Former Congressman Vito Fossella was elected into office in November 1997 and represented the 13th Congressional District of New York, which included Staten Island, parts of Brooklyn, until 2009. Vito served as a member of both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on financial Services. Furthermore, he was the Vice Chairman of the Environmental Sub-Committee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
While in Congressional Office, Vito’s top legislative initiatives included:
- Securing $32 million to help purchase three new Staten Island Ferry Boats.
- Negotiating and securing an agreement between the State Department, the City of New York and the United Nations requiring foreign diplomats to pay millions of dollars in unpaid parking fines.
- Introducing and passing legislation withholding U.S. funding to any United Nations Commission that is headed by a nation on the State Department’s list of terror nations.
- Helping to establish the Congressional Caucus on Korea; he later served as the body’s co-chair.
- Authoring and passing the Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act, which reduces by millions of dollars excessive fees imposed on investors, which was signed into law by President Bush on January 16, 2002.
Vito first emerged as a national leader on terrorism when he vigorously opposed President Clinton’s offer of clemency to sixteen terrorists affiliated with the notorious terrorist organization known as FALN. On September 9, 1999, Vito authored and passed a Congressional Resolution condemning the offer of clemency. The measure passed the House by a vote of 311 to 41.
Vito has authored the Economic Growth and Tax Freedom Act, which when passed would have cut income tax rates across the board by 30% for over three years.
Vito’s political career began in 1994, when he was elected to the New York City Council, representing Staten Island’s south shore and mid-island sections. Less than seven months later he was convincingly re-elected. His top achievements as a councilman included:
- Authoring the legislation that led to the historic agreement to permanently close the Fresh Kills Landfill.
- Conceiving the idea of the South Richmond Rezoning Study, the most comprehensive rezoning initiative on Staten Island in fifty years.
- Securing funding for the construction of P.S. 56 and P.S. 6, the first new schools to be built on Staten Island in over a decade.
After graduating from Farrell, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993, he earned his Juris Doctor from the Fordham University School of Law.
He is currently a managing director at Park Strategies, a lobbying firm run by former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato,
He and his wife Mary Pat live on Staten Island, along with their children. The couple’s two sons currently attend Farrell.