Delegation pleased with opioid funding, hopeful for Dreamers
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The four members of New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation said Friday they are pleased the bipartisan budget agreement provides $6 billion in additional funding to address the opioid epidemic and provides support for veterans, children’s health insurance, and disaster relief.
“While the promise of additional funding in this agreement doesn’t match the severity of the opioid crisis, it is an important step forward,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said in a statement. Sen. Maggie Hassan said it will help prevention, treatment and recovery providers.
The budget also fully funds the Department of Defense, ensuring that the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pease Air National Guard Base have resources.
The White House was forced to order a government shutdown shortly after midnight Thursday, but leaders quickly hustled to move before federal employees were due back at work, hoping to minimize the disruption.
One subject the budget does not address is the plight of the Dreamers, young immigrants who’ve lived in the country illegally since they were children. Several weeks ago, Senate Democrats sparked a three-day partial government shutdown by staging a filibuster on a spending bill, seeking relief for Dreamers.
“I’m hopeful that we can continue this bipartisan momentum and come together behind comprehensive immigration reform that will provide protections for young Dreamers,” Rep. Annie Kuster said.
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said President Donald Trump “manufactured a crisis” by deciding to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“They are our neighbors, classmates, friends and family. They are veterans and servicemembers. They are college students and scientists conducting cutting-edge research. And now they are afraid because this administration is threatening to deport them,” she said.