January 02, 2017

NH Delegation Ready to Get to Work in Washington

NH Delegation Ready to Get to Work in Washington

Source: WMUR

WASHINGTON - The members of New Hampshire's new congressional delegation were sworn in Tuesday, and they said they have several goals they hope to accomplish.

For the first time, New Hampshire is sending an all-female, all Democratic delegation to Washington.

"Oh, it's exciting," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said. "And it's exciting not only to have all women, but to have a Democratic delegation, and we share so many views on health care for people in New Hampshire and this country."

A key priority for the delegation is dealing with the crisis of addiction. They said they hope to educate their Republican colleagues about the issue.

"And as these members educate themselves on access to treatment that's so critical and recovery, they'll find that so many of those people are covered by Medicaid expansion from the Affordable Care Act," U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster said.

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is the newcomer to Washington, but the former governor is well-versed in the problem of opioid addiction.

"I really want to make sure that New Hampshire's representation in Washington reflects the values and priorities of the people of New Hampshire," she said. "Certainly as governor, I tried to work with the people of New Hampshire to address our heroin and opioid crisis."

The delegation acknowledged that it might be difficult to work in Washington with an incoming Republican president and GOP majorities in the Senate and House. But they said the uncertainty surrounding President-elect Trump might spark dialogue across the aisle.

"I have talked to a number of my Republican friends today quietly, and I think some of them share that same concern, that we don't do anything so dramatic that we hurt the very people that we're trying to help," U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said.

The four said they know they won't agree on everything, but they pledged to keep the lines of communication open and meet often as a group.