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Democrat

Rep. Peter Welch (D)

Leadership: Chief Deputy Whip
Peter Welch Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4115

Address: 2303 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: welch.house.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (802) 652-2450

Address: 128 Lakeside Avenue, Burlington VT 05401

Peter Welch Staff
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Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Pickett, Leah
Staff Assistant
Loeb, Isaac
Legislative Correspondent
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Sullivan, Megan
Business Outreach Representative
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
Fowler, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Satalin, Patrick
Legislative Director
Allen, Kelly
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Copans, Jon
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Elliot, Susan
Caseworker; Outreach Representative
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Allen, Kelly
Legislative Aide
Cheney, Thomas
Legislative Assistant
Copans, Jon
Community Liaison
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Elliot, Susan
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Fowler, Mark
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Loeb, Isaac
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Copans, Jon
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Dudley, Jahala
Press Assistant; Staff Assistant
Elliot, Susan
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Sullivan, Megan
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Peter Welch Committees
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Peter Welch Biography
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  • Elected: 2006, 4th term.
  • District: Vermont
  • Born: May. 02, 1947, Springfield, MA
  • Home: Hartland
  • Education:

    Col. of the Holy Cross, A.B. 1969, U. of CA, J.D. 1973

  • Professional Career:

    Robert F. Kennedy fellow, 1969-70; Practicing atty., 1974-2006.

  • Political Career:

    VT Senate, 1980-88, 2001-2006; VT Senate min. ldr., 1982-84; VT Senate pres. pro tem, 1985-88, 2002-06.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Margaret Cheney); 8 children

Vermont’s only House member is Peter Welch, a Democrat first elected in 2006. He is highly regarded within his party as both a strategist and spokesman, serving as a chief deputy whip and active on energy and health care issues. Read More

Vermont’s only House member is Peter Welch, a Democrat first elected in 2006. He is highly regarded within his party as both a strategist and spokesman, serving as a chief deputy whip and active on energy and health care issues.

Welch grew up in Springfield, Mass., the son of a dentist, and graduated from College of the Holy Cross. The summer before his junior year, he worked for a Jesuit group that did community outreach in poor black neighborhoods in Chicago. While there, he was inspired by a speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a leader of the growing civil rights movement in the 1960s. After graduating from law school at the University of California, Berkeley, Welch backpacked down the Pan-American Highway to Santiago, Chile, went overland to Brazil, then worked on a freighter that sailed to Portugal. After that, he was ready to settle down to practice law, and chose White River Junction, Vt. as his home. He married a professor at Dartmouth, just across the river, and became a stepfather to Joan Smith’s five children.

In 1980, Welch was elected as only the second Democrat to represent Windsor County in the state Senate, and the first since the Civil War. In 1982, he became Senate minority leader. In 1984, after Democrats won a majority in the Senate for the first time ever, he was elected Senate president pro tem. He focused on environment, education, and tax issues and helped establish the Housing and Land Conservation Trust, which worked to create affordable housing and to conserve farmland and forests. In 1988, when Republican Rep. James Jeffords ran for the Senate, Welch aimed for the U.S. House but lost the Democratic primary by 266 votes.In 1990, Welch ran for governor, but lost 52%-46% to Republican Richard Snelling. For some years after that, Welch was out of political life. His wife, Joan, who had been his closest adviser and campaign manager, fought cancer for nine years, and Welch at times was her full-time caregiver. She died in 2004.

In 2001, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean appointed Welch to the state Senate to fill a vacancy in Windsor County. In 2003, he became president pro tem once again and focused on health care issues. He also helped negotiate a deal for the storage of spent nuclear fuel on the site of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In the spring of 2005, Sen. Jeffords announced he would not seek reelection in 2006. SocialistRep. Bernie Sanders, after 15 years in the House, announced he would run for the Senate seat and attracted little opposition. So Welch decided to run again for the U.S. House.

He was supported by many Democratic leaders and, although other potential candidates canvassed for support, no one else ended up running, and Welch won the September 2006 primary unopposed. The winner of the Republican primary, by 71%-28%, was Martha Rainville, the commander of the Vermont National Guard. Welch campaigned as an opponent of military action in Iraq from the start, and he condemned the “corrupt” Republicans in Washington. He supported a universal health care program and called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Rainville said she would have voted for military action in Iraq in 2002 given what was known then, but she also criticized some of the Bush administration’s decisions since.Both candidates favored access to abortion.

Both also pledged not to run negative campaigns, and this was probably the only seriously contested 2006 House race in the country without a single negative ad. But there was dispute. Welch called Rainville the “hand-picked” candidate of the by then unpopular national Republicans. Rainville countered that Vermont Republicans are “something very different,” and insisted that “the party has a lot of room for diversity.” Welch spent $1.7 million to Rainville’s $1.1 million. But the House Republican campaign committee outspent its Democratic counterpart, $750,000 to $300,000. This was one of the few Democratic seats that Republicans thought they had a good chance of picking up. (Though technically not a Democrat, Sanders had caucused with the Democrats.) The contest was close in the polls throughout the summer, but by late September, Welch opened up a lead. Rainville was embarrassed when she was forced to fire a speechwriter in early October for plagiarizing from Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. Welch won, 53%-45%.

In the House, Welch has become known for legislative skill, though he retains an understated and collegial style. In his first term, he was one of four freshman Democrats to get a seat on the Rules Committee, an influential, leadership-run panel that establishes the procedures for bills coming to the floor. After the GOP takeover of the House in 2011, he became a chief deputy for Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. He helped liberals articulate their opposition to both the tax cut extension deal between President Barack Obama and House Republicans in December 2010 as well as the GOP’s vote to repeal health care reform the following month.

But Welch is not a strict partisan. He worked with Republicans on a measure in early 2013 to allow states to ensure online merchants collect sales taxes in return for simplified tax procedures, and a 2011 bill he introduced to prevent the Afghan government from taxing American companies delivering U.S. aid to that country drew support from several conservatives. After The New York Times reported on Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ efforts to benefit the California-based biotechnology company Amgen as part of the January 2013 tax and spending compromise, Welch introduced legislation to repeal the special-interest provision, which he said “confirms the American public’s worst suspicions of how Congress operates.” He has joined the bipartisan cooperative effort No Labels and decried parliamentary ploys such as the “motion to recommit,” a procedure used by both parties to kill legislation on the House floor.

Welch took a prominent position on the debate over extending the debt limit, circulating a letter in April 2011 calling on Democratic leaders to hold a special caucus meeting to discuss the issue and stick to a “clean” extension unencumbered by extraneous provisions. And he was among opponents who turned up often on television to blast Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s ambitious and controversial blueprint for a balanced budget. “There’s an ideology that’s at work with the Republican plan. And that is that revenues are always bad and a tax cut is always good, and it’s better to cut rather than to invest,” he told MSNBC in April 2011. Two years later, he called a similar Ryan budget proposal “just a wasted opportunity.”

Welch got a provision into House-passed energy and climate change legislation in 2009 to invest billions of dollars in energy efficiency efforts. A year later, he won committee passage of a measure to provide tax rebates to consumers for installing upgraded insulation, storm windows, and other energy efficiency measures. He sought to practice what he preached, making his office the first in the House to install new lights and water fixtures to reduce energy use.

At home, Welch has faced no serious reelection threats. Shortly after his first term ended, Welch remarried. In 2009, he tied the knot with state Rep. Margaret Cheney.

Show Less
Peter Welch Election Results
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2012 General
Peter Welch (D)
Votes: 208,600
Percent: 72.01%
Mark Donka (R)
Votes: 67,543
Percent: 23.32%
James Desrochers (I)
Votes: 8,302
Percent: 2.87%
2012 Primary
Peter Welch (D)
Votes: 36,863
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%), 2008 (83%), 2006 (53%)
Peter Welch Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 90 (L) : 9 (C) 89 (L) : 11 (C) 66 (L) : 34 (C)
Social 93 (L) : - (C) 69 (L) : 30 (C) 76 (L) : 23 (C)
Foreign 94 (L) : - (C) 85 (L) : 14 (C) 82 (L) : 17 (C)
Composite 94.7 (L) : 5.3 (C) 81.3 (L) : 18.7 (C) 75.0 (L) : 25.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC00
LCV9789
CFG1016
ITIC-58
NTU1818
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-100
ACU84
ADA100100
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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