Hall of Fame - 2020

Richard Neal

Richie Neal was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988. Since January 2019, he serves as Chairman of the powerful Committee on Ways and Means. Congressman Neal has spent his career fighting for things that matter to everyday Americans including access to affordable and dependable health care, a fair tax code, and the dependability of Social Security and Medicare benefits. 

Under his leadership, in his first term as Chairman, the Ways and Means Committee worked tirelessly to advance measures that support Americans’ financial security, health, and wellbeing.

• Chairman Neal travelled to Mexico and Canada to negotiate a hemispherical trade agreement – USMCA – a deal that respects the dignity of workers, contains meaningful enforcement provisions, and prioritizes environmental protection and remediation.

• As part of the end-of-year spending package, the House and Senate passed the SECURE Act, bipartisan Ways and Means legislation that expands opportunities for Americans to increase their retirement savings.

• The Ways and Means Committee and the full House of Representatives passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, legislation commonly referred to as the Butch Lewis Act. More than a million Americans participate in multiemployer pension plans that are quickly running out of money. This bipartisan legislation addresses the worsening crisis that threatens the retirement savings of workers and retirees who – year after year – gave up wage increases in order to fund their pension plans.

• The Ways and Means Committee and the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which allows the HHS Secretary to negotiate lower prescription prices and caps Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs at $2,000. The legislation also fills a significant gap in Medicare, adding hearing, dental, and vision coverage to the programs.

Chairman Neal is the dean of both the Massachusetts Delegation and the New England Congressional Delegation. He is an At-Large Whip for the House Democrats, co-chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus, where he advocates for the unique regional interests of the six New England States and the Democratic Leader of the Friends of Ireland Caucus.

Prior to his time in Congress, Neal was a high school teacher, member of the Springfield City Council, and Mayor of Springfield. During his tenure, he was highlighted in Newsweek Magazine for his many accomplishments throughout the city. He is a longtime lecturer at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and serves as a National Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Congressman Neal has received many awards and honorary degrees in his career including an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Mount Holyoke College where he is a former trustee, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Ulster University in Northern Ireland.


Click here to read Neal’s March / April 2020 Hall of Fame profile.