Congressional Roundup: Homelessness, Entry-level workers, and reimbursement for NH National Guard

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It’s July 19, 2021. Here is a roundup of recent updates from New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation

800px US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006
Congressional dome. Credit/Wikimedia Commons

Shaheen co-sponsors bill to fight homelessness

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) in introducing the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bill to increase federal resources to battle homelessness. The bill authorizes $1 billion in grants annually for the next five years for local governments to combat homelessness. 

As a way to address the root causes of homelessness, this legislation for the first time would condition federal funds on a grant recipient’s ability to provide not only housing, but also comprehensive supportive services like mental health care, substance abuse treatment and job training. Grant recipients would be required to provide 25 percent of project funds and report on measures of success, including whether individuals remain housed. 

“To stem the homelessness crisis that worsened during the pandemic, we need a comprehensive approach that makes families whole again. We must take into account how poverty, mental illness and substance misuse exacerbate cycles of housing insecurity,” said Shaheen. “This legislation pairs critical services like counseling and mental health treatment with housing support, addressing the root causes of homelessness. I’ll continue fighting in the Senate to ensure Granite Staters have the services and support they need for their health and housing security.”  

Hassan and Rubio introduce bill to protect entry-level workers

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced legislation to protect entry-level, low-wage workers from non-compete agreements that limit their employment opportunities and restrict their ability to negotiate higher wages and benefits. Specifically, the Freedom to Compete Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to prevent employers from using non-compete agreements in employment contracts for certain non-exempt employees.

“It makes zero sense that entry-level, low wage workers are often limited by non-compete agreements from finding better employment opportunities and negotiating higher wages,” said Hassan. “That is why I have joined with Senator Rubio to reintroduce legislation to protect many low-wage workers from these restrictive agreements. I will continue to advocate for workers’ rights and benefits so that Granite Staters have access to better economic opportunities.”

More information on the bill can be found here.

Kuster and Pappas seek re-imbursement for NH National Guard following January insurrection

On Friday, Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Senate Appropriations Committee urging immediate action to fully reimburse the New Hampshire National Guard for their deployment to the United States Capitol after the January 6th attack. Kuster and Pappas helped secure funding to fully reimburse the NH National Guard in the House in May, but the Senate has yet to act on companion funding legislation.

“After the United States Capitol was attacked by insurrectionists seeking to subvert the peaceful, constitutional transfer of power, the National Guard answered Congress’ call to protect the Capitol,” Kuster and Pappas wrote. “Now, more than seven months after their deployments, state National Guard units have yet to be reimbursed for their efforts. This has left National Guard units with a funding shortfall that threatens readiness and national security. We implore you to address this problem by following the House’s lead and passing an emergency supplemental to fund the National Guard.”

“In May, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3237, Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, which provided $520.9 million to reimburse the Guard,” Kuster and Pappas continued. “The U.S. Senate should immediately take up legislation to reimburse the National Guard and ensure the Guard is made whole after its deployment. The National Guard answered Congress’ call when we needed them. Now, it is time for Congress to answer the Guard’s call and provide reimbursement for Operation Capitol Response.”

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.