John Katko

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John Katko
John Katko 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 24th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byDan Maffei
Personal details
John Michael Katko

(1962-11-09) November 9, 1962 (age 57)
Syracuse, New York
Political partyRepublican
EducationNiagara University (BA)
Syracuse University (JD)

John Michael Katko (/ˈkætk/; 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.[1] In the 116th Congress, he is a co-chair of the House moderate Republican faction, the Tuesday Group.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Katko was born in Syracuse in 1962, and is a 1980 graduate of Bishop Ludden High School.[3] He is of Slovak descent on his father's side.[4]

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 Juris Doctor in 1988.[5][6]

Legal career[edit]

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. In April 2000, a Department of Justice issued handgun was stolen from Katko's vehicle. The stolen firearm was subsequently used in a robbery in which two men were killed. Katko had been issued the gun after receiving a threat against his life.[7]

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.[8][9]

Congressional career[edit]


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.[10][11]

Katko ran for re-election in 2016. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[12] He faced Democrat Colleen Deacon, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's former district director for Central New York, in the November 2016 general election.[13] Katko was re-elected with 61% of the vote.[14]

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.[15][16]


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.[17]

In 2018, Katko was ranked as the seventh most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 115th United States Congress.[18] Katko has voted in support of Donald Trump's position 75.6% of the time.[19]

Katko is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[20] Since November 7, 2017, he has been a co-chair of the Tuesday Group.[21][22]

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.

Political positions[edit]


Katko opposes abortion. In 2014, he said he would reverse the Roe v. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision if he could.[23] 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;[24] a charge found to be false.[25] Earlier, during his 2014 campaign, Katko said he would not defund the organization.[24] 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.[26]


In February 2018, Katko supported the Bipartisan Budget Act, saying that it would bring in $1.4 million to Oswego Health in his district.[27]

Civil rights[edit]

In 2019, he co-sponsored legislation to extend the protections of the Civil Rights Act to people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.[28]

Health insurance[edit]

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.[29]

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.[30]

Parental savings accounts[edit]

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."[31]

School safety[edit]

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.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Katko was raised in suburban Camillus, New York, where he resides with his wife, Robin Katko, and their three sons.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weiner, Mark (January 14, 2014). "John Katko, former organized crime prosecutor, seeks GOP nomination for Congress". Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "Congressional Member and Staff Organizations". Committee on House Administration. April 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed November 10, 2014.
  4. ^ Weiner, Mark (March 25, 2015). "Rep. John Katko scores winning goal, named MVP in Congressional Hockey Challenge (video)". Archived from the original on September 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle (October 24, 2014). "Meet John Katko: Career gang prosecutor talks of taking on 'knuckleheads' in Congress".
  6. ^ "Election preview: Rep. John Katko aims to build on successes if re-elected to Congress".
  7. ^ Weiner, Mark; Gun stolen from congressional candidate John Katko used in robbery where 2 were killed;; August 28, 2014;
  8. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle; Meet John Katko: Career gang prosecutor talks of taking on 'knuckleheads' in Congress;; October 24, 2014;
  9. ^ University, Niagara. "John Katko, '84: A Life of Advocacy".
  10. ^ "John Katko declared winner over Rep. Dan Maffei in race for Congress". Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Weiner, Mark (May 16, 2016). "House passes John Katko's bill to improve counterterrorism oversight". Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Tumulty, Bruce (April 27, 2016). "Democratic primary will determine challenger to Katko". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  13. ^ Weiner, Mark (September 20, 2016). "7 issues that separate John Katko, Colleen Deacon in race for Congress". The Post-Standard. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  14. ^ Sharp, Brian (November 9, 2016). "Republican incumbents Collins, Reed and Katko win re-election". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  15. ^ Foderaro, Lisa; National Democrats Wade, Uninvited, Into New York House Race; New York Times; May 30, 2018;
  16. ^ "New York's 24th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia.
  17. ^ Theobold, William (April 11, 2016). "Arizona's Rep. Martha McSally shows a knack for moving bills despite gridlock". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Rep. John Katko ranked as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress". Auburn, New York: April 26, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Silver, Nate. "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  21. ^ Tuesday Group Caucus Elects John Katko as Co-Chair
  22. ^ "TUESDAY GROUP CAUCUS ELECTS JOHN KATKO AS CO-CHAIR". Congressman John Katko. November 7, 2017.
  23. ^ "Rep. John Katko's votes against Planned Parenthood funding". @politifact. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "What happened to 7 promises John Katko made to Central New York?". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "Planned Parenthood Investigations Find No Fetal Tissue Sales". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  26. ^ "House GOP votes to defund Planned Parenthood with help of John Katko". Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  27. ^ Parsnow, Luke; Katko: Oswego Health to receive $1.4 million from congressional budget deal; CNY Central; February 9, 2018;
  28. ^ "Congressional Democrats, GOP moderates look to enshrine LGBTQ legal protections". Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  29. ^ Bryan, Bob (May 5, 2017). "Which, and why, Republicans voted against AHCA, healthcare bill". Business Insider. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  30. ^ House condemns Trump's latest anti-ObamaCare push, The Hill, Julie Grace Brufke, April 3, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  31. ^ Katko bill would establish tax-free savings accounts for parents, Ripon Advance News Service (March 10, 2016).
  32. ^ Weiner, Mark; Rep. John Katko wants federal commission to look at mass shootings, gun laws;; March 5, 2018;
  33. ^ "Meet John Katko: Career gang prosecutor talks of taking on 'knuckleheads' in Congress". Retrieved November 5, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Maffei
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 24th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Will Hurd
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Brenda Lawrence