Kelly Ayotte

File photos / NHPR

Both of New Hampshire’s US Senators voted in favor of giving President Obama additional trade powers.

The Senate voted 62 to 37 Friday to approve so-called “fast track” negotiating authority, in which Congress can ratify or reject, but not change, trade agreements presented by the president.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

N.H.’s top GOP officeholder says Congressman Frank Guinta owes voters a full accounting in the wake of Federal Election Commission settlement that found Guinta accepted $355,000 in illegal campaign donations from his parents in 2009 and 2010. 

US Senator Kelly Ayotte helped Guinta's campaign committee raise money last fall.  That same committee must now refund the $355,000 Guinta accepted from his parents.

www.shaheen.senate.gov

 

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that makes sure death benefits paid to families of public safety officer who are killed in the line of duty are not subject to federal income tax.

U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen introduced the bill and say it's now headed to the president for his signature.

Federal survivor benefits are not subject to federal taxation but Ayotte's office says New Hampshire law enforcement personnel were concerned about an ambiguity in the law regarding the tax treatment of state-based survivor benefits programs.

File photos / NHPR

New Hampshire's U.S. senators have voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

Lynch was confirmed Thursday by a vote of 56-43.

Every Democrat in the Senate voted to confirm, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who called the appointment of a black woman to the nation's top law enforcement job a historic achievement. Shaheen said Lynch has "sterling credentials" and a commitment to public service.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte joined nine other Republicans to support Lynch, calling her clearly qualified.

Evan Vucci/AP

 

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a possible Republican presidential candidate, will spend part of a two-day swing through New Hampshire touring a business with Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Graham and Ayotte, who have worked closely in the Senate on foreign policy issues, are scheduled to tour New Hampshire Ball Bearings in Laconia on Thursday afternoon. The tour is part of Ayotte's official schedule, and Graham is joining her to see the facility, meet workers and discuss their support of legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said Monday that despite recent negotiation setbacks, she has no regrets in joining 46 other Republican Senators earlier this month in signing a letter addressed to Iran.

The letter warned Iranian leaders that any nuclear deal signed with President Obama would not last past his second term if Congress was not allowed to weigh in.

The Senators have received flak from colleagues across the aisle, arguing that the letter only stalled negotiations further putting the country at risk.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was in the Granite State Friday making several stops in Manchester including to meet with law enforcement and statewide agencies to advocate for her new legislation on human trafficking.

If passed the Senator’s bill would funnel more funding into treatment programs as well as cleanse a victim’s record of offenses such as prostitution or drug smuggling that occurred while being trafficked.

NHPR Staff

UPDATE: Sen. Ayotte released the following statement regarding her signing the letter:

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. This week, a possible 2016 U.S. Senate matchup is starting to heat up and a look at what's on top this week at the Statehouse.

The legislature’s back in this week, the presidential candidates keep coming, but let’s start with Governor Maggie Hassan. Is it US senate candidate Maggie Hassan?

File photos / NHPR

Update: The Republican-led House has rejected a short-term funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, increasing the likelihood of partial shutdown of U.S. anti-terror operations at midnight.

In a statement, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen urged House Speaker John Boehner to call a vote on a Senate bill that passed earlier today. "We cannot afford the consequences of an agency shutdown,” Shaheen said.

Kris Klop / Flickr/CC

  New Hampshire's U.S. senators are supportive of President Barack Obama's decision to pursue a congressionally approved authorization for the use of military force against Islamic state fighters.   Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte says as the Senate begins hearings on the language and scope of Obama's request, she wants to learn more about whether he is prepared to fully execute an effective strategy to defeat ISIS under the terms of the authorization.  Democratic Sen.

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Reactions to President Obama’s State of the Union address predictably fell along party lines among New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says she’s encouraged by the proposals outlined by the president in Tuesday night’s speech.

“Whether it’s efforts to make higher education more affordable for young people, reforming our tax code, or investing in alternative energy sources to lower costs to create jobs, Congress should now renew our  commitment to growing our economy and helping small businesses succeed,” Shaheen said in a statement.

Chris jensen for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to make it more difficult for the administration to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

She’s part of a group of Republican Senators set to unveil legislation later today to restrict those transfers.

Ayotte was critical of the administration’s decision earlier this month to transfer five Guantanamo detainees to Kazakhstan. 

Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has serious concerns about President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

President Obama announced plans today to open an American embassy in Havana, along with the loosening of economic and travel restrictions, after the release of an American contractor held in captivity for five years.

Ayotte says the policy shift strengthens the Cuban regime and reduces incentives to respect the human rights of its citizens.

www.shaheen.senate.gov

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte says Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter has a strong resume, but says she’s not yet ready to pledge her support.

During a stop in Nashua Friday, Ayotte, a Republican member of the Armed Services Committee, says it’s important to get through the nomination hearing process before making that decision.

“One of the things I will want to ask him a number of questions about is the administration’s foreign policy, and what his views are for a strategy for the challenges we face, whether it’s ISIS, whether it’s Russian aggression.”

NHPR Staff

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is praising outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel while criticizing President Barack Obama.

Ayotte, a Republican who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposed Hagel's confirmation in 2012 but said Monday he should be honored for his service to the country.

She also said the "national security failings" of the Obama administration rest with the president, not Hagel.

Her colleague on the committee, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, said she has the utmost respect for Hagel, who resigned Monday.

Courtesy Shaheen.Senate.gov

New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are split on President Obama’s executive order on immigration preventing nearly five million people in the country illegally from being deported.

During a visit to Portsmouth Friday, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said there’s legal precedent for the president’s action.

But Shaheen said there’s more to work to be done.

“I think Congress needs to act. That’s the way to address this issue and to get it done in a way that addresses our border security and addresses our visa system – all of the aspects of immigration.”

Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators say they support actions being taken in northern Iraq to combat Sunni militants advancing toward the Kurdish capital of Irbil.  

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen says she supports the dual mission of stopping the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and providing humanitarian relief to thousands of Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.  But she’s wary of expanding U.S. involvement in the conflict.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has joined Republicans injecting immigration into New Hampshire's U.S. Senate contest.

The conservative firebrand is out with a fundraising message Friday attacking New Hampshire's Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for supporting President Barack Obama's quote, "amnesty" immigration policies. Cruz becomes the second Republican eying the presidency this week to criticize Shaheen on immigration. Texas Gov. Rick Perry made similar charges, which Democrats called "desperate."

Archivists are all about anniversaries…we put a man on the moon 45 years ago this week, The Exchange marked that anniversary with help from the Sky Guys the other day. This week is also the 10th anniversary of Killington, VT officials meeting with NH Gov. Craig Benson about plans for secession and perhaps throwing in with the Granite State (more about that here).

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Senator Kelly Ayotte and Representative Ann McLane Kuster were in Manchester on Monday to help kick off New Hampshire’s new mental health first aid program.

Once this week’s training is complete, the 30 participants will be certified as mental health first aid instructors.

Suellen Griffin is Executive Director of West Center Behavioral Health in Lebanon.

She says those taking part – including two people from her center – come from all corners of the state and will be responsible for sharing what they learned with residents in communities.

New Hampshire’s Senators say Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki’s decision to step down was the right one.

Senator Kelly Ayotte says that more needs to be done to address the waitlist problems in VA medical centers but Shinseki’s resignation is a positive first step.

“We need to make sure that those who have committed the falsifying of records and misleading people should be fully pursued and prosecuted.”

New Hampshire's entire Congressional delegation now agrees that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki should resign.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte called on Shinseki to resign a week ago, while the three Democrats — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Annie Kuster and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter — did so on Wednesday.

They were prompted by a scathing new report that found systemic problems in the medical system for military veterans.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte threw her support behind fellow Republican Scott Brown, who is running for the state’s other Senate seat.

Brown also picked up endorsements from former Republican governors Steve Merrill and Craig Benson.

Standing before a large crowd of Brown’s supporters in Nashua, Ayotte described the former Massachusetts Senator as a proven leader who will get things done for New Hampshire.

“And I am very proud to stand here today and endorse Scott Brown. Working together, I can assure you we’ll put New Hampshire first,” she said.

U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Annie Kuster hosted Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James at Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth this morning.

Chris jensen for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte will host a roundtable discussion later this month that focuses on heroin use in New Hampshire.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

A multi-state bus tour echoing President Barack Obama’s push to raise the national minimum wage stopped in the Granite State this morning.

Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for tougher action against Russia for annexing Crimea.   

Senators from New Hampshire, Wisconsin and West Virginia have introduced legislation to end federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport Tower
J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport are pushing back against a recommendation that the control tower be closed from midnight to 6 in the morning.

The proposal comes out of an internal review done every few years by the regional FAA Control Tower Manager based in Manchester.

It’s now up to the FAA whether to follow through.

Airport spokesman Tom Malafonte says the recommendation is still in the early stages, but airport officials with the airport have already reached out to the FAA to make clear their opposition.

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