Shaheen, Hassan Speak Out In Support Of Federal Block Grant Program

Apr 12, 2017

Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen speaking in Concord Wednesday about the Community Development Finance Authority.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire’s United States Senators are criticizing proposed cuts to a federally funded grant program.

Both Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan spoke in Concord Wednesday about the importance of the Community Development Finance Authority. As former governors, the Democrats say they saw first-hand the results of the CDFA’s grant program, which funds projects including substance abuse treatment facilities, soup kitchens and municipal infrastructure.

The CDFA receives approximately $8 million annually in Community Development Block Grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hassan said those resources “fund essential programs for our most vulnerable of citizens.”

Last week, the CDFA announced it would be postponing some of its grants due to uncertainty created by short-term spending plans passed by Congress. Senator Shaheen criticized her Republican colleagues for failing to work together on a longer-term appropriations measure.

“That is no way to run a business, it’s not way to run a government, and it’s not what we should be doing in the United States of America,” she said.

President Trump’s proposed budget outline calls for the elimination of HUD’s block grant program, which comes with a $3 billion annual price tag, a move Shaheen says "makes little sense."