Richard Edmund Neal (born February 14, 1949) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 1st congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party and a former city councilor and mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts.
A Springfield native, Neal graduated from American International College and received a master's degree from the University of Hartford. After graduating he became involved in politics, working as an assistant to the mayor of Springfield. He served as president of the Springfield City Council from 1979 to 1983 while teaching high school history courses and lecturing at local colleges. He served as mayor of Springfield from 1983 to 1989, overseeing a period of economic growth. With his political influence and a head start on contributions, he was nearly uncontested when he ran for election to the House of Representatives in 1988.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Neal is an influential figure in House economic policy. He has also dedicated much of his career to US–Ireland relations and maintaining American involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process, for which he has won several acclamations. He has a generally liberal voting record, but is considered a moderate on such issues as abortion and trade.
By Dean Hanley
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