Shaheen Hosts Next Stop on “Investing in the American Worker” Kitchen Table Tour, Discusses Need for High-Speed Broadband with Lempster Family

October 13, 2021

 

Shaheen discusses the need for investments in quality, high-speed broadband internet access with the Thomas family in Lempster

   

Later: Shaheen Underscores Historic Investments in Water Infrastructure Included in Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill during Visit to Newport

 

Shaheen walks to Newport’s surface water reservoir and water treatment plant at Gilman Pond

 

Afterwards: Shaheen Highlights Climate Provisions in Build Back Better Agenda during Visit to Mink Brook Community Forest in Hanover

   

Shaheen conducts a foliage walk at the Mink Brook Community Forest in Hanover

(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted her next stop on the “Investing in the American Worker” Kitchen Table Tour, through which she’s meeting in-person with working families across the state to discuss the issues that matter most in our recovery from the pandemic. Shaheen sat down with the Thomas family in Lempster to discuss the struggles they’ve faced in accessing quality, high-speed broadband internet, and how Shaheen led broadband provisions in the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal to address those needs. The COVID-19 crisis underscored why communities need robust broadband networks, from working from home to accessing telehealth to staying in touch with loved ones. In the bipartisan infrastructure package that cleared the Senate, Shaheen’s leadership in negotiations helped secured $65 billion in grants to support broadband deployment and other efforts to bridge the digital divide, which is especially critical in rural parts of New Hampshire.  

“Access to broadband opens the door for economic opportunity and is an essential tool for Granite Staters to learn, stay connected and access critical services like health care. Despite the tremendous benefits of broadband, far too many rural New Hampshire communities remain disconnected or priced out from this critical, transformative technology,” said Shaheen. “My conversation with the Thomas family this morning laid out the importance of closing the digital gap by expanding access to reliable, high-speed broadband as our state recovers from the pandemic. Meeting with families like theirs is why I pushed to include historic investments in broadband in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate, and I’ll continue to work on legislation in the Senate that invests in our working families.” 

Later, Shaheen visited Newport’s surface water reservoir and water treatment plant at Gilman Pond with local leaders to discuss how the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill will invest in repairing and revitalizing critical drinking water, storm water and wastewater infrastructure for communities across the state. Shaheen spearheaded provisions related to water infrastructure in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that cleared the Senate in August, which includes $55 billion to upgrade and replace water infrastructure in New Hampshire and across the country – the largest investment in water infrastructure in America’s history.  

“Like many New Hampshire communities, the town of Newport needs federal funding to repair and replace aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure” said Shaheen. “To address our communities’ drinking water and wastewater needs, I fought to include $55 billion in the bipartisan infrastructure bill to repair and revitalize these critical systems. This legislation would not only provide the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history – it would also create millions of good-paying jobs, including here in New Hampshire. I’ll continue to fight for the passage of this critical bill and push for more resources that address the water infrastructure needs of our communities.” 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also includes $10 billion to address per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and $15 billion to replace lead service lines, which have been significant issues impacting Granite State communities. The infrastructure package also includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to fix to the Contribution-in-Aid of Construction (CIAC) tax issue, which arose after Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration reinstated the tax in the 2017 tax bill. This tax has resulted in at least $1.15 million in new federal taxes for water infrastructure projects in Southern New Hampshire.  

Afterwards, Shaheen visited Mink Brook Community Forest in Hanover with local officials and conservation stakeholders to discuss the impact of worsening climate change on New Hampshire’s foliage season and highlight New Hampshire priorities in the Build Back Better Act that will help combat the climate crisis. According to the most recent National Climate Assessment, climate change is already altering ecosystems in the Northeast and adversely impacting tourism, farming and forestry. The shifting seasonality can negatively impact the health of forests and, in turn, the industries that depend on them and the very character of states like New Hampshire. Shaheen highlighted how the Build Back Better agenda contains robust provisions to combat the climate crisis, such as funding for conservation programs and assistance to make forest management more affordable – key components of the Forest Incentives Program Act, bipartisan legislation she introduced in March. 

“Each year, Granite Staters cherish the breathtaking beauty of our state’s fall foliage season. Leaf peeping at places like Mink Brook Community Forest also drives visitors from near and far, boosting our state’s outdoor recreation economy and supporting thousands of jobs. However, the beautiful yellows, reds and oranges on display are being threatened by warming temperatures driven by climate change,” said Shaheen. “Climate change is serious and demands immediate action, which is why I’m fighting for important investments in the Build Back Better Act that will protect and conserve our state’s natural resources, reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the climate crisis. Inaction is not an option.” 

Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate for safeguarding our environment and combating the effects of climate change. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. She introduced the International Climate Accountability Act – legislation to prevent President Trump from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and direct the Trump administration to develop a strategic plan for the U.S. to meet its commitment under the Agreement. Shaheen also introduced widely praised bipartisan legislation with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to save American homes and businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and dramatically reduce the United States’ carbon footprint. Key provisions of this legislation were included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate in August. Shaheen is a founding member of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, which brings together an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to craft and advance bipartisan solutions to address climate change.