Thomas M. Reynolds is a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor in Nixon Peabody's Government Relations & Public Policy Practice. He works with attorneys across the firm to advise clients on legislative and regulatory policies in the areas of tax, international trade, healthcare, financial services regulation and energy. With his significant legislative experience, Mr. Reynolds assists clients in understanding government and public policy issues to support their strategic business plans.
Serving five terms in the United States House of Representatives, four years as an elected House leader, Mr. Reynolds represented the 26th Congressional District in Upstate New York reaching from the Buffalo suburbs and extending to the western suburbs of Rochester. Mr. Reynolds was a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a member of three subcommittees: Trade, Select Revenue Measures, and Oversight. He was involved in drafting a number of tax and trade bills and legislation affecting affordable housing tax credits. The Ways and Means Committee, the oldest standing committee in Congress, is one of the most powerful in the House, with legislative authority over economic policy, trade, Social Security, welfare, and health care policy. Mr. Reynolds was the committee’s only Republican member from New York State. In addition, Mr. Reynolds also served on the House Rules Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the House Steering Committee which selects committee assignments for Republican members of Congress.
Priding himself on his strong constituent casework and respected for his work ethic and legislative know-how, Mr. Reynolds was a leader and champion for the Western New York region that he represented for decades. Since first elected to Congress, the Congressman secured over $500 million in federal funding for his district. His hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News, wrote that with “a love of legislating and an old-fashioned backslapping style, Reynolds built a House career that at this point looked charmed—and limitless.” The paper has also noted that Tom “wields influence on virtually every major state issue.” While the Washington Post wrote that, “Reynolds has quietly become one of the most influential Republicans in the House.”
Whether it was working to create jobs, strengthening Social Security, improving education, or bolstering our national defense, Tom Reynolds is known for making a difference. From the constituent casework that he believed was a representative’s priority to legislative victories that made a real difference to the lives of residents to fighting for his community's fair share of federal dollars, Tom Reynolds proved that no problem was too big, and no problem was too small.
First sworn in to Congress in January 1999, Tom’s 26th District included seven Western New York counties, which encompassed parts of Erie, Monroe, Orleans and Niagara Counties, and all of Genesee, Livingston, and Wyoming Counties.
Mr. Reynolds had several of his legislative initiatives signed into law, including the Smith-Reynolds bill, which aided in the movement of goods and people over our borders with Canada. He was recognized by Business First Magazine as one of the 10 most influential Western New Yorkers. He also earned the nickname “Mr. Clout” after The Buffalo News Sunday Magazine profiled him and named him as Western New York's most powerful politician.
In the 108th and 109th Congress, Tom was elected by his House colleagues to serve in the Republican majority leadership. He also served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). As NRCC Chairman, Tom was one of only eight elected House GOP leaders.
Before being elected to Congress, Mr. Reynolds served for five terms as a member of the New York State Assembly. Shortly after arriving in the Assembly in 1988, he rose to the post of Assembly Republican Leader in 1995, becoming the first Republican from the eight counties of Western New York to lead an Assembly party conference in more than 60 years.
While in the Assembly, Tom served as Chairman of the Assembly Minority Affordable Housing Task Force, and was honored nationally as Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council for his work championing affordable home ownership initiatives in New York State.
Prior to his service in the State Assembly, Tom was a member of the Erie County Legislature from 1982 -1988, and was elected by his colleagues as Republican Leader in that house as well. He also served on the Concord Town Board from 1974-82, where he rose to the position of Deputy Supervisor.
Mr. Reynolds was a small business owner until being elected to Congress, he is a licensed real estate and insurance broker. Tom was educated at Springville-Griffith Institute and Kent State University. Additionally, he served as Erie County Republican Chairman from 1990-1996.
Involved in a range of community, civic and regional activities, he is a former director of the Better Business Bureau, Cooperative Extension, and Central Referral Services. Tom rose to the rank of sergeant in the New York Air National Guard, which he served in from 1970 - 1976, and is a member of the American Legion.