Vermont’s Congressional Delegation Holds Joint Town Hall

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Vermont’s congressional delegation were all under one roof Saturday addressing the concerns people have with what’s happening in Washington.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch were in Hardwick at the Hazen Union School.

“Bernie, Peter and I are fired up and ready to go,” Sen. Leahy said.

Several hundred people filled the gymnasium for the town hall style meeting.

“We don’t choose the times we live, in these are tough times the choice we do make is whether to engage to try and make it better,” Rep. Welch said.

Folks in attendance had a chance to engage their elected officials. Health care was brought up repeatedly, following continued discussions in Congress on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“We have got to end the international disgrace of being the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right not a privilege,” Sen. Sanders said.

The Vermont Independent revealed plans for new health care legislation.

“Within a couple of weeks I am going to be introducing legislation calling for a Medicare for all single payer program,” Sen. Sanders said.

Others brought up the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. During confirmation hearings, the Colorado judge has been grilled by Sen. Leahy.

“Everything I have had has not leaned me toward voting for him,” Sen. Leahy said.

Cuts to various programs, including Meals on Wheels, under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, also weighed on the minds of many.

“The President’s budget is dead on arrival,” Sen. Leahy said.

“This adoration of high income tax rates as somehow that is a solution to low-income students getting education opportunities. We reject,” Rep. Welch added.

Sen. Sanders says he will be spending his spring break traveling the country.

“All over this country we are going to have to do some fundamental education in terms of what’s in that budget,” he said.

The delegation has contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the three workers detained in Vermont. They are supposed to meet in the next few weeks.

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