- 1 Background
- 2 Berniecrat
- 3 State Senate
- 4 Congress
- 5 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 6 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 7 Populist Caucus
- 8 FARC hostages
- 9 2009 letter on Colombia
- 10 Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
- 11 LIBERT-E Act
- 12 ARA endorsement, 2012
- 13 PDA contact
- 14 2012 Cuba visit
- 15 Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- 16 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 17 JStreet endorsement
- 18 Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
- 19 2016 Cuba visit
- 20 Peace movement support
- 21 External links
- 22 References
Peter Welch was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1947 into a family of six children. He attended Holy Name Grammar School and Cathedral High School. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in 1969, he was selected to be in the first class of Robert F. Kennedy Fellows. This honor allowed him to continue the civil rights work he began in college, helping families in Chicago overcome discriminatory housing policies. Welch graduated from the University of California Berkeley, Boalt Hall in 1973.
In 1980, Welch became only the second Democrat ever elected to represent Windsor County in the Vermont State Senate. In 1985 he was elected by his colleagues to serve as President Pro Tem of the Vermont Senate, becoming the first Democrat in Vermont history to hold this leadership position. Welch returned to the Senate in 2002 and his colleagues again elected him President Pro Tem in 2003, a position he held until 2006.
Welch, who lives in Hartland and Norwich, Vermont, was elected to his first term as Vermont's lone U.S. Representative in 2006 and was reelected in 2008 and 2010. As a Chief Deputy Whip, Welch is a member of the House leadership and serves on the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Peter Welch in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for vermont.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The Populist Caucus was founded on February 11, 2009 in the United States House of Representatives by Democrat Bruce Braley of Iowa. The caucus originally included 26 other Democrats in the House, including Peter Welch.
In March 2007, seven members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter endorsing three European governments' (France, Spain, Switzerland) proposal for a demilitarized zone, where eventual "humanitarian exchange" negotiations would take place to secure the release of Colombian guerilla FARC hostages. The representatives even offer to be present in the zone at key moments in order to guarantee the talks' success.
- As you know, though, the FARC instead insists that negotiations for a "humanitarian exchange" of prisoners take place in a 480 square-kilometer zone in southwestern Colombia from which all military personnel have been removed. The Colombian government has been unwilling to pull security forces out of this zone, particularly if the FARC insists on its own forces carrying weapons.
- The result has been stalemate, with both sides far from dialogue and the hostages far from winning release. This has gone on for too long. We agree with you that the status quo is unacceptable.
2009 letter on Colombia
From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.
- Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
- The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
- After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.
Signatories included Peter Welch.
Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade
On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Peter Welch was one of the signatories of the letter.  The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.
June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.
H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.
A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:
The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
ARA endorsement, 2012
In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Barbara Wynroth, was assigned as contact for Rep. Welch. In June it was William Butterfield.
2012 Cuba visit
Senior senators met February 2012 in Havana with President Raúl Castro of Cuba and with an imprisoned American aid worker, but they reported no immediate breakthrough on Friday on winning the American’s freedom. Related
The Caucus: Senior Senators Meet With Raúl Castro (February 24, 2012) Senators Patrick Leahy, of Vermont, and Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, met with Mr. Castro for more than two hours, the first high-level meeting between the two countries in nearly two years. The senators offered to take the aid worker, Alan Gross, home with them.
Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat who along with Mr. Leahy met with Mr. Gross at a military prison hospital in Havana, the capital, said prison conditions “are not great.” But he said Mr. Gross appeared to be treated better than a typical Cuban prisoner.
The senators were part of a group of six lawmakers traveling to Cuba, Haiti and Colombia to widen agricultural trade with Cuba, inspect recovery efforts from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and discuss antidrug efforts in South America. Also in the group were Senator Kent Conrad, of North Dakota, and Representatives Xavier Becerra, of California, and Peter Welch, of Vermont.
Lifting travel ban on Cuba
- Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
- By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.
Signatories included Rep. Peter Welch.
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. Peter Welch..
JStreet endorsed him again in 2016.
- Welch has been a champion of pro-Israel, pro-peace initiatives on Capitol Hill and is a strong friend of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.
Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States 
The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.
2016 Cuba visit
Obama will be the first president to visit Cuba in 88 years, and the trip is a symbolic next chapter in his attempts to normalize relations with the country.
The House members will attend along with several senators who previously announced they will make the trip.
The House delegation includes Reps. Karen Bass, Cheri Bustos, Sam Farr, Rosa DeLauro, Barbara Lee, Charles Rangel, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, Peter Welch, Alan Lowenthal, Jim McGovern and Lucille Roybal-Allard. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California will also travel to Cuba along with Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Tom Udall of New Mexico are slated to join the trip. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been a leading advocate for normalizing relations with Cuba, will also attend. Additional House Republicans may also join.
Pelosi previously led the first official House delegation trip to the country after Obama announced the change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2014.
Peace movement support
February 1, 2017, United for Peace and Justice has joined with the U.S. Peace Council, Veterans for Peace and several other national peace organizations to initiate a public campaign in support of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-Hawaii) STOP ARMING TERRORISTS ACT (H.R. 608), which she originally introduced to the Congress on December 8, 2016.
Please sign the petition urging support for the Stop Arming Terrorists Act.
H.R. 608 is a bipartisan bill, which has been co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont), Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-North Carolina), and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida).
The Stop Arming Terrorists Act aims “To prohibit the use of United States Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations…”. More specifically, it demands that “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds made available to any Federal department or agency may be used to provide covered assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and ISIL, and any individual or group that is affiliated with, associated with, cooperating with, or adherents to such groups.”
We believe that the Stop Arming Terrorists Act is a courageous and important first step toward ending the U.S. Government’s policy of forced regime change in other countries with the help of terrorist organizations. This policy has led to endless wars in the past decades, and has cost trillions of dollars at the expense of American taxpayers.
H.R. 608 has been referred to both the House Intelligence Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Given the present state of politics in our country, the chance of these committees approving the bill seems very slim in the absence of massive public expression of support for it.
- official Congressional bio, accessed August 16, 2011
- official Congressional bio, accessed August 16, 2011
- Berniecrats, accessed August 24
- official Congressional bio, accessed August 16, 2011
- official Congressional bio, accessed August 16, 2011
- CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
- Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
- Seven members of the U.S. Congress send a letter endorsing three European governments' proposal for a demilitarized zone 3/14/2007 - Hartford Courant, Semana, Bismi.net, La FM
- Latin America Working Group, Get Your Representative to Sign a Letter Supporting Human Rights in Colombia
- The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
- NSA Surveillance: Amash, Conyers Introduce Major Bill, Bipartisan Coalition of 34 Members of Congress Propose LIBERT-E Act, Jun 18, 2013
- PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
- PDA June 2013 Educate Congress Digest
- NYT Senators Urge Castro to Release American By JONATHAN WEISMAN Published: February 24, 2012
- Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
- CISPES press release, Press Statement: 51 Members of Congress Call for US Neutrality in Salvadoran Elections December 16, 2013
- J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
- JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
- H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
- Politico, Pelosi, 16 House Democrats to join Obama trip to Cuba By Lauren French,| 03/14/16
- [http://www.unitedforpeace.org/2017/02/01/sign-petition-to-stop-arming-terrorists/UFPJ ebruary 1, 2017 | 2 Comments Sign Petition to Stop Arming Terrorists]