"As Vermonters continue to struggle through a persistently down economy, my number one focus in Congress is to create good jobs and give Vermonters the tools they need to succeed. While the road to full economic recovery and prosperity may be long, I will continue to fight every day to create economic opportunity throughout our state and throughout our country. I am confident that -- thanks to the ingenuity, resourcefulness and hard-working nature of Vermonters -- our state will not only weather this economic storm, but emerge from it all the stronger."
*Supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1), which invested more than $700 million into Vermont -- rebuilding the state's infrastructure, cutting taxes for small businesses, creating clean energy jobs, providing health care and unemployment benefits, and supporting state government. According to recovery.gov, the ARRA created or saved more than 1,450 jobs in Vermont.Wrote the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (H.R. 5019), an energy efficiency incentive that would help three million families refit, renovate and insulate their homes, while putting 170,000 Americans to work. Passed by a bipartisan vote in the House, Welch's Home Star program would create jobs, save homeowners money and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
*Worked with Senators Leahy and Sanders to obtain more than $171 million in Recovery Act funding to extend broadband access to every corner of Vermont. The grants to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom and the Vermont Telephone Company will create jobs immediately while laying the groundwork for long-term economic development.
*Worked with Senators Leahy and Sanders to obtain $50 million in Recovery Act funding to bring high-speed rail to Amtrak's Vermonter line and $69 million to deploy Smart Grid technology in Vermont.
*Sponsored the Keep Americans Working Act (H.R. 4135), which would help Vermont businesses avoid laying off workers by providing federal support for the state's Short-Time Compensation program, which supports workers whose hours are temporarily reduced.
*Supported extensions to unemployment benefits. Currently unemployment benefits are extended to millions of American families through November 30, 2010; every dollar of unemployment benefits creates at least $1.61 in economic activity.