Podcast: Trahan Says Programs Like Haverhill Fire Staffing Grant at Risk with Federal Shutdown

Congresswoman Lori Trahan speaks before the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Courtesy photograph.)

Eyes are on Washington to see how Congress deals with a budget deadline and looming shutdown of the federal government.

Congresswoman Lori Trahan, went live Thursday on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, noting the Haverhill Fire Department recently benefited from an operating federal government. However, she said, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy now has to choose between the country and those Republicans who would take away his leadership position.

“The House could put that bill on the floor and it would get a majority of votes from Democrats and Republicans, but you know there is a small group of Republicans right now that just aren’t allowing that to happen. Frankly, Speaker McCarthy is having to make a decision on what is more important to him, the country or his speakership. So, it’s not a great situation right here in Washington, but we are going to work until we resolve this,” she said.

Trahan went on to say a shutdown wouldn’t just affect federal workers.

“Sadly, working families are the ones who are forced to pay the price when we don’t have folks down in Washington who are committed to governing, and that’s where we are right now. I’m a little frustrated that we are careening toward a government shutdown. The work we are doing in the House right now is not work that is going to avert that shutdown,” she explained.

On another topic, Trahan spoke of the $4 million federal SAFER—Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response—grant recently awarded to the City of Haverhill. It will allow the city to pay for additional firefighters over the next three years.

“Just over a week ago the Haverhill Fire Department was awarded $4 million in federal funding that will allow the city to hire as many as 16 additional firefighters to staff a second ladder truck, with 100% of salaries and benefits covered by the federal government for three full years. I know how much of a priority this has been for our Haverhill firefighters. I commend them on the application they put forward because it was, clearly, compelling enough to win,” she said.

Trahan said the federal money for the Fire Department is all part of the bigger picture.

“This, coupled with plans to replace the Basiliere Bridge and another project that’s going to get done, thanks to President Biden and federal funds, it will just mean much faster response times for Haverhill families. It means that our communities are safer and we are investing in our first responders—the ones who are working around the clock to be there for the rest of us. It’s one way that the president’s Invest in America agenda is reaching communities like Haverhill. It really just underscores our need to keep the government open so that we can keep delivering federal funds that cities like Haverhill need,” Trahan said.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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