John Katko | Srivideo
Born Name: John Michael Katko
Date of Birth: November 9, 1962
Place of Birth: Syracuse, New York, United States
Political party: Republican
Education: Niagara University (BA)
Syracuse University (JD)
Spouse: Robin Katko (m. 1987)
Children: Sean Katko, Liam Katko, Logan Katko
Parents: Andrew Katko, Mary Lou O'Connor
John Michael Katko (born November 9, 1962) is an American attorney and politician. A Republican, he has represented New York's 24th district in the United States House of Representatives since 2015. Prior to running for Congress, Katko was an Assistant United States Attorney who led the organized crime division at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Syracuse; in that role, he helped to prosecute gang members under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. In the 116th Congress, he is a co-chair of the House moderate Republican faction, the Tuesday Group.
Early life and education
Katko was born in Syracuse in 1962, and is a 1980 graduate of Bishop Ludden High School. He is of Slovak descent on his father's side.
Katko attended Niagara University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1984, and the Syracuse University College of Law, where he earned his J.D. degree in 1988.
After receiving his J.D. degree, Katko entered private practice at a firm in Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter he became a senior trial attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He then spent 20 years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. He served as a senior trial attorney on the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After leaving the DoJ, he moved to Camillus, New York, and spent 15 years working as a federal organized crime prosecutor in Syracuse for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of New York. In this role, he later explained, he "led high-level narcotics prosecutions and was instrumental in formulating the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force and successfully prosecuting the first-ever RICO gang case in the City of Syracuse, which led to a significant drop in the city’s violent crime rate." He "also prosecuted political and police corruption cases." He retired from the Department of Justice in January 2013.
Katko challenged incumbent Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei in the 2014 United States House of Representatives elections and was declared the winner on November 4, 2014, by 20 percentage points. This was the largest margin of defeat suffered by an incumbent in the 2014 election cycle.
Katko ran for re-election in 2016. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary. He faced Democrat Colleen Deacon, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's former district director for Central New York, in the November 2016 general election. Katko was re-elected with 61% of the vote.
In May 2018, the New York Times reported that the Democratic primary contest had attracted interest around the country. On June 26, 2018, Dana Balter, with 63% of the vote, defeated Juanita Perez Williams, with 37%, in the Democratic primary. Katko defeated Balter with 53.1% of the vote in the November general election.
In 2016, eight Katko-sponsored bills passed the House; one of those bills became law. Katko had more bills pass the House that year than any other member of the 61-member freshman class elected in 2014.
In 2018, Katko was ranked as the seventh most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 115th United States Congress. Katko has voted in support of Donald Trump's position 75.6% of the time.
Katko is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. Since November 7, 2017, he has been a co-chair of the Tuesday Group.
On December 18, 2019, Katko voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. Of the 195 House Republicans who voted, all voted against both impeachment articles, including one Democrat.
Katko opposes abortion. In 2014, he said he would reverse the Roe v. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision if he could. He has voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood. Katko said that he favored funding for Planned Parenthood prior to the Planned Parenthood 2015 undercover videos controversy, where anti-abortion activists claimed that the videos showed Planned Parenthood illegally selling fetal tissue; a charge found to be false. Earlier, during his 2014 campaign, Katko said he would not defund the organization. At the time of the vote, he said he could not support additional funding of the organization while an investigation into its practices was ongoing.
In February 2018, Katko supported the Bipartisan Budget Act, saying that it would bring in $1.4 million to Oswego Health in his district.
In 2019, he co-sponsored legislation to extend the protections of the Civil Rights Act to people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In 2017, Katko was one of only 20 Republicans to vote against the GOP Healthcare Bill. The act passed the House by a margin of 217–213.
In 2019, Katko had voted with seven other Republicans to pass a resolution condemning the Trump administration's efforts by Department of Justice to have the courts invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
Parental savings accounts
In 2016, with Democratic congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Katko cosponsored the Working Parents Flexibility Act (H.R. 4699). This legislation would establish a tax-free "parental savings account" in which employers and parents could invest savings tax-free, with unused funds eligible to be "rolled into qualifying retirement, college savings or ABLE accounts for people with disabilities without tax penalties."
After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, Katko and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced the Securing Our Children Act of 2018, which would create a commission tasked with developing policy relating to school safety and security.
Katko was raised in suburban Camillus, New York, where he resides with his wife, Robin Katko, and their three sons.
In August 2014, it was reported that in April 2000, a handgun was stolen from Katko's Chevy pickup truck and then used in a holdup and shootout in which two men were killed. Investigators determined that seven rounds were missing from the stolen weapon, though none of the bullets killed the men. Katko had been issued the gun after receiving a threat against his life. Katko violated no state or federal laws, but a review the case showed that "he likely violated federal policies for the safe handling and storage of government-issued weapons".
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