Congressman Peter Welch has been a champion of working Vermonters throughout his distinguished career. Since his election to Congress in 2006, he has been widely recognized as a skillful legislator who chooses governing over gridlock.
Peter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross. As one of the country’s first Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, he fought housing discrimination in Chicago and went on to earn a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He settled in Vermont’s Upper Valley and worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice.
He was first elected to the Vermont Senate in 1980 and later was selected by his colleagues to lead the chamber, becoming the first Democrat in Vermont history to hold the position of Senate President Pro Tempore.
After a break from electoral politics during the 1990s, Peter returned to the Vermont Senate in 2002. He was quickly selected by his colleagues to once again lead the Senate.
In 2006, he was elected to Vermont’s 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. Vermonters have returned him to the House by wide margins in subsequent elections.
Peter’s accomplishments in Congress reflect his strong commitment to bringing people together to find common ground on the challenges facing our nation. In an era of partisanship, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs, invest in energy efficiency, increase access to affordable education and health care, protect our national security and civil liberties, and care for our veterans.
Welch is a Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. For more information on his committee assignments, click here.
Peter is married to Margaret Cheney, commissioner of the Vermont Public Utility Commission. They share a home in Norwich, Vermont.
Click here for Peter's official portraits.