Washington's New College-Cost Crusader

Rep. Peter F. Welch, a Vermont Democrat, has emerged as an outspoken critic of the rising college costs. The first-term congressman has discussed legislation that would require wealthy colleges to spend 5 percent of their endowments, and this month joined Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the powerful Iowa Republican, in playing host to a roundtable of college leaders.

A lawyer and former state lawmaker, Mr. Welch, says he is a supporter of higher education. His wife, Joan M. Smith, was dean