Richard L. Hanna

Richard Hanna
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 22nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Maurice Hinchey
Succeeded by Claudia Tenney (elect)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 24th district
In office
January 3, 2011  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Mike Arcuri
Succeeded by Dan Maffei
Personal details
Born (1951-01-25) January 25, 1951
Utica, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kim Hanna
Children Emerson
Alma mater Reed College
Website House website

Richard L. Hanna (born January 25, 1951)[1] is an American politician who has served as a U.S. Representative from New York since 2011. His district was numbered the 24th during his first two years in Congress; since 2013, it has been the 22nd district.

Early life, education, and business career

Hanna was born in Utica and raised in Marcy. His grandparents owned a dairy farm in Herkimer County. He graduated from Whitesboro High School in Marcy. Then, he graduated from Reed College with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. After college, Hanna returned to New York to start his own construction business called Hanna Construction.[2] Hanna is of Lebanese descent.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives


In 2008, Hanna ran against incumbent Democrat Mike Arcuri and narrowly lost. In 2010, he ran in a rematch and won.

Due to redistricting, Hanna ran in the new 22nd district in 2012.

In his 2012 campaign for re-election against Democrat Dan Lamb, television stations WUTR in Utica and WSYR in Syracuse announced they would jointly air a debate between Hanna and Lamb. Hanna declined to participate, citing another scheduled televised debate and five that would not be televised. The stations said that if Hanna did not appear, they would air a 30-minute question-and-answer session with Lamb. According to Steve Merren, the vice president and general manager of WUTR's parent company, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Hanna then contacted Merren. In an email to staff, Merren stated, "He indicated to me that we would not be considered for his ad dollars and our level of cooperation in the future could be affected." Merren then directed that WUTR not go ahead with the broadcast. Both Merren and a Hanna spokeswoman denied that threats had been made. After the inadvertent disclosure of the internal email, Merren told the press that Hanna “did not say he would pull his ad dollars." The Hanna campaign said that his conversation with Merren had been "nothing more than a courtesy call". The Lamb campaign said that Hanna was "using his money to influence the journalistic decisions of a local news agency."[4][5]


Hanna is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee and the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership. He is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus.[6] U.S. Congressman Hanna has stated his opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He is one of only six House Republicans in the 112th Congress who have not signed Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," with a spokesman explaining that "Rep. Hanna is focusing on the pledges he has made to his wife, the Constitution of the United States and the people of upstate New York."[7][8]

According to the Washington Post’s congressional votes database, Hanna has voted with the House Republicans 85% of the time in his first year in office. Only 11 Republicans (out of 244) have a lower percentage.[9]

Hanna published an Op-ed opposing the extension of the USA PATRIOT Act in February 2011. Editors from the Syracuse Post-Standard, which published the piece, later reprimanded Hanna for plagiarizing content from a report by Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute in his editorial. Sanchez indicated that Hanna had his permission to use the content, although he was not referenced in the piece.

The first bill Hanna co-sponsored was H.R. 4 which repealed the 1099 tax reporting provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. President Obama signed the bill into law in April 2011.[10] In early 2011 Congressman Hanna voted to repeal health care reform.[11] Hanna voted to support the Energy Tax Prevention Act which would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases and implementing a "cap-and-trade" system through regulation.[12] Hanna voted against cuts to NPR and Planned Parenthood.[13] Hanna voted in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.[14]

At a rally in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in March 2012, Hanna urged women to donate to Democratic candidates, saying: "I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault... Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side -- my side -- has a lot of it."[15]

In the 2012 presidential election, he endorsed former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.[16]

Hanna supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[17]

In 2013, he supported same-sex marriage, becoming only the second current Republican member of congress to do so (the other being Ileana Ros-Lehtinen).[18] Rep. Hanna was also a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees, but exempts religious organizations) nationwide. New York already has already passed similar legislation into law within the State of New York, but the practice remains legal in 29 U.S. states. But Rep Hanna is one of several Republican co-sponsors of the bill who refused to sign a Discharge Petition on the bill – a parliamentary maneuver that allows a majority of members of Congress to bring any bill to the floor, even if the leadership opposes doing so.

In June 2013, Hanna voted against proposed legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except for victims of rape or incest who have reported the crime to authorities. He opposes partial birth abortions, but stated that he was unable to support this legislation because it would cast aside exception for the health of the mother, and it fails to adequately account for unique circumstances that can arise after 20 weeks because every pregnancy is specific.[19]

On August 2, 2016, Hanna became the first sitting Republican member of Congress to say that he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, referring to the Republican nominee as "a national embarrassment".[20][21]

Committee assignments

United States House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

Personal life

Hanna lives in Barneveld, New York. He and his wife Kim have two children.[22]


  1. Christina Paris 112th Congress: Richard Hanna, D-N.Y. (24th District) CQ Politics November 3, 2010
  2. Clinton stumps for NY House Dems in tight races Associated Press November 1, 2010
  3. "Honoring Lebanon on it's 70th Independence Day" Hon. Richard L. Hanna of New York in the House of Representatives Friday, November 15, 2013
  4. "GOP Congressman Threatens Local News Station for Covering Debate". Common Dreams. October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  5. "Email: Hanna discussed pulling ads after debate flap with WUTR". Observer-Dispatch. October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  6. Robert Harding (August 3, 2011). "Hanna joins House LGBT Equality Caucus". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  7. "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers, 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  8. Alexander Bolton (June 2, 2011). "Some GOP no's on 'pledge' could complicate debt talks". The Hill. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  9. Eye on NY: A close look at Hanna’s first year
  11. Richard Hanna – Health Care
  13. Deep federal spending cuts? Buerkle is ready, Hanna is not, Owens unimpressed |
  14. Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
  15. "Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Tells Women To Give Their Money To Democrats". The Huffington Post. March 22, 2012.
  16. "Huntsman to gain first congressional backer". CNN. January 7, 2012.
  17. Jennifer Bendery (December 11, 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.
  18. Gay marriage legal brief: Two Republicans in Congress support LGBT rights
  19. Tumulty, Brian (June 18, 2013). "Hanna sole New York Republican to oppose House abortion bill". Politics on the Hudson. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  20. Richard Hanna (2 August 2016). "Rep. Richard Hanna letter: We should all be done with Donald Trump (commentary)".
  21. "Republican Rep. Richard Hanna will vote for Clinton". Politico. August 2, 2016.
  22. Personal life biodata
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Arcuri
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 24th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dan Maffei
Preceded by
Maurice Hinchey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 22nd congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Morgan Griffith
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Andy Harris
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