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Kuster: Compromise Needed to Stop Across-the-Board Cuts

Rep_Ann_KusterWASHINGTON, D.C. – Reiterating her call for a balanced, bipartisan approach to reduce the deficit, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) spoke on the House floor yesterday to urge Republicans and Democrats to find a responsible compromise that will stop the automatic spending cuts that took effect on Friday.  Watch her speech here.

“Because Congress refuses to compromise, across-the-board spending cuts known as ‘the sequester’ and uncertainty around the federal budget are casting a cloud over our economy,” Kuster said. “This is not what responsible governing looks like. We owe it to New Hampshire families to work across the aisle, responsibly reduce the deficit, and stop these mindless cuts.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that these automatic spending cuts would reduce economic growth by a third in 2013 and cost up to 1.4 million jobs nationwide. A recent study by George Mason University estimated that New Hampshire would lose more than 6,300 jobs.

Kuster has repeatedly called on Congress to stop these cuts and instead pass a balanced plan to responsibly reduce the deficit, grow the economy, and protect the middle class.  Earlier this week, Kuster cosponsored bipartisan legislation that would cut through Congressional gridlock to help save billions of dollars, eliminate waste, and consolidate duplicative programs – all while protecting priorities that seniors and middle class families count on.

Kuster recently wrote an op-ed highlighting the damaging impacts the automatic cuts would have on families and businesses in New Hampshire, and urged Congress to take a more balanced, bipartisan approach to reducing the deficit that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families.  Last month, Kuster helped establish the United Solutions Caucus, a new bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic freshman focused on resolving our nation’s fiscal challenges in a common sense, bipartisan way.

Kuster Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Cut Wasteful Spending, Consolidate Duplicative Programs

Rep Annie Kuster in US House

Rep_KusterCommon sense legislation would cut through gridlock to help save billions while protecting middle class

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Congress debates ways to responsibly reduce the deficit and stop the sequester, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today announced that she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that could help the government save billions of dollars, cut wasteful spending,  and consolidate duplicative programs while protecting important services for New Hampshire families. The Government Waste Reduction Act would advance a series of waste-cutting recommendations that were included in recent reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) but await Congressional action.

“At a time when Congress is in need of balanced, bipartisan ideas to get rid of the sequester and responsibly reduce the deficit, this type of common sense legislation should be a no-brainer,” Kuster said. “The Government Waste Reduction Act will cut through Congressional gridlock to help save billions of dollars and streamline services – all while protecting priorities that seniors and middle class families count on.”

“Cutting waste and duplication in government shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue – it’s just common sense,” Kuster continued. “These proposals alone won’t solve all of our fiscal challenges, but they are sensible steps that will make our government more efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people.”

In 2011 and 2012, the GAO released reports outlining wasteful and duplicative government programs that should be consolidated or eliminated. For example, the reports highlight overlap between 53 federal programs to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses, twenty entities that provide housing assistance, and over 200 Department of Justice grant programs.

The Government Waste Reduction Act would create an independent, bipartisan panel to produce legislation incorporating GAO’s waste-cutting recommendations. This legislative proposal would receive an expedited, up-or-down vote in Congress, and could not include cuts to benefits for seniors, veterans, or military servicemembers.

The legislation was introduced by freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and has been cosponsored by members of both parties.

Today’s announcement builds on Kuster’s commitment to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to stop the sequester and reduce the deficit in a balanced, responsible way that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families. In February 2013, Kuster helped establish the United Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic freshmen focused on resolving our nation’s fiscal challenges in a balanced, bipartisan way.

 

Congresswoman-Elect Kuster Announces Online Lottery for Tickets to President Obama’s Second Inauguration

inauguration

For months we knocked on doors and made phone calls to help re-elect President Obama and elect Annie Kuster.  Now Congresswoman-Elect Kuster is giving back to the community that helped her get elected.

Congresswoman-Elect Kuster today announced that her office is launching an online lottery system for Granite Staters interested in attending President Obama’s Second Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

“I am thrilled that so many Granite Staters will have a chance to experience President Obama’s Inauguration from the nation’s capital,” Kuster said. “It is exciting to see so much enthusiasm from people across the state, and I encourage everyone who is interested in attending the Inauguration to enter their names in the lottery.”

To enter the online lottery system, Granite Staters should visit www.KusterforCongress.com/Inauguration and complete the online form.

Anyone can enter the lottery, but preference will be given to those from within New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. Tickets are limited, so there is no guarantee that everyone who enters the lottery will receive one. There is a limit of four tickets per request, and the deadline to apply is December 29, 2012 by midnight EST. Due to the large amount of interest, there will be no exceptions to this deadline.

Those chosen in the lottery will be notified by early January and will receive additional information on how to pick up their tickets. Those not receiving tickets will also receive notification. Anyone receiving tickets for the Inauguration will be responsible for his or her own travel and expenses, and we strongly encourage all applicants to think through their travel plans in advance. Historically, the day of the Inauguration has been very cold with attendees standing on their feet for most of the day, so those who receive tickets are asked to plan accordingly.

Those who do not receive a ticket may still attend the Inauguration in the area open to the general public. Additional information about activities that may be of interest can be found here: http://inaugural.senate.gov.

Congresswoman-Elect Kuster Announces Sean Downey As District Director

Ann-Kuster (1)

Today Congresswoman-Elect Kuster announced Sean Downey as District Director. The New Hampshire Labor News would also like to congratulate Sean on his new position.  The NHLN worked with Sean when he was working as part of the ‘Organizing for America’  (OFA) New Hampshire team.  Under Sean’s strong leadership we all worked to ensure a win for President Obama her in New Hampshire. We look forward to working with Sean in the future.

Full Press Release From Ann Kuster

Congresswoman-Elect Kuster Announces Sean Downey As District Director

Concord, N.H. – Congresswoman-Elect Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced today that Sean Downey will serve as her Congressional District Director.

“I am thrilled that Sean will be joining our team as District Director,” Kuster said. “Sean has a wealth of experience that makes him a natural fit for this role. The people of New Hampshire’s Second District will be well-served by his thoughtfulness, diligence, and commitment to public service.”

“I am honored to join Congresswoman-Elect Kuster as she goes to work for the people of New Hampshire’s Second District,” Downey said. “I look forward to doing everything I can to support her in her efforts, and to help ensure that the needs of hardworking families all across the district are priority number one.”

Sean joins the staff of Congresswoman-Elect Kuster after serving as Political Director for Organizing for America – New Hampshire, the grassroots arm of President Obama’s successful re-election campaign. His experience in New Hampshire extends back to 2002 and includes work at all levels of various state and federal campaigns, including a Senior Advisor role with Governor John Lynch’s 2010 re-election. Sean is a 2002 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

And Occupy the Election We Did!

Carol Shea-Poter and NHALC

Left to right
Lew Henry, Wayne Alterisio, Carol Shea-Porter, and Bill Brickley

And Occupy the Election We Did!

I started posting on this website with a plea that we needed to get members engaged in this upcoming election because in 2010 we had our heads summarily handed to us on a platter. Mostly because of a pitiful voter turnout which invariably leads to huge Republican gains which translates into an attack on working families and the Labor movement overall. What we saw happen in Wisconsin was a prelude to what was about to happen to the rest of the nation.

Ann Kuster and NH Letter Carriers from the Union Night at the Fishercats

Newly elected Republican politicians turned 8 years of a Bush’s two wars and a ruinous Wall St. financial miss-step as a reason to lay-off teachers and dismantle bargaining agreements. You know what, aided by the conservative main street media, it worked! With the aid of ALEC generated legislation and flipped State Legislatures from blue to red, the onslaught began. It wasn’t long before the fight came here to New Hampshire. It was not just an attack on Labor with “right to work” but a host of crazy nutty legislation that was right out of a Fellini movie. Besides the phony claim that voter fraud was rampant in the country requiring us to set up an expensive time consuming voter ID system it was things we could have never imagined. It was things like being able to carry weapons on the House floor and on College campuses. My favorite was taking away lunch for State employees.

The Bill O’Brien Republican House was secret about its attacks never divulging their agenda or when legislation would be introduced. It was just a constant vigil. Democrats when they held the House always posted their agenda on pending legislation for the upcoming week. That is the fair and open thing to do.

This onslaught was not limited to Labor. It was also aimed at a women’s right to control her body and her decision as to when to start a family. That was probably a bigger mistake than attacking Labor. That has already been decided by the Supreme Court. All indications were pointing to Republicans wanting to change that decision. Their voting block was substantially larger. Coupled with the fact that the ethnic voter was not seeing jobs coming their way any too soon doomed the anti-fact checking Republican Party.

No poll or amount of corporate money and influence can stop a tidal wave of votes. Not in New Hampshire. Politics is real close-up and personal here. We will only succumb to logic and reason. We do fact check, and that drives our vote! We occupied the election like never before. I embodied this at my last union meeting when I called out all the people to stand who helped out on the election. I called them out by name too, because I knew who they were. It wasn’t just the usual few, it was many! Thank you brothers and sisters for making this election a roaring success for hard working families.

There was no apathy and that’s how we get change!

A Special Veterans Day Message From Congress-Elect Shea-Porter and Kuster

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter statement:

“Today, we pause again to thank our veterans. Throughout our history, America’s small towns and large cities have brought forth men and women who answer their country’s call.  I watched as my grandfathers’ World War I generation marched in parades, and watched as my dad’s World War II generation marched in parades, and then watched as our vets of the Korean War and Cold War joined them.  I watched as my husband’s Vietnam era Vets lined up and the WWI group dropped away.  Now I watch as the Gulf War I vets and our newest Iraq and Afghanistan Vets show up to march, as the last of my dad’s generation fade away.

Throughout it all, we have prayed for peace and prayed for the men and women who show up to preserve it or restore it.  Thank you to my husband, my dad, my grandfathers, and to all of the men and women who answered the call.  This Veterans Day, we gratefully remember those now gone, and honor those living, for their service to America.”

Congresswoman-elect Annie Kuster’s Veterans Day statement:

“As we celebrate Veterans Day, my thoughts are with the generations of servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our country and our way of life. As the daughter and daughter-in-law of World War II veterans, I know the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of those who have served in the armed forces.”

“We have no higher responsibility as a nation than to care for the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States of America. Our veterans deserve not just our respect and gratitude, but the support and resources they need when they come home. On Veterans Day, we recommit ourselves to serving our veterans and their families as honorably as they have served each and every one of us.”

New Hampshire Union Members Celebrate Enormous Electoral Wins

Labor 2012

For weeks now union members have been canvassing New Hampshire as part of the Labor 2012 campaign.  After making thousands of phone calls and spending every free moment knocking on doors, all of our hard work paid off!

With our help New Hampshire cast it’s four electoral votes for President Obama as part of his reelection last night. This is great news for New Hampshire and the rest of the Nation.

Here in New Hampshire many of the union locals are more excited about the other races.  We banded together to defeat Ovide ‘Scott Walker on Steroids’ Lamontagne in electing Maggie Hassan as our next Governor.  She has already assured us that she will veto any anti-worker legislation including Right To Work for less.  Ensuring that we have a labor friendly Governor was the most important part of  preserving collective bargaining in New Hampshire.  While Right To Work has already been proposed for next years session, we can rest assured it will not pass.

We also celebrated huge victories in our Congressional candidates.  Annie Kuster defeated Congressman Charlie Bass (NH-02).  We worked with Annie, who received the endorsement from almost every labor organization in the state.  Congressman Bass voted to turn Medicare into a Voucher system and gut Social Security.  While Annie campaigned on preserving the middle class and protecting our workers.

The big win did not come until after 2 am last night.  CNN was the first to call the NH-01 race for Carol Shea-Porter.  As the results were coming in, the results were all over the road.  Carol was up, then she was down.  Carol Shea-Porter will be returning to her seat in Washington DC, and removing one of the most anti-union legislators in Washington, Congressman Frank Guinta.   Congressman Guinta, who was backed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC),  pushed legislation to end project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws.

With Annie and Carol in our corner we can get back to rebuilding the middle class while we rebuild New Hampshire’s infrastructure. We will also have two amazing advocates for protecting all of our rights as workers in Washington.

New Hampshire workers almost received the biggest surprise of all.  Shortly after the polls closed it was reported that NH Speaker Bill O’Brien had lost the largest of the two towns in his district.  O’Brien was the one leading the anti-worker charge in the NH House with attacks on collective bargaining, and Right To Work.   After hours of waiting the results finally came in after midnight that Bill O’Brien retained his seat by 25 votes.  While we never expected O’Brien to loose his seat, it would have made all of our victories just a little sweeter.

The next legislative session will be very different in New Hampshire.  We are still awaiting final results on the breakdown of the NH House, we know that the GOP has lost their 3:1 majority.  Even after all the gerrymandering in the NH Senate districts the Democrats picked up seats.  Now the NH Senate is split with a slight GOP favor at 13-11

Now we start looking to the next legislative session where we can fight to repeal the Voter ID law and other extreme legislation that was passed over the past two years.

However our future looks brighter already.

Ann Kuster’s Remarks After Being Elected To US House Of Representatives

Ann Kuster in Concord

Annie Kuster Elected to the United States House of Representatives

Copyright Rob Strong @2012 Rob Strong
Image via Facebook

CONCORD, N.H. – Tonight, Annie Kuster was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Following her victory, Annie addressed supporters at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Her full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

*****

Thank you!

Tonight, New Hampshire proved our independence once again!

I want to start by congratulating Congressman Bass on a strong campaign.

He and I don’t see eye-to-eye on most issues, but I respect him a great deal and wish him and his family all the best.

The truth is, this campaign wasn’t about him and it wasn’t about me.

It was about you – the people of the Second District – and the kind of future we want for our families, for our state, and for our country.

And tonight, with your votes, you said loud and clear that New Hampshire wants to move forward!

You proved that in the Granite State, we’re ready to put politics aside and do what’s right for the middle class and small businesses; for students and seniors; for veterans and hardworking families all across this district.

You proved that there are thousands of voters who are looking for leaders who can bring people together to get things done.

And you proved that a grassroots, people-powered campaign can overcome the special interests, overcome the status quo, and overcome the odds!

To our tireless volunteers who poured their hearts and souls into this campaign – tonight is your night.

You made the calls, you knocked the doors, you wrote the letters – you made this all possible.

I can’t thank you enough for the incredible campaign you built, but I can promise you this: I will bring the same grit and passion to Congress that you brought to this campaign.

So many people have given so much to this effort, but I want to acknowledge a few who have traveled this road with me for the past several years.

My husband Brad has been at my side every step of the way – during this campaign, and for the last 28 years.

Zach, my faithful driver; and Travis – I am so proud of you both. You inspire me to work hard for a better future for all our young people.

And then there’s my campaign family:

Our fearless leader, Garrick; our fundraiser, Emily; our superstars in finance and communications; and the best field team ever – you are amazing!

To our earliest supporters; to our A-Team volunteers and our Angel donors; and to the hosts of hundreds of house parties across this district – you stepped up when your state and country needed you, and I am so grateful for your support.

I also want to thank the many Republicans and Independents who crossed party lines to support our campaign; and who know that we can only solve the challenges we face by working together.

That’s the approach to politics I learned from my parents. And as I stand here tonight, I can’t help but think about my mom and dad. I wish they could be here to celebrate with us.

They spent their lives fighting for liberty, equality, opportunity, and fairness – and I know they would be proud of the campaign we ran.

My great-grandmother was a suffragette. My grandmother didn’t earn the right to vote until she was married with three children. And my mother ran for this seat in 1980, at a time when very few women were running for public office.

That’s why I’m especially proud to join Maggie Hassan, Senator Shaheen, Senator Ayotte, and hopefully Carol Shea-Porter in representing the people of this great state!

I come from a long line of strong women who taught me to chase my dreams. We’ve come an awful long way since my grandmother cast her first ballot, but we still have a lot more work to do.

And so in her memory, I promise that I will work every single day to move this country forward and get our government working for us again!

We all know that’s going to take commonsense and compromise. So here’s my commitment to you:

I will work with anybody, from any party, on any issue if I believe it’s in the best interest of our state.

And I will always stand up for what I believe in.

I will stand up for the hardworking middle class families I’ve met all across this district.

I will stand up for good jobs in our communities, affordable health care for our families, and the best education for our children.

I will stand up for equal rights, civil rights, and a woman’s right to choose.

And I will stand up for a government that reflects the decency, integrity, and generosity of the people in this room, and the people I have met all across New Hampshire.

These are the values we stood up for in this campaign. These are the values we all share. And these are the values I will fight for every single day in Congress.

I am truly humbled by your vote of confidence, and I will do my best to live up to it for as long as I have the privilege of serving New Hampshire.

Thank you so very much.

Get Out There And Vote Today! Then Help GOTV!

Vote No on Question 1 2 3

Well it if finally NOV 6th 2012! Many of us are so happy that it is finally election day. Before I can rest and move on from all the election politics I want to make one more reminder.

GET OUT AND VOTE!

If you do not know where to go and vote, you can find it here.

Remember that for no reason can you be turned away from voting in New Hampshire.  Even with the new Voter ID Laws you can still register at the poll and vote  with or without an ID.   While I hope there is no problems with the new Voter ID Law there are a few ways you can help ensure this does not happen.  If you see a problem, report it immediately. Call 1-888-939-5932.  You can also review some of the changes at NH Voter Protection.

I hope by now that you have done all your research and know who you are going to vote for.   In case you have not, we hope you will support

  • Barack Obama for President / Joe Biden for Vice President
  • Maggie Hassan for NH Governor
  • Carol Shea-Porter in NH CD01
  • Ann Kuster in NH CD 02

While these are very, very important races the State Races are important too.  Take a few minutes to check your NH Progressive Voting guide.  See who has endorsed who in this election.  You can also see how they voted last year using the Granite State Progress ‘Legislator Report Card’.

Lastly, the NH Constitutional Amendments.  I have talked about these amendments since they were proposals in the house.  We are urging everyone to vote NO on Questions 1, 2, and 3.   For more information on Question 1 (taxes), or Question 2 (Court Reform). Also see Protect NH Constitution.

 The most important thing I can say is GET OUT THERE AND VOTE.  While we may agree on some issues and disagree on others your vote is important.  This election could be the closest in history and New Hampshire is one of the most important states this year.  We need everyone to get out and vote.  We also need your help getting everyone else out to vote.  Start by sharing this message on your social media. Then you can help get out the vote at one of these locations.

  • Manchester – Teamsters Local 633 – 53 Goffstown Road – Manchester, NH
  • Concord – IBEW Local 490 – 48 Airport Road – Concord, NH
  • Nashua – WH Bagshaw Company – 1 Pine Street Extension – Nashua, NH
  • Rochester – OFA Rochester office – 63 Hanson Street, Rochester, NH
  • Hampton – OFA Hampton office – 150 High Street, Hampton, NH

We will be canvassing at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

 

At Granite State Debate, Kuster Stands Out As Moderate Voice for Middle Class, Seniors

Manchester, N.H. – Annie Kuster once again stood out as a moderate voice for New Hampshire families and seniors at tonight’s Granite State Debate, while Congressman Bass struggled to justify his record of voting against the interests of middle class families.

As she has done throughout this campaign, Annie demonstrated that she is willing to put politics aside and work with both parties to do what’s right for New Hampshire’s seniors, middle class families, and small businesses.

“Annie once again proved that she has the right priorities and the right approach to help move our state and country forward,” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster. “In Congress, she will bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass policies that will create jobs, grow the economy, and protect seniors and the middle class.”

“That stood in stark contrast to Congressman Bass, who reminded voters that he has the wrong priorities for New Hampshire. Congressman Bass failed to defend his record of voting for tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and the radical Ryan budget that ends Medicare as we know it. Congressman Bass struggled in tonight’s debate for the same reason he’s struggled throughout this campaign: he is out of touch with lives and needs of New Hampshire’s middle class families and seniors.”

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