By U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders
The best part of my job as your Senator is sitting down with Vermonters from across our state. And on especially good days, like ones recently in Burlington and Fairfield, that also includes shooting some hoops with young Vermonters. As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I am working on the next budget reconciliation bill, which will determine the investments the federal government makes over the next decade to make life better for individuals and families throughout our nation. As I do that work, it is critically important to hear directly from Vermonters about what is working well, what needs improvement, and what needs to change.
Crisscrossing four counties over the last two weeks, I sat down with Vermonters using and working at health centers and hospitals, summer camps and child care centers, meal programs, affordable housing sites, energy efficiency organizations, and farms. As I talked with these Vermonters, including farmers, municipal leaders, and law enforcement officers, I heard many of the same struggles and challenges: in order to thrive, Vermonters need more support from the federal government to afford health care, safe housing, and quality child care. Not only are these resources necessary for individuals, they are key to getting people back to work and our economy on its feet.
In addition to meeting with adults, I also had the chance to play some ball with dozens of young Vermonters who are attending summer programs funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. These young Vermonters are the future leaders of our country. Without a doubt, their ideas and boundless energy give me hope for the future of our state and nation.
To my fellow Vermonters: it’s my job to represent you and to fight for you. Quite simply, I could not do my job in Congress without hearing about your work and experiences. So thank you to every single Vermonter I met with over the last two weeks. Your insights will help me as I return to Washington and continue budget negotiations.