While in Congress, Michael served on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He was also elected Freshman Whip by the members of his class. Michael served on the New Democrats' Financial Services Task Force. He is credited with drafting the derivatives regulatory language (HR 3300), which was adopted in Dodd-Frank; bringing billions of dollars in infrastructure improvements to New York City; introducing and passing the Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act; and founding the Invisible Wounds Caucus, which continues to focus on veterans' mental health issues. Michael is a recognized leading voice in defending our nation's financial and real estate investment companies and promoting their importance to New York's economy.
Prior to his time in Congress, Michael was a Member of the New York City Council. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management and a Member of the Land Use and Finance Committees. While on the Council, Michael spearheaded the implementation of a new Citywide Solid Waste Management Plan, wrote numerous laws revamping the City's recycling program, and oversaw the rezoning of hundreds of properties in the City. Earlier in his career, Michael worked for the New York State Assembly.
Michael has built a reputation as a pragmatic deal maker who has won support and praise from both sides of the aisle. He was endorsed multiple times for reelection by Mayors Bloomberg and Koch, President Clinton, Governor Cuomo, as well as Conservatives and Republicans.
Prior to being elected to public office, Michael was a partner at the law firm of O'Leary, McMahon & Spero in Staten Island. He obtained his B.A. from New York University and his J.D. from New York Law School. He also studied for two years at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and speaks fluent German.
Michael is an Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and speaks extensively on foreign relation matters, especially in Turkey, Eurasia and Central Asia. Recent speaking engagements include:
- September 2012, Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan
Speaker at the American Business Law and Politics International Conference on Small Business and Private Entrepreneurship discussing the Implementation of Socio-Economic Policy.
- October 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan
Panelist on Multiculturalism in the Life of a Society at the Baku International Humanitarian Forum.