Congressman Paul Tonko is a fifth term member of the United States House of Representatives. He currently represents New York’s 20th Congressional District in the Capital Region, including the cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs and his hometown of Amsterdam, in the Mohawk and Hudson River Valleys. Rich in history and cultural heritage, the Capital Region is a flourishing center for higher education and technology.
Throughout his career, Paul has been a champion for the working class, advancing policies that create jobs, provide economic opportunity and ensure senior citizens can retire with dignity. He believes in the power of America’s middle class and fights to ensure the American Dream stays within reach for all who work hard and play by the rules.
Paul is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. With jurisdiction over national energy policy, public and mental health policy and regulation of interstate and foreign commerce, it has the broadest jurisdiction of any authorizing committee in the House. Since 2013, Paul has served as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment where he oversees a wide range of issues including regulation of drinking water, waste and toxic substances. He also serves on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Additionally, as a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, Paul serves on the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, which has jurisdiction over non-defense federal scientific research and development.
In addition to his committee duties, Paul is a Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), the green voice in Congress. He is also a longtime Honorary Vice-Chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, a bipartisan, non-profit coalition that promotes energy efficiency across all sectors of the global economy. Paul continues to fight to bring clean energy jobs to the Capital Region to ensure it maintains its status as one of the fastest-growing clean technology hubs in the country.
Building on his work in the New York State Assembly, where he fought for one of the nation’s strongest mental health parity laws, known as Timothy’s Law, Paul continues to promote mental health parity at the federal level and be the voice of the voiceless in our communities. He is a leader on a range of mental health issues in Congress and serves as a Co-Chair of the Mental Health Caucus and the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus.
Prior to serving in Congress, Paul was the President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Before that, he served in the New York State Assembly for 25 years, 15 of which he was the Chairman of the Committee on Energy. At the age of 26, Paul was the youngest person in the history of Montgomery County to be elected to the County’s Board of Supervisors, which he chaired until 1981.
Paul graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering and is a former engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission. He is a lifelong resident of the city of Amsterdam, New York.