Kelly Ayotte

josh rogers/nhpr

Senator Jeanne Shaheen took to the steps of the federal courthouse in Concord to call on Senate Republicans to "get on with it" and take up Merrick Garland's nomination.

She says putting it off runs afoul of the constitution and senate tradition.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Kelly Ayotte says she's gotten mixed feedback from voters over her stance on filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Mark Fischer via Flickr CC /

New Hampshire's US Senators are split on what the Senate should do now that President Obama has chosen Merrick Garland as his nominee to the US Supreme Court. 

A federal bill aimed at helping states tackle the ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic cleared a major hurdle Thursday. 

The measure calls for roughly $70 million over the next three years to help expand treatment for people battling addiction while in prison and drug prevention efforts in schools. It would also strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs.

The bill easily passed the U.S. Senate on a 94 to 1 vote and now heads to the House.


A super PAC working to return Democrats to control of the Senate is airing television ads attacking New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte over her opposition to letting President Barack Obama pick the next Supreme Court justice.

The Senate Majority PAC ad also ties Ayotte to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. A narrator says Ayotte is eagerly helping Trump in his calls for delaying until the next president takes office. The ad claims Ayotte is "ignoring the Constitution" and "not doing her job."

  New Hampshire US Senator Kelly Ayotte is using this week's Republican response to President Obama to highlight the opioid crisis. 

Photo Courtesy UNH

New Hampshire's senators are supporting fishermen in their fight against federal regulations that shift at-sea monitoring costs to them.

Fishermen of New England species such as cod and haddock must pay the cost of fishing monitors under rules that took effect Tuesday. The monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and can cost several hundred dollars per day. Many fishermen say they can't afford the new cost and some say they will likely go out of business.

Senator Kelly Ayotte agrees the costs have to be covered now or people will be out of business.

Three weeks after the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, nine months before the November election, and New Hampshire is already on to a new round of political ads.

It began today with a 30-second spot from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, which features her 11-year-old daughter, Kate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

"On the Primary Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is calling on her Republican colleagues to do their jobs and hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When she announced she was running for U.S. Senate, Governor Hassan said she would consider supporting the closure of Guantanamo Bay if it could be done in a way where the safety of U.S. citizens would not be at risk.

Hasssan says what she knows of Present Obama's plan to shut down the prison -- it envisions sending some detainees to unnamed sites in the U.S. -- doesn't meet that test.


Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered New Hampshire flags to half staff to honor Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died this weekend at age 79.

“Justice Scalia served our country with honor and our entire nation mourns his sudden loss,” Hassan wrote in a statement. “Tom and I send our deepest condolences to Maureen, his entire family, and his many friends, loved ones and colleagues.”

NHPR Staff

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is calling on Democratic challenger, Governor Maggie Hassan, to sign a pledge that aims to limit third party spending in the race for US Senate.

The so-called People’s Pledge proposes the candidates agree to pay fines in the form of charitable donations when third party ads are aired in their favor.

That same pledge was used in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.


A federal bill that provides money for addiction treatment and drug prevention has passed its first hurdle. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen co-sponsored the legislation. 

The bill calls for additional dollars for a number of areas including treatment for people battling addiction while in prison, drug prevention efforts in schools, and expanding access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure by a unanimous vote. But how much of the bill’s $70 million would go to New Hampshire is unknown.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for ABC News to include Carly Fiorina in the last GOP Presidential debate before the New Hampshire Primary. Fiorina is the only remaining GOP candidate to be excluded from the debate, which takes place Saturday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is calling on the Internal Revenue Service to put instruction booklets to accompany tax forms in New Hampshire public libraries participating in the Tax Forms Outlet Program.

She sent a similar letter last year, and the IRS indicated it couldn't provide the booklets because of budget cuts. Ayotte said since then, the IRS has received a $290 million budget increase specifically to improve customer service.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be growing tired of the constant questions about whether she'll support Donald Trump if he's the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

"I think it's a favorite question of the press to ask all of us what we think about Trump, but we are a long way away from Feb. 9," she said Wednesday, when asked about whether she'll support the billionaire businessman.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s top Republican elected official, says she disagrees with GOP candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“I do not believe that there should be a religious test in terms of how we decide who’s coming to our country," Ayotte said. "There needs to be a factual, risk-based assessment. We’ve not had a religious test for this and that certainly seems inconsistent with the First Amendment to me.”

But when asked whether she would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Ayotte didn't rule it out.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As more details come out about the shooting in San Bernardino, terrorism threats and measures to restrict guns have become part of the debate surrounding national security.

NHPR spoke with both of New Hampshire’s Senators this morning about one of President Obama’s proposals: banning the sale of guns to those on the government’s no-fly list.

On the night of President Obama’s address, Republican Kelly Ayotte tweeted that the country needs to prevent those on the no-fly list from accessing guns.


NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On The Political Front."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says those on the no-fly list should be banned from purchasing guns.

Ayotte made her position known Sunday on Twitter, saying that those on the watch list should not be able to purchase firearms.

She also called for due process for Americans who are wrongfully on the list.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Two members of New Hampshire's Congressional delegation have come out in opposition to Northeast Energy Direct—the controversial natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan.

Chris Jensen for NHPR


U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says New Hampshire is getting more help in prosecuting drug traffickers.

Ayotte says she has secured a commitment from the Drug Enforcement Administration to create a federally-funded, full-time position in the U.S. attorney's office to enhance efforts to prosecute drug traffickers. Ayotte, a Republican, had written a letter to Department of Justice officials in October requesting funding for the position.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is defending her call for the U.S. government to stop accepting refugees from Syria. 

Hassan is the only democratic among the 30 U.S governors opposing current U.S. policy on Syrian refugee resettlement.

She says calling for "a pause" in  Syrian refugee resettlement in light of the Paris attacks is consistent with she called the first job of government, protecting the people.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is among the political leaders here in the Granite State pushing back against President Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees.

"Well, we’re certainly a compassionate nation, but national security has to come first," Ayotte told NHPR's Morning Edition.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a statement, Governor Hassan said U.S. intelligence and defense officials need to assure that the process for vetting refugees is "as strong as possible."

Until that happens, says Hassan,  "the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria." 

Senator Kelly Ayotte also says no refugees should be allowed into the country until the government can "100 percent guarantee" they are not affiliated with the Islamic State.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte says the newly-passed defense spending bill includes provisions to help New Hampshire fight heroin and opioid abuse.

JK Kalef via Flickr CC /

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is introducing legislation to improve treatment programs for pregnant women and mothers who have a substance use disorder, including a pilot program that allows funds to help women in non-residential settings.

Ayotte, a Republican, was introducing the Senate version of the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act on Tuesday. A similar bill was recently introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat from New Mexico.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte says she’s backing a new federal regulation aimed at cutting back significantly on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Ayotte is the first Republican Senator to back President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan.

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte that’s meant to address one particularly troubling side effect of the nation’s opioid crisis: growing drug dependence among infants.

The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review how it deals with “neonatal abstinence syndrome” (or “NAS”). It also calls upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states improve public health monitoring and data collection around NAS.