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A Week in Review: Shaheen Meets with NH Business Owners, Local Leaders, Family Advocates & More on Statewide Tour Underscoring Consequences for NH from National Default

This week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen held a week-long series underscoring the potential impact of a GOP-forced default on Granite State workers, families and New Hampshire industries. Over several days, Shaheen conducted virtual statewide and in-person meetings with local leaders and stakeholders.

  • On Tuesday, Shaheen met with local leaders, members of New Hampshire’s Municipal Association and representatives from the New Hampshire Commerce Corridor Chambers to discuss the effects a default would have on localities, as well as the business community.
  • On Wednesday, the Senator held meetings in Concord with nonprofit leaders and advocates to discuss the impact on New Hampshire families, particularly those accessing federal assistance programs. She also met with housing stakeholders to address how a default would affect New Hampshire’s housing market and mortgage rates.
  • And yesterday, Shaheen met with the Mount Washington Valley Chamber and local officials to highlight the broad impact of a national default, not only on the business community and state economy, but the specific implications for more rural parts of the state.


See the press coverage below for a summary on Shaheen’s meetings throughout the week:


WMUR: Senator Shaheen on How a Default Could Impact NH

…If there isn't a deal soon, she [Shaheen] says anyone that relies on federal dollars would be affected - that includes those who receive veterans benefits, Social Security, food stamps and Medicare, and in a virtual meeting with Granite State town leaders today, many told Senator Shaheen they are in the middle of their budgeting process and not knowing what they can depend on from the federal government puts them at a disadvantage.

“So, it's really unfortunate that this is playing out as a partisan argument about spending. I think we would all agree that we ought to take a look at the debt and deficit of this country. I support that, but we should not be doing it as part of whether or not we're going to pay our bills,” Shaheen says. 


Manchester Ink Link: Shaheen sounds alarms on possible U.S. default

As the federal government remains in a stalemate over a possible default on paying off its debt obligations, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed her concern with New Hampshire business leaders.

Shaheen’s meeting was meant as a way to alert people about the precarious state of negotiations between the White House and Congress over raising the debt ceiling. Throughout the meeting, she gave several references to 2011, when debt ceiling negotiations stalled to the point that the federal government’s credit rating was reduced.

Shaheen criticized those in Congress who she said openly supported a government default for political reasons, but did not name anyone specifically. She also expressed concern with politicians and others who assume that the situation will be resolved and it can be safely ignored.


Boston Globe: How defaulting on the nation’s debt would affect N.H.

The deadline for raising the debt ceiling is approaching, but ongoing negotiations in Washington have yet to yield a plan for the country to avoid defaulting on its debt.

That’s causing concern among the state’s congressional delegation, as well as local business and municipal leaders, about how defaulting on the country’s debt would impact New Hampshire — a scenario in which the federal government would likely be forced to delay payment on a range of its bills.

The unprecedented situation could have broad consequences on everything from health care, to Social Security and school lunch programs. Around 30 percent of the state’s funding comes from the federal government.

“It would really create chaos and uncertainty for our economy,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who met with business and municipal leaders Tuesday. She said defaulting would likely impact Social Security pension plans, retirement accounts, and national security. She urged business leaders to voice their concerns to federal officials to get them to act.


Boston Globe: N.H. families at risk of homelessness if US defaults on federal debt

“It’s terrifying,” a New Hampshire resident said during a roundtable hosted by Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t be impacted in some way.”

”It’s crazy,” she said. “People are falling like flies to homelessness.”

Advocates say a default on the federal debt would only worsen the housing crisis in New Hampshire. They spoke about the impact defaulting would have on New Hampshire families Wednesday during a roundtable hosted by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has been trying to get constituents around the state to pay attention to the issue.


Berlin Daily Sun: Berlin joins NH leaders' concerns over debt ceiling default

The uncertainty surrounding the political stalemate over meeting the nation’s financial obligations continues and its impact would trickle down to local municipalities and local taxpayers. Mayor Paul Grenier joined mayors and town administrators from throughout New Hampshire in a virtual meeting with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday to share their concerns.

“Any kind of delay is not good,” said Grenier to his mayoral counterparts among the state’s nine other counties and town managers and administrators throughout New Hampshire.

Grenier said the amount of federal-owned land and unincorporated places in the North Country matters to local budgets.

And, money is needed for the school lunch program for the 48% of Berlin students who are eligible for and receive free or reduced lunch, said Grenier. Also, with a federal prison in Berlin, if paychecks are delayed for the hundred-plus people employed there, any federal financial delay “would be devastating.”


Conway Daily Sun: Shaheen tells constituents: Speak out on debt crisis

On a visit to North Conway on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called on local residents to voice their concerns about the looming debt ceiling crisis to the White House and the Speaker of the House.

Shaheen said she hopes to travel throughout the state to ask constituents to reach out to Congress and the White House about the need to avoid the economic fallout that would be the result of not reaching a debt ceiling agreement by June 1. “I think it is important for all to let people know what’s going on and why this is not an acceptable outcome,” said the senior senator and former governor.

“I believe that democracy does work when people get concerned enough, and that’s part of my thinking in trying to get out to talk to people in New Hampshire, to let you know what I think about what’s going on and hopefully encourage you to talk to people,” Shaheen told the group...


Concord Monitor: Shaheen roundtable discussions ‘sound the alarm’ on consequences of defaulting on federal debt 

Shaheen hosted a series of meetings around the state this week to highlight some of the possible consequences if the country defaults on its debt. In Concord, she met with state leaders at NH Hunger Solutions in Concord to “sound the alarm” with a deadline looming for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

“To inflict this kind of a wound on America and our citizens… it’s unconscionable,” Shaheen said.


Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, focused on the consequences of a default for Granite Staters who rely on federal assistance programs. In a state where 33% of the budget is federally funded, she said, the impact would be “catastrophic.” Nonprofit leaders in the room agreed.