Member of Congress
U.S. Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz is serving in her fourth term representing Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district. The 13th district includes both the close-knit neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia, as well as the first ring suburbs of Montgomery County.
National and local media have noted Schwartz’s effectiveness as a member of Congress. The Philadelphia Inquirer called Schwartz a leader “with especially impressive accomplishments” who “knows how to forge bipartisan coalitions with folks on the other side of the aisle.” National Journal magazine called Schwartz a “rising star,” and correctly predicted that she is “likely to settle into an influential role” on the Hill.
Prior to her service in Congress, Representative Schwartz was a leading healthcare executive in Philadelphia and from 1990 to 2004 served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, where she was considered one of the most accomplished legislators for her ability to forge bipartisanship partnerships.
Schwartz continues to serve on the Budget Committee where she has distinguished herself as an outspoken critic of deficit spending. A strong proponent of fiscal discipline and a balanced federal budget, Schwartz believes the nation must reduce our enormous national debt and redirect our policies to meet the priorities of American families.
Long considered a leading advocate for children, Schwartz spearheaded Pennsylvania’s legislative efforts to provide healthcare coverage to the children of middle-class families. Her leadership led to the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1992, which served as the model for the federal plan that now provides health insurance to millions of children.
In Congress, Schwartz has continued to focus on healthcare, including working for the expansion of federal SCHIP to cover all eligible children. She played a significant role in drafting and passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, specifically the provision to end pre-existing condition exclusions for children, strengthen primary care, and providing increased benefits to seniors on Medicare.
Schwartz is also instrumental in legislative efforts redirecting the nation’s environmental and energy policies towards energy independence and the reduction of global warming. Her energy legislative accomplishments include smart reuse of Brownfield sites, incentives for businesses to build energy efficient buildings and securing tens of millions of dollars to enable communities throughout the 13th district to revitalize commercial business districts and develop new greenways.
She is a member of the centrist New Democratic Coalition and is considered a champion for business development, particularly in areas of biotechnology and technological innovation.
Schwartz’s first Congressional legislative proposal, which passed as part of the business tax reduction bill in 2007, offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Noted for her diplomatic ability, Schwartz was appointed by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as a member of the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which has the mission to strengthen democratic institutions by assisting parliaments in emerging democracies. She has traveled to Asia and Eastern Europe to assist foreign parliaments on both legislative processes and institution building. In March 2007 Schwartz traveled to Iraq where she met with soldiers from the 13th district, military leaders and Iraqi civilians.
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. These personal family experiences compel Schwartz to be a strong advocate for veterans and their families and to fight for foreign and domestic policies that build democracy, security, and opportunity for all people.
Schwartz earned a B.A. from Simmons College in Sociology and a Masters of Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. She is married and has two grown sons.