Congress

Thibault Camus / AP

After two weeks of intense negotiating at COP 21, the United Nations conference on climate change north of Paris, nearly 200 of the world’s nations signed off on an agreement to finally do something meaningful about curbing global warming. But not everyone's enthusiastic about the outcome.

Toby Talbot / AP File Photo

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation support President Obama's call for a formal declaration of war against the terrorist group ISIS, but do not support sending a large number of U.S. troops to Syria as part of the military strategy.

Lisa Rathke / AP

The House and Senate have agreed on a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill. It's the first long-term bill in over a decade; in the last 10 years, Congress has adopted 37 short-term fixes, largely because of funding disagreements.

The House Democratic caucus will hear tonight from Frank Luntz, the country's leading Republican consultant, about how to successfully "frame the message" of controversial issues. 

Kevin Wolf / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Wednesday to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.

As Vermont officials and families are struggling to end the scourge of heroin across the state, Sanders says it’s disturbing that marijuana and something as deadly as heroin are classified the same in the eyes of the federal government.

Toby Talbot / AP

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation are expressing enormous concern over President Obama's decision to deploy special U.S. operations forces in northern Syria.

AP

Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Patrick Leahy cast the 15,000th vote of his Senate career. Leahy now ranks sixth on the Senate's all-time vote list and it is likely that he will move up to the number four spot sometime next year.

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All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they support the outline of a new proposed gun control bill. But the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs say the measure won't be effective in reducing gun violence.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Congressman Peter Welch says he's concerned that current leadership battle among House Republicans could result in the shutting down of the federal government in December.

To avoid this possibility, Welch is calling on a group of moderate Republicans to build a coalition with many Democrats to help elect the next Speaker of the U.S. House.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

Senator Patrick Leahy is strongly defending President Obama's proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.  Leahy says the national security of the United States will be at stake if Congress rejects the deal.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Senator Patrick Leahy says it was "a thrill" to finally see the Cuban flag raised over the country's embassy in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.  Leahy is one of the people who's been working for years to restore U.S.-Cuba relations.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Congressman Peter Welch says he's optimistic that President Obama's new agreement with Iran is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He's also been pushing for a long term transportation funding bill, as opposed to the stopgap measure that just passed in the House.

vgm8383 / Flickr Creative Commons

Vermont economic development officials are hopeful that Congress will renew the operations of the Export-Import Bank later this month. The bank's authority expired this week, and the future of this program has set off a major debate in Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says the current stalemate in Congress over a long term transportation bill clearly shows that the country needs to reduce its reliance on gasoline taxes. She says a plan that taxes motorists based on the number of miles they drive their car deserves serious study.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

The U.S. Senate will meet in a rare Sunday session to discuss the future of the Patriot Act. There's a lot of attention surrounding this issue because the act will expire Sunday night unless Congress votes to reauthorize it.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy says Republican Senate leaders are using pressure tactics to try to win approval for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Leahy's proposal to rein in the government's electronic surveillance program is at the heart of the dispute in Washington.

Screen shot/ / Vermont Agency of Transportation

Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says she is incredibly frustrated that Congress will not pass a long-term transportation bill. Minter is putting a contingency plan in place to ensure that Vermont's summer construction projects can stay on schedule.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Despite enormous pressure from the White House, both of Vermont's U.S. senators say they will vote against a plan to give President Obama streamlined authority to negotiate a new trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he's encouraged that a federal appeals court has ruled that the federal government's massive phone surveillance program is unconstitutional.

The court ruling comes just weeks before Congress will vote on the re-authorization of the Patriot Act, the law that allows the Obama Administration to collect hundreds of millions of phone records as part of an effort to thwart terrorism.

Leahy is the lead sponsor of a bill that removes the government's ability to conduct this kind of bulk data collection program. He praised the court's decision.

John Locher / AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders is strongly opposing President Obama's new international trade proposal. As Sanders considers a run for president, he says the trade deal should be a key issue in the Democratic 2016 presidential primary campaign.

Sanders has not formally announced his candidacy, but if he does run, it's clear that economic issues will be at the center of his campaign.

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