Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (1912–1994) was a liberal Democratic politician from Massachusestts. O’Neill first became involved in politics as a teenager when he campaigned for Al Smith in the presidential election of 1928. He served in the Massachusetts legislature before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1953. He became known as a tough champion of social causes, and during his time in the House he served as majority whip, majority speaker, and Speaker of the House. During the Reagan presidency, O’Neill was a staunch and vocal opponent of the administration’s economic approach, arguing against Reagan’s plans to reduce taxes for the wealthy, increase military spending, and reduce social and welfare programs.

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