Update on the Farm Bill, protecting our seniors and ethanol reform

Congressman Peter Welch
2013-06-17 15:18:29
Congressman Peter Welch

Farm Bill headed to House floor; Vermont's priorities included

The House Agriculture Committee approved a bipartisan Farm Bill last month that embraces the Vermont priorities advocated by Rep. Welch, including much needed support for Vermont's dairy farmers, fruit and vegetable growers and maple syrup producers. However, it also contains unacceptable cuts to nutrition programs for those in need.

�This is a good bill for Vermont�s agriculture sector which is vital to the economic health of our state," said Rep. Welch. While good for our farmers, it will do serious harm in its current form to those who rely on federal nutrition programs. I am working hard to preserve Vermont's priorities in this important bill.�

As the committee bill heads to the House floor for debate later this month, Rep. Welch is leading the fight against corporate interests working to strike protections for dairy farmers. And he is fighting to restore funding for the SNAP nutrition program for low income families. Read more.

Protecting Vermont's seniors from financial scams

Rep. Welch has introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on scam artists targeting seniors. �Every day, in Vermont and across this country, vulnerable seniors are being ripped off by scam artists,� said Rep. Peter Welch, �It�s not uncommon for their victims to lose their life�s savings.  Our bill would put a federal cop on the beat to alert seniors of fraudulent schemes and help stop these criminals in their tracks."Read more.

Welch working to end unnecessary and harmful subsidies for the ethanol industry

Rep. Welch has introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the mandate on corn ethanol production and prevent an increase in the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. �While well intentioned, the mandate on production of corn-based ethanol is harming already struggling dairy farmers with record high feed prices," said Rep. Welch.  It�s driving up food prices. And it�s ruining the engines of boats, chainsaws and snowmobiles across Vermont.  We�re making long overdue progress on ending ethanol subsidies. This bipartisan legislation will remove another key underpinning of unnecessary taxpayer subsidies for the ethanol industry.� Read more.

Welch legislation would block Afghan government from taxing U.S. assistance

A recent Inspector General report revealed that the Afghan government has been assessing $1 billion in taxes on U.S. contractors assisting with rebuilding Afghanistan. Rep. Welch has introduced legislation that would block all U.S. taxpayer assistance to Afghanistan until an agreement is reached with the Afghan government exempting American contractors from taxation. His legislation has been included in the defense authorization bill working its way through the House.

Rep. Welch, who recently returned from a congressional oversight trip to Afghanistan said, "It is incomprehensible that the government of Afghanistan, with its abysmal track record of corruption, would actually think it is a good idea to tax assistance provided by the American taxpayer. We shouldn't give another dime to the Afghan government until they agree to stop ripping off the American taxpayer." Read more.

Welch sponsors high school Congressional Art Competition; Winning painting to be displayed at Capitol

Congressman Peter Welch announced the winner of the 32nd Annual Congressional Art Competition at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Brigheil Lalor of Manchester Center and a student at Burr and Burton Academy, took the top honor at the competition for her painting �Possibilities� which will be displayed in the U.S. capitol in Washington, D.C. for one year.

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school visual art competition founded by Rep. Jim Jeffords in 1981 to encourage young artists in each congressional district. Students submit entries to their representative�s office and panels of local artists in each district select the winners. Their work is then displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol along the route that members of Congress walk from their offices to the House floor. This year 172 students from 39 high schools in Vermont participated in the competition.

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