Peter Welch

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Peter Welch currently serves the at-large Congressional district of Vermont

Peter Welch, a Democrat, has represented the At-large Congressional District of Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. (map)

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Peter Welch voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Peter Welch is a Democrat who also carries the support of many Republican voters in Vermont. He is a liberal leaning Representative whose score in National Journal's 2007 vote ratings made him the 77th-most-liberal House member. [1]

Iraq War

Peter Welch takes a liberal postion on the Iraq War. On his website Peter Welch states "We must end this war. I opposed it before it began, and I oppose it now. I will do everything I can that will bring us closer to the day when our troops are home." [2]

In Response to President Bush's Iraq policy Welch said, "We start today. No more troops. No more phony intelligence. No more blank checks. We must end this war." [1]

Senator Russ Feingold, a leading war opponent in the U.S. Senate, identified Congressman Welch as one of 20 freshman House members who stood with him in support for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Peter Welch believes that Congress needs to pressure the President to change his policy and end the war. [3]


Peter Welch supports a liberal position on abortion and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America indicating that he supports a pro-choice position. [4]

Environmental record

As might be expected by Welch's stance on other issues, he takes a liberal view of environmental protection. Peter Welch's website statement about Energy Independence and Global Warming says "By pursuing energy independence through renewable energy development, the United States can create pro-environment, pro-growth, pro-national security economy." [5]

Soon after being sworn in, Welch announced that his congressional office was the first in the House to become carbon-neutral. Through financial support for renewable-energy projects in Vermont he said he was offsetting the greenhouse-gas emissions generated by his D.C. office. [6]

Peter Welch sponsored a bill that would stop stockpiling oil in the nation's emergency reserve and use it to help lower the price of gasoline at the pump. This bill was signed by President Bush on May, 19 2008. [7]

He is endorsed by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Sierra Club [8]

Support for "first 100 hours" initiatives in the 110th Congress

Like most Democrats in the 110th Congress, Welch voted with the Democratic-endorsed position on all "first 100 hours" legislation, which included the Stem Cell Research Act of 2007, a bill to implement many of the 9/11 commission reforms, a minimum wage increase, a bill to increase royalties on oil and gas companies, a student loan interest rate decrease, and a bill allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients. [9]


Peter Welch leads other Democrats in liberal reform of education. Recently Welch has become and outspoken critic of rising college costs. He has suggested legislation that would "require wealthy colleges to spend 5 percent of their endowments." [10]

Peter Welch had a bill passed through the House that provides support to rural Head Start programs that benefit preschool children from low-income families. [11]

In 2007-2008 the National Education Association gave Peter Welch a grade of A. [12]

Health Care

Following Peter Welch's liberal view on other issues he also takes a liberal stance on health care. On his website Peter Welch said "everyone deserves access to health care and everyone should contribute to its costs. The US is the only industrialized country in the world without universal health care - and this must change." [2]

He voted to override a presidential veto of an extention of State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (U.S.).This bill would enroll all 6 million uninsured children who are eligible, but not enrolled, for coverage under existing health care programs. [13]

He also voted to overide a veto of bill that would start large cuts to Medicare.This bill, Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, will also imporve access to health care in rural states by adding more funding to hospitals. [14]

Peter Welch supported the interests of the American Academy of Family Physicians 100 percent in 2007. As well, on the votes that the The Children's Health Fund considered to be the most important in 2007, Representative Welch voted their preferred position 100 percent of the time. [15]


Welch was born in 1947 in Springfield, MA. He attended Holy Cross College and earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, he moved to Vermont to begin his law career.[16]

In 1980, Welch was elected to the Vermont State Senate. In 1985, he became Senate President Pro Tem. He left the State Senate in 1988, and later made unsuccessful bids for Vermont's U.S. House seat and governorship. In 2001, he rejoined the body after being appointed by Gov. Howard Dean to fill a vacancy in his home district. [17]

2006 elections

In 2006, Welch ran against Republican Martha Rainville for the open House seat formerly held by Rep. Bernie Sanders, who was then running for U.S. Senate. The campaign was particularly notable because in an an election marked by a particularly large degree of partisan vitriol and money spend on attack ads, both candidates agreed to keep their campaigns exclusively positive. While highlighting vigorous disagreements on major issues, neither candidate ran any negative advertising against the other. [18]

Welch defeated Rainville 53% to 45% to win the seat. [19]

2008 elections

Welch was unopposed in his Democratic primary election on September 9, 2008. However, he also received enough write-in votes from Republican voters to be selected as the Republican nominee in the race. There were no Republican candidates on the ballot.[3]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000515&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Peter Welch
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


More Background Data


Washington D.C. Office:
1404 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202) 225-4115
Web Email

District Office:
30 Main Street
Third Floor, Suite 350
Burlington, VT 05401

Articles and resources


Local blogs and discussion sites


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Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Vermont Senate
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
First Took Current Office:
January 4, 2007
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Vermont Senate
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 30 Main Street Third Floor, Suite 350 Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 888-605-7270 / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: May 2, 1947

  1. [20] "The Online Office of Congressman Peter Welch" February, 7 2007
  2. [] "Issues" Nov 7, 2006
  3. "Write-ins give Welch Republican nomination," Burlington Free Press, September 17, 2008