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As Vote Looms Federal Budget Deal Divides N.H.'s Senators

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte were arguing their respective views of the budget deal at well-chosen venues. Shaheen was at BAE Systems a defense contractor that faced cutbacks after budget sequestration took effect last spring.

“One of the pieces that I think is critical about this budget is that it begins to addresses sequestration, those automatic cuts that I know you have experienced here, just as so many businesses that do business with the federal government have experienced.”

An hour later, ten miles up the road at a VFW hall in Merrimack, Kelly Ayotte said the budget proposal backed by the U.S House last week needs two to be reworked. She said veterans should not be forced to endure 6 billion dollars’ worth cut to their retirement benefits.

“Budgets are about priorities, and what are we saying to our men a women in uniform that they are the ones singled out under this agreement. Where is the shared sacrifice?”

Ayotte said she would make up 6 billion by reforming bringing federal food stamp polices, but said she was also open to other ideas. The senate could take up the bill as soon as Tuesday. Congress has until January 15th to reach agreement on a new budget. Failure to do so could trigger another government shutdown. 

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