Congressman 'GT' Biography
Biography of Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson
A life-long resident of Howard Township, Centre County, PA Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson was first elected to represent Pennsylvania’s Fifth (now Fifteenth) District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2008 and was most recently sworn in to his 6th term in January 2019. The Congressman now serves as the Dean of the Pennsylvania Republican Delegation.
His first election in the 2008 primary was very much a test of faith. GT was the last of 9 Republican candidates to announce for the vacancy resulting from the retirement of Congressman John Peterson. Having worked almost 30 years in nonprofit healthcare Thompson entered the race with enough money as he describes it “for the coming year’s taxes and car insurance”. To state he was considered a long shot would be a serious understatement. Three of his eight opponents had the ability to self-fund million dollar campaigns totaling more than three million dollars spent in the primary. One local politico stated publically that “GT was a great guy, but had no business running for Congress, as he had no money.” Despite overwhelming financial odds and conventional wisdom, GT sought out to earn the Pennsylvania 5th District Congressional seat through his record of leadership, service and commitment to work for the support of voters. In the end, Thompson only raised approximately $24,000, was outspent 240 to 1, but won the primary by 1%. He is proud of the fact he still had a few dollars in the bank at the end of primary night. Based on that continued record of service and leadership every election since then has been secured with overwhelming percentages. His 2016 election was secured with a winning margin of over 100,000 votes.
Prior to being elected to Pennsylvania’s geographically largest congressional district, Congressman Thompson spent 28 years as a therapist, rehabilitation services manager and a licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Through his professional experiences, GT has touched the lives of thousands of individuals facing life altering conditions. As a result, he has learned firsthand the importance of access to quality healthcare and has become a strong advocate for increased access, affordability, quality of care, and patient choice. It is the treatment philosophy of a healthcare professional that serves GT well in his Congressional service. He knows that you must start with a full assessment and accurate definition of the problem to be addressed. That you cannot solve anyone’s problem for them, but must work with those facing the challenges to problem-solve together. Solutions must be cost-effective to assure their final implementation is successful. Finally, the responsibility to “Do No Harm” is as critical to government as it is health care in advancing the right solutions.
A 40+ year veteran of the Juniata Valley Boy Scout Council, Congressman GT became an Eagle Scout in the Walker Township Troop 52; former Order of the Arrow Lodge Chief, long-time Howard Troop 353 Scoutmaster and the Council's President during 2007 to 2009. He has enriched the lives of youth throughout Central Pennsylvania. Among just 2,000 presented since 1969, in 2012 Representative Thompson received the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
GT is also a former member of the Bald Eagle Area School Board and is past vice-chair of the Private Industry Council of the Central Corridor. Because of these experiences, in 2008, he was appointed to the House Committee on Education & Workforce. In the 116th Congress, Thompson will serve his fifth term as Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus.
A community leader and a volunteer firefighter, with three decades of service, Glenn is acutely aware of the challenges facing Pennsylvania communities. As a member of the House Agriculture and Education & Workforce Committees, Thompson has exercised a unique position to bring his expertise and knowledge to bear on the issues facing rural businesses, communities, and families, in order to improve the lives of the citizens of the 15th Congressional District. GT has served three term as Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry; one term as Chairman of the Nutrition Subcommittee and one term as the Vice Chair of the full Agriculture Committee.
In the 116th Congress, he serves as Republican Leader of the Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee.
Additionally, he served fourth term as Co-Chairman for the bipartisan Congressional Natural Gas Caucus.
When first elected in 2008, Congressman GT was sworn in as one of the least senior members of Congress being 433 out of 435 (there were two vacancies).
While his seniority has risen dramatically during his six terms, so has his record of legislative accomplishments. He is the author and contributor to many pieces of legislation that have passed into law that address significant issues facing the Nation. Among those in 2011, he introduced H.R. 1832, the Servicemembers’ Telemedicine & E-Health Portability (STEP) Act, which passed Congress and was signed into law by the president on December 31, 2011. The STEP Act, now Public Law 112-81, Section 713, expands the current Department of Defense (DOD) state licensure exemption to allow credentialed health care professionals to work across state borders without having to obtain a new state license. This legislation removes out-dated requirements under current law so that geographic location is no longer an obstacle to the delivery of care for our servicemembers. The law will also allow more licensed professional to treat veterans and servicemembers, and gives them the ability to also use new telemedicine and e-health technologies for quicker and more efficient help. The STEP Act is serving to reduce the tragic rate of suicide among our active duty, reserve and national guard service members.
In 2018, Congressman GT’s VETS Act was included in the VA MISSION Act that was signed into law by President Trump. This extends telemedicine access to all Veterans ensuring they receive the care they need no matter where they live, and providing increased access to telemedicine assuring that no veteran is left behind.
As an Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman assisted in drafting a Farm Bill that on February 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law as the Agricultural Act of 2014, a five-year Farm Bill reauthorization. This passed Congress with bipartisan support and reduces annual budget deficits by 16.6 billion over 10 years. Industry professionals including farmers, foresters, conservationists, researchers, and policy advocates have praised the law as a historic improvement to federal agriculture policy that will support key areas of economic activity and jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country.
In the 115th Congress as Vice Chair of the full Agriculture Committee, he assisted in drafting a 2018 Farm Bill that was signed into law by President Trump.
As a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, he introduced the Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Bill in the 114th Congress. This legislation reforms Career and Technical education creating pathways of opportunity for school age youth and adults of all ages. This legislation passed 37- 0 out of the Committee and 405–5 out of the House. As the Senate failed to advance this legislation in the 114th. Congressman GT reintroduced this legislation in the 115th. In the 116th Congress his legislation was voted on 6 times in Congress without a single vote opposing. GT was with President Trump in the Oval Office on July 31, 2019 when he signed his bill into law.
Congressman Thompson is a proud graduate of Penn State and Temple Universities, where he earned a B.S. and a Masters of Education, respectively. He and his wife Penny Ammerman Thompson have three adult sons. The family includes: son Parker, daughter-in-law Katie (Shaw), and grandsons Noam and Gabriel; son Logan and daughter-in-law Carley (Moore) and son Kale. GT and Penny reside in Howard Township.