Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) issued the following statement late Thursday in advance of the vote very early Friday morning on the federal budget agreement. Welch voted in favor of the compromise bill, which President Trump signed later Friday morning. The federal government briefly was shutdown overnight. Vermont senators split their vote, with Senator Patrick Leahy supporting it and Senator Bernie Sanders opposing.
“The 2018 budget proposed by President Trump last March was dangerous and destructive. It doubled down on Pentagon spending while slashing domestic spending to the lowest levels since the Eisenhower era. It would have inflicted immediate harm on our state and country.
"Last spring, I traveled across Vermont to assess the impact of federal budget cuts on Vermonters and our communities. I visited a Head Start center in Burlington, an infrastructure project in Newport, a food shelf in St. Albans, a Meals on Wheels program in Brattleboro, a TRIO program in Randolph, an arts discussion in Montpelier, a homeless shelter in the Upper Valley, and a hospital in Bennington. I was inspired by the people I met who were doing so much with so little to help Vermonters.
"The message I heard was loud and clear: the Trump budget would be devastating for Vermonters and the organizations working every day to improve our communities.
"This week, over four months into the fiscal year, and after four short-term budget patches and a three-day government shutdown, Congressional leaders abandoned the cruel Trump budget and reached an agreement to fund the government for two years.
"I will vote for this agreement.
"The budget blueprint restores our commitment to fund vital programs relied on by Vermonters. It boosts funding to help communities ravaged by the opioid epidemic, and for veterans care, infrastructure, community health centers, medical research, children’s health care, and disaster assistance.
"And importantly, it establishes a long-term budget framework that restores predictability to the federal budget process. We must end the practice of costly budget brinksmanship and government shutdowns.
"This agreement is far from perfect. It provides more Pentagon spending than is necessary to secure our nation. And I am deeply disappointed that it fails to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers. If Speaker Ryan allowed a vote on the DREAM Act today, it would pass overwhelmingly. I will continue my fight to provide Dreamers the security they seek.”
Source: Welch 2.8.2018