Congressman Richard Neal serves as the people’s representative in the United States Congress from the First Congressional District of Massachusetts, representing 87 cities and towns in the western and central part of the state.
As Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he is the top Democrat on the most powerful committee in Congress. In his position, Congressman Neal has jurisdiction over all tax and trade issues, Social Security, and Medicare.
Additionally, he is the Dean of the New England Congressional Delegation, where he brings the regional issues and perspectives of New England’s six states to the forefront of the Congressional agenda.
Over his career in Congress, Congressman Neal has been an advocate of fairness and simplification of the U.S. tax code, supporter of policies that increase the national savings rate, fought relentlessly to protect Social Security and Medicare from privatization, promoted Financial Aid Seminars for college bound students and families, been instrumental in economic development initiatives throughout the district, and much more.
Congressman Neal has spent his career dedicated to serving others, motivated by the experiences of people he has met along the way and his own personal story. Throughout his district and across the nation, he is known as a champion of the middle class, an advocate for fairness and a voice of reason.
Former western Massachusetts Congressman John Olver has called him “one of the most powerful voices in the Democratic caucus.”
Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle has stated "Richie Neal has spent his career vigilantly advocating for the people of our district, making sure residents have the rights, support, and opportunity they need and deserve.”
Fourth Berkshire District State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli says, “We all are fortunate to have this wonderful, caring and compassionate leader as our Congressman. To have our Congressman be the voice of the Democratic Party on key issues such as tax policy, health care reform and immigration can only help improve the lives of all Americans. As the ranking member of the powerful Ways & Means committee our Congressman is in the best position to help us deal with the infrastructure needs of Western Mass.”
Throughout his public service career, working families have always been at the forefront of his mind when casting votes or crafting legislation. He is a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and a lifelong member of the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1459.
Congressman Neal was born in Worcester and grew up in Springfield along with his two younger sisters. Thanks to the kindness of his grandmother and aunt and the Social Security survivor benefits that his parents never got to enjoy, he was able to attend and earn his Bachelor’s Degree in political science from American International College. Later, he studied at the Barney School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Hartford, receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Prior to serving in Congress, he taught students as a high school history teacher before serving the community as a city councilor, mayoral aide, and as Mayor of the City of Springfield.
Congressman Neal has received honorary degrees from Springfield College, Western New England College, Elms College, Westfield State University, Suffolk University, Mount Holyoke College, and most recently the University of Hartford.
In addition to serving in the United States Congress, Congressman Neal commits his time as a National Trustee at the Kennedy Library in Boston. He also continues to teach college students at the University of Massachusetts where he is a longtime lecturer on politics and journalism.