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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. Katko was an Assistant United States Attorney who served as chief of the organized crime division at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Syracuse, where he helped to prosecute gang members under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.[1]

John Katko
John Katko.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
BornJohn Michael Katko
(1962-11-09) November 9, 1962 (age 56)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationNiagara University (BA)
Syracuse University (JD)


Early life and educationEdit

Katko was born in Syracuse in 1962, and is a graduate of Bishop Ludden High School.[2] He is of Slovak descent on his father's side.[3]

Katko attended Niagara University where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science, and the Syracuse University College of Law, where he earned his law degree.[4] He is also a 1982 graduate of The Washington Center.[5]


After receiving his law 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.[6][7]

U.S. CongressEdit


He ran against Dan Maffei in the United States House of Representatives elections, 2014 and was declared the winner on November 4, 2014, by 20 percentage points – the largest margin of defeat suffered by an incumbent in the cycle.[8][9]

Katko ran for re-election in 2016. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[10] He faced Democrat Colleen Deacon, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's former district director for Central New York, in the November 2016 general election.[11] Katko was re-elected with 61% of the vote.[12]

In May 2018, the New York Times reported on the race for the Democratic nomination to face Katko in November, noting that the 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 district's Democratic primary. Balter will therefore face Katko in the November general election.[13][14] As of June 30, 2018 Katko's top campaign contributor was Bankers Healthcare Group.[15]


Katko opposes abortion. In 2014, he said he would reverse the Roe v. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision if he could.[16]

Katko 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.[17] Earlier, during his 2014 campaign, Katko said he would not defund the organization.[17] 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.[18]

In 2016, it was reported that with eight bills passed by the house (one which became law), Katko had more bills pass than any other individual in the 61-member freshman class elected in 2014.[19]

Katko was ranked as the 7th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 115th United States Congress.[20][21] However, Katko has voted more than 90% of the time with Donald Trump.[22]

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."[23]

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.[24]

Katko is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[25] Since November 7, 2017, he has been a co-chair of the Tuesday Group.[26][27]

In February 2018, Katko supported the Bipartisan Budget Act, saying that it would bring in $1.4 million to Oswego Health in his district.[28]

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.[29] Katko has received over $11,000 from the NRA during his two terms in Congress.[30]

Honors and awardsEdit

In June 2016, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention gave a Federal Allies in Action Award to Katko, who lost a niece to suicide, in recognition of his dedication to suicide prevention.[31]

Personal lifeEdit

Katko was raised in suburban Camillus, New York, where he resides with his wife, Robin Katko, and their three sons.[32]

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".[33]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Weiner, Mark (January 14, 2014). "John Katko, former organized crime prosecutor, seeks GOP nomination for Congress". Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed November 10, 2014.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Project Vote Smart – The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Simonetti, Kristin. "TWC in the House! (of Representatives)". The Washington Center. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  6. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle; Meet John Katko: Career gang prosecutor talks of taking on 'knuckleheads' in Congress;; October 24, 2014;
  7. ^
  8. ^ "John Katko declared winner over Rep. Dan Maffei in race for Congress". Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Weiner, Mark (May 16, 2016). "House passes John Katko's bill to improve counterterrorism oversight". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  10. ^ Tumulty, Bruce (April 27, 2016). "Democratic primary will determine challenger to Katko". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  11. ^ Weiner, Mark (September 20, 2016). "7 issues that separate John Katko, Colleen Deacon in race for Congress". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  12. ^ Sharp, Brian (November 9, 2016). "Republican incumbents Collins, Reed and Katko win re-election". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  13. ^ Foderaro, Lisa; National Democrats Wade, Uninvited, Into New York House Race; New York Times; May 30, 2018;
  14. ^,_2018
  15. ^ NW, The Center for Responsive Politics 1300 L. St; Washington, Suite 200; fax857-7809, DC 20005 telelphone857-0044. "Rep. John Katko - Campaign Finance Summary". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  16. ^ "Rep. John Katko's votes against Planned Parenthood funding". @politifact. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  17. ^ a b "What happened to 7 promises John Katko made to Central New York?". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  18. ^ "House GOP votes to defund Planned Parenthood with help of John Katko". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  19. ^ Theobold, William (April 11, 2016). "Arizona's Rep. Martha McSally shows a knack for moving bills despite gridlock". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  20. ^ "The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: The Lugar Center. April 24, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "Rep. John Katko ranked as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress". Auburn, New York: April 26, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  22. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron. "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  23. ^ Katko bill would establish tax-free savings accounts for parents, Ripon Advance News Service (March 10, 2016).
  24. ^ Bryan, Bob (5 May 2017). "Which, and why, Republicans voted against AHCA, healthcare bill". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  26. ^ Tuesday Group Caucus Elects John Katko as Co-Chair
  28. ^ Parsnow, Luke; Katko: Oswego Health to receive $1.4 million from congressional budget deal; CNY Central; February 9, 2018;
  29. ^ Weiner, mark; Rep. John Katko wants federal commission to look at mass shootings, gun laws;; March 5, 2018;
  30. ^ "UPSTATE NY TRENDING NEWS How much money do New York's members of Congress take from the NRA?". NY UP. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  31. ^ New York Congressman John Katko Given "Allies in Action" Award by Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention;
  32. ^ "Meet John Katko: Career gang prosecutor talks of taking on 'knuckleheads' in Congress". Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  33. ^ Weiner, Mark; Gun stolen from congressional candidate John Katko used in robbery where 2 were killed;; August 28, 2014;

External linksEdit