|Name||Paul E. Kanjorski|
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania , United States
|| April 02, 1937
|Last Modifed||Mr. Matt|
Aug 02, 2020 05:38pm
Caucasian - Polish - Married - Army - Catholic - Christian - Straight -
|Info||Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski was first elected to the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania�s 11th Congressional District in 1984. He represents five counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania � most of Luzerne County, more than half of Lackawanna County, and all of Carbon, Columbia and Monroe counties. |
As a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, Congressman Kanjorski has been a leader in economic development issues, including improving the ability of small businesses and start-up technology companies to gain access to capital. His efforts to promote home ownership have earned him numerous awards, and his influence played a part in Fannie Mae�s recent commitment to invest $5 billion in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania over the next five years and in Sallie Mae�s recent decision to maintain current staffing levels at its Wilkes-Barre center even as other centers were cut back or closed.
Congressman Kanjorski helped to spearhead the successful effort in 2000 to pass President Clinton�s New Markets Initiative, a package of legislation designed to create incentives to invest in economically distressed areas of the country. In 1999, Congressman Kanjorski joined the President for two cross-country tours of areas that will benefit from the passage of this legislation.
In 2000, Congressman Kanjorski also helped lead the successful effort to secure compensation for workers who were harmed by exposure to beryllium or other hazards at nuclear weapons plants, including workers injured at a plant that operated near Hazleton for more than two decades. He introduced the original bill to provide compensation to workers with chronic beryllium disease. At the Clinton Administration�s request, he later expanded the legislation to cover workers exposed to radiation and other hazards at the plants.
Congressman Kanjorski was the lead Democratic sponsor of a 1998 law to preserve the right of consumers to join credit unions. Because of the strong opposition, the accomplishment has been called "a victory of David over Goliath."
In the 108th Congress, Congressman Kanjorski is the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, which has jurisdiction over securities, exchanges, and insurance matters generally, except for health insurance. Congressman Kanjorski ranks second in seniority among 32 Democrats on the full Financial Services Committee. He is also a member of the Government Reform Committee, ranking fifth in seniority among 19 Democrats.
In the 11th Congressional District, Congressman Kanjorski is best known for his efforts to harness federal resources to stimulate economic development and to advance vital projects such as the $175 million Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project to protect residents from flooding, the $48 million renovation of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and the $1 million federal share of the one-stop educational training and job placement center that will be housed at the former Eagles Building in downtown Berwick, to name just a few.
Congressman Kanjorski has worked with area leaders to secure funding for key economic development projects such as $29 million in renovation funding for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and $2.7 million for restoring freight and passenger rail service between Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York City.
He was also instrumental in the creation of the Earth Conservancy, a non-profit, charitable organization that is restoring, preserving, and developing more than 16,000 acres of land throughout Luzerne County previously owned by a bankrupt coal company. In 2002, he also succeeded in his four-year effort to include abandoned mine lands in a new federal law to encourage the cleanup and reuse of contaminated industrial sites, also known as �brownfields.�
Congressman Kanjorski also led the way in assembling CityVest, a nonprofit organization that will act as developer of last resort for blighted properties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He worked closely with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to secure a $1 million grant for CityVest to begin stimulating private investment in some of the more difficult sites in the region.
Congressman Kanjorski also spearheaded the effort to have the Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna Watershed, which spans 10 counties in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, designated by President Clinton as one of the nation�s 14 American Heritage Rivers. This program focuses local attention and federal resources on economic development, cultural preservation, and the environmental restoration of the two rivers and the surrounding streams and mine-scarred land.
Congressman Kanjorski is also continuing his efforts to secure approximately $20 billion in innovative tax credit bonds for a comprehensive environmental reclamation and economic redevelopment of the anthracite coal region in eastern Pennsylvania and coal regions throughout the country. In 2000, he and the other lawmakers who represent the anthracite region secured a total of $22 million to undertake environmental cleanup projects related to mining, more than double the usual amount appropriated each year.
Before his election to Congress, Congressman Kanjorski was a successful trial attorney in Northeastern Pennsylvania. During that time, he served as a worker�s compensation administrative law judge, and that experience served him well in advocating for compensation for injured nuclear defense workers. He also served as solicitor to several communities. Although active in public issues throughout his life, he has held no other elective office. He served in the Army during the early 1960s. He attended Temple University and the Dickinson School of Law. He and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter and reside in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.