoint began in April, and from the outset company officials pressed to increase outsourcing, cut pay for new workers and slash benefits for all employees. The workers have offered more than $200 million in cost-saving compromises during the talks. But the company has not altered its initial demand for $700 million in deep and damaging cuts.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.

In Portsmouth, Jeanne Shaheen Continues “GOTV-New Hampshire Tour” With Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin

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HRC LogoPortsmouth – This afternoon, Senator Jeanne Shaheen continued her “Get Out The Vote New Hampshire Tour” in Portsmouth, where she campaigned with Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. Shaheen and Griffin attended a canvass kick off and addressed grassroots organizers and volunteers about what is at stake in this Tuesday’s election, including protecting equal rights for all Americans.

“The government has no place preventing two people who love each other from getting married and I am proud to have fought for marriage equality throughout my first term in the Senate,” said Shaheen. “When Scott Brown was in the Senate representing Massachusetts, he stood on the wrong side of history and voted against repealing the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Here in New Hampshire, we value equal rights for all, and Scott Brown’s record is just further proof that he is not for us.”

“I couldn’t be more proud to have the support of Chad Griffin and the Human Rights Campaign,” Shaheen added. “There are serious differences between my record and Scott Brown’s, and with their help, we’re going to make sure voters across the state now know what’s at stake when it comes to equal rights for LGBT Americans.”

Jeanne Shaheen has been a champion for LGBT equality. In the Senate, she cosponsored legislation to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented same-sex couples from having their marriages recognized by the federal government. She was the first U.S. Senator to call on the Democratic Party to include a freedom-to-marry plank in its 2012 party platform. Scott Brown opposes repealing DOMA, proving he can’t be trusted to stand up for equal rights for LGBT Americans.

Shaheen also cosponsored legislation to expand federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by gender or sexual orientation. She led the fight to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect Americans from losing their jobs based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and cosponsored a bill to protect students from bullying and harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Shaheen campaign’s robust grassroots organization is paving the way to victory on Tuesday. Thousands of volunteers have been knocking on doors and making phone calls. Since early this summer, the campaign has been busy building the infrastructure needed to turn out voters on November 4th, including a seven-figure investment in the field operation that has opened 20 field offices in critical communities across the state.

AFT and National Nurses United Praise New CDC Ebola Guidelines For Healthcare Workers

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Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new Ebola guidance for U.S. healthcare workers.  AFT and National Nurses United have been pushing for more restrictive guidance to protect the millions of healthcare providers in the US.

After the news broke AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement:

“At hospitals throughout our nation, nurses and healthcare professionals are doing everything they can to be ready to care for whoever comes through their doors. The CDC’s new guidance for healthcare workers and the positive actions taken by the Obama administration fall directly in line with what our members called for last week: infection-control protocols and worker-preparedness plans; dedicated, specially trained teams of willing staff; and the proper equipment for nurses and healthcare professionals working in America’s hospitals.

As the second-largest nurses union in the United States, the AFT is working to keep our communities safe and healthy. That is why we are calling on the CDC to issue additional Ebola guidance for non-hospital healthcare settings and expanded guidance to guarantee wages and benefits for quarantined healthcare workers—so workers won’t have to choose between safety and living expenses. And we renew our call for hospitals to incorporate the voices of nurses and healthcare workers in the development and implementation of Ebola protocols.

We look forward to being a partner with the CDC to expand and improve guidance on Ebola or any other health issues facing America.”

The National Nurses United released the following:

National Nurses United today welcomed the call in the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “rigorous and repeated training” for nurses and other health workers responding to the Ebola virus as NNU has been urging for two months, but said some substantial questions and concerns remain.

“It is clear from the abrupt change in position of the CDC in some areas that the registered nurses have moved the country and the CDC as the nurses champion protection for their patients and articulate the vulnerabilities for themselves. Nevertheless, the optimal standards should be in place tomorrow and, regrettably, they will not be,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

With still significant questions regarding the most effective personal protective equipment, and the ongoing lack of any mandate on the hospitals to comply with the highest standards and protocols, “it is clear that nurses are going to have to continue to fight every step of the way to demand that every patient, every nurse, every frontline healthcare worker has the protection they need,” DeMoro said.

“The governing theme must be the precautionary principle, the highest safety standards in the face of this virulent disease, so that no nurses, other frontline health workers, or patients have to put their lives in jeopardy,” DeMoro said.

DeMoro noted that the call for continuous training, especially in group sessions with everyone practicing putting on and taking off the protective equipment, echoes a key demand of nurses.

“Most hospitals continue to fall far short of that standard,” she said. A national NNU survey, which now has nearly 3,000 responses from nurses in over 1,000 facilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that 84 percent of nurses say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for nurses to interact and ask questions.

Second, DeMoro called the guideline that any protective equipment leave ‘no skin exposed,’ a “direct testament to the courage of Briana Aguirre,”  the Texas Presbyterian Hospital RN who “made the incredibly brave decision” to publicly disclose that the suits at her Dallas hospital left exposed the necks and other skin of nurses who cared for Ebola-infected patients.

“Briana will be remembered as the Karen Silkwood of our time,” DeMoro said.  The gap in the suits was also revealed in a statement from Aguirre and other Dallas RNs released by NNU last week.

However, the CDC guidelines remain unclear on the most effective protective equipment, and, significantly, have their own gaping hole in the option offered to hospitals to select which protective equipment to use “based on availability” and other factors.

DeMoro called that loophole “an open invitation for hospitals to choose the cheapest protective equipment that will continue to put nurses and other health workers at considerable risk. Years of experience with our private hospital industry have demonstrated that far too many hospitals routinely put their budget goals and profit margins ahead of public safety, including in access to protective equipment.”

“We are contacting the CDC for specifics on the proper protective equipment and whether it meets the precautionary principle and the highest standard, in particular, full body coverage that prevents any blood or viral penetration,” DeMoro said.

Finally, she noted, “CDC readily admits it is not a regulatory agency. It has no authority to compel hospitals to comply with any guidelines.

“That is why we will continue to insist that Congress and the White House should mandate all hospitals meet the optimal uniform, national standards and protocols in order to safely protect patients, all healthcare workers and the public,” DeMoro said.

The public is invited to join that call by signing an NNU petition online at:

http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/page/s/national-nurses-united-urges-you-to-take-action-now?utm_source=nnu&utm_medium=btn&utm_campaign=petition

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

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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.

                                                                  Sincerely,

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

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

NH Auto Dealers And Sierra Club Offer Tips For Energy Savings

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vert_white_bg[1]NHADA and NH Sierra Club Team Up to Offer Tips to NH Businesses 

BOW, NH – Perhaps it’s something as simple as LED lights.  Or maybe an energy audit can reveal significant savings.  Either way, local business owners aren’t waiting for the state’s energy debate to bring lower electric rates – a new movement is underway to find cost savings through new technology.

On Thursday May 15, 2014, local business owners will highlight specific energy savings to showcase that owners can save money and protect the environment. As large energy users, New Hampshire Auto Dealers have been at the forefront of the search for savings through efficiency.  The NH Sierra Club has supported solutions for business leaders. Both groups intend to share their ideas to benefit others, such as energy efficiency, LED lighting, weatherization and alternative energy. The speakers will quantify the costs savings and the benefit of innovative funding tools.

 

For example, an energy overhaul recently completed at NHADA headquarters is expected to save nearly $10,000 a year in expenses while dramatically cutting emissions.

On hand will be representatives from various NHADA members who have undertaken alternative energy and energy efficiency projects. Many of these projects took advantage of innovative incentives and funding sources to kick start their projects and make energy efficiency and costs savings a reality.  They include: representatives from AutoFair Companies (Manchester Nashua Stratham), AutoServ Dealerships (Tilton), Lambert Auto Sales (Claremont), Seacoast Volkswagen (Greenland), Townline Equipment (Plainfield), Weed Family Automotive (Concord)

What: NHADA / NH Sierra Club Energy Savings Tips

Who:  New Hampshire Business Owners

When: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time: 10:30 Am  to 11:30 Am

Where:   NH Automobile Dealers Association, 507 South Street in Bow, NH

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Condemns Government Shutdown

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control towerWASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today condemned the shutdown of the federal government and called on Congress to end it immediately.

As a result of the shutdown, 3,000 of NATCA’s aviation safety professionals, vital to the daily function, maintenance and safety of the National Airspace System (NAS) have been furloughed. 

“It is unacceptable that thousands of our aviation safety professionals have been forced to stay home due to partisan posturing in Congress,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “I implore Congress to reach an agreement to end this shutdown, which is hurtful to our nation’s aviation system, our economy and the American people.”

During the shutdown, air traffic controllers are working without pay, but essential support staff specialists have been furloughed. Rinaldi said this is akin to a surgeon performing an operation without any staff to prep the room, clean the equipment or provide support during the surgery. In addition, controllers who train new hires will be unable to continue much of the training process. This could result in high controller attrition as frustrated trainees fall further behind in the training process. Controller hiring was already frozen due to sequestration.

Below are just a few of the thousands of projects that will be delayed or halted due to the government shutdown and furloughing of aviation safety professionals.

  • A delay in the opening of a new runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
  • A flight inspection scheduled for Janesville, Wis., Airport has been shut down due to the furlough of key personnel. Without an inspection, the approach into the airport will eventually be declared inoperative. This results in inefficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots, and a reduction in the margin of safety.
  • Thousands of certification projects performed by NATCA Aircraft Certification Engineers are now suspended.
  • A halt in the ELD Power Cable Replacement at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW). The cable supplies power to the navigational aids on the diagonal runways at DFW. Construction planned for January will now be delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
  • A hold on hundreds of Aircraft Certification Office projects. This will result in a delay in the approval of safety related equipment modifications to aircraft going through the certification process.
  • A stop for work on Airworthiness Directives, NTSB safety recommendations and other vital safety related work performed by Aircraft Certification Engineers. This could delay the issuance and implementation of mandated safety fixes to aircraft.
  •  A delay of all projects affecting surveillance radars that feed the 100 busiest airports in the NAS.
  •  A halt in the development and implementation of navigational aids for a new runway at Fort Lauderdale airport.
  •  A halt on several runway safety projects, including glide slope relocation at Long Beach, Calif.
  • A delay in major mechanical upgrades scheduled for three air traffic control En Route Centers.

NATCA MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 315-796-1560

Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

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Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

Workshops aim to help local fire departments obtain critical equipment, resources

CONCORD, N.H.  – This week, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) is encouraging fire fighters across New Hampshire to attend grant workshops to help them obtain equipment and resources necessary to keep local communities safe. The workshops, hosted in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help fire department officials prepare their grant applications to the federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant program (AFG), which helps fire fighters and first responders acquire protective gear, emergency vehicles, and other critical equipment and resources.

“Each day, our emergency responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Kuster said. “I eagerly await the opportunity to support these applications and to make sure New Hampshire’s fire fighters are equipped to serve our communities at the highest level.”

FEMA officials will host three workshops throughout the week – one in Lancaster (on monday 9-23) and two in Concord. All workshops are open to all fire departments and other emergency response agencies across New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 23, 1:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m.
Concord Fire Academy
98 Smokey Bear Road, Concord, NH

Additional information about the AFG program is available here. For more information about the AFG workshops, please call Kuster’s Concord office at (603) 226-1002.

Governor Hassan Directs Flags to Half-Staff on Wednesday, Proclaims 9/11 Remembrance Day

Maggie Hassan

Maggie HassanGovernor Maggie Hassan has directed flags to half-staff on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, and proclaimed Wednesday as a Day of Remembrance in honor of the tragic terrorist attacks 12 years ago.

“We will never forget the events of September 11, 2001, one of the darkest days in our nation’s history, but a day that demonstrated our collective resilience in the face of great tragedy,” Governor Hassan said. “We remember the innocent victims of those senseless terrorist attacks, holding them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. We honor the first responders and all of the brave men and women who rushed into the burning towers or sacrificed themselves in a Pennsylvania field to protect the lives of people they never met. And we remain forever grateful for our men and women in uniform and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that our country can be safer and our freedom can be stronger. We remember these people and these events so that we can rededicate ourselves to the principles that make our state and country so strong, the principles that unite us in our resolve to be free.”

To pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and in the ensuing conflicts, Governor Hassan will speak at three remembrance ceremonies: the Beech Street School 9/11 Remembrance Program in Manchester, the American Legion Post 33 Patriot Day “We Will Remember” September 11 Commemoration in Meredith, and the American Legion Post 35 Global War on Terrorism Monument Unveiling and Rededication in Hampton.

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NH Congresswomen Weigh In On The So-Called “Full Faith and Credit Act”

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Carol Shea-Porter_Official.2010-300x288WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 807, a bill that would ensure Chinese bondholders are paid before American soldiers in the case of a government default.

After the vote, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement:

“I strongly oppose this deeply irresponsible legislation. Middle class families can’t pick and choose which bills to pay, and neither should Congress. 

“H.R. 807 guarantees that if Republicans push our nation into default, bondholders from China and the Cayman Islands would be paid before America’s veterans, Medicare providers, and small businesses. 

“Instead of playing chicken with our nation’s credit rating, Congress should act responsibly and pay the bills that it has incurred.  I, once again, call on Speaker Boehner to appoint budget conferees so Congress can compromise on a sensible budget that ends sequestration, helps create jobs, and responsibly reduces the deficit.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster also released a statement after her vote:

Ann kuster head shot LG“This bill is nothing more than a plan to default on our nation’s obligations, plain and simple,” Kuster said. “It sets the stage for yet another manufactured crisis that would prioritize payments to China and other foreign creditors over our obligations to seniors on Medicare, veterans, and the men and women of our Armed Forces.”

“Rather than simply bracing for default, both parties need to work together to reduce the deficit in a balanced way that will help create jobs, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class,” Kuster added. “As we do, Congress must reassure creditors and the American people that our government will continue to meet its obligations and avoid a catastrophic default. Any suggestion that we would even consider doing otherwise would be irresponsible, undermine confidence in our government, and put our credit rating at risk.”

 

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