(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the bipartisan budget agreement:
“This bipartisan budget agreement ensures that the United States won’t default on our debt and finally ends the indiscriminate cuts caused by sequestration. Those automatic, unnecessary cuts would have harmed America’s military readiness and undermined important programs that Granite Staters rely on to help access health care, invest in infrastructure development, obtain loans to grow their small businesses and put food on the table. This agreement isn’t perfect, but it provides urgently needed long-term planning and certainty for both domestic and national security priorities, and helps lay a foundation to avoid a government shutdown in the future,” said Shaheen.
“This agreement also makes additional resources available to programs here at home which could be used by Congress to once again work on a bipartisan basis to deliver help to the frontlines of the substance use disorder epidemic,” continued Shaheen. “As the federal budgeting process moves forward, I’ll fight to ensure that funding for hard-hit states like New Hampshire remains a top priority. Hundreds of overdose deaths a year in New Hampshire cannot become the norm – we have to continue battling this epidemic and the federal government can be doing much more to assist.”
Nearly 70,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2018. According to one Trump administration estimate, this epidemic costs the U.S. economy approximately $500 billion per year.
Senator Shaheen helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant program.