For too many years, the economic agenda in Washington has worked against the interests of middle class Americans. Congress Welch strongly believes that restoring our economy will take more than a quick-fix. It will take a return to the core truth Vermonters know: our economic policies must build and preserve our middle class.
Congressman Welch has placed the needs of the middle class at the top of his economic agenda and believes we must enact policies that help hard working Vermonters get ahead. He has supported ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and instead providing tax relief for working families. He has supported legislation to reduce the cost of higher education, raise the minimum wage, and extend health care coverage to all Americans.
Congressman Welch meets regularly with his labor advisory committee where he listens to leaders about the effect of economic policies on Vermont jobs and workers. In addition, Congressman Welch kept his commitment to use his office to support Vermont businesses that support and create good jobs for working Vermonters. He holds regular meetings with his business advisory group and regularly visits businesses across the state.
Working with consumers and small businesses, Congressman Welch is fighting to end abusive credit card practices. He introduced legislation on credit card fees to put an end to costly practices that hurt merchants and sponsored the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, which passed the House, to require the fair treatment all consumers deserve.
The economic struggles facing Vermont can uniquely affect the different regions of our state. That's why Congressman Welch worked with his colleagues from other New England states to write and pass legislation aimed at spurring economic development in Vermont's northern counties. The bill creates a targeted economic development commission to provide federal grants for infrastructure, job training, tourism development and other economic programs.
In addition, Congressman Welch successfully fought to stop the implementation of an IRS rule that would have unfairly hiked taxes on Vermont's captive insurance companies, which provide some of Vermont's highest paying jobs.
Understanding the need to ensure America's competitiveness in the global economy for years to come, Congressman Welch was a vocal advocate for the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act. The legislation, which recommits the country to small business success and basic research and places renewed emphasis on math, science, engineering and technology education, was a high priority for IBM in Vermont. He is also a strong advocate for energy policies that support Vermont's growing green economy and create new, high-paying green collar jobs.