This has been a challenging and painful year as we have tried to navigate the serious health effects and economic devastation of the COVID pandemic. We are all missing our families, our friends and the “normal” personal interactions that we have been deprived of or that have been altered for most of the year. Many people have lost their jobs, become food insecure, and struggled to pay rent and student loans. Our small businesses are hanging on by a thread, and our kids, parents and teachers are working through the challenges of a virtual learning environment. And too many loved ones will be missing this holiday season, taken from us by this terrible virus.
But help is here. Vermont first responders have already received the first doses of safe and effective vaccines, and more is on the way. I will continue to do all I can to bring back the relief that Vermonters need from the federal government to get through this unprecedented challenge and build back better.
I wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
At the Community Health Centers of Burlington, Peter unveiled his legislation to provide relief to diabetes patients from skyrocketing insulin prices in Vermont and across the country. The legislation will allow patients, pharmacists, and wholesalers to import safe and lower cost insulin from Canada. “The price of insulin has gone through the roof and is hammering diabetes patients who cannot live without this life-saving medicine,” said Peter. “This commonsense legislation bypasses big Pharma’s pricing monopoly by making available safe, lower-cost insulin.”
Peter took to the House floor yesterday to demand an end to the 26-day partial government shutdown. He shared stories from Vermonters ranging from furloughed federal employees struggling to pay their bills to those unable to access critical government services. Our staff is available to assist any Vermonter impacted by the shutdown. If you or anyone you know needs assistance, call 802-652-2450 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Along with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Peter introduced the Local School Foods Expansion Act, legislation to improve child nutrition by expanding access to locally-grown, unprocessed fruits and vegetables for school meal programs. “Farm-to-school programs effectively support our family farmers, reduce energy use, help maintain open land, and provide healthy food and educational opportunities for our students,” insisted Peter. “This commonsense legislation will expand access to locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables to even more schools and communities.”
Peter’s bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs was signed into law last month. His bill eliminates contractual “gag rules” imposed on pharmacists that prevent them from informing customers of lower cost options on prescription drugs. “In a time of skyrocketing prescription drug prices, it defies common sense that some pharmacists are prohibited from helping customers save money on their medications,” Peter said. “This new law empowers pharmacists to steer customers to the lowest cost option when filling a prescription.”
At the Vermont State House last month, Peter unveiled his bipartisan legislation to combat Medicaid fraud and abuse. The Committee on Energy and Commerce recently approved his bill, sending it to the full House of Representatives which is expected to pass it this fall. “Medicaid provides vital health care services to over a third of Vermonters, including low-income seniors,” Peter said. “This bipartisan initiative will empower state attorneys general to crack down on bad actors exploiting Vermonters, while ensuring Medicaid remains an efficient and effective program.”
The U.S. House of Representatives approved Peter’s bipartisan amendment to increase funding for the Lake Champlain Basin Program from $4.4 million to 8.4 million. The program supports water quality improvements around the lake and the surrounding watershed. “Lake Champlain is the environmental crown jewel of our region,” Peter explained. “It is central to our cultural heritage and natural history, and an invaluable recreational and economic resource. It is essential that this great lake be protected and preserved for generations to come.”
Last weekend, I traveled to the Texas-Mexico border to investigate the administration's unconscionable family separation policy. This is what I witnessed:
Peter took to the House floor to condemn proposed draconian cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will eliminate a lifeline of nutrition assistance to millions of Americans. “We passed a tax cut that wasn’t paid for,” he admonished. “The bill has come due and we have a proposal here to come up with $23 billion to pay for it by taking meals off the tables of disabled people.” See his full remarks below.
April 11, 2018
As Vermonters look for any sign of spring, Peter crisscrossed the state over the last two weeks. He hosted Congress in Your Community events, a town hall meeting, attended the March for Our Lives rally, convened roundtable policy discussions, toured downtowns, and visited with successful entrepreneurs along the way. Check out his road trip photos below.
April 2, 2018
Peter stood with thousands of students on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in March to demand commonsense gun safety reforms. “This is indeed what democracy looks like,” he insisted. “It’s time for Congress to act.” View his remarks on National School Walkout Day in the video below.
March 7, 2018
The all-hands-on-deck battle to restore net neutrality is on. Along with 149 House colleagues, Peter introduced legislation that will reverse the horrible FCC decision to gut net neutrality. You can help by contacting your friends and family in other states and urging them to tell their Member of Congress and Senators to cosponsor net neutrality legislation and demand a roll call vote.
January 31, 2018
At a roundtable discussion with Vermont community and business leaders, Peter unveiled legislation he will soon introduce to reverse the FCC’s recent decision to gut net neutrality. “Today’s discussion reinforces that a free and open internet is essential to Vermont’s economy, as well as the free flow of ideas, creativity, and participatory democracy,” Peter told those in attendance.
December 1, 2017
In remarks on the House floor during debate on the tax bill, Peter outlined why he strongly opposes it. “If you asked 435 members of Congress if they want to raise taxes on students, the answer from 435 members would be ‘No.’ This bill was written by and for the donor class. Let’s defeat this bill and stand up for the middle class.”
November 8, 2017
In remarks to the Bennington Rotary Club, Peter spoke about the growing polarization in Washington. “We are stalled in Congress right now, but we need to break the fever,” Peter said. He went on to contrast the dysfunction in D.C. with the success of Vermont businesses and local organizations. “Thank you for what you do: for providing leadership locally. I’m going to do everything I can to try to bring the Vermont way of doing business to the United States Congress.”
October 11, 2017
The U.S. House of Representatives approved Peter’s bipartisan amendment to restore funding for the Lake Champlain Basin Program, which supports water quality improvements around the lake and the surrounding watershed. “Lake Champlain is the environmental crown jewel of our region,” Peter explained. “It is central to our cultural heritage and natural history, and an invaluable recreational and economic resource. It is essential that this great lake be protected and preserved for generations to come.”
August 7, 2017
At a press conference at the Vermont Statehouse, Peter joined Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Governor Scott in highlighting the importance of federal Medicaid funding to Vermont, which he believes is at risk under the majority health care bill. "This isn't an abstract policy debate," Peter insisted. "This legislation would have devastating consequences for Vermonters and for our community hospitals."
June 30, 2017
Last week, Peter introduced an amendment that would allow the importation of safe, low-cost medicine from Canada. “The price of prescription drugs is killing us. Pharma does good things, but the cost is crushing us,” he said in a speech to his colleagues. Read more about his amendment here.
April 26, 2017
At a time of increased civic engagement nationwide, Peter has held Congress in Your Community and town hall events across the state to listen to the concerns of Vermonters, including in Burlington, White River Junction, Manchester, Bennington, Hardwick, Brattleboro, Rutland, South Royalton, and Lyndonville.
February 26, 2017
In a video recorded in his Capitol office, Peter outlined his priorities for the new Congress and how Vermonters can stay engaged. “There is no place in our democracy to compromise the civil rights of any person, for any reason, at any place, at any time.” Watch the full message by clicking on the image below.
December 21, 2016
Peter hosted a live, statewide Telephone Town Hall Meeting on the evening of November 29 to hear from Vermonters about their hopes, concerns and priorities as a new President and Congress take office in January. More than 11,000 Vermonters participated in at least a portion of the call and over 300 questions were asked.
October 18, 2016
Last month, Peter demanded an oversight committee hearing to put a spotlight on Mylan’s pricing of Epipen, which is used in emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions.
August 4, 2016
On July 22nd, President Obama signed into law two initiatives authored by Peter to fight the opioid epidemic plaguing New England and the nation. The provisions will help states and communities increase their capacity to treat patients in recovery and provide additional tools to prevent addiction and overdoses.
November 23, 2015
In late October, some in Congress were once again threatening a first-ever U.S. government default unless they got their way on unrelated issues. Peter rallied 190 of his colleagues around the simple notion that America pays its bills.
June 4, 2015
America needs a long-term highway bill with a sustainable funding source. No more patches. No more gimmicks.
March 26, 2015
Peter has teamed-up with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to introduce legislation that would put privacy safeguards in place as domestic drone use dramatically increases. Read more here about the Welch-Markey legislation.
February 11, 2015
January 6th marked the beginning of a new Congress. Read on Facebook what Peter had to say after taking the Oath of Office.
October 9, 2014
At a press conference at the University of Vermont, Peter outlined legislation he is advocating that would allow borrowers, including parents, to refinance federal and private student loans to take advantage of lower interest rates.
September 18, 2014
Click here to watch Peter explain why he voted "No" yesterday on the President's plan to recruit and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS in Syria.
August 19, 2014
The Problem Solvers' is a bipartisan coalition aimed at breaking Congressional gridlock. "This is a positive step towards making Congress work again that is rooted in the Vermont tradition of civility, bipartisanship and practicality," Welch said.
July 2, 2014
Good news for Vermont's cheese makers and cheese lovers: Responding to pressure from Peter, FDA deputy commissioner Mike Taylor sent Peter a letter last week officially backing down from his agency's intent to ban the use of wood in the cheese aging process.
June 23, 2014
Peter Welch and David Schweikert are two Congressmen who probably have more political differences than similarities.
June 2, 2014
Rep. Peter Welch made the following statement today after the Obama administration announced a plan to reduce power plant emissions...
May 27, 2014
At the Alchemist Cannery in Waterbury, Peter unveiled a bipartisan effort to block a federal rule that ends an important partnership between brewers and farmers that has endured since the time of George and Martha Washington's farm at Mount Vernon.
May 16, 2014
A "gravitational pull" compelled U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., to exit the highway one day in late March and stop at the Alchemist, the Waterbury brewery that makes Heady Topper beer.
May 16, 2014
Rep. Welch introduced legislation to increase the tax credit for purchasing an electric vehicle and make it immediately available to consumers at the point of sale rather than when filing your tax return.
April 10, 2014
Rep. Welch's legislation to boost funding for pediatric research at the National Institute of Health was just signed into law.
March 5, 2014
By a vote of 375-36, the U.S. House of Representatives this afternoon approved energy efficiency legislation authored by Representative Peter Welch.
February 6, 2014
Currently, the budgets of all 16 intelligence agencies are considered classified information, meaning the American people are not permitted to know how much taxpayer funds go to agencies like the NSA and the CIA.
December 19, 2013
President Obama recently approved Rep. Welch's call to extend an executive branch program that uses private companies to make federal buildings more energy efficient at no increased cost to the taxpayer.
November 6, 2013
America just endured a reckless and manufactured crisis due to the determined efforts of a faction in Congress intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act in spite of it being passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
May 9, 2013
The Affordable Care Act is making a difference in the lives of Vermonters. According to HealthCare.gov, as a result of reforms enacted three years ago, nearly 5,000 Vermonters under the age of 26 are receiving coverage under their parents' insurance plans, Vermonters on Medicare are saving $11.7 million on prescription drugs, and 151,000 Vermonters are receiving free preventive care.
March 20, 2013
With tax day fast approaching, I wanted to let you know about a free tax filing service available to those making $57,000 or less annually.
March 5, 2013
Jeff Wheel of Advance Music in Burlington loses $2,000 a month because of a loophole that lets online giants like eBay avoid collecting sales tax, a major competitive advantage that is making it harder for Vermont's Main Street businesses to compete.
February 28, 2013
For over a year, House Republicans leaders displayed a willful, implacable but ultimately failed resistance to protecting LGBT, immigrant, and Native American women from domestic violence.
February 12, 2013
President Obama campaigned and won convincingly on pursuing an energetic agenda for middle class progress, ending the war in Afghanistan, confronting the real threat of climate change, and agreeing on a balanced approach to reducing our national debt.
February 5, 2013
In an effort to break the gridlock in Congress, Rep. Welch co-founded the bipartisan 36-member "Problem Solvers" group that will work to find common ground on America's pressing challenges.
January 18, 2013
It's no secret that Washington is broken. Most issues are seen as ideological battles to be won rather than practical problems to be solved. Rep. Welch is working to change that.
January 8, 2013
America pays its bills. As Congress embarks on yet another round of political wrangling over the nation's debt ceiling, Rep. Welch is fighting to put an end to it. He is pushing to reinstate the Gephardt Rule, which sets the debt ceiling at the amount required to pay for the budget passed by Congress, thereby ending the debt ceiling drama and the economic uncertainty that goes with it.
September 12, 2012
Rep. Welch commemorated the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene with Vermonters in Woodstock, Pittsfield, Bartonsville and Randolph.
August 7, 2012
In meetings with Vermont small businesses after Tropical Storm Irene, Rep. Welch heard one recurring message: Federal disaster relief programs did not always meet their urgent needs.
July 13, 2012
Rep. Welch helped pass legislation to block the scheduled doubling of interest rates on Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans.
May 29, 2012
Vermont got good news on May 17th with the announcement by the Postal Service that the White River Junction mail sorting facility will remain open. The facility, which employees over 200 Vermonters, had been slated for closure but will be spared under a new plan announced by the Postmaster General.
May 8, 2012
With student loan debt topping one trillion dollars nationwide and Congress working to avoid a doubling of some student loan interest rates set for July, Rep. Welch is urging Vermonters to share their stories about student debt and college affordability on his website.