The news below was written by Vermont's Congressional delegation.
NEXUS Program Shortens Wait Time At Border From: Congressman Peter Welch Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 1:49 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Invitation to On-Site Enrollment for NEXUS program
You are invited to take advantage of an on-site enrollment opportunity for the NEXUS program. NEXUS is designed to minimize wait times at the northern border.
The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing by US and Canadian officials. It provides for easier passage with dedicated lanes at peak travel hours for NEXUS card holders. NEXUS also provides access to expedited entry benefits in other countries. It can be used to reduce wait times in security lines in airports, and at marine reporting locations, including Lake Champlain and Lake Memphramagog.
The onsite interview only takes a few minutes. Normally Vermonters have to spend hours traveling to Champlain New York for this 15 minute interview but June 2-June 5 Customs and Border Protection will be running mobile enrollment centers throughout Vermont making this the perfect time to get enrolled in this program.
I hope you'll join me in taking advantage of this opportunity to reduce your wait time at the border. I will be applying for my NEXUS card on June 2 in South Burlington. For more information on NEXUS and the enrollment events, please see below, or call me for more information at 1-888-605-7270.
Thank you, and I hope to see you on the 2nd.
Sincerely, PETER WELCH, Member of Congress
What are the advantages of NEXUS?
There are dedicated NEXUS processing lanes at designated ports of entry, kiosks for quicker check-ins at Canadian pre-clearance airports, and expedited processing at marine reporting locations. NEXUS also proves access to expedited entry benefits in other countries, reduced wait times in security areas in some airports, and participation in the TSA's PreCheck program.
Schedule an interview at a location of your choice by calling 802-524-6527.
Wait 48 hours for your conditional approvals from the U.S. and Canada, which will arrive by email.
Bring a valid passport and picture identification to the enrollment workshop you've signed up for.
When are the enrollment events? June 2 – South Burlington at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 228 Aviation Ave., Suite 100. June 3 – Montpelier at the Statehouse at 115 State St. June 4 – St. Albans at the Federal Building at 50 South Main St. June 5 – Newport at Gateway Center at 84 Fyfe Dr.
$27,000 Grant Will Help Attract Snowmobilers To VT U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch Tuesday announced the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) has been awarded a $27,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grant to help attract snowmobilers to Vermont.
VAST will use the funding to produce promotional films showcasing the towns of St. Johnsbury and Danville, highlighting points of interest, local businesses, and amenities. The grant will also enable VAST to create an online adventure planner featuring St. Johnsbury and Danville. VAST also plans to use a portion of the funding to initiate an educational advertising campaign to promote the construction and maintenance of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, a premiere four-season multiple use recreation trail spanning Northern Vermont. Sanders previously secured a $5.2 million grant for construction of the 93-mile trail, which is set to begin this summer.
In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: “Snowmobilers are a pillar of Vermont’s recreation economy. Each winter they help support jobs at general stores, hotels, restaurants and retail establishments along the VAST trail network and beyond. This grant will help attract more snowmobilers to the region and create economic opportunities for many small businesses.”
The grant, a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), is funded by USDA’s Rural Development office. RBEG funds are used to help community organizations partner with private business to create jobs and economic opportunities.
“On behalf of VAST and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Committee (LVRTC), we are very pleased to receive funding through the RBEG program,” said VAST Executive Director Alexis Nelson. “This is positive news in support of our mission in developing the LVRT into a four season multiple use recreation trail and assisting our efforts in promoting the trail and the adjacent communities.”
The grant was part of a national announcement by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in which he said: "Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in small towns and rural communities, just as they are in our biggest cities. USDA supports small businesses by providing job training, business development opportunities, strategic community planning and other resources. We're focused on making sure that Main Street businesses have the tools they need to grow."
Welch Announces Bipartisan Bill to Reform Federal Ethanol Mandate
At a small engine repair shop in Colchester this morning, Congressman Peter Welch announced bipartisan legislation to reform the federal ethanol mandate. Joined by Vermonters directly impacted by the mandate, Welch highlighted the harmful impacts of a federal ethanol production mandate on farmers, consumers, and sportsmen.
“While well intentioned, the mandate on production of corn-based ethanol is harming already struggling dairy farmers with record high feed prices. It’s driving up food prices. And it’s ruining the engines of boats, chainsaws and snowmobiles across Vermont. We’re making long overdue progress on ending ethanol subsidies. This bipartisan legislation will remove another key underpinning of unnecessary taxpayer subsidies for the ethanol industry.”
Congressman Welch has joined with Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Womack (R-AR) and Rep. Costa (D-CA) in introducing legislation that would repeal the mandate on corn ethanol production. It would also prevent the federal government from increasing the requirement on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. The current ethanol blended fuel requirement is 10 percent (E10). The Environmental Protection Agency has signaled its intent to increase this requirement to 15 percent (E15).
The ethanol industry has historically received three forms of subsidy from the taxpayer: federal tax credits, favorable tariffs, and the production mandate. Congressman Welch is a leader in the House of the effort to repeal all ethanol subsidies. Federal tax subsidies and tariffs supporting corn ethanol production expired at the end of 2011. The bipartisan bill announced today would address the remaining subsidy.
Saving the U.S. Postal ServiceAugust 20, 2013
The U.S. Postal Service is one of the most important institutions in America. It is enormously important to our economy, providing a vital service to tens of millions of Americans and businesses. It also provides hundreds of thousands of decent-paying jobs.
Unfortunately, for political reasons, the USPS has been under a major attack for many years – primarily by those who don’t like government and who would like as much privatization as possible. “There are those in Congress and in the Postal Service leadership who would like to slow mail delivery significantly, end door-to-door service, shut down thousands of rural post offices, end Saturday mail and, in the process, eliminate tens of thousands of jobs,” Bernie said.
One of the arguments for these massive cuts is that the Postal Service is losing substantial sums of money. The reality, however, is that is far from true. Since 2007, nearly 80 percent of the financial losses at the Postal Service was the result of an unprecedented and onerous financial burden, pushed by the Bush Administration in 2006, which forces the Postal Service to pay 75 years of future retiree health benefits in a 10-year period. This burden costs Postal Service about $5.5 billion a year.
The most recent quarterly financial report from the Postal Service shows that without that burden the Postal Service would have earned a $660 million profit in the third quarter of this year and a $330 million profit since last October.
Bernie believes that there needs to be significant changes in the way the Postal Service operates to help it thrive in the digital age. But the answer is not simply to cut, cut, cut. He has proposed legislation, which has 29 Senate co-sponsors that would give the Postal Service the tools it needs to be financially viable while providing quality and timely service to allow the Postal Service to continue to play a vital role in our economy.
Many Vermonters agree with Bernie. “Saturday mail is important because we need to get our bills on time and be able to pay before they are due,” said Peg Grimaed, 75, of Windsor, Vt. “Not everyone can use or has a computer to pay their bills online, nor would they trust the online way due to hacking and identity theft,” writes 52-year-old Maria Rogers. “Door to door delivery is what I rely on,” said Bert Thompson, 58, of Johnson, Vt. Share your thoughts about strengthening the Postal Service with Bernie