After helping vote down a continuing resolution Thursday, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., has more than a few Vermont heads spinning on whether he supports the government shutdown.
Welch, who stood on the House floor Jan. 15 demanding an end to the federal shutdown, two days later didn’t seem concerned about approximately 800,000 shutdown-affected federal workers.
On Thursday, House Republicans attempted to temporarily fund the government through Feb. 28, but Democrats blocked the effort with Welch’s support. The Vermont congressman voted “no” on continuing resolution H.J. Res. 28, apparently on partisan grounds.
On Jan. 11, Welch said he wanted to end the shutdown: “My highest priority is reopening federal government and getting federal employees and contractors back to work for the American people. In the meantime, my office is ready to assist, where possible, Vermonters affected by this unnecessary shutdown.”
Welch also invited Vermonters to contact his office with personal stories about how the shutdown is negatively affecting their daily lives. In a recent news release, Welch said he planned to share those hardship stories with President Donald Trump and congressional colleagues as he worked “to reopen the federal government.”
Those hardship stories, which Welch later shared from the House floor, included accounts of federal employees who were having problems meeting monthly bills after being furloughed.
Another story recounted the plight of Kingdom Construction, a business in the Northeast Kingdom. Welch relayed the owner’s account of his hardship.
“As the owner of Kingdom Construction, we employ nearly 30 full-time year-round construction workers and they were recently awarded a $2 million construction contract, but they can’t get the permits signed because the permit signers are on furlough. Those folks are not going to work,” Welch told fellow House members, relaying the business owner’s words.
He shared other accounts of distress caused by the shutdown.
“It’s somebody who has a microbrewery and can’t get the FDA inspection, it’s the construction company that can’t get the sign-off on a permit, it’s a home closing that can’t occur because the paperwork can’t be signed,” he said. “And this is costing our economy about $1 billion a week. We must make off-limits the tactic of shutting down government in order to get our way.”
After making those strong emotional appeals, Welch voted down the House’s attempt to provide paychecks for those federal employees. According to a news report appearing online by Government Executive, if the motion had succeeded and been signed into law, it would have “provided all furloughed and excepted federal employees with the paycheck they missed last week.”
Brooke Paige, a Republican from Washington and the 2018 GOP candidate for secretary of state, blasted Welch’s apparent flip-flop on helping furloughed federal workers living in Vermont.
“It appears that the Democrat leadership is so consumed by the so-called Trump Derangement Syndrome that they care more about having President Trump fail than protecting the nation and her citizens,” Paige told TNR. “Obedient Democrats like Peter Welch appear to have little choice but to follow their leader or risk being ostracized by the party leadership and loyalists.”
Six Democrats — Reps. Duke Cunningham of California, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Max Rose of New York and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey — voted for H.J. Res. 28.
On Tuesday, while leaving Burlington to return to Washington, D.C., Welch unveiled legislation to put an end to federal employees working without pay.
“It defies common sense and anyone’s definition of fairness to require federal employees to work without pay,” Welch said. “Never again should federal employees be caught in the middle of a budget standoff in Washington.”
Welch’s bill would immediately resume paychecks for hundreds of thousands of federal employees, including air traffic controllers, ICE agents, Coast Guard members, TSA agents, and others.
“This proposal will reopen the government immediately and allow every member of Congress the opportunity to vote up or down on border security funding and methods as well as protections for Dreamers and migrants with Temporary Protected Status. Congress needs to get back to legislating through an open, transparent and accountable process. It’s time to reopen the government. It’s time to vote,” he said.
Welch’s office staff was unavailable for comment due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Lou Varricchio is a freelance reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 thoughts on “Rep. Welch bucks federal employees, votes against continuing resolution”
We don’t need a wall. We need the U.S. to stay out of Latin American politics keeping those countries impoverished – forcing Latinos to seek survival in this country. The U.S. CAUSED this problem.
Yup, we caused the problem by being prosperous and hard working, the envy of the world. If thier countries were than same, there wouldn’t be any migration problem.
By the way, there are 65 countries that have walls. Iseral’s wall has positive results. With 20 million “transplants in this country now, how much more can be “absorbed”? There are people coming here from the Middle East, Europe, SA, Mex, Central America. If you don’t want a means to control this mess, what’s your proposal?
Those countries are improvising themselves. Look at Venezuela. A new Prez is taking over. Those people had enough, the US wasn’t involved. It was an internal dictator, not US backed. This is the case in many countries. I agree the US is involved in many countries, also many countries are involved in the US, Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, However, in the annals of time, I’ve never noted where the US is taking over any country. After WW2, do you recall the Marshall Plan for Europe, How the US rebuilt Japan. It was humanitarian, not consuming.
No place is perfect, in this day you have to stay above the fray to survive, it’s a changing world day by day.
“Look at Venezuela. A new Prez is taking over. Those people had enough, the US wasn’t involved.”
It is a good thing that the calls for U,S. intervention in Venezuela were not heeded. The current situation must surely bring about the re-privatization of the petro resources there–some of the richest in the world–that have deteriorated to the point of near uselessness under the corruption of socialism. It can only be hoped that cleaning up and rebuilding the petro infrastructure will lead to Venezuela once again becoming a prosperous nation of a once proud people.
Will the Greenies keep their damn noses out of it ??
Typical “victim” mentality. Blame anyone but the actual person(s) for their quandary.
The list is long of “Latin American politics keeping those countries impoverished”. It is the socialist and dictatorial corruption, along with the drug gangs. This is not our doing. While I feel for the residents they need to take back their own countries as Venezuela is attempting to do.
If you feel the need to house, feed, educate and provide health care for these people feel free to sponsor a family or two,legally in your home with your resources. Be proactive not a finger pointer.
“MJ” would you be ok just letting anyone venture into your home? Me neither…
” The U.S. CAUSED this problem.”
Nope, ALGORE aka manbearpig just informed us the Nicaraguan Gimmigrints
are storming the wall less unprotected border because of “Dry Corridor” a after
effect of gorebull whining er warming. Since the biggest contributor is China at over 2x
The US output it would be China you should be blaming.
As for Welch we know he’s not going against Nazi Piglousi. Cries for the plight of fed
workers but won’t give a yes vote to them for their jobs. Time for the 3 stooges to be
booted from VT Ethan Allen style. Probably 90% of the flatlanders as well.
I wonder if Welch, . Sanders, Leahy, Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of the Democrats who refuse to work with our President are still getting paid. I certainly hope not. How I wish we had some strong Republicans in Vermont who could unseat our long term, life time congressmen.
There’s a strong case to be made for term limits, along with reversion to senators being APPOINTED by their respective State legislatures. States Rights took a big hit with the bogus adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment that provided for direct election of Senators.
Welch should just go back to making grape juice. Sour grape juice!
One has to wonder where the American people are, They should be screaming for the politicians to end this. They have become way to complacent I guess.
Gee, if the shutdown is costing the US economy one $billion per week, then in six weeks that would be $6 billion, which is more than the $5.7 Trump wants to built a few hundred miles of wall/barrier/fence.
The US economy does about $20,000 billion/52 weeks = $400 billion per week, so one $billion is hardly noticeable, except by the sob story folks solicited by Welch.
Welch, a demagoguing politician, needs these sob stories to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Welch, Pelosi, and the rest, are for porous walls that illegals can easily get through, dig under, or climb over.
Those illegals will be housed, fed, clothed, provided with a driving licence, allowed to vote in California, etc., and documents so they can hold a job, get welfare payments, social security payments, child support payments, rent subsidy payments, food stamps, free health care and free education.
Of course, such illegals will become reliable lifelong Democrats that will vote for Welch, Bernie and Leah forever.
And this has been going on for decades to benefit the Democrat party.
It is looking for total control to implement US style Socialism, a la Bernie
Typical, first I’m for it and the next day I’m against it. Guess Welch is scared of that big bad Pelosi.
Welch, just another Liberal DemocRAT that will only work on issues if it will stop the President,
they could care less about the country, it’s all in the marching orders from Chuck & Nancy anything
to stop the President.
Hold steady President Trump. give them enough rope they’ll hang themselves ………
Perhaps Mr. Welch would donate his paycheck to those who are less fortunate like the President does.
If he is serious, and I doubt it, he would have voted to end the heroin, fentynal, human trafficking and MS-13 gangstas from coming in across the Southern border. But hey, he knows by kissing Pelosi’s boots he’ll get rewarded with a committee post or some gold star on his report card to show the Vermont voters what a swell guy he is while every town in VT has an epidemic of opioids and related crimes.
Of course he voted down the continuing resolution he had to kneel at the feet of speaker Nancy Pelosi in order to get his prestigious position on the Senate select intelligence committee. Talk about selling your soul to an aging alcoholic devil
Welch is just another part of the flock following Pelosi and Schumer’s grandstanding. It has nothing to do with a resolution but stopping Trump at any means and to hell with the country.
When Obama was president, they were all for a wall. Now they are all against it.
I hope Trump and the GOP stick to their guns. We need a wall..
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