Peter Welch to fill Leahy’s seat, but can he fill his shoes?
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Congressman Peter Welch is moving from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate. He beat Republican Gerald Malloy to win the U.S. Senate seat, securing 69% of the vote.
Welch is taking over for Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is retiring. He has big shoes to fill because Leahy was the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, meaning he has large control over where federal funds go. He’s sent millions of dollars to help Vermonters, and Welch won’t be entering with the same level of seniority.
UVM assistant political science professor Alex Garlick says Welch’s over a decade of experience in Congress makes him a good fit to get off to a good start, even when it comes to filling Leahy’s shadow.
Garlick also expects Welch and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to work well together.
“He knows how Capitol Hill works. He knows how the Senate and the House work together. He knows who’s in the White House. And I wouldn’t anticipate him, even though he is not going to be coming in with much seniority, I expect him to get his work done sooner than some of his colleagues,” said Garlick.
In his role as Vermont’s lone congressman, Welch has been an advocate for common-sense gun safety reform and renewable energy.
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