03.24.18

A Tribute To Vermont's Students In The March For Our Lives In Montpelier And Washington

A Tribute To Vermont’s Students
In The March For Our Lives
In Montpelier And Washington

Marcelle and I, and Vermonters across our state, are so proud of you. We admire your energy, your clarity, and your personal investment of time and action.

I can tell you this: America not only is seeing and hearing you; America is LISTENING to you.

You’re already making a difference in Vermont and in other states. On Friday, the Vermont House acted on landmark gun safety legislation, after hearing Vermont students’ powerful testimony.

As you march and rally this weekend, I’m mindful of how the spectacular mass movement that produced the Women’s March a year ago made a difference – then, and since then. A year ago, having just taken the post of Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I was in the middle of negotiations on the first budget proposals submitted by the new President, Donald Trump.

I took the energy of the Women’s March directly into those tense negotiations. And we prevailed, again and again, on item after item, in standing up for America’s true priorities.

At the time of Sandy Hook, I chaired the Judiciary Committee. After the Sandy Hook tragedy I chaired the first hearings in Congress on gun safety. Right off the bat at that hearing, the witness from the NRA reversed position, suddenly opposing the closing of the background check loopholes. Only a few years before, they had supported closing those loopholes.

I moved four gun safety bills through the Judiciary Committee after Sandy Hook, and most of them also had majority support on the Senate Floor. But the gun lobby blocked final action.

I believe that the students of America – this impressive new generation -- really have the opportunity to help us all make things different this time.

We thank you for sacrificing your time, for contributing your energy, and for your steadfast commitment.

You are Vermont Strong, and we are so proud of you.

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