William M. Thomas (born December 6, 1941), commonly known as Bill Thomas, American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1979, representing the 22nd District of California (map). He is currently the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. His position in this committee makes him one of the most powerful members of Congress. When The Washingtonian polled congressional aides on the "best and worst" of Congress, Thomas was voted #1 for "brainiest," "workhorse," "meanest" and overwhelmingly for "hottest temper" in the House . Thomas was a key proponent of several of President Bush's agenda items, including three major tax cut bills and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (PL 108-173), and was also instrumental in the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. He was born in Wallace, Idaho, was educated at San Francisco State University, and was a faculty member at Bakersfield Community College and a member of the California State Assembly before entering the House.
Thomas announced on March 6, 2006, that he will not seek reelection, retiring after 28 years in the House.