A DRIVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is a tenacious leader and respected policy maker with a demonstrated commitment to achieving forward-thinking, commonsense solutions to the biggest challenges facing Pennsylvania’s middle class families.
Recognized as a “trailblazer” by the Philadelphia Daily News, Schwartz is one of the most accomplished elected officials in Pennsylvania’s recent history. Since entering public service in 1991, Schwartz has tackled state and national budget issues, lowered taxes for middle class families, worked to strengthen and invest in education, spurred growth in emerging Pennsylvania industries, and has been at the forefront of the fight to restore fiscal health to our nation’s health care system.
She now is serving in her fifth term representing Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional district. The district, which is comprised of the blue collar neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia and fiscally moderate suburban Montgomery County, has had a tradition of hard fought campaigns. Schwartz has repeatedly won re-election with strong support from Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters.
MOVING PENNSYLVANIA’S ECONOMY FORWARD FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES:
With Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate hovering at nearly its highest point since 2010, Schwartz is focused on putting middle class families back to work in the private sector. As a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Schwartz is working to lower business taxes, incentivize domestic manufacturing, and ensure that businesses have the tools that they need to compete and grow. Schwartz sponsored the largest-ever tax credit for Pennsylvania’s emerging biotech sector, an industry that now supports 350,000 state jobs and has pumped $6.7 billion into the economy.
Schwartz’s successful legislative efforts have included tax deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings, and targeted investments that enable small businesses to access to capital. A member of the House Manufacturing Caucus, Schwartz’s bipartisan bill to provide substantial tax credits for companies that manufacture new products based off patents is seen as a way for America to catch up with cutting edge global tax policy.
Allyson Schwartz is known nationally and in Pennsylvania for being a proven champion for middle class families. Schwartz has been praised by the conservative American Enterprise Institute for her work on middle class taxes and has repeatedly been named “Best in Congress” by Working Mother Magazine. In 2012, she received the Women’s Christian Alliance (WCA) 2012 Trailblazer Award.
ONE OF AMERICA’S LEADING HEALTH CARE POLICYMAKERS:
For 30 years, Schwartz has fought to extend quality, affordable care to all Americans while reducing the unsustainable burden our health care system places on state and national budgets, businesses, and families.
Called the “mother of CHIP,” Schwartz established the groundbreaking Pennsylvania State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has enabled millions of Pennsylvania working families to purchase private health coverage. It served as a model for the federal CHIP initiative established under President Bill Clinton.
Schwartz played a major leadership role in ensuring that the Affordable Care Act was built on a centrist model of public-private partnerships. Schwartz led on many of the ACA’s key provisions, including establishing a tax credit for small businesses that provide health coverage, prohibiting insurance companies from refusing coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, and allowing young adults to remain on their parent’s health coverage.
As the state with the third highest senior population in America, more than two million Pennsylvania seniors depend on Medicare. As millions of baby boomers enter Medicare over the next decade, Schwartz has been a leader on demanding improved quality, increased efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and cost containment for the health care program.
With Pennsylvania training more than one in every six doctors in America, Schwartz has been a leader in Congress on promoting Pennsylvania’s teaching hospitals. She founded and leads the bipartisan Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus.
Schwartz’s influence on health care policy has been recognized by numerous national and state organizations. For her leadership, Schwartz was named recipient of the Health Care Hero Award by the Patient Advocate Foundation, a Pink Ribbon Awardee by the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) Congressional Champion Award. In 2012 she was honored with the American Medical Association’s top government service award, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service.
LEADERSHIP ON FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE BUDGETS:
Allyson Schwartz has been praised by fiscal watchdog groups for setting aside partisanship and making tough choices on the federal budget. Schwartz, the No. 2 Democrat on the House Budget Committee, has a long record of working toward deficit reduction. In 2012, she was honored by the fiscally conservative Concord Coalition for her leadership on fiscal issues and deficit reduction.
Schwartz runs an effective, fiscally responsible office, returning over one million dollars of her Congressional budget to the Treasury. She’s voted repeatedly against Congressional pay raises, voted for billions of dollars in cuts in spending, and was one of the very first members of Congress to put her appropriation requests online to improve transparency. As a state senator, Schwartz fought to increase returns on investments in Pennsylvania’s pension system and supported reductions in local property taxes, saving middle class taxpayers millions of dollars.
Schwartz has a proven track record of standing up for her constituents. In the past eight years, Schwartz’s office has successfully assisted more than 15,000 constituents, including more than 1,500 veterans with VA benefits and 1,100 seniors and disabled constituents with Social Security.
A LEADER ON BEHALF OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CHILD SAFETY:
Schwartz’s record demonstrates strong and consistent support of tough, anti-crime legislation. She is a champion for local police officers, firefighters and other first responders. She has secured tens of millions of dollars to enable local police departments to purchase life saving equipment, such as bullet-proof vests, and technology upgrades.
Angered by a city in France praising cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, Schwartz worked with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a Congressional resolution strongly condemning the action.
As a state senator, Schwartz worked with Governor Bob Casey to pass an executive order requiring background checks for all childcare providers.
STANDING UP FOR PENNSYLVANIA’S SOLDIERS, VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES:
The daughter of a Korean War veteran, Schwartz has been an ardent advocate of Pennsylvania’s soldiers, veterans, and their families. Schwartz’s first bill, signed into law under President Bush, was to help returning soldiers find work by providing tax credits to businesses that hired Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. In the years since the bill became law, Schwartz has successfully strengthened this tax provision to ensure that more returning heroes can find work.
Schwartz was one of the first members of Congress to participate in the Wounded Warriors Initiative, hiring two wounded warriors in her district office.
In 2012, Schwartz was one of only 20 members of Congress to receive an A+ for her “exceptional” work on veterans issues by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Action Fund. Earlier in her career, she was awarded the Charles Dick Medal of Merit by the National Guard Association for her “exceptionally strong support” of the National Guard.
A COMMITMENT TO MAKING EDUCATION A PRIORITY:
Schwartz served as the Democratic Chair of the Senate Education Committee for 10 years during her tenure in the state Senate. As chair, she pushed for greater investment in education, including a state reimbursement for full day kindergarten and fair funding for public schools. Schwartz was an outspoken proponent of high standards and greater accountability and transparency.
Schwartz wrote legislation to create a child care loan forgiveness program to offer college loan forgiveness to accredited child care workers. In Congress, Schwartz has continued to be a leader on education policy, particularly in the area of pre-K and access to affordable higher education.
Known as one of Pennsylvania’s strongest champions for healthy children, Allyson Schwartz helped found the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center at age 26. The center worked to ensure that women of all income levels, races, and backgrounds could access quality, affordable health care services. In the model of Planned Parenthood, the Blackwell Center provided comprehensive health care services for tens of thousands of women, including access to fertility treatments, prenatal care, breast cancer screenings, and contraceptive services.
As one of the first and only out-of-hospital birth centers in Pennsylvania, hundreds of women received prenatal care and delivered babies at the Blackwell Center. The birth center was used as a model by hospitals and other health care organizations throughout Pennsylvania for its rigorous, high quality standards for prenatal care and delivery.
From 1990 to 2004, she served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, where she was considered one of the most accomplished legislators for her drive to make a personal difference in the lives of Pennsylvania families. She has repeatedly broken new ground in the state’s political structure, first in 1991 when becoming the third woman to serve in the Pennsylvania Senate, and now as the only woman representing Pennsylvania in a 20-member delegation.
Prior to her election to the Pennsylvania Senate, Schwartz served as the deputy and commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, which has oversight over child welfare, juvenile delinquency, and child abuse issues.
FAMILY AND EDUCATION BACKGROUND:
Residing in suburban Montgomery County, Allyson Schwartz and her husband Dr. David Schwartz have been married for over 40 years. They are the parents of two grown sons and they recently became grandparents. Their elder son, Daniel, and his wife are both doctors in Philadelphia. Their younger son, Jordan, is Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia. Both sons were educated in public schools.
Schwartz cites the influences of her father, a Korean War veteran, and her mother, a Holocaust survivor, as the source of her commitment to public service. Schwartz earned a B.A. from Simmons College in Sociology and a Masters of Social Work from Bryn Mawr College.