BERLIN PRISON RESOURCES, TRADE PROMOTION INCLUDED IN SENATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Bill approved by Appropriations Committee and will now head to full Senate for consideration

July 18, 2013

(Washington, DC) – Several provisions supported by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to strengthen the New Hampshire economy were included today in legislation approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The legislation contains funding to complete the activation of the Berlin Federal Prison as well as to increase investment in trade promotion, both key priorities supported by Shaheen. The provisions were included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.

“This bill provides a good balance of investments in our economy, manufacturing, science and innovation, and trade opportunities, as well as critical public safety programs,” Shaheen said. “After a challenging road, I am particularly pleased that we could secure funding for the Berlin Prison. Bringing jobs back to northern New Hampshire is crucial for the economic revitalization of the North Country.

“In addition, the funding for trade promotion efforts will help small businesses tap into new markets and create jobs here at home. We should be doing everything we can to help support our small businesses tap into foreign markets to grow and create jobs,” Shaheen added.

The bill approved today contains $6.94 billion for the Bureau of Prisons, sufficient to complete the activation of the Berlin Prison. 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.

The legislation also includes $500 million for the International Trade Administration, which promotes overseas trade and investments in order to boost the domestic economy.  As a result of Senator Shaheen’s efforts, report language was included in this bill to encourage the Department of Commerce to improve coordination between federal and state trade agencies, conduct outreach to small businesses about export control reform, and to create a “single window” to make it easier for small businesses to obtain export control licenses. 

As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Shaheen has long supported efforts to bolster trade opportunities for small businesses. She helped create the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program to assist small businesses looking to take advantage of emerging global market places and has also introduced two pieces of legislation, the Small Business Export Growth Act and Go Global Act, focused on increasing exports for small businesses. 

In addition to the funding for the prison and trade promotion, Shaheen also worked with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to secure $150 million in disaster relief for New England fishermen suffering economic losses as a result of declining fish populations. Shaheen and Collins announced the relief in a press release earlier today.

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