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Shaheen Adds Critical NH and National Defense Priorities & Extends Opioid Crisis Response Efforts in Funding Legislation

Shaheen, a Senior Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Secures $10 Million for the Nationwide PFAS Health-Impact Study She Established in Last Year’s Defense Bill 

Shaheen Successfully Preserves and Extends Opioid Crisis Response Funding Levels Established in Previous Omnibus Spending Bill

Shaheen’s Efforts Lead to Funding for KC-46 Aerial Refueling Tankers

Shaheen Procures Funds to Implement Her Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Women’s Leadership in Peace Negotiations & Conflict Resolution


(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statements after the Appropriations Committee passed fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding legislation for the Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS). In the spending bills that passed with bipartisan support, Shaheen secured a number of significant victories for both New Hampshire and the country’s national defense priorities.


Commenting on the passage of the Defense appropriations bill, Senator Shaheen said, “I’m very pleased to see this funding legislation move quickly through the Appropriations Committee, and I appreciate the bipartisan support that helped advanced a number of key New Hampshire and national defense priorities. From additional federal assistance to continue the PFAS health-impact study to get Pease families the overdue answers they deserve, to helping secure women a seat at the negotiating table in international conflict resolution, this bill includes major victories for our community and national security objectives. I’m also thrilled to see critical investments in our military that further New Hampshire’s role in our national defense. As this legislation moves forward, I’ll continue to work across the aisle to see that this bill is quickly approved by Congress.”


And on the passage of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, Shaheen continued, “I’m encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for continuing and expanding opioid crisis response efforts to deliver much-needed resources to New Hampshire and other impacted communities across the nation. Congress cannot relent on providing assistance to combat this epidemic, and I’ll continue to reach across the aisle to get our first responders, health care providers and families the federal help they need and deserve.”


The Defense and Labor-HHS appropriations bills will now be considered by the full Senate.


Summary of New Hampshire Priorities Included in FY19 Defense Appropriations Bill:


Funding for PFAS Health-Impact Study & Additional Federal Support for PFAS Remediation in Contaminated Drinking Water


Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health impact of emerging contaminants in water supplies, and in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), established the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, as well as funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March. In the annual defense bill passed by the Senate earlier this month, Shaheen successfully authorized $10 million for the second year of the study—today’s bill secures that funding. Because of Shaheen’s efforts, the Pease International Tradeport will serve as the model site for the nationwide PFAS health study. Shaheen also procured $105 million in today’s appropriations bill for PFAS remediation in contaminated drinking water supplies across the nation.


Federal Investments to Procure KC-46 Aerial Refueling Tankers


Shaheen fought to include funding for 15 KC-46 aerial refueling tankers, a substantial investment in the KC-46A Aerial Refueling Tanker program, which will be based at Pease Air National Guard Base. In last year’s NDAA, Shaheen was successful in securing authorization of funding to ensure the Air Force would continue the development of the program, which is a significant economic benefit to Pease and the surrounding community. Today’s bill also includes additional funding for facility upgrades to support the aircraft.


Additional Congressional Support for Full Repeal of Unfair DOD Per Diem Policy Impacting Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Workers


In the FY 2019 NDAA that passed the Senate earlier this month, Shaheen successfully secured a full repeal of the unfair Department of Defense (DOD) long-term Temporary Duty (TDY) reduced per diem policy. The policy was intended to reduce DOD costs, but failed to function as it was intended. Instead, the policy places an unfair economic burden on civilian workers by reducing the per diem rate payable to the worker for each full day while they are away from their families for extended periods of time to provide critical maintenance to our ships and submarines. This results in diminished per diem coverage for workers the longer they’re deployed, and forces civilian workers, including many at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PSNY), to pay out of pocket for meals and incidentals. In today’s appropriations bill, Shaheen added additional language supporting this repeal, furthering Congressional efforts to end the policy.


Support for Critical Shipbuilding Programs


Building on previous efforts to construct additional Virginia-class submarines, Senator Shaheen worked to include funding for 13 new ships, including 2 Virginia-class. These added investments will help mitigate an attack submarine shortfall projected for some time after 2020. Senator Shaheen has long been a steadfast supporter of the Virginia-class.


Implementation of Shaheen Legislation to Bolster Women’s Leadership in Peace Negotiations & Conflict Resolution


Last year, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to bolster women’s leadership in peace negotiations and conflict resolution was signed into law. Funding obtained by Shaheen in today’s appropriations bill provides $3 million to implement key provisions of that bill. The Women, Peace and Security Act advances the priorities outlined in the United States’ National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and ensures the United States continues to advocate for women’s inclusion and engagement in the peace-building process to prevent, moderate and resolve violent conflict.


Federal Assistance for the ‘Beyond Yellow Ribbon’ Program to Help Granite State Service Members & Families


Senator Shaheen helped secure $20 million for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon (BYR) program, which funds the New Hampshire National Guard’s Care Coordination Program. BYR programs provide outreach services to troops returning from deployment, including health care, marriage and financial counseling, substance misuse treatment and mental health services.


Summary of New Hampshire Priorities Included in FY19 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill:


Extension of Equivalent Funding for Opioid Response Efforts Secured in Previous Omnibus Spending Bill


Senator Shaheen preserved and extended opioid response funding levels secured in the omnibus funding bill and through the 21st Century Cures Act. The Labor-HHS funding bill provides $1.5 billion for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding for State Opioid Response Grants, which was funded in the omnibus government spending bill earlier this year.


A member of the Common Sense Caucus, Senator Shaheen helped secure an additional $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis in the budget deal signed into law in February, and helped ensure that a dedicated portion of that funding would be set aside specifically for states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. She has also led efforts to change the SAMHSA funding formula that puts states like New Hampshire with small populations and high mortality rates from opioid overdoses, at a disadvantage. SAMHSA recently agreed to change this funding formula and also limit the number of states eligible for the set-aside funds to a targeted list of states, adhering to a request from the New Hampshire congressional delegation. Together, the funding increase in the omnibus funding bill and these subsequent changes to allocate additional resources to states with exceptionally high overdose death rates, have led to the substantial increase in resources for New Hampshire announced earlier this month.


Increased Funding for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) & Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant


Shaheen fought to increase funding levels for NIDA, within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and successfully increased funding by $37 million above FY 2018 levels. The funding bill allocates $1.42 billion for NIDA, which will be used in a number of ways, including research grants to examine non-addictive pain therapies, opioid addiction research, pain management studies and addiction treatment research.


Additionally, Shaheen helped negotiate $1.858 billion in funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, which is an increase of $80 million over last year’s funding levels.


Key Federal Investments in Before- and After-School Programs


Last year, Senator Shaheen pressed Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the importance of funding 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), which support 69 after-school programs and more than 8,000 students in New Hampshire. Though the President’s budget proposal for FY 2019 sought to eliminate the grant program, Senator Shaheen fought to ensure continued funding and helped deliver $1.2 billion in today’s funding legislation.