Jeanne Shaheen raised the alarm about the coronavirus or “COVID-19” weeks before the Trump administration took it seriously. Throughout this pandemic, Jeanne has worked to help New Hampshire address its economic and public health impact and to make a difference for our communities, small businesses, hospitals, first responders and workers so severely impacted by this virus.
When this pandemic hit the United States economy, Jeanne was named as one of four Senators on a bipartisan team charged with developing the small business relief in the COVID-19 economic stimulus bill. The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell originally proposed a stimulus package that favored big corporations and allowed CEOs to take huge bonuses, and Jeanne helped in the fight to remove those corporate handouts to put small businesses first. She helped negotiate a significant increase in funding for small businesses and workers and, when problems arose with these programs, has worked to ensure help goes to those who need it most. Thousands of New Hampshire small businesses have received over 17,000 grants, forgivable loans, and other forms of assistance totaling over $2 billion so far. Jeanne recognizes that the need is even greater than that and continues to work to secure more federal support for her state.
Small states like New Hampshire could have been at a disadvantage when federal funds were allocated, but Jeanne worked to get the Granite State the funding it deserved, and she continues to work to increase federal support for our state. Originally, the Republican stimulus bill included zero dollars for state relief and included a $3 billion bailout for big oil. Democrats eliminated the federal funds for oil companies and Jeanne secured $1.25 billion for New Hampshire, more than it would have received if funds were allocated only by population, and millions more for law enforcement, childcare, housing, low-income heating and other needs to help the state through this crisis.
Jeanne also recognized the enormous impact that this crisis is having on our education system. The Trump administration’s allies in the Senate tried to pass a bill without emergency education support funding, ignoring the new reality facing schools and teachers during this crisis. Jeanne fought for and helped deliver nearly $90 million to New Hampshire to ensure our schools, teachers and students have the resources they need at this moment.
Jeanne worked across the aisle to deliver federal support to help New Hampshire hospitals and health care providers through this crisis, fighting for and securing hundreds of billions in federal funding to support hospitals and those on the front lines in New Hampshire and across the country. She has worked to ensure that federal relief packages include support for health care providers in every community, including in rural areas. And Jeanne worked with stakeholders in the private sector to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) that the state needed to fight the coronavirus and help those on the front lines.
When President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to push through a spending package that included zero dollars for hospitals, Jeanne knew that would not work for New Hampshire, where hospitals, from Lakes Regional General Hospital to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, as well as providers across the state, have been losing critical revenue and have incurred enormous costs treating COVID-19 patients. Jeanne listened to leaders on the frontlines, fighting for and helping health care providers with $100 billion in new funding for hospitals.
Jeanne has been, and continues to be, a tireless advocate for our health care workers on the frontlines of this health care battle. She fought to secure financial support to cover child care costs for health care workers, including nurses, so they are able to continue to help Granite Staters in need. Despite the President’s claims that everyone can get a test who needs one, testing has been woefully inadequate in New Hampshire. In addition to funding for health care providers, she helped secure $17 million for New Hampshire to expand testing.
Jeanne knows that there is so much more to do to ensure the health, safety and economic security of New Hampshire and the United States during this crisis, and she will continue to make a difference for Granite Staters. Jeanne is in constant contact with New Hampshire health care providers, first responders, small business owners, state officials, service organizations and workers, and she knows they need urgent help. She is working to ensure they have the resources necessary to weather this crisis and rebuild a stronger economy.