Congress

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Welch to bring Iraqi interpreter to Trump’s address to Congress

MONTPELIER — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch is planning to bring an Iraqi national who served as an interpreter for the U.S. military to Republican President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday. Trump will deliver his first address to Congress — and the nation — inside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday night as his immigration policies continue to reverberate in Washington and across the country. Welch, a Democrat, has invited Ahmed Alsaeedi, an Iraqi from Baghdad who served as an interpreter for the U.S Army and now lives in Burlington, to be his personal guest at the speech. Many of Welch’s colleagues in Congress are also extending invitations to former interpreters and others who assisted the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. Welch said he thought to invite Alsaeedi after a recent meeting they had and “my horror at the executive order, including in its original form, that it would have cut off access to safety” for people like Alsaeedi. Continue Reading →

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Welch calls for debate on war authorization

WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., has introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize military force against the so-called Islamic State. The legislation from Welch and co-sponsor Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., would pave the way for the United States to send troops into Syria and Iraq. Welch has long said Congress should debate the issue, rather than leaving it up to the White House alone. “Under the U.S. Constitution, it is the responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force,” Welch said Thursday. “Since August 8, 2014, when military action against ISIL began, Congress has been absent. Continue Reading →

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Scott, Lisman oppose efforts to defund Planned Parenthood

MONTPELIER — The two Republicans facing off in a 2016 primary for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination say they do not stand with Republicans in Washington seeking to nix federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the state’s only statewide, elected Republican official, said he did not follow Tuesday’s congressional hearing led by House Republicans with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards but is aware of Republican-led efforts to defund the national organization. Scott said Wednesday he supports the health services the group provides to women. “I’m pro-choice. I always have been and I believe that Planned Parenthood provides very important health services that go far beyond abortions for women,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Sanders to skip Netanyahu speech to Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday he will skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress early next month, arguing that President Barack Obama should have been consulted before the invitation was extended. The Vermont independent is the first senator to announce he won’t attend the speech. Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Georgia and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina are among a handful in their party who have said they will skip Netanyahu’s speech. “The president of the United States heads up our foreign policy and the idea that the president wasn’t even consulted — that is wrong,” Sanders said. Continue Reading →

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