BioRichard E. Neal was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 14, 1949 and was raised and educated in the City of Springfield. He is a 1972 graduate of American International College, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and was a member of the National Honor Society. He received his Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Barney School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Hartford in 1976.
Richard E. Neal was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988. He represents the Second District of Massachusetts, which includes cities and towns in western and central Massachusetts. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures.
Congressman Neal has been a lead sponsor of legislation to prevent American companies from moving offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. He continues to lead the effort to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), a tax that penalizes many middle class Americans. He has sponsored legislation that would increase the national savings rate by encouraging the use of individual retirement accounts, and has worked to make health care and tuition expenses tax deductible for middle class people. He is also a member of the Trade Subcommittee.
Congressman Neal is an At-Large Whip for the House Democrats. He is a co-chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus, where he continues to advocate for the unique regional interests of the six New England States.
Congressman Neal serves as the Democratic Leader of the Friends of Ireland and has been recognized repeatedly by Irish America Magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans. He has been honored by the Holyoke, Massachusetts Saint Patrick's Day Committee with both the John F. Kennedy Award and the Ambassador's Award, the Committee's two highest honors. In 2002, Congressman Neal received the International Leadership Award by the American Ireland Fund for his work over two decades to bring peace and reconciliation to the island of Ireland.
Congressman Neal has been honored by the governments of Ireland, Israel and Italy. He has been recognized for his leadership and innovation by many civic, charitable, educational and labor organizations. He is a Trustee of Mount Holyoke College and has received honorary degrees from Springfield College, Western New England College, Elms College and Suffolk University.
Mr. Neal began his public service career in 1973 as an Assistant to Springfield Mayor William C. Sullivan. In 1978, he was elected to the Springfield City Council and served as President of the Council in 1979. As Mayor of the City of Springfield from 1984 until 1989, Richard Neal was a dynamic and determined leader who combined creativity and pragmatism in developing economic, cultural and public works projects across the community. During his tenure as Mayor, new economic development and private investment exceeded $400 million, including the $110 million 28-story Monarch Place complex and a host of other downtown rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization projects. Recognized nationally for his accomplishments as Mayor, Boston Magazine called him a "Face to Watch" in 1986. Newsweek magazine highlighted his many accomplishments as Mayor in a 1987 feature.