Peter Welch

Congressman Peter Welch says it would be a mistake for the United States to launch air strikes in Syria to weaken the Islamic State known as ISIS or ISIL.

The Obama Administration describes ISIS as a well-funded and well organized terrorist group that poses a threat to the security of the United States.

For the past few weeks, the Administration has conducted air strikes against ISIS in northern Iraq but these attacks stopped when ISIS forces move across the border into Syria.

AP File/Toby Talbot

Congressman Peter Welch is our guest on the next Vermont Edition. We discuss the Islamic State in Syria and what he thinks the United States' military response should be. We take your calls on domestic issues facing Congress.

Also in the program, the role that write-in votes played in Tuesday's Primary Election. Political analyst Eric Davis discusses the results of voting in an election that saw extremely low voter turnout.

Broadcast live on Fri., Aug. 29 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

AP File/Toby Talbot

Congressman Peter Welch has one of the most liberal voting records in Washington. At the same time, he’s one of the few Democrats to work closely with some of the most conservative Republicans in the House.  

Welch’s work on the House Oversight Committee serves as a good example of his approach to politics. For the past year, the committee has been the scene of some extremely partisan behavior.

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.

Rep. Peter Welch is hopeful that Congress will pass a bill this summer that will allow individual states to impose their sales tax on items purchased on the Internet.

Welch says the plan will help strengthen downtown businesses and will raise new revenue for many states.

Right now, states are allowed to require businesses to collect the sales tax on purchases made on the Internet, if the retailer has a physical presence in the state.

Under this legislation, states could choose to impose their sales tax on sellers of all taxable items sold on the Internet.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Unless congress acts by the end of the month, the federal highway trust fund is going to run out of money.  That means many of the road construction projects underway in Vermont will have to be called off. Congressman Peter Welch is calling for a long-term, sustainable solution.

We talk to Congressman Welch about his support for an increase in the gas tax. We also talk about the migrant children coming across the southern border, and take your questions.

Broadcast live on Friday, July 18 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. House has given its approval to legislation that will provide the federal highway trust fund with enough money to fund projects until next spring.  The bill passed 367 to 55. Rep. Peter Welch voted against the bill because he says it fails to address the long term transportation needs of the country.

A major shortfall in the fund caused Vermont highway officials to consider delaying dozens of projects that were planned over the next few months.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

You don’t have to look too hard underneath the Interstate 89 overpass here in Waterbury to see signs of wear and tear. Exposed rebar and rusty steel beams betray the structure’s deteriorating condition. And a bright orange sign underneath the overpass warns pedestrians to watch out for falling concrete.

Rich Tetreault, chief engineer at the Vermont Agency of Transportation, says the overpass is far from a lost cause.

Skeptical of a recent statement by the Food and Drug Administration that the agency does not, in fact, intend to crack down on the practice of aging artisan cheese on wooden boards, Rep. Peter Welch said Thursday that he intends to move forward with an effort to block enforcement of that rule.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

A recent rule interpretation by the Food and Drug Administration that aging cheese on wooden surfaces does not conform to sanitation standards has Vermont cheese makers worrying and Rep. Peter Welch working to block funding for its enforcement.

AP/J. Scott Applewhite / AP

On the heels of a major report on climate change, Congressman Peter Welch was our guest to discuss some of his efforts like making electric vehicles more affordable and improving energy efficiency in public buildings. Those were just a few of the topics we discussed with Welch on Wednesday's Vermont Edition.

Broadcast live on Wed., May 7, 2014; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Congressman Peter Welch has introduced legislation that’s designed to make electric vehicles more affordable for consumers.

Under the bill, the maximum tax credit for buying an electric car would increase to $10,000 and the credit would be applied at the time the vehicle is purchased. Currently, these credits are applied when an individual files their income tax return.

The program would be financed by reducing an existing $40 billion tax credit for the nation’s oil industry.

President Obama Thursday afternoon signed a bill into law that will provide an additional $126 million for pediatric cancer research over the next 10 years.

Congressman Peter Welch is a lead sponsor of the legislation. Welch says the money will used by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The proposal will be paid for by eliminating taxpayer financing of political party conventions.

Rep. Peter Welch says he's optimistic that Congress will pass a compromise Farm Bill in the coming weeks. Welch says he thinks the legislation will include a new dairy program that's supported by many Vermont farmers.

The old Farm Bill expired at the end of last year and technically milk prices are supposed to revert back to a pricing system established by a law passed in the 1940s.

Rep. Peter Welch wants House Republican leaders to hold a vote on several gun control proposals
AP/Toby Talbot

One week ago, President Obama announced changes to the federal security program that monitors the emails and phone calls of millions of Americans, but Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) says the changes don't go far enough to protect the privacy of citizens. "I think more transparency is where we need to go," said Welch in response to the president's address.

Friday on Vermont Edition, we talk with Rep. Welch about National Security Agency surveillance programs, and we'll check in on other federal policy questions before the U.S. Congress.

Vermont’s congressional delegation is split on the idea of clemency for NSA whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden.

Snowden was a contractor for the National Security Agency when he gathered thousands of pages of classified documents about the agency’s covert surveillance activities and later passed them off to journalists.

The documents have sparked an international debate about NSA surveillance, which included collecting data about millions of Americans’ phone calls, bypassing data encryption, and conducting surveillance on foreign heads of state.

All three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation say the
passage of legislation that restricts government surveillance programs is a
top priority for 2014.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is expected to take a lead role in the national debate
over this issue. As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Leahy
will hold hearings that examine the scope of the NSA’s monitoring programs
and he’s also the lead sponsor of legislation that makes some key changes to
the US Patriot Act.

AP/Evan Vucci

In a rare joint appearance on VPR’s Vermont Edition, the state’s congressional delegation on Thursday delivered their strongest condemnation to date of the Republican Party as the cause of the government shutdown.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch met with Vermont Edition hosts Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm at National Public Radio’s headquarters in Washington. The three all had strong words about Republicans in Congress.

AP/Toby Talbot

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch come together for a rare joint interview in a 90-minute live broadcast of Vermont Edition live from NPR's studios in Washington, D.C.

We'll examine government gridlock from the perspective of Vermont's congressional delegation, and hear them discuss how they advance the interests of Vermonters and their own political convictions while serving in Congress.

VPR's Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm co-host this special broadcast from Studio 32 at NPR's new world headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

The Coalition, known as the “Problem Solvers”, is made up of roughly 40 House Democrats and 40 House Republicans and they’ve pledged to work together on a number of budget related issues.

Congressman Peter Welch is one of the founding members of the group that was formed in January. Welch says many of the coalition’s Republican members don’t support efforts by GOP leaders to shut the government down unless the Affordable Care Act is delayed for a year.