VT-At-large: Becca Balint (D)
Peter Welch (D)[i]
Vermont State Senate (Senator, Windham District / President Pro Tempore / Majority Leader); Community College of Vermont (Faculty Member); Farm & Wilderness Foundation (Rock-Climbing Instructor); Washington Village School (Teacher); Guilford Central School (Teacher); Marlboro School (Teacher); Flood Brook School (Teacher)[ii]
Diploma, Walter Panas High School; Attended, Barnard College; AB, Smith College; MEd, Harvard University Graduate School of Educatio; MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst[iii]
Keeping Vermonters Healthy; Supporting Working Families; Social Justice & Civil Rights; An Economy for the Future[iv]
ON THE ISSUES
Balint is pro-choice and believes the overturning of Roe v. Wade “was cruel, dehumanizing, and dangerous.” She supports codifying Roe into federal law, repealing the Hyde Amendment, and expanding insurance coverage for abortion care. In Congress, Balint will advocate for fully funding Planned Parenthood and Title X.[v] [vi]
ECONOMY, JOBS & TAXES:
In Congress, Balint will support “a robust, permanent national paid family and medical leave program” and will be a “champion” for small businesses. She is a former union member and commits to supporting the PRO Act in office. She also plans to support infrastructure initiatives including road and bridge repair, high-speed broadband, and secure cyber infrastructure.[vii]
HEALTHCARE & SOCIAL SAFETY NET:
Balint supports Medicare for All with guaranteed mental, dental, vision, and hearing services. She further supports increasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, capping and controlling prescription drug prices, and shifting the reimbursement model away from a fee-for-service model. In Congress, Balint commits to address price gouging by Big Pharma, including capping the price of insulin at $35 and allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies.[viii]
IMMIGRATION & BORDER SECURITY:
As a member of the Vermont Senate, Balint supported legislation expanding insurance coverage to undocumented pregnant women and children, preventing federal immigration arrests at courthouses, and making it easier for undocumented youth who have been abused to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.[ix] [x] She was one of 41 Vermont state legislators to sign a letter to ICE in August 2022 urging it to drop the deportation of ten immigrant farmworkers.[xi] She does not support a border wall.[xii]
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY:
Balint supports criminal justice reforms, including ending qualified immunity for police officers because “no one is above the law.” In Congress, she will support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and will work to address racial disparities in the criminal legal system. As a state senator, Balint cosponsored legislation ending blanket qualified immunity in Vermont, as well as supported a package of 2020 criminal justice bills banning chokeholds, requiring police to wear body cameras, creating new hiring and training standards, and addressing police use of force. She also supports investing in “unarmed first responders” to address individuals facing mental health crises, poverty, and substance use disorder. Balint supports federally legalizing marijuana and expunging cannabis offenses from criminal records.[xiii] She believes “we need fully funded police departments here in Vermont.”[xiv]
GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS & ELECTION SECURITY:
On her campaign website, Balint asserts that the right to vote is “one of the most sacred rights in this country,” but “many Republican-controlled legislatures have been passing laws that make it harder for people to vote, particularly people of color.” In Congress, Balint will “be a strong advocate” for the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, “and other legislation to make voting more accessible for all.” She also argues it is time for a "real and serious conversation…." about reforming the Supreme Court,” including instituting term limits and expanding the court.[xv]
”Cancelling student debt” will be one of Balint’s top priorities in Congress. She supports making college and “all post-high school education affordable for everyone,” asserting, “this is an affordability crisis, and it is stifling economic opportunity for an entire generation of Americans.” Balint supports universal access to childcare and will support the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act in Congress.[xvi]
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT:
Balint will support a Green New Deal in Congress “to provide Vermont with the funding we need to create and sustain good-paying green jobs, combat the climate crisis, fight environmental injustice, and transition our state and our country to a clean energy economy.”
BIG TECH & DATA PRIVACY:
In June 2020, Balint called on Facebook to show “some damn moral courage,” and limit Donald Trump’s use of the platform after Twitter and Snapchat restricted his usage after he shared content inciting “racial violence and injustice.”[xvii] [xviii]
On her campaign website, Balint says she is “deeply committed to policies that reduce gun violence,” and while in the state senate, she “proudly helped pass the first gun safety laws in Vermont’s history.” In Congress, Balint says she will “stand up to the gun lobby” and support measures including universal background checks, investing in gun violence research and prevention programs, extreme risk laws, and closing the Charleston Loophole. She supports a ban on assault weapons, safe storage laws, and policies restricting individuals under 18 from purchasing firearms.[xix] She is a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate and does not support arming teachers.[xx] [xxi]
Balint asserts Russia’s attack on Ukraine “is morally bankrupt and absolutely inexcusable,” adding, “Putin’s greed and recklessness will lead to incalculable human loss.” She “fully” supports economic sanctions against Russian and providing aid to Ukraine.[xxii] [xxiii] [xxiv]
[i] Quint Forgey, “Rep. Peter Welch launches Senate bid for Leahy's seat,” Politico, November 22, 2021, available at https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/22/peter-welch-senate-campaign-patrick-leahy-seat-523176.
[ii] “Incoming Rep. Becca Balint,” LegiStorm, accessed November 2, 2022, available at https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/239019/Rebecca_A_Balint.html.
[iii] “Incoming Rep. Becca Balint,” LegiStorm, accessed November 2, 2022, available at https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/239019/Rebecca_A_Balint.html.
[ix] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, May 5, 2021, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1389939659384492035.
[x] Senator Becca Balint Twitter, March 17, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/SenatorBalint/status/1504524165310824450.
[xi] “Press Release: Vermont legislators support farmworkers facing deportation,” Migrant Justice Press Release, August 30, 2022, available at https://migrantjustice.net/news/press-release-vermont-legislators-support-farmworkers-facing-deportation.
[xii] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, October 26, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1585428397030838272.
[xiv] Lola Duffort, “In final TV debate, Becca Balint and Molly Gray draw distinctions on criminal justice,” VT Digger, August 5, 2022, available at https://vtdigger.org/2022/08/05/in-final-tv-debate-becca-balint-and-molly-gray-draw-distinctions-on-criminal-justice/.
[xvii] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, June 3, 2020, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1268230842805104641.
[xviii] Cecilia Kang & Kate Conger, “Snap Says It Will No Longer Promote Trump’s Account,” New York Times, June 3, 2020, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/technology/snapchat-trump.html.
[xx] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, April 26, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1519079897993555970.
[xxi] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, June 28, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1541919850565701636.
[xxii] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, February 24, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1496810699695267841.
[xxiii] Senator Becca Balint Twitter, March 10, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/SenatorBalint/status/1502020819375042572.
[xxiv] Becca Balint for Congress Twitter, February 24, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/BeccaBalintVT/status/1496932448600395777.