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Kuster And Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Releases Legislative Agenda for 2018

January 10, 2018 – Washington, DC – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) stands with members of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force to announce the 2018 legislative agenda

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force led by Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) released its legislative agenda for 2018. The agenda includes commonsense, bipartisan legislation to address the opioid epidemic by supporting prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. Last November, Congresswoman Kuster’s legislation the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, an item on the agenda for the 115th Congress, was signed into law.

The bills included in the agenda include Jessie’s Law, the STOP OD Act, the Addiction Recovery Through Family Health Accounts Act, Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act, Road to Recovery Act, the INTERDICT Act, TREAT Act, the Synthetic Drug Awareness Act, the CRIB Act, and the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, Improve Addiction Education Act, Opioid Addiction Prevention Act, Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, MONITOR Act, and Addiction Recovery for Rural Communities Act

Full details of the legislative agenda are available here.

The co-chairs of the Task Force were joined in today’s announcement by Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN), Katherine Clark (D-MA), David Joyce (R-OH), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), Marcy Kaptur  (D-OH), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Keith Rothfus (R-PA), and additional Task Force Members.

“The opioid epidemic has had a serious impact on communities and families throughout New Hampshire, but no corner of the country has been untouched,” saidCongresswoman Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Task Force. “The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force represents 100 Members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who are standing together to take real action to stem the tide of this crisis. Our Task Force has successfully pushed for action in Congress to address the opioid epidemic. The agenda we’re outlining today comprises bipartisan, commonsense solutions that will improve prevention, expand access to treatment and recovery services, and bolster support for law enforcement. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance these proposals.”

“As we begin the New Year, the Bipartisan Task Force remains even more committed to fighting the opioid epidemic that has ravaged so many communities and families across the country,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur, co-chair of the Task Force. “Our agenda represents the important balance of showing compassion for those suffering with substance abuse, while stopping the flow of drugs into our neighborhoods. It’s a crucial step in this fight.  Since its creation, the Bipartisan Task Force has grown to 100 members and has been able to successfully advocate against drastic cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and, shape and advance CARA and the 21st Century Cures Act through Congress. We will continue to build on these accomplishments and stand together in our fight against substance abuse.”

“In 2016, more than 42,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, including dozens right here in our community,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, vice-chair of the Task Force. “It’s clear this epidemic is destroying lives and costing our nation precious resources. While our Task Force has taken great strides in increasing awareness of, and providing legislative solutions to, opioid addiction, there is still work to be done. Fighting back against this epidemic requires the clear, bipartisan approach outlined in this agenda; one that responds to the real-world concerns expressed by local lawmakers, community leaders and healthcare professionals across the country who endeavor to tackle this crisis each day.”

“The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force continues to stand together offering commonsense legislative solutions to curb the opioid epidemic because one preventable death is too many,” said Congressman Donald Norcross, vice-chair of the Task Force. “In New Jersey, deaths from heroin and fentanyl overdoses more than tripled in the last five years. That’s tragic and unacceptable. We must invest time, effort and money to save lives. Every delay means we’ll lose another child, grandchild, friend or neighbor to the disease of addiction.”

Kuster Announces Veterans’ Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Field Hearing in NH

Field hearing will examine issues at Manchester VA Medical Center, challenges to access to care for New Hampshire veterans

(Concord, NH) –Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the lead Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, announced today that she will convene a field hearing of the Subcommittee in New Hampshire to examine reports of quality of care issues at the Manchester VA Medical Center. Kuster will be joined by the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01). The field hearing will examine quality of care issues at Manchester VAMC as well as challenges in access to care for New Hampshire veterans. The whistleblowers who raised the issues of care at Manchester will be invited to testify at the hearing on September 18th. Time and location will be announced closer to the hearing date.

“The issues that have been raised about quality of care at the Manchester VA Medical Center need to be thoroughly examined and that means the VA Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee must hear directly from the whistleblowers,” said Congresswoman Kuster.I’m hopeful that by bringing the Subcommittee to New Hampshire we’ll be able to gain a greater appreciation for what went wrong in Manchester, how we can fix those issues, and how we can prevent this from happening in other areas. Granite State veterans deserve better, and we need to do all we can to ensure that they are able to access the services and care they need.”

“Congresswoman Kuster and I will hear directly from VA whistleblowers in Manchester next month,” said Chairman Bergman. “Our goal is to thoroughly examine the gross mismanagement and improper patient care at the Manchester VA Medical Center so this does not remain a problem for our Veterans. This field hearing will lead to greater accountability in the future within the Manchester VA Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs as a whole.”

Congresswoman Kuster wrote to Chairman Bergman earlier this month to request that the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hold the hearing to examine the concerns raised by the VA whistleblowers. In her letter, Kuster outlined the unique challenges faced by New Hampshire veterans.

“These concerns are especially troubling to me because New Hampshire is the only state, except Alaska and Hawaii, which does not have a full-service medical center,” Kuster wrote. “As the Boston Globe explained, that means New Hampshire must send veterans to private-sector community providers or other VAMCs. Given the realities of veterans’ medical care in a state without a full-service facility, we must examine the Manchester VAMC’s usage of these critical programs.”

Her full letter is available here and below.

Congresswoman Kuster has served on the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee since taking office in 2013, and has served as the Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee since 2015. As Ranking Member, she pushes for increased transparency at the VA and helps to lead the charge in Washington on the need to improve access to care for veterans across the country. The daughter of a WWII veteran, Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated for the needs of New Hampshire veterans, and she frequently holds veteran roundtables, forums, and job fairs for Granite State veterans across the district.

170718_LTR_OI field hearing request on Manchester VA

Kuster introduces legislation aimed at increasing STEM learning in early education

Congresswoman Kuster introduces her new early education STEM legislation at the Child and Family Development Center at NHTI 

(Concord, NH) – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced legislation aimed at increasing STEM learning in early education during a visit to the Child and Family Development Center at NHTI-Concord’s Community College. The legislation will establish a competitive grant program under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education to provide assistance for early childhood STEM programs and teacher training that meet certain requirements.

“There is an ever growing demand for jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, yet data show we are not doing enough to train students in these skills,” Congresswoman Kuster said. “This legislation will help provide teachers and schools the tools they need to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.  When I return to Washington, I will get back to work urging my colleagues in the House of Representatives to immediately pass this legislation, so we can best ensure hands-on learning for our future workforce and economy.”

Joining Congresswoman Kuster at the event were representatives from NHTI, Early Learning NH, Every Child Matters and Moms Rising-New Hampshire, among others.

“Early Learning NH is grateful to Congresswoman Kuster for introducing an important bill to support early childhood education programs’ ability to promote essential learning in the early years,” said Jackie Cowell, Executive of Early Learning NH.   “STEM learning, along with its accompanying learning in the essential life skills of perseverance, problem solving, curiosity, and the ability to work well in teams, is critical for today’s youngest children to help them become the productive citizens of tomorrow.  The Kindergartners we met today will graduate from high school in 2030.  Since many of them will hold jobs that haven’t even been invented yet, how do we prepare them for the complex world they will inherit?  This bill addresses just that – the answer is promoting STEM learning in the earliest years.” 

“Moms Rising is very eager to support initiatives that help to increase the quality of early childhood education programs, such as this new focus on STEM in early learning,” said Christina D’Allesandro, state director of Moms Rising. “Increasing access to high quality affordable early learning is a high priority for MomsRising members both in New Hampshire and nationwide.”

“NHTI has been a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education in the state of New Hampshire since we were founded in 1965,” said Susan B. Dunton, NHTI President. “As the demand for a workforce educated in the STEM fields promises only to grow in the future, introducing students to the STEM fields at the earliest possible opportunity is critical.  Rep. Kuster’s proposal is an important step in helping achieve this shared goal of making STEM an integral part of Early Childhood Education. “

Kuster Hosts Drinking Water Infrastructure Forum in Keene

2016-07-18 Kuster Keene Drinking Water ForumKeene, NH – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) gathered leaders from federal, state and local environmental agencies, public health organizations, and experts from across Cheshire County to discuss the current state of New Hampshire’s drinking water health and infrastructure. The forum allowed stakeholders to discuss the importance of maintaining quality water infrastructure for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes in local communities. This is the second stop on a “water tour” Congresswoman Kuster has been holding since reports that water in Litchfield, New Hampshire contained higher-than-safe levels of PFOA.

“Water infrastructure plays a critical role in New Hampshire’s ability to attract and retain both families and businesses in our communities. This infrastructure supports recreational, residential, and business opportunities that are integral to the success of the Granite State’s well-being and economy. What’s more, we must ensure that no local residents are EVER in danger of drinking contaminated water,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I organized today’s forum to bring key stakeholders together, so we could identify a path forward to guarantee necessary maintenance to of our state’s water infrastructure. We must ensure our communities have access to high-quality drinking water for generations to come. By tackling this issue proactively, we will best protect our communities from water crises down the road.”

During the briefing, Congresswoman Kuster questioned officials about the possible environmental and health impacts of aging drinking water health and systems, as well as the next steps to ensure that Granite Staters are adequately protected from the possible health issues that can result from older water infrastructure. Kuster was joined by Keene Mayor Kendall Lane; Rob Warner, the State Director of the League of Conservation Voters; Jane Downing, Associate Director of Drinking Water at the Environmental Protection Agency; Kurt Blomquist, Public Works Director for the City of Keene; and Cathy Corkery, Chapter Director for the Sierra Club, among others. Participants also discussed the status of water systems in the area, and how they can be updated and maintained to avoid public health concerns in the years to come.

Kuster is committed to ensuring that communities across the Granite State have access to safe and reliable drinking water. This spring, she met with environmental experts and local officials after water samples in southern New Hampshire revealed elevated levels of PFOA, a possible carcinogen, in the area around the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic plant in Merrimack. In May, Rep. Kuster wrote to the EPA urging the Agency to expeditiously release a public health advisory for PFOA and PFOS chemicals, which have been found in many private wells in the Southern tier. Many New Hampshire residents rely on private wells for drinking water, and are concerned about the potential long-term health impacts of exposure to unsafe levels of these chemicals. Kuster will continue to meet with communities across the state to discuss their efforts to maintain healthy water infrastructures.

Kuster Hosts Latest Regional Briefing on Opioid Use as Co-Chair of Task Force to Combat Heroin Epidemic

Rep. Kuster talks with stakeholders from the Upper Valley during today’s regional briefing in Lebanon.

Rep. Kuster talks with stakeholders from the Upper
Valley during today’s regional briefing in Lebanon.

“The opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on communities across the state, but each region has felt the impact of these dangerous drugs differently,” said Congresswoman Kuster

Lebanon, NH – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) brought together stakeholders from across the Upper Valley to discuss their joint efforts to combat the opioid epidemic around the region. This was the latest in a series of regional briefings that Congresswoman Kuster is holding on this topic around the state as the co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which she helped found last year.

“The opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on communities across the state, but each region has felt the impact of these dangerous drugs differently,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Today was an invaluable opportunity for me to hear from some of the Upper Valley’s leading experts and stakeholders about how the epidemic has affected the region and how we can best work together to establish comprehensive, lasting solutions that will stem the ongoing crisis. As I continue to host these regional briefings across the state, I look forward to bringing conversations like today’s with me back to Congress, where I will keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect Granite State communities from continued opioid misuse and addiction.” 

Congresswoman Kuster was joined for this discussion by Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello, Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos, Lebanon City Manager Dennis Luttrell, and representatives from the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, West Central Behavioral Health, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Addiction Treatment Program, among others. Together, the briefing participants discussed the impact of heroin misuse on the Lebanon community, as well as the specific steps they are taking to combat the growing opioid epidemic throughout the region. Kuster discussed her work in Congress to combat the epidemic, including her work on the Task Force and the recent Special Order she held on the House floor to put a face on addiction.

Kuster has prioritized efforts to address the opioid crisis across the state by convening events on substance use disorders and prioritizing the issue at the federal level through her work in Congress. Last year, Kuster helped introduce bipartisan legislation that addresses several aspects of combatting the growing heroin epidemic across the country, including the establishment of the Interagency Task Force on Heroin Addiction, the reauthorization of vital drug crisis grants, and the revision of treatment administration guidelines for individuals who are unable to receive take-home treatment, among other provisions.

Rep. Kuster talks with stakeholders from the Upper Valley during today’s regional briefing in Lebanon.

Rep. Kuster talks with stakeholders from the Upper
Valley during today’s regional briefing in Lebanon.

Kuster is also the co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which frequently brings together experts from across numerous federal agencies to coordinate efforts to combat the epidemic. Earlier this month, she hosted a Special Order in the House to urge her colleagues in Congress to take action; during the Special Order, she and 10 of her colleagues shared the stories of Americans who have been affected by the crisis on the House Floor. Kuster has also spoken at forums and attended briefings and ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Nashua and Franklin, providing her with a direct look at the challenges facing law enforcement and local communities. Kuster has taken these conversations with her back to Washington, where she continues to lead efforts to bring an end to opioid abuse in New Hampshire.

Rep Annie Kuster Announces Her Postion On Proposed Fast Track Legislation In The House

In the coming days the US House will be voting on the Fast Track legislation that would give the White House the authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest trade agreement in US history.

As the possible vote gets closer and closer, labor advocates have been pushing their local legislators to vote against this Fast Track bill because it will only benefit the corporations and would lead to more jobs being sent overseas.

Nationally, the AFL-CIO has been cranking up the pressure on legislators ahead of the vote. (Read more here.)

Today, the NH Labor News received this exclusive statement from Congresswoman Annie Kuster, clarifying her position on the proposed Fast Track legislation.

Ann kuster head shot LG“Every day, I’m fighting to support New Hampshire workers, small businesses, and family farms, which all deserve a strong say in our nation’s trade policies.  I believe the trade promotion authority legislation currently before Congress fails to give these groups a real seat at the table, and fails to include necessary protections for American jobs and workers, which is why I plan to vote against it.”

Thank you Congresswoman Kuster for standing up for working families here in New Hampshire, and across the nation.

Be sure to share this post, and include your own message of thanks to Congresswoman Kuster (Twitter: @RepAnnieKuster).

Kuster calls for Increased Federal Funding for Affordable Housing during Roundtable Discussion in Lebanon

  

Kuster brought together stakeholders and community members to discuss New Hampshire’s affordable housing needs


Lebanon, NH – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) brought together stakeholders, affordable housing advocates, and community members to discuss New Hampshire’s housing needs. A strong advocate for protecting federal funds for affordable housing, Kuster called on her colleagues in Congress to put a stop to dangerous cuts to housing programs, and to fully fund the programs that help our communities shelter those in need.

 

“I’ve long called on my colleagues in Congress to preserve crucial funding for affordable housing, and today’s roundtable underscored the urgent need for increased investment in these programsnow,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “The stories I heard during today’s roundtable truly illustrate how affordable housing units across the Granite State can help our hardworking families get ahead, but without federal funds, many of these programs are threatened and these families’ livelihoods are put in jeopardy. I will continue to work with the USDA to encourage expansion of rural development programs that are particularly important in communities like those located in the Upper Valley, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to come together and support federal affordable housing programs across the board.” 

 

Today’s roundtable gave community leaders a chance to share with the Congresswoman their own thoughts on how Congress can better support the sustainability and development of affordable housing units in New Hampshire, and roundtable participants highlighted the most pressing needs of the Lebanon housing community. In particular, participants and audience members discussed the recent news that as many as 50 tenants and families living in the Pine Tree Lane apartments may be facing relocation after federal affordable housing subsidies for their complex expired. Congresswoman Kuster has reached out to the USDA to encourage the continuation of the housing subsidies needed to allow Pine Tree Lane residents to stay in their homes, and the roundtable participants and audience members discussed other possible solutions and courses of action. 

 

Kuster was joined at the roundtable by a variety of community members and affordable housing advocates, including Laurel Redden from NH Housing Action, Dean Christon from NH Housing Finance Authority, Ditha DeSimone from Lebanon Housing Authority, Anne Duncan Cooley from the Upper Valley Housing Coalition, Lynne Goodwin from Lebanon Human Services Department, Andrew Winter from Twin Pines Trust, and Keith Thibault from Southwestern Community Services, among others. In addition to the roundtable discussion, Kuster heard from and took questions from community members in attendance.

 

During the roundtable, Kuster provided an update on her longstanding efforts in Washington to fight for funding for important programs that support affordable housing, as well as her work to provide tax relief to encourage the development of new units. In addition to working closely with the USDA to encourage an extension of the subsidy program, Kuster has also advocated for the expansion of the Section 8 program, which provides rental assistance to seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families, and she has fought for funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which helps states and local governments build affordable housing for families in need. She is also a cosponsor of legislation to make permanent the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which provides tax relief for private developers who construct affordable rental housing, and she is a cosponsor of legislation to make permanent the New Markets Tax Credit, which incentivizes private economic development in low-income communities, including through investment in affordable housing projects. 

 

Kuster will take the thoughts and concerns she heard during today’s roundtable back to Washington, where she will continue to urge her colleagues to stop harmful cuts and increase their efforts across the board to ensure that every hardworking Granite Stater and American in need has access to housing that they can afford.



Kuster Helps Reintroduce Bill to Lower Student Loan Interest Rates for Granite State Students

 Bill would allow students to refinance their loans at a lower rate 

Kuster and Courtney announce bill reintroduction during press conference on Capitol Hill

Kuster and Courtney announce bill reintroduction during press conference on Capitol Hill

Washington, DC –  This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help students across the country refinance their loans at a lower rate. Kuster was an original cosponsor of this legislation last Congress, and she is committed to fighting for its passage this legislative session.

“Throughout my district, one of the top issues facing students and their families is the cost of college and student loan debt. Everyone knows the path to a successful career is a good education, but too many students can’t access higher education opportunities because of skyrocketing costs,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “It’s time to change that. This common sense bill will allow students to refinance their loans at a lower rate, and help ease the burden on students and their families. I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting for this legislation, and in fighting for the common goal of increased access to education for all.”

In New Hampshire, students have the second highest average student loan debt in the country at nearly $33,000 per student. The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which Kuster helped introduce along with Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02), would help reduce the strain on New Hampshire students and other students across the country. If passed, this bill would allow undergraduate students to refinance their loans – both public and private – at a lower rate. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Congresswoman Kuster has made increased access to education a top priority since taking office. One of the original creators of New Hampshire’s UNIQUE college saving plans, Kuster is working in Congress to identify new opportunities to help families save for college, and she has joined with Senator Warren in pushing for the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act since last session. Kuster routinely holds roundtables and town hall forums across the state to hear directly from Granite State students about how she can best support their success, and she takes their stories back to Washington in order to advocate for legislation that will expand education access back in New Hampshire.

NH Jackson Jefferson Celebration: President Clinton Rallies NH Democrats Ahead Of Elections

 

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Are you ready? Are you ready to vote?

These words covered signs throughout the Center of New Hampshire conference center last night as the New Hampshire Democrats hosted their annual Jackson Jefferson Celebration.

NH Democratic Committee Chair Ray Buckley opened the night with a simple question, “Are you ready to vote?” Buckley continued, “Are you ready to reelect Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter? Are you ready to reelect Congresswoman Annie Kuster? Are you ready to reelect Governor Maggie Hassan? Are you ready to reelect Senator Jeanne Shaheen?”

The standing ovations for each of the candidates proved that the crowd is ready. Ready to get out and vote for Democrats this election. Ensuring that New Hampshire Democrats get out and vote is vitally important.

“Four years ago New Hampshire Democrats stayed home and New Hampshire elected Bill O’Brien as Speaker of the House,” said Buckley.

In 2010, Bill O’Brien was elected Speaker after the Tea Party wave overcame the New Hampshire House. As Speaker, O’Brien slashed the New Hampshire budget, cutting funding to Children In Needs programs, defunded Planned Parenthood and attempted to push through a complete repeal of collective bargaining. “Bill O’Brien is counting on NH Democrats staying home,” said Buckley. If NH Democrats stay home this year Bill O’Brien will become Speaker of the House again.

The President of the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, Dave Lang, was honored with the Kathy Sullivan Courage Award for his decade long fight against the Local Government Center. Lang fought the LGC who were found to be misusing public healthcare funds and taking millions of dollars from taxpayers.

“I accept this award on behalf of the 2000 professional firefighters and paramedics who are out there every day working to make all the bad stuff go away,” said Lang. Referring to the massive budget cuts and anti-worker legislation pushed by the NH GOP in the Legislature Lang said, “This November it is up to you to stop the bad things from happening.”

After the awards were given, the candidates got their chance to speak.

Congresswoman Annie Kuster was first to take the stage. She opened by saying, “You all look beautiful.” Kuster focused on her work in Washington to protect small business, veteran’s benefits, expanding Social Security, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. She highlighted how her opponent, Marilinda Garcia, opposes many of these principles.

“(Garcia) opposes equal pay for equal work,” said Kuster. “(Garcia) voted to repeal the Violence Against Women Act. Marilinda is just a Michelle Bachmann – Sarah Palin wannabe. Marilinda Garcia is too extreme for New Hampshire.”

Prior to her current term as US Congresswomen, Annie Kuster spent twenty-five years as an adoption attorney. She talked about how important it is protect a women’s right to choose. Marilinda Garcia boasted in her support of the recent Hobby Lobby decision that allows your employer to choose what contraceptives are covered by their company health plan. Garcia voted to defund Planned Parenthood, voted to ban abortions — even cases of rape or incest — and even went as far as to criminalize any physician who performs an abortion.

“This is personal and private,” said Kuster. “We cannot let the government or our employers decide when we want to bear children.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter kicked off her speech by saying, “Practice self-defense and vote for Democrats.”

Shea-Porter has been a champion for middle class families through her three terms in Congress. She has worked to protect the 5,000 workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and opposes the draconian cuts proposed by the Republican leadership in the US House. She mentions how the GOP cut research for the CDC. “Clearly a bad move,” said Shea-Porter.

Shea-Porter is also pushing to get the dark money out of politics opposing the Citizens United. Shea-Porter clearly stated, “New Hampshire is not for sale.”

IMG_4798Governor Hassan rallied the crowd with one of the best speeches I have ever seen her deliver. She showed her passion for protecting Granite Staters and growing our economy. Hassan said, “We must restore opportunity by restoring and improving the New Hampshire Minimum Wage.”

Hassan criticized her opponent Walt Havenstien’s proposed plan for New Hampshire, “Walt Havenstien’s plan would blow a $90 million dollar hole in the state budget to give tax breaks to big business.”

Governor Hassan introduced Senator Shaheen by saying, “Senator Shaheen did not just move here, and she always puts New Hampshire first.”

Image from Jeanne Shaheen on Facebook

Image from Jeanne Shaheen on Facebook

Senator Shaheen wanted everyone to know what is at stake this election. “What kind of future do we want?” asked Shaheen.

In the Senate, Shaheen has pushed for Equal Pay for equal work, allowing students to refinance their student loans and raising the minimum wage. “Students should be able to get a college education without drowning in debt,” said Shaheen.

Senator Shaheen took the golden opportunity to highlight a few of the flaws in her opponent, Scott Brown.

It has become widely known that Scott Brown is a well-paid board member of Kadant INC, a company that is known for outsourcing American jobs. “We do not need to import a senator who will export American jobs,” said Shaheen.

Shaheen also highlighted the massive outpouring of money from Brown’s big oil donors. Last week Brown’s super PAC received a $500,000 donation from an actual Texas oil baron. “Scott Brown has so much big oil money, he should have run for the Senate from Texas,” Shaheen jested.

Scott Brown has been relentless in claiming that Senator Shaheen does want to secure the southern border. To the shock of the crowd Shaheen said, “There is one thing Scott Brown and I agree on.” After a few hems and haws from the crowd Shaheen said, “We need to do more to secure our southern border…with Massachusetts.”

Shaheen closed by saying, “Scott Brown can be the first Senator to run for the Senate in two states and to be defeated by two women.”

The highlight of the night was the keynote address by President William Jefferson Clinton.   He reminisced about running around New Hampshire looking for anyone who wanted to shake is hand. My how times have changed.

As President, Clinton created over 22 million jobs by rejecting trickle down economics. Clinton utilized “demand and growth” economics that expanded the economy from the middle out. His presidency saw a 40% growth throughout the middle class, and a minimum of 21% growth in all other quintiles.

President Clinton praised the work of Gov. Hassan, Sen. Shaheen, Congresswomen Kuster and Shea-Porter. He said, “I am comfortable campaigning for, and taking orders from women…it is just like at home.” It was obvious that President Clinton really enjoys campaigning. He said, “I feel like an old race horse who get brought back to the track every two years, given a smack on the rear just to see if I can win one more race.”

President Clinton focused his speech on how important this election is, and how different this election from previous elections. “This is an unsettled time,” said Clinton. “This is an unsettled time, however this is not 2010. They keep selling the same old ideas. This time the voters are just not buying what they are selling.” Republicans are using negative ad campaigns to win voters. “They want you to cast resentment votes,” said Clinton. “Resentment over the Affordable Care Act and resentment over President Obama. They want you to stop thinking.”

Clinton talked up President Obama’s leadership in the wake of a complete financial disaster. He said that if you look at every major financial crash throughout the world in the last 150 years you will see that it takes on average ten years to recover all the jobs lost. He was proud to say that we regained all the lost jobs from the 2008 financial crash in just over six years. “Since the crash the United States has created more jobs than all of Europe and Japan combined.”

In closing, President Clinton talked about voter turnout, and the importance of getting people to the polls on Election Day. “New Hampshire had the largest percentage drop in voter turnout in 2010 from 2008.” He did not have to say anything else for everyone understand what would happen if Democrats do not vote in this election.

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Kuster Hosts Seniors Forum on Protecting Medicare and Social Security

 Local seniors joined Kuster to celebrate Social Security’s 79th birthday, and to share their thoughts on how Congress can support Granite State seniors

Image from the NH Citizens Alliance

Image from the NH Citizens Alliance

Peterborough, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) invited local seniors to join her at the Peterborough Library to celebrate Social Security’s 79th birthday, and to discuss how Congress can best protect Social Security and Medicare. Advocates and experts on senior issues also joined the seniors forum, and took questions from event participants about resources available to them through these federal programs.

“Since first taking office, I have pledged to always protect Social Security and Medicare for our Granite State seniors. I hosted this open forum to hear directly from local seniors about what more Congress can do to support these crucial programs that so many of them rely on,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was also proud to bring together local experts on senior services who were able to take questions from participants about other ways Medicare and Social Security programs could help benefit Granite State seniors.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster is a strong supporter of Social Security and Medicare, and she has stood up to members of both parties to fight to protect these programs. Today’s forum gave Monadnock seniors a chance to catch up with Congresswoman Kuster, share their concerns about the programs, and hear about federal services available to seniors in the area. During the roundtable, Kuster also discussed a new bill she helped introduce to provide more support for caregivers who are helping take care of their elderly relatives or other individuals who need care.

“I was also pleased to share information with event participants about a new bill I helped introduce, the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act, which will help increase Social Security benefits for individuals who serve in a full-time caretaking role for their elderly relatives or other Granite Staters who need care,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I served as a caregiver for my mother when she suffered from Alzheimer’s. I was lucky to have the support of my family, but I know firsthand the emotional, physical, and financial toll caretaking duties can have on those providing the care. I was proud to help introduce this bill, which will help ease the burden on the dedicated individuals who provide caretaking services to their loved ones.”

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