Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) issued the following statement following his vote in favor of the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, which passed the House on a vote of 256-167:
"I voted for this bill because, on balance, it is good for Vermont and good for the country.
First, it is a bipartisan agreement that restores stability and predictability to the federal budget process through fiscal year 2019. We must end the practice of short-term continuing resolutions, budget brinkmanship and government shutdowns. This bill is a significant step in the right direction.
Second, it is a wholesale rejection of President Trump's cruel and callous budget, which would have slashed domestic spending to the lowest levels since the Eisenhower era and caused immediate harm to Vermonters. Last spring, I travelled across Vermont to assess the impact of the proposed budget on our communities. I visited a Head Start center in Burlington, an infrastructure project in Newport, a food shelf in St. Albans, a Meals on Wheels program in Brattleboro, a TRIO program in Randolph, an arts discussion in Montpelier, a hospital in Bennington, and a homeless shelter in the Upper Valley. At each stop, I heard about the devastation the Trump budget would inflict on Vermonters. With this bipartisan agreement, Congress has repudiated the president's priorities and fully funded many of the programs that serve and strengthen Vermont communities.
Finally, it significantly increases federal funding for a variety of federal programs important to Vermont, including low income heating assistance, veterans care, medical research, child care, housing assistance, environmental protection, and Lake Champlain cleanup. Funding to expand broadband to rural communities is increased by $600 million. A $3.3 billion boost in funding will assist communities on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. And highway and rail infrastructure programs are increased by $3.5 billion."