Peter Welch has been a champion for working Vermonters throughout his career. Since his election to Congress in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a thoughtful and effective legislator who chooses governing over gridlock.
Peter’s record reflects his strong commitment to bringing people together to find common sense solutions to the difficult challenges facing our state and nation. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs, increase access to affordable education and health care, invest in energy efficiency, protect our environment, and care for our veterans.
Peter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1947. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1969. After working for a year in Chicago fighting housing discrimination as one of the first Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, he enrolled in law school at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated in 1973.
After law school, he settled in White River Junction, Vermont where he worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice. He was first elected to represent Windsor County in the Vermont Senate in 1980. In 1985, he was unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the chamber, becoming the first Democrat in Vermont history to hold the position of President Pro Tempore.
In 2006, Peter was elected to Vermont’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. His campaign gained nationwide attention for being the only contested congressional race in the country where both candidates refused to air negative ads.
In Congress, Peter is a leading advocate for energy efficiency, cutting the price of prescription drugs, investing in infrastructure, and expanding broadband and telemedicine in rural America.
Peter is a Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
He is married to Margaret Cheney, commissioner of the Vermont Public Utility Commission. They share a home in Norwich, Vermont.