News April 25

Senator Sanders

Postal Service Sen. Bernie Sanders said the mail processing center in White River Junction is now on list to stay open. The center, which employs 250 workers, previously was slated for closure, The Associated Press, Burlington Free Press, and Vermont Press Bureau reported. LINK, LINK, LINK

USPS The struggling postal service agreed to delay the closing of thousands of local post offices until May so Congress could pass legislation to shore up the agency's finances. Sanders hoped the Senate will pass legislation today, Vermont Public Radio, WPTZ, WCAX, Fox 44, ABC 22 and New England Cable News reported.  LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO

Energy Sen. Bernie Sanders said geothermal energy is heating more Vermont homes, businesses and schools. At a news conference on Monday, he outlined successful Vermont projects and said the investments will reduce the $350 billion spent annually to import oil to the U.S., the Rutland Herald and VT Digger reported. LINK

Social Security Sen. Sanders introduced legislation to strengthen Social Security and guarantee benefits for 75 years by extending the payroll tax that most Americans already pay to those who earn above $250,000 a year, Common Dreams and ThinkProgress reported. LINK, LINK

Child Care "I was pleased to read Sen. Sanders mention early childhood education in your recent article about the Barre Technical Center. I dedicate my career to this field because, as Sen. Sanders said, early childhood makes up "the most important years of a human being's life." Claire Berry wrote to the Times Argus. LINK

World

Syria Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. is preparing for the potential failure of former U.N. chief Kofi Annan's plan to end the violence in Syria and will take additional steps against the Syrian government if it does, AP reported. LINK

National

USPS The Senate on Tuesday defeated a Republican attempt to block a vote on a bill to save the struggling Postal Service. A final vote could come Wednesday on the measure, which would allow the Postal Service to provide a broader range of potentially lucrative services, The New York Times reported. LINK

Buffett Break Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says wealthy Americans should pay more to Washington, but a private-jet company owned by his Berkshire Hathaway Inc., lobbied for a fee cut that will save customers of NetJets and similar companies roughly $83 million over four years, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

GSA Scandal The House votes today on legislation to address an unfolding scandal at the General Services Administration. The bipartisan bill would slash agency spending on conferences. The Senate on Tuesday add the same proposal to another bill, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Dental Crisis A study demonstrated that despite efforts to boost the number of patients and providers in the Medicaid system, low-income families still had limited access to dental care, ABC News reported. LINK

Domestic Violence Senate Republicans will let the domestic violence legislation pass despite controversial language expanding special visas to illegal immigrants seeking protection from abuse and a provision making same-sex partners as eligible for domestic violence programs, The Hill reported. LINK

Vermont

Health Care The Vermont Senate on Tuesday passed stage two of the state's push to get as close as it can to a universal, single-payer health care system by late in this decade. By a 20-7 vote, the Senate approved a House-passed bill that sets up a regulated health care marketplace, or exchange, AP reported. LINK