Congress

The U.S. House has given its approval to President Obama’s plan to arm and train Syrian forces to fight against the terrorist group known as ISIS –the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Congressman Peter Welch voted against the plan because he says it has virtually no chance of succeeding and will put the U.S. in the middle of a Syrian civil war.

Welch says this vote was one of the most difficult that he’s had to make in the eight years he’s served in the U.S. House.

Congress is scheduled to leave Washington at the end of the week with a number of critical issues still unresolved. Vermont’s delegation says there is hope for progress on two bills covering veterans’ health care and transportation funding.

The House and Senate are far apart on an immigration bill to deal with more than 52,000 undocumented children who have crossed the border.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

All three members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation are supporting President Obama’s call for an additional $4 billion in emergency aid to help deal with an immigration crisis in the southwestern part of the United States. 

In recent weeks, more than 50,000 children and families from Central America have entered the U.S. The surge of undocumented people crossing the border has put enormous pressure on the federal government.

All three members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation say the current situation in Iraq is largely a civil war that needs to be resolved by the Iraqi people and not by U.S. military action.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he was strongly opposed to sending American troops into Iraq 11 years ago, and he feels the same way now.

Leahy also thinks there are many problems with President Obama ordering selected air strikes against the militant forces that are threatening the government of Prime Minister Maliki.

Senator Patrick Leahy says President Obama should have consulted with Congress before exchanging members of the Taliban for an American serviceman being held in captivity in Pakistan.

Obama’s decision to make the prisoner exchange has set off a political firestorm in Washington. Many Democratic Congressional leaders say they’re disappointed that the White House never consulted with them on the issue.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Senator Bernie Sanders says the current scandal at many Veterans Affairs health care centers across the country is not an indictment of a government-run system. Sanders says the health services available at a number of VA centers are still better than those in much of the private health care system.

As the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, Sanders has been at the center of a major controversy involving the failure of some VA centers to provide timely health care to thousands of veterans.

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

All three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation have strongly opposed a plan that would make a big change in the way businesses and individuals use the Internet.

A decision by the Federal Communications Commission to look at the possibility of allowing Internet service providers to charge websites more money for faster service has set off a heated debate across the country. The proposal has also raised a lot of questions about the future of the Internet.

The change threatens a concept known as “Net Neutrality.”

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