Congressional Roundup: Art winner, national stockpile, tax fix

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It’s June 16, 2021. Here’s a recap of what’s been going on lately with the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation.

Art Competition winner Annie DiNardo with Congressman Pappas in Manchester. Submitted photo.

Hassan seeks to strengthen National Stockpile

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08) introduced the bipartisan Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act to make long-overdue improvements to the Strategic National Stockpile, which is maintained by the federal government to ensure access to medical supplies during public health emergencies. This comprehensive, bipartisan bill will help reduce America’s dependence on foreign adversaries like China for critical supplies, boost domestic manufacturing, and improve transparency to ensure the effectiveness of the Strategic National Stockpile during future public health emergencies.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was immediately clear that our country was unprepared to meet the magnitude of the crisis. For instance, in New Hampshire, medical professionals were unable to acquire the supplies that they needed to safely care for their patients, and in some cases were given defective supplies,” Hassan said. “This failure must never happen again, which is why I am glad to introduce this important, bipartisan bill to help ensure that our country has the critical supplies that it needs in the event of another emergency. Our bill will make long overdue improvements to the Strategic National Stockpile and strengthen domestic manufacturing to help create jobs and reduce our reliance on foreign countries for PPE, ventilators, and other necessary supplies that keep Americans and Granite Staters safe.”

Shaheen, Murkowski Reintroduce Bipartisan Fix to Stop Tax that Threatens Investments in Crucial Water Infrastructure  

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) reintroduced their bipartisan bill to fix a measure in the 2017 tax bill that led to taxes on critical water infrastructure investments in New Hampshire, Alaska and across the nation. The bill would amend the treatment of Contributions in aid of Construction (CIAC) under Section 118 of the Internal Revenue Code to reduce the burden on taxpayers and encourage water and wastewater utilities to invest in water infrastructure projects and community development. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) also cosponsored the bill.

Before the Trump administration passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), water and wastewater utilities were exempted from the CIAC tax. But the TCJA reinstated this tax, forcing these costs to be covered by either state and local governments or ratepayers and property taxpayers. These changes have already resulted in at least $1.15 million in new federal taxes for water infrastructure projects in Southern New Hampshire, reducing the likelihood of investments in water infrastructure and community development.

“Investing in water infrastructure means investing in public health, job creation and economic development. These critical investments must be made without sticking local communities with an unexpected bill,” said Shaheen. “That’s why I’m proud to lead this bipartisan, common-sense effort with Senator Murkowski to simultaneously invest in infrastructure jobs and ensure families have access to clean drinking water. I’ll keep working in the Senate to protect taxpayers and meaningfully invest in New Hampshire’s infrastructure.”

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

Pappas Announces Winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for NH’s First District

Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) announced that Annie DiNardo, a student at Dover High School, is the winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District. The Competition recognizes the artistic talent of high school students who attend school in or live in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District.  DiNardo’s work titled “Speak Up” was selected from a record-breaking number of submissions from students in all corners of the District. Her artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol along with winning artwork from around the nation.

“These high school artists are incredibly talented and I want to commend all of them for sharing their artwork in this year’s competition,” said Pappas. “Congratulations to Annie DiNardo from Dover High School for winning this year’s top prize with her painting ‘Speak Up!’ which inspires us to work towards change in our communities to create a better future. I look forward to seeing this artwork alongside winners from across the country on the walls of the Capitol as I walk to cast votes in the U.S. Congress.”

Pappas congratulated Annie, as well as all entrants in the competition, at a reception at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester where the winning artwork was announced. More information about the competition can be found at: https://pappas.house.gov/services/art-competition.