Rep. Chris Lee had just started his second term in the U.S. House of representatives. Below is his official biography from the House website:
Chris Lee brings to Washington two decades of experience in the private sector, where he gained a first-hand understanding of the tough decisions businesses face every day and helped create hundreds of good-paying jobs for Western New Yorkers. This is his first term representing New York's 26th Congressional District.
Chris’s priorities in Congress include strong constituent service, putting Western New Yorkers back to work, holding Washington accountable for every dollar it spends, protecting our national security, and seeking out long-term solutions for our energy and health care challenges.
A day after being sworn-in, Chris was appointed by House leaders to serve on the influential House Committee on Financial Services. Chris fought for a seat on the sought-after panel to ensure Western New Yorkers were represented on the front lines of efforts to create jobs, protect taxpayers, aid homeowners and right our economy.
Currently, Chris serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, widely considered the most influential panel in Congress. The Committee has jurisdiction over all tax, trade, Social Security, Medicare and welfare issues. Chris hopes to work with members on both sides of the aisle in the Committee to create jobs, reform the tax code, lower health care costs and strengthen manufacturing in Western New York and across the country.
Chris acquired his business expertise working in his family’s manufacturing business, which he helped build from a small machine shop into a thriving enterprise with more than 20 companies worldwide. The flagship company, Enidine Incorporated, was based in Orchard Park, New York.
After joining Enidine in 1995, Chris focused on significantly expanding the company’s market reach, holding the positions of Pacific Rim Sales Manager, Director of International Sales and Marketing, and General Manager. In 2003, he was named President of the Automation Group, a division of Enidine.
In recognition of his strong businesses background, Chris was the first freshman asked to serve on the prestigious House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group, where he has been working with congressional leaders to develop economic measures to help jumpstart our economy. Along with his work on the Financial Services Committee, he has used the Economic Recovery Working Group to continue to develop and advocate for pro-growth, pro-consumer legislation to help create jobs and rebuild the Western New York economy.
In his first term Chris has also taken a leading role in fighting to ensure pension obligations are honored (spurred by the Obama Administration’s decision to not fully fund Delphi Corporation’s salaried employees at the same level as hourly employees in the wake of General Motors’s bankruptcy). He also was selected as Vice Chairman of the House Dairy Farmers Caucus where he has taken a leading role in advocating on behalf of Western New York’s dairy farmers, an important economic driver in the region.
Chris has quickly earned a reputation as a bipartisan voice in Congress who is not afraid to reach across party lines to get things done for Western New York. He has partnered with Republicans and Democrats alike to craft commonsense, meaningful legislation, which was recognized by The Buffalo News who noted that, “Lee’s independence, bipartisanship give him a strong start in Congress.” Early in his first year, when Western New Yorkers were confronted with Washington mandates that threatened to derail critical cross-border travel, Chris worked with Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) to push the State Department to open a passport office in the region, an accomplishment that The Tonawanda News called “great news, and great bipartisan work.”
Chris has developed several citizen advisory panels comprised of experts in their respective fields. He keeps in constant contact with members of these advisory boards which have helped him have an immediate impact in Washington, and played a part in Chris being just one out of four of the 61 first-term lawmakers in the House and Senate to be recognized as a “Rookie of the Year” by the influential Washington D.C. newspaper The Politico, which said that Chris “looks like a veteran lawmaker when he’s interacting with colleagues on the House floor.”
Outside of Congress, Chris continues to play a significant role in the work of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation. This family-led charitable organization is primarily dedicated to promoting awareness, prevention, and research of cancer and mental illness.
Chris Lee was born in Kenmore, New York and was raised in Tonawanda, New York. After graduating from Kenmore East High School, Chris attended the University of Rochester, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and finance. He went on to receive his MBA at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Chris and his wife, Michele, reside in Amherst, New York, and have one young son, Johnathan.