Richard Neal: Wikis

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Richard Neal


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1989
Preceded by Edward Boland

Born February 14, 1949 (1949-02-14) (age 60)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Maureen Neal
Residence Springfield, Massachusetts
Alma mater American International College, University of Hartford
Occupation high school teacher
Religion Roman Catholic

Richard Edmund Neal (born February 14, 1949) has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1989, representing Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district. The district is based in Springfield and also includes the southern and western fringes of the Metro-West region.

Neal is a former high school teacher. He was educated at American International College and received a master's degree from the University of Hartford. Neal resides in Springfield with his wife.

Contents

Pre-Congressional career

Neal started his career in public service in 1973 as an assistant to Springfield Mayor William C. Sullivan (politician). In 1978, he was elected to the Springfield City Council. Neal's career continued as President of the City Council in 1979 and mayor of Springfield from 1984 to 1989. In addition, Neal taught at the Roman Catholic Cathedral High School. As mayor, Neal was recognized for spearheading the revitalization of downtown Springfield, and was acknowledged as a "Face to Watch" in 1986 by Boston Magazine. Neal was featured in a 1987 Newsweek issue for his many accomplishments as mayor.

Congressman

Neal won the Democratic primary for the 2nd District after 18-term incumbent Edward Boland retired. No Republican even filed, and Neal was elected with over 80 percent of the vote. He was unopposed for reelection in 1990 and easily dispatched nominal Republican challengers in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Although he only won 53 percent of the vote in 1992, he finished 20 points ahead of his closest challenger. He has been unopposed for reelection since 1998.

Neal's goals have often included lowering the barriers to attending college, expanding health care, protecting the rights of older Americans, and working against the privatization of Social Security. He supports the repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Neal also advocates individual retirement accounts to increase the savings rate nationally. The congressman has also worked to make health care and tuition expenses tax-deductible for middle class people.

Neal is a co-chair of the New England Congressional Caucus, a group of New England members of Congress aimed at advancing the regional interests of the six New England states collectively on a national scale. He is currently a member of both the House Ways and Means committee and the House Budget committee.

In addition to his duties as a congressman, Neal teaches a journalism course at the University of Massachusetts Amherst called "The Politician and the Journalist".

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Committee Assignments

Party leadership and Caucus membership

  • At-Large Whip
  • Co-chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus
  • Chairman of the Friends of Ireland

Irish interests

Neal is the co-chair of the Ad hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and is considered one of the top 100 Irish-Americans by Irish America Magazine. Neal has worked for peace in Northern Ireland and has met with leaders of both sides in hopes of reaching a lasting compromise. After the disarmament of the IRA in September 2005, Neal met with Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness to congratulate him on the action of disarmament and ensure a lasting peace had been reached.

Neal invited Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to the inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009.[1]

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edward Boland
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district

1989 – present
Incumbent

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