|This is a profile of a U.S. Representative. (See the Vermont portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
Record and controversies
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. 
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." 
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." 
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. 
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." 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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." 
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. 
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." 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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.
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. 
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. 
Welch defeated Rainville 53% to 45% to win the seat. 
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.
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' OpenSecrets.org 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|
- Revolving door profile for Peter Welch from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Peter Welch from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Peter Welch from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement
- Subcommittee on National Security and International Relations
- House Committee on Rules
More Background Data
30 Main Street
Third Floor, Suite 350
Burlington, VT 05401
Articles and resources
- Welch for Congress, official campaign site.
Local blogs and discussion sites
- Wilson Ring, "House Contest in Vt. Features Hot Debate," Washington Post, November 2, 2006.
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|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
|Committees: Vermont Senate|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
|First Took Current Office:
January 4, 2007
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: May 2, 1947
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