Reed is the youngest of twelve siblings in a Roman Catholic family. He was born in Joliet, Illinois. His father, Tom Reed, was a decorated United States Army officer who served in World War II and the Korean War, and died when Reed was two years old. Reed was raised by his mother, Betty (née Barr) Reed in Corning, New York. He graduated from Horseheads High School in 1989 and then received his bachelor's degree from Alfred University in 1993. Reed is a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. While at Alfred he was a NCAA Division III All-American as a swimmer before attending Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law where he graduated with a J.D. degree in 1996.
After receiving his law degree Reed worked as a corporate lawyer associate in the Litigation Department at Gallo & Iacovangelo in Rochester. After his mother died in 1998, he returned to Corning and opened his own law firm. His businesses would grow to include real estate, medical billing collection, and mortgage brokerage employing twenty-five people.
Reed defeated incumbent Democrat Frank Coccho in 2007 and served one two-year term as mayor. Reed represented the Republican, Conservative, and Independence parties on the mayoral ballot.2010
In 2009, Reed announced that he would run against incumbent Democrat Eric Massa in the 2010 election. Midway through his first term in Congress, Massa announced that he would not seek reelection due to health problems. In March 2010, Massa resigned from Congress after it was revealed that he was under investigation by the United States House Committee on Ethics for allegedly sexually harassing a male staffer.
In the election to replace Massa, Reed was challenged by Democrat and Working Families Party nominee Matthew Zeller. Reed received the endorsement of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and every county Republican chairman in New York's 29th congressional district.
Reed won the election and immediately assumed the remainder of Massa's term. In the immediate days following Reed's election, he suffered a pulmonary embolism. After a three-day delay, Reed was sworn in during a special ceremony.2012
New York lost two seats in the U.S. House due to redistricting. The 29th Congressional District was eliminated and much of the district became the 23rd Congressional District. The new 23rd Congressional District includes Allegany, Cattaragus, Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, and Steuben County from the old 29th Congressional District with the addition of Chautauqua, Seneca, Tompkins, and Tioga counties. Three candidates, Leslie Danks Burke, Melissa Dobson and Nate Shinagawa, campaigned in a Democratic primary to challenge Reed in New York's 23rd congressional district.
Reed won reelection against Democrat and Working Families Party nominee and Tompkins County Legislator Nate Shinagawa. In 2012, Reed said that he accidentally paid one of his tax bills using campaign funds. Reed's campaign voluntarily reported the error in a campaign finance report and Reed reimbursed the campaign.2014
Reed faced Tompkins County Legislative Chair Martha Robertson. Though it was predicted to be a close race, Reed won handily.2016
Reed ran for reelection in 2016. He was unopposed in the Republican primary, before facing John Plumb, the lone Democrat to file for candidacy, in the November 8, 2016, general election. Reed was re-elected with 58% of the vote.
Reed initially endorsed Jeb Bush's 2016 presidential campaign before Bush's departure from the race. He then endorsed Donald Trump for U.S. president on March 16, 2016. Reed reaffirmed his support for Trump in August 2016.
Upon election to Congress, Reed was appointed to the House Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. During his first term, Reed co-founded with Mark Critz the bi-partisan Marcellus Shale Caucus, a work group to conduct an open discussion and debate on Marcellus Shale issues.
Five months into his first term, Speaker John Boehner and Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier appointed Reed to the House Committee on Rules. An unusual position for a freshman member, Chairman Dreier called his appointment “a testament to his vision and commitment to changing the way Congress does business.” In order to serve on the Committee on Rules, Reed relinquished his assignment on the House Judiciary Committee and took a leave of absence from the House Transportation Committee.
Only two months later Dean Heller was appointed the United States Senate following the resignation of Senator John Ensign leaving an opening on the House Ways and Means Committee. Following the recommendation of Speaker John Boehner and Ways and Means Chairman David Camp the Republican Steering Committee voted to recommend Reed for the vacant position.
During his first term in Congress, Reed proposed a resolution that would install a national debt clock on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Reed focused on bringing attention to wasteful government spending and supported budget amendments that saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by eliminating government funding for projects, including a sewer system in Tijuana, Mexico. He voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and supported the Budget Control Act of 2011.
After his reelection to Congress, Reed drafted the Promoting Assistance with Transitional Help Act. The bill would modify the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) program by introducing a five year limit on welfare payments to individuals. The TANF program was originally intended to provide temporary assistance to needy families but had deviated from that mandate and in some states provided indefinite cash benefits to individuals. Reed hopes that requiring the program to provide only temporary emergency relief will reduce dependence on government assistance.
In 2013, Reed offered amendment 103 to the House Farm Bill (H.R. 1947), which would have imposed a lifetime ban on food assistance through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for life for people convicted of certain violent offenses. On August 2, 2013, Reed introduced the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 2996; 113th Congress), a bill that would establish the Network for Manufacturing Innovation Program (NMIP) within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Under the program, NIST would award grants to establish a network of centers of innovation to improve the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers.
With a government shutdown looming, Reed introduced the Pay Our Veterans and Seniors First Act. The legislation would ensure that armed services members were paid and that seniors continued receiving benefits during a temporary government shutdown. The bill also forfeited pay for Congress and the President for the duration of the government shutdown.
In 2014, Reed introduced the Clinical Trial Cancer Mission 2020 Act. The bill would make it mandatory for researchers to publish all information from cancer clinical trials, with the goal being to get more researchers to work together and bring down the number of duplicative studies. The legislation would create a national clearinghouse run by the NIH. It would also make it so that any researcher who received a grant from the government for their research, and did not comply with the law's requirements to publish all clinical trial information, would have to return the grant money. Congresspersons Chris Collins (R-NY) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) cosponsored the bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Reed announced the bill at the Arnot Health Falck Cancer Center.
On May 22, 2014, Reed introduced the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014 (H.R. 4719; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently extend and expand certain expired provisions that provided an enhanced tax deduction for businesses that donated their food inventory to charitable organizations. Reed argued that it makes sense to make this a permanent measure because "doing it on a temporary basis... is part of the problem. We need to make this sound policy permanent in the tax code and I'm optimistic we'll get it to the finish and allow people to take advantage of the tax deduction that would encourage them to use the food rather than put it in a landfill."
On May 4, 2017, Reed voted voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.
Reed was ranked as the 32nd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the seventh most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).United States House Committee on Ways and Means
United States House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight
United States House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources
United States House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures
Problem Solvers Caucus (Co-Chair)
Republican Study Committee
Republican Main Street Partnership
Natural Gas Caucus (Co-Chair)
House Manufacturing Caucus (Co-Chair)
Congressional Diabetes Caucus (Vice-Chair)
Private Property Rights Caucus (Chairman/Founder)
Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus