Peter Welch

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Peter Welch
Peter Welch.jpg
U.S. House, Vermont
In office
January 3, 2007-present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 8
PredecessorBernard Sanders (I)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next primaryAugust 26, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,998,024
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Vermont State Senate
High schoolCathedral High School, MA
Bachelor'sCollege of the Holy Cross
J.D.University of California, Berkeley
Date of birthMay 2, 1947
Place of birthSpringfield, MA
Net worth$5,114,048.50
Office website
Campaign website
Peter Welch (b. May 2, 1947, in Springfield, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Vermont. Welch is the only representative from Vermont and was first elected to the House in 2006. He won re-election in 2012.[1] He ran for re-election in 2014.

Welch serves as one of the chief deputy whips of the Democratic caucus for the 113th Congress.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Welch is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


After earning his bachelor's degree from College of the Holy Cross and his J.D. from the University of California, Welch worked as a lawyer and eventually started his own firm.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Welch's academic, professional and political career:[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Welch serves on the following committees:[5]


Welch served on the following House committees[6]:

  • Committee on Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
  • Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
    • Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations
    • Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] For more information pertaining to Welch's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

More than 100 House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he planned to use military force in Syria.[9]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[9][10]

The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”[10]

The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."[10]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Welch was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[10]

On August 29, 2013, more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter written by California Rep. Barbara Lee that called for a congressional resolution on strikes, and cautioned that the dire situation in Syria "should not draw us into an unwise war—especially without adhering to our constitutional requirements."[10][11] The letter also called on the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council “to build international consensus” condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons. Welch was one of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.[10][11]


Voted "No" Welch voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[12]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Welch voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[12]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Welch voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[12]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Welch voted in opposition of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[13] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[12]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[14] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[15][16] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[16] Welch voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[17][18] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[18] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[19] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Welch joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[17][18]

King Amendment

Welch signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[20] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[21]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[22] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[23] Welch voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[24]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[25] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Welch voted for HR 2775.[26]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Welch voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[27] The vote largely followed party lines.[28]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Welch has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[29]

Social issues


Voted "No" Welch voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[30]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Welch voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[31]

Campaign themes


According to Welch's website, his campaign themes included:

  • Energy: "America needs a 21st century energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates good jobs, and improves our environment."
  • Healthcare: "Access to quality, affordable health care for every American is long overdue."
  • Debt: "The rising level of federal debt is a threat to America’s long term economic vitality."[32]



See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Vermont, 2014

Welch ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Vermont's At-Large District. Welch sought the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Vermont's At-large Congressional District elections, 2012

Welch won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Vermont's At-Large district. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 28, 2012 and defeated Mark Donka (R), James Desrochers (I), and Andre LaFramboise (VoteKISS) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[33]

U.S. House, Vermont At-Large District General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Welch Incumbent 72% 208,600
     Republican Mark Donka 23.3% 67,543
     Independent James Desrochers 2.9% 8,302
     Third Andre LaFramboise 0.4% 1,153
     Third Jane Newton 1.4% 4,065
Total Votes 289,663
Source: Vermont Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Welch is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Welch raised a total of $4,998,024 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 2, 2013.[37]

Peter Welch's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Vermont, At-Large District) Won $950,025
2010 (Vermont, At-Large District) Won $1,027,181
2008 (Vermont, At-Large District) Won $954,510
2006 (Vermont, At-Large District) Won $2,066,308
Grand Total Raised $4,998,024


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Welch's reports.[38]


Breakdown of the source of Welch's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Welch won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Welch's campaign committee raised a total of $950,026 and spent $669,593.[44]

Cost per vote

Welch spent $3.21 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Welch's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Welch won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Welch's campaign committee raised a total of $1,027,181 and spent $698,547.[45]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[46]

Welch most often votes with:

Welch least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Welch is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 26, 2013.[47]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Welch missed 121 of 5,233 roll call votes from January 2007 to April 2013. This amounts to 2.3%, which is worse than the median of 2.1% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[48]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Welch paid his congressional staff a total of $989,570 in 2011. Overall, Vermont ranks 12th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[49]

Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Welch's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $2,897,097 to $7,331,000. That averages to $5,114,048.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Welch ranked as the 74th most wealthy representative in 2012.[50]

Peter Welch Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2006 to 2012:24%
Average annual growth:4%[51]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[52]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Welch ranked 81st in the liberal rankings in 2012.[53]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Welch ranked 111th in the liberal rankings.[54]

Political positions

Voting with party

June 2013

Welch voted with the Democratic Party 93.2% of the time, which ranked 144th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[55]


Welch is married to Margaret Cheney.[3]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Peter + Welch + Vermont + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Peter Welch News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. Office of the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, "Hoyer Announces Whip Team for the 113th Congress," January 4, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official House website, "About Peter," accessed November 5, 2011
  4. Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, "Welch," accessed June 26, 2013
  5., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  6. Official House website, "Committee Assignments," accessed November 5, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Welch's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 14, 2013
  13. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  14. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 23, 2013
  21., "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  22. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  24. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  26. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  28. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Welch's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 14, 2013
  29. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Welch's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed October 14, 2013
  30. Project Vote Smart, "Welch on abortion," accessed October 14, 2013
  31. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  32. Welch for Congress, "Issues," accessed October 10, 2012
  33. Official primary candidate list
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Peter Welch," accessed April 2, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Welch 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 25, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 18, 2014
  44. Open Secrets, "Welch Campaign Contributions," accessed February 24, 2013
  45. Open Secrets, "Peter Welch 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 5, 2011
  46. OpenCongress, "Peter Welch," accessed August 6, 2013
  47. GovTrack, "Peter Welch," accessed June 26, 2013
  48. GovTrack, "Welch," accessed April 11, 2013
  49. LegiStorm, "Peter Welch," accessed September 13, 2012
  50. OpenSecrets, "Welch, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  51. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  52. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  53. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  54. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Bernard Sanders (I)
U.S. House of Representatives - Vermont, At-Large
Succeeded by