NASHUA – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan visited New Hampshire non-profits last week to discuss how the government shutdown is impacting services they provide, and how those services will be strained if President Trump’s senseless shutdown continues. The Senator visited the Nashua Soup Kitchen and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Strafford County in Dover, which helps provide food, education, and child care services to local residents.
Senator Hassan joined her colleagues in December in voting for a bill that would have funded the government – a deal that the President killed. Since then, she has called on the Senate leader to bring a funding bill forward for a vote and supported legislation to protect Granite Staters and Americans from the impacts of the shutdown. She helped introduce bipartisan legislation, which is now on its way to the President’s desk for signature, that would ensure that any furloughed government employee from this shutdown or any future ones will be paid retroactively as soon as appropriations are restored, and also joined in introducing the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act, which would protect federal workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions, and loan defaults during a government shutdown. Senator Hassan also cosponsored a bill that would fund Coast Guard operations – including pay for members of the Coast Guard – during lapses in appropriation.
See below for highlights of the coverage:
By Monica Hernandez
To watch Senator Hassan’s interview with WMUR, click here.
Managers of the Nashua Soup Kitchen said Friday that it's only a matter of weeks until its operations could be in jeopardy because of the ongoing federal government shutdown.
… U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan visited the soup kitchen and said that if the shutdown continues, funds for federal food assistance programs such as SNAP will be threatened next month.
"Certainly, for people who are served by the soup kitchen and other kinds of soup kitchens throughout the state of New Hampshire, the longer this goes on, the more uncertainty they face," Hassan said.
Hassan said that reopening the government, is up to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. She said she believes that border security should be a separate discussion.
By Adam Urquhart
The partial government shutdown marked exactly three weeks Friday, and the lapse in federal funding is starting to cause concerns among many relying on those monies.
That’s why U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan stopped by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter Friday morning to hear from those directly affected by President Donald Trump’s decision to partially shut down the government over his proposed border wall.
“We are doing everything we can … to try to move forward and get government reopen, find our way forward, find common sense border security,” U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said, referring to the New Hampshire delegation.
… Meanwhile, Jenn Morton, of the initiative End 68 Hours of Hunger, said the program is currently assisting about 260 children each week who don’t have enough food on the weekends. January, February and March are always the toughest months, Morton said; it’s the time of year when families are faced with the difficult decision of either heating their homes or feeding their children. She said they are already beginning to add to the numbers.
“In addition, in southern New Hampshire over 500 employees of the federal government are employed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and other government related agencies, and so that’s a new concern for those families, as well,” Morton said.
In responding to Morton, Hassan said, “I met with some of them yesterday, and one air traffic controller who has six children is trying to figure out how they are going to cover their mortgage and feed the kids. He got his paycheck yesterday (Thursday), which was for zero dollars.”
Hassan said a lot of these folks are in really challenging situations right now, and that officials are trying to reassure federal employees that when government reopens they will get their back-pay. She said a related bill to that passed unanimously in the Senate Thursday night.
“There are a number of jobs in the federal government where federal employees are prohibited from taking on a second job,” Hassan said.
She explained that even the notion right now if people are furloughed they could go do something else and pay their bills – a lot of those workers are not allowed to do that because of the law, and the need to have their total attention and focus on the jobs they have. She said examples of those include air traffic controllers or FBI agents.
…“It’s not about whether we need border security or improvements,” Hassan said. “It’s about what the best use of taxpayer dollars to achieve that is, but we can have that debate and still reopen the rest of government, and that’s what we really want to focus on.”
By Todd Feathers and Kimberly Haas
A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in U.S. history, with no end in sight.
…Betsy Andrews Parker, CEO of Community Action Partnership of Strafford County, said Friday that 4,399 Strafford County residents receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Payments (SNAP), sometimes known as food stamps, from the federal government.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday a plan to provide full benefits to SNAP recipients through the month of February. What will happen after that is uncertain.
“We’re seeing people come in who are already stressed and concerned about what will happen in March,” Andrews Parker told U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, during a roundtable forum in Dover.
Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills.