Prior to joining the Monument Policy Group in July of 2008, Thomas served as Legislative Director to Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), where he supervised both policy and communications staff. Thomas was responsible for the Congressman’s activity on the House Ways and Means Committee and the International Trade Subcommittee. In that role, Thomas focused on key issues including intellectual property protection, U.S.-China trade, and miscellaneous tariff legislation. His experience also included assisting in the Peru Free Trade Agreement, where he collaborated closely with members of both parties and the Administration to help ensure its successful passage.
Thomas has also worked on major tax legislation, such as extending the Research and Development tax credit for businesses, expanding the renewable energy production tax credit, broadening the Earned Income Tax Credit, and reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax. Since joining the firm, Rich has helped corporations, small companies, and trade associations understand the dynamics of this important Committee while engaging Republican and Democratic Members and their staff on the myriad of difficult issues before them.
Prior to Congressman Pascrell’s assignment to the Ways and Means Committee, Thomas was responsible for advising the Congressman as an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee. Along with working on port, chemical, and cyber security issues, he was particularly focused on first responder funding mechanisms. Thomas helped write legislation to reauthorize the highly successful Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program, signed into law in the 108th Congress. He was also active in ensuring a greater risk and vulnerability based approach in the allotment of Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Grants.
In addition to his policy work, Thomas was a Regional Whip staff member, coordinating closely with the House Leadership in floor strategy and vote counting. He maintains excellent relationships with leadership in the House, and also in the Senate and Administration.
Earlier in his career, after completing the Participation 2000 campaign management school, Thomas assisted political campaigns in New Jersey. He has also been active in a number of U.S. Senate races.
Thomas is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.