Congress

Taylor Dobbs / VPR file

The U.S. House has given its strong bi-partisan support to legislation that overhauls a 40-year-old law that regulates toxic chemicals. The proposal will bring more than 64,000 chemicals under the review of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Toby Talbot / AP File Photo

Fifteen years ago today, a senator from Vermont triggered a political earthquake. Sen. Jim Jeffords declared his independence from the Republican party on May 24, 2001.

Felipe Dana / AP

The Vermont Health Department is seeking a federal grant to help educate the public about the risks associated with the Zika virus. Health officials stress that it's very unlikely that mosquitos in Vermont will transmit the virus.

Seth Wenig / AP

After a strong showing in this week’s primaries, Hillary Clinton looks to be on a glide path to the Democratic presidential nomination. This has some of Bernie Sanders’ colleagues in Washington asking him to tone down the barbs.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, says President Barack Obama should act “without delay” to nominate a replacement for Justin Antonin Scalia.

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Last week, Congress delayed the imposition of a tax on expensive health care policies. Vermont state officials praised the move, but warned the tax will take effect eventually.

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.

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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.

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