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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Politics


Politics section

Sanders Details VA Proposal

WASHINGTON, July 24 – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today detailed compromise legislation that he offered to House negotiators that would reform the VA and give it the tools to provide quality, timely health care to veterans.

The proposal (click here for details) would address the need for short-term, emergency access to care while strengthening VA’s capacity to address veterans’ needs in the long term. It also includes a provision to allow for the removal of incompetent officials at the VA.

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Democratic State Senate Candidate Fora

The Windham County Democratic Committee is organizing meetings for the public to meet and hear the four Democratic candidates for State Senate.

The first forum will be held tomorrow, July 24, 2014, at 6:30 PM, at the Townshend Town Hall.

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Vermont Senators Honor Gov. Phil Hoff

WASHINGTON, July 17 – In joint remarks before the U.S. Senate today, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) honored former Vermont Gov. Phil Hoff, who just turned 90 years old.

Hoff served three terms as governor. First elected in 1962, he was the first Democrat to hold the state’s highest office in more than a century.

“We rise today to celebrate Philip Hoff, the 73rd governor of the state of Vermont, for his extraordinary contributions to the state of Vermont, and to our nation,” Leahy and Sanders said in a joint statement submitted for the Congressional Record.

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Leahy and the Border Patrol

I hadn’t heard of this before today:

In 2008, Vermont senator Patrick Leahy was traveling in a car 125 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border in the state of New York.

They came to a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint, which stopped the U.S. senior senator, and an agent ordered him to get out of the car.

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VA Details Health Care Needs

WASHINGTON, July 16 – The Department of Veterans Affairs needs $17.6 billion to hire 10,000 doctors, nurses and other health care providers and make other reforms in order to meet the needs of a growing number of veterans and reduce long waiting times for health care, Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs today.

Gibson was responding to a question by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the committee chairman, about what the VA needs to address a large influx of veterans needing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other health care needs.

Without the resources to deal with veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gibson said, “the wait times just get longer.”

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Bush Found Guilty Of War Crimes

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

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Primary Election 2014

The primary election is upon us. According to the Vermont Secretary of State website “Your town clerk will receive ballots for the Primary election by Friday July 11, 2014 and early voting may begin. You can vote at the town clerk's office during normal business hours or request that an absentee ballot be sent to you. If voting absentee, ballots must be returned to the clerk before the close of the polls on election day August 26th.”

With Early Voting in the town clerk’s office or on Primary Election Day you must select a voting ballot envelope from one of three political parties: Progressive, Democrat, or Republican. In the 2012 election we had 76, 263 voters who Voted Early, not on Election Day itself.

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Sanders Statement on Meeting with VA Nominee McDonald

WASHINGTON, July 9 – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after meeting on Tuesday with Robert McDonald, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Mr. McDonald and was impressed by what he brings to the table. I believe that his years of military service will make him a very strong advocate for veterans, and that his corporate leadership gives him the experience to bring about the management changes – in terms of accountability and transparency – that the VA needs.

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Senator Sanders Statement on Court Ruling on Workers

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 30 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled that some home health care workers cannot be required to pay fees to cover the costs of collective bargaining:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision by Justice Alito and four other extreme right-wing Republicans is another attack on the rights of workers to collectively bargain for higher wages and decent benefits. Make no mistake: this decision will lead to an increase in income inequality, a further decline in the wages of middle-class workers and an increase in poverty.

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Welch Reacts to Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision

Washington, DC (June 30th) – Congressman Peter Welch made the following statement after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius:

“The Supreme Court got it wrong today. A woman’s access to health care should not depend on the religious views and conscience of her employer,” said Welch. “Decisions about the use of contraceptives should be between a woman and her doctor. The Court’s misguided decision in this case is a good example of why Congress should have included a public option in the Affordable Care Act, which would have removed employers from the equation of health care coverage.”

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Senators Call for Emergency Action to Stop Price Spikes Caused by Oil Speculators

WASHINGTON, June 26 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation to make federal regulators invoke emergency powers to stop speculators from taking advantage of turmoil in Iraq to drive up oil prices and make motorists pay more for gasoline.

“I am getting tired of big oil companies and Wall Street speculators using Iraq as an excuse to pump up oil and gas prices,” said Sanders, a member of the Senate energy committee. “The fact is that high gasoline prices have less to do with supply and demand and more to do with Wall Street speculators driving prices up in the energy futures market.”

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House Passes Welch Legislation Advancing Energy Efficiency In Schools

WASHINGTON DC—Last evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Peter Welch’s bipartisan legislation to encourage schools administrators to make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades. The Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act, modeled after Vermont’s school-based energy efficiency efforts, is the second Welch-authored energy efficiency bill to pass the House this year.

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Congressman Welch Joins Overwhelming House Vote To End Some NSA Activities

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch voted in favor of defund some of the NSA’s spying on innocent Americans yesterday. He added his support to a bill that stops the backdoor searches of information collected under the Section 702 program and blocks the NSA from mandating that tech companies add backdoors in their software or hardware.

The Senate and White House will need to approve, but a vote of 293-123 shows that the House, at least, is ready to curtail some of the NSA’s unnecessary activities. It’s the first time that Congress has acted to defund NSA activities since Edward Snowden gave documents to journalists just over a year ago. It’s a pretty solid vote, too, across party lines.

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Oil Speculators Use Iraq as Excuse to Drive Up Prices - Sanders' Bill Would Invoke Regulators' Emergency Powers

WASHINGTON, June 19 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today accused oil companies and Wall Street speculators of using unrest in Iraq as a phony excuse to artificially drive up crude oil and gasoline prices.

The price of oil today rose above $115 a barrel – a new nine-month high on the New York Mercantile Exchange – ostensibly because of concerns that sectarian violence in Iraq could cut off the country's exports. The price of regular gasoline rose to $3.67 a gallon today, up a nickel in the past month. That was despite the fact that today there is more supply and less demand for gasoline than five years ago, when the average price of a gallon of gas was just $2.67 a gallon.

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Sanders Votes No as Senate Panel Backs Tar Sands Pipeline

WASHINGTON, June 18 – Over staunch opposition by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-10 for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline which would transport oil from the tar sands region in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.

Sanders said extracting and refining “the dirtiest oil imaginable” would spew more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and worsen global warming.

Completing the Keystone XL pipeline, he added, would send a signal that the United States is unwilling to lead the way toward reversing global warming.

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