Washington, DC – Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers called on the governors of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York to support the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, the NBRC is a Federal-State partnership that is comprised of a Federal Co-Chair and the Governors of New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Maine. President Trump has identified the NBRC for elimination in his budget proposal. The commission was established to organize federal funding towards specific state economic and community development projects in rural and distressed parts of the Northeast. The letter -- to Governors Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Phil Scott of Vermont, and Andrew Cuomo of New York -- urges support of the NBRC, which between 2010 – 2017 allocated 155 awards across NH, VT, NY, and ME totaling more than $80 million.
Other Members on the letter include Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), John Katko (R-NY-24), and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01).
“The NBRC has the important task of making federal investments in a wide range of areas that have greatly benefited rural communities along the northern border,” the Members wrote. “These grants have been utilized to expand business enterprises in rural communities, support workforce development initiatives and revitalize infrastructure along the northern border.”
“Despite the success of the NBRC, President Donald J. Trump has proposed to eliminate the NBRC in his most recent budget request,” the Members continued. “We write to express our opposition to this proposal, and request your support as the Chief Executives of your states for the continued federal funding of this important Federal-State partnership.”
Stefanik is an original cosponsor of the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would continue funding for the NBRC and extend its authorization for five years. The bill would also allow the NBRC to include promoting the development of renewable energy resources to meet their 40% minimum of projects, and it would permit NBRC to attract businesses from outside the United States.
The full letter is available here and below.
February 26, 2018
Dear Governor Sununu, Governor Scott and Governor Cuomo:
As Members of Congress who represent congressional districts within the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) territory, we write to express our strong support for this critical agency. Since its inception in 2008 through passage of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, the NBRC has played an important role in financing infrastructure and economic development projects in some of the Northeast’s most rural and economically distressed communities. We support continued and robust federal funding for the Commission, as it has led to job creation, leveraged important private capital for these projects, and funded initiatives that range from improving access to rural broadband, to creating affordable housing for veterans, and expanding treatment opportunities for low-income individuals struggling with substance misuse.
The NBRC has the important task of making federal investments in a wide range of areas that have greatly benefited rural communities along the northern border. The focal point of the NBRC’s mission is to administer Economic and Infrastructure Development (EID) grants, which can be awarded to state governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and non-profit organizations. These grants have been utilized to expand business enterprises in rural communities, support workforce development initiatives and revitalize infrastructure along the northern border. In addition, the NBRC can provide assistance to states in creating comprehensive economic development plans that incorporate the resources and input of local governments and the general public to identify high-need project areas. This approach has allowed the NBRC to work collaboratively with small towns and micro-target specific projects, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being utilized effectively and responsibly.
From 2010 – 2017, the NBRC has allocated 155 awards across New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Maine and invested over $80 million to stimulate economic growth along the northern border. Importantly, this federal funding has helped leverage over $107 million in additional capital investments that have helped these projects become a reality. Simply put, the NBRC has steered hard-working taxpayer dollars back to our states and injected critical funding into rural communities that need it the most.
Despite the success of the NBRC, President Donald J. Trump has proposed to eliminate the NBRC in his most recent budget request. We write to express our opposition to this proposal, and request your support as the Chief Executives of your states for the continued federal funding of this important Federal-State partnership. We are committed to supporting rural communities in our congressional districts that have directly benefited from NBRC funding, and welcome your partnership in helping to preserve this agency so it can continue to create jobs and expand economic opportunities along the northern border.
By working together, we can address the common challenges that face our states and renew our commitment to our most economically-challenged communities. Thank you for your attention to this request, and we look forward to your response. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Travis Krogman in Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s Washington office at: (202) 225-5206.