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ICYMI: Shaheen Helps Advance Key NH Priorities for Infrastructure, Housing and More in Government Funding Legislation

(Washington, DC) -- Last week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, participated in a full committee markup of key government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2024. The three bills – the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies, State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Acts for FY 2024 – passed the committee with bipartisan support. As a senior appropriator, Senator Shaheen helped include and supported a number of provisions directly impacting Granite Staters and communities nationwide, as well as key national security priorities.

In addition, Shaheen specifically worked to advance over $25 million in congressionally directed spending (CDS) awards, which if included in final legislation and approved by Congress, will be directly awarded to specified New Hampshire recipients. The CDS process invests in a range of priorities throughout the state, including clean energy, educational training, resources to combat homelessness and housing insecurity and much more. Shaheen successfully included more than $111 million in CDS awards for New Hampshire in last year’s spending bill.

“I’m thrilled to help advance the annual government funding legislation for the next fiscal year so we can deliver concrete results to Granite Staters. The funding bills we marked up will help bolster investments in crucial areas such as energy efficiency, affordable housing, transportation and more. We also included key programs to advance U.S. interests abroad,” said Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. “As the annual government funding bill moves into its next stage, I will work to ensure New Hampshire gets its fair share of federal resources.”

Summary of Shaheen Priorities Included in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Energy and Water) for Fiscal Year 2024:

Energy Efficiency in Homes, Businesses, Industry and the Federal Government

Senator Shaheen championed robust funding for key programs to help improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, industry and the federal government. In the Energy and Water bill, Shaheen secured increased funding for a variety of priorities, including over $366 million for programs to deliver weatherization services to low-income households. In March, Shaheen joined Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) in introducing the bipartisan Weatherization Assistance Program Improvements Act to authorize the Weatherization Readiness Fund and make other program improvements. Shaheen also helped secure $66 million for the State Energy Program (SEP), which assists states with developing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

The bill also includes continued strong funding for the Building Technologies program, which accelerates the adoption of cost-effective technologies, tools and services that enable high-performing, energy-efficient and demand-flexible residential and commercial buildings. It also includes $57 million for the Federal Energy Management Program, which helps federal agencies meet energy- and water-reduction requirements and goals.

Investing in U.S. Manufacturing and Economic Development

Senator Shaheen has long been a leader in advocating for greater investment in domestic supply chains and developing regional economies so they can remain globally competitive. In the FY 2024 bill, Shaheen helped secure $496 million for investments in advanced manufacturing, including for programs that help U.S. companies develop innovative materials and manufacture technologies to support a clean, decarbonized economy.

Additionally, Shaheen secured an increase in funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), the only regional commission to receive an increase in funding over FY 2023 enacted. The $41 million allocated for NBRC will go towards economic development initiatives for rural communities in the New England area. These initiatives include addressing the decline in forest-based economies throughout the region and funding the State Capacity Building Grant Program.

Support for Coastal Infrastructure Investment and Environmental Research

In the FY 2024 Energy and Water bill, Shaheen secured $8.93 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), who frequently spearhead dredging projects in New Hampshire. Additionally, $178 million was allocated for the Small, Remote or Subsistence Navigation account, which includes language urging the Corps to expedite the maintenance of small and low-use ports that have experienced unexpected levels of deterioration since their last dredging. This funding and report language will help ensure the Corps can meet the needs of small harbors in New Hampshire and across the country.

Supporting coastal environmental research efforts has been long championed by Shaheen, and she secured $15 million for the Coastal Inlet Research Program. The Program supports the University of New Hampshire research projects that address critical issues associated with coastal flooding, erosion and human and ecosystem health in nearshore and estuarine environments. Over $2 million in separate funding was allocated to support the Corps’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), maintain their research collaborations with Dartmouth University, and update remote sensing equipment across the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center enterprise.

Summary of Shaheen Priorities Included in the State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024:

Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) Program

Shaheen fought for a landmark victory for the Afghan SIV program, securing the largest one-time visa increase in program history. Shaheen, who has championed efforts in the Senate to keep the promises the U.S. made to those who supported the mission in Afghanistan, secured the inclusion of an additional 20,000 visas. The amendment extends the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program for five years through 2029. The amendment responds directly to findings Shaheen released in a comprehensive report on the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program last year.

Support for Women and Girls Around the World

Senator Shaheen has been a leading voice in the Senate on global women’s issues because she recognizes that empowered women build stronger, more stable families and communities. The SFOPS bill includes $600 million in bilateral funding for international family planning assistance, which would be the first increase in funding in over a decade. The funding, in addition to an increase in funds for the United Nations Population Fund, would be invested in programs that support the sexual and reproductive health of women. An additional $150 million in funding from the SFOPS bill will be programmed toward implementing Shaheen’s Women, Peace and Security Act, which ensures women are included in peace negotiations and conflict resolution around the world.

Combatting the Substance Use Disorder Crisis and Addressing Global Health Care

As Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen routinely funds significant programming to address the substance use disorder epidemic. The FY24 SFOPS bill fully funds the implementation of the FENTANYL Results Act, Shaheen’s legislation that was signed into law last year, which increases global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking.

In addition to combatting substance misuse, Shaheen worked to secure funding to support health care initiatives both at home and abroad. The bill includes language requiring the Department of State to submit a report to Congress detailing anomalous health incidents (AHI) victims’ compensation claims, and any applicants denied funding under the Shaheen-led HAVANA Act. Global programs to address diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria also received funding in the FY 2024 bill.

Assistance to Europe and Supporting Democracy

As the lead senator for U.S. policy towards Europe, Shaheen secured much-needed assistance for European nations who are on the frontlines in the global fight for democracy. Shaheen secured funding to support democratic institutions, cyber security and reform efforts in nations including Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. Significantly, Senators Shaheen and Durbin worked to include language that urges the Department of State to consider conditioning aid to Georgia if insufficient progress is made in advancing democratic reform efforts. Shaheen also secured over $850 million in funding for the Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) account.

Senator Shaheen consistently prioritizes building and maintaining relationships with allied and partner nations. In the FY 2024 SFOPS bill, Shaheen recognized NATO’s importance for U.S. national security and encouraged the implementation of the 2022 Strategic Concept, which recognized the pacing challenge the People’s Republic of China poses to the Alliance. Last, Senator Shaheen secured robust funding for the Western Balkans, in addition to extensive report language relating to democracy, cyber security and security. Following the Ohrid Agreement reached by the European Union, Serbia and Kosovo in early 2023 and the ensuing security crisis affecting the north of Kosovo, Senator Shaheen secured report language which would urge the State Department to consider conditioning funds to Kosovo or Serbia if insufficient progress is made in implementing the Agreement.

Promoting Democracy Abroad and Reform Oversight

Senator Shaheen is relentless in advocating for democratic values around the world. Shaheen secured $895 million for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which will help combat disinformation campaigns. The Senator also supported the inclusion of programs and initiatives to assist refugees and civilians from conflict zones. This includes report language calling for $4.2 billion in migration and refugee assistance, robust support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), $26.8 million for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and $342.5 million in assistance for Lebanon, including $10 million for refugee scholarships, along with support for democracy and reform initiatives in countries such as Tunisia.

Summary of Shaheen Priorities Included in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024:

Investments in Transportation and Other Infrastructure

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen historically secures robust funding for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, which provides investments in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. This bill provides $800 million for the RAISE grant program. Recently, the RAISE program provided $20 million to support the General Sullivan Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing project in Rockingham and Strafford Counties. In addition to ground and water transportation, Shaheen secured funding for much-needed airport infrastructure programs. The funding will help support air traffic control towers, air service for rural communities and the Airport Improvement Program.

Supporting Affordable and Safe Housing

With housing costs on the rise in New Hampshire, Shaheen has been a longstanding supporter of affordable housing and rental assistance. The bill provides $31.7 billion for Tenant-Based (Section 8) Rental Assistance, $1.5 billion more than FY 2023. Housing Choice Vouchers are one of the most significant federal tools for housing assistance. Under the program, eligible low-income individuals and families pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent, and the federal government makes up the difference, up to the fair market rent. The bill also provides $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which provides funding to build and rehabilitate affordable housing.

Other affordable housing programs that received funding include the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Rental Assistance for Persons with Disabilities and $30 million to help those recovering from substance use disorder remain stably housed. Additionally, the bill provides $3.9 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, which provide funding through State and local Continuums of Care to help address homelessness.