Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)

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Allyson Schwartz Congresswoman Pennsylvania District 13

House links: Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)i

Campaign links: Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)i


Allyson Y. Schwartz 

Allyson Schwartz Congressional Candidate Pennsylvania District 13


Allyson Schwartz Biography from

U.S. Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz is currently serving her fourth term representing Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. The 13th District includes both the close-knit neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia and the first ring suburbs of Montgomery County.

Labeled a “rising star” by POLITICO, Schwartz is an increasingly influential figure in Congress, playing a central role in debates on health care, the federal budget, and tax policy. Congressional Quarterly describes her as “one of the Democrats’ leading health care experts,” and her insight and knowledge on the subject are highly valued by her colleagues. As the sole female member of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, the Philadelphia Daily News praises her as a “local trailblazer” for women in politics.

National Journal’s 2010 Congressional Vote Ratings ranked Schwartz one of the most centrist Members of Congress for her commitment to finding effective, bipartisan solutions to fix our economy, improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania families and communities, and make our nation more secure.

Representative Schwartz has been honored with several awards for her work in Congress and her commitment to public service.

  • In 2008, she received the first ever Getaway to Innovation award by the Healthcare Leadership Council for her commitment, leadership and vision in working to improve the quality and affordability of health care in the United States.
  • Schwartz was given the Leadership Award by the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council for her accomplishments on health care in 2008.
  • In 2010, the American College of Physicians awarded the Congresswoman their prestigious Public Service Award to recognize her tremendous efforts in the health care reform law.
  • She received the Health Care Hero Award from the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) for her work to eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia awarded Schwartz their Lifetime Achievement Award for her work on health care.

Schwartz has been a member of the House Budget Committee since 2005, where she continues to be an outspoken critic of deficit spending. In the 112th Congress, she was named to the House Foreign Affairs Committee where she will work to improve America’s standing throughout the world.

The Congresswoman is also Vice Chair of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a group of 43 moderate members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are dedicated to the prosperity and security of American families and businesses. NDC members are dedicated to empowering the U.S. to grow economically and maintain a vibrant job market, preserving the U.S. standing as the world’s leader in innovation and technological advancement, and strengthening our economic and national security.

Leading Health Care Advocate

In Congress, Schwartz is one of the leading policymakers on the nation’s health care system.

In Southeast Pennsylvania, health care is paramount in the local economy. Academic medical centers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology and medical device manufacturers are driving advancements in both medicine and the way we deliver care. Schwartz has taken a national leading role in these areas. She successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Therapeutic Tax Credit in health care reform. This tax credit is already creating additional investment in important medical research, while creating jobs right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country.

Provided Consumer Protections and Improved Delivery of Care

  • As a Pennsylvania State Senator, 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 (SCHIP) that was implemented in 1997. Schwartz fought in Congress to expand this initiative, which now provides health insurance to millions of children across the country.
  • As a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the 110th and the 111th Congress, Schwartz played a significant role in drafting and passing the Affordable Care Act. She specifically advocated for provisions to end pre-existing condition exclusions for children, provide increased benefits to seniors, and require insurance companies to use uniform and simple language to make comparison shopping for insurance easier.
  • The Congresswoman is also a champion of primary care, fighting hard to provide access to coordinated care through the Patient-Centered Medical Home.
  • In the 110th Congress, Schwartz introduced the Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act, which addressed the critical shortage of primary care providers in America and expanded access to new models of health care delivery. Medical home practitioners are primary care providers who receive additional payments to make sure the patient’s care is coordinated and that the patient’s chronic conditions are managed and complications are prevented. The bill garnered over 100 co-sponsors and many of its provisions were ultimately included in the Affordable Care Act.

Strengthened Health Information Technology (HIT)

  • Schwartz has taken a lead role in efforts to transition to the widespread adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems. In the 110th Congress she sponsored the E-MEDS bill that was adopted as part of a broader Medicare reform package. Now underway across the country, this policy pays physicians who participate in Medicare and Medicaid a bonus payment when they prescribe medications electronically.
  • The Congresswoman was also instrumental in securing the inclusion of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that invested $19 billion to help hospitals and health care providers purchase health information technology and to incentivize them to use it in a meaningful way.

Supported Innovation in Health Care Industries


  • As Co-Chair of the Academic Medical Caucus, Schwartz is a vocal advocate for academic medical centers. She works closely with several medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health care organizations in Pennsylvania.
  • In 2009, she introduced legislation to establish Healthcare Innovation Zones, a program to encourage health care entities and other groups to test new models of payment and clinical care delivery, and share in the savings. The health care reform law contains funding for the initiative through the new federal Center for Medical Innovation.
  • Recognizing the severe shortage of physicians, especially in primary care, Schwartz also fought to increase opportunities for medical training. The Affordable Care Act now allows for the redistribution of over 800 unfilled residency slots to develop a more robust physician workforce.
  • Schwartz authored the provision in health care reform that provides a $1 billion new tax credit for small biotech firms that are on the cutting edge of cures and medical breakthroughs. This innovative opportunity is already supporting research in new medical therapies for 4,000 small biotech firms in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country.

Champion of Fiscal Discipline and Smart Budgeting

As Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Schwartz has distinguished herself as a vocal proponent of fiscal discipline and responsible budgeting.

In order to tackle the federal deficit, Schwartz strongly believes that everything must be on the table. Cutting wasteful spending and closing tax loopholes for special interests are essential to getting our fiscal house in order. In addition to targeted and responsible spending cuts, America’s future economic strength depends on investments in innovation, infrastructure and education.

Strengthening America’s Leadership Abroad

In 2011, Congresswoman Schwartz was appointed to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over a range of issues including foreign aid, the deployment of armed forces, war powers and treaties, the protection of Americans overseas, and national security developments that affect foreign policy. Schwartz sits on two important subcommittees: the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Schwartz has a substantial record on foreign affairs, having previously served on the House Democracy Assistance Partnership (HDAP) where she worked to strengthen democratic institutions in emerging democracies. She has traveled to Asia and Eastern Europe to assist foreign parliaments on both the legislative process and institution building. As a member of HDAP, Schwartz took an interest in the nation of Georgia and formed the Congressional Georgia Caucus to strengthen our bilateral ties with an important emerging democracy.

In the 112th Congress, Schwartz will serve with a select group of members in representing the United States to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, working to foster closer ties and friendships between the governments of the allied nations.

As the highest ranking Jewish member in the Pennsylvania Delegation, Schwartz has a deep and personal commitment to strengthening America’s relationship with Israel and promoting ties between the two democratic nations. She serves as a member of the Democratic Israel Working Group and the U.S.-Israel Security Caucus.

Leading Moderate Voice for Pennsylvania

Since 2009, Congresswoman Schwartz has served as Vice Chair of the moderate New Democrat Coalition, which proposes centrist, smart, and innovative policies to encourage economic growth and opportunity in America. She has consistently worked with business leaders to develop proposals and policies that create jobs and allow small businesses to thrive in our global economy.

Schwartz knows that in order to overcome the most pressing challenges our nation faces, we will need support and ideas from both sides of the aisle. She has worked with Republicans in both the House and the Senate to propose bipartisan legislation and works with her Republican colleagues to find common ground on the country’s most pressing issues.

Advocate for Smart Tax Policy That Benefits Middle Class and Business and Strengthens America’s 21st Century Economy

In the 110th and 111th Congress, Schwartz served on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal tax policy. She is an outspoken advocate for the need to reform our corporate tax code and the importance of a permanent research and development tax credit.

Schwartz’s first piece of legislation, which was enacted into law in 2007, offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. These credits have helped ease the process of returning home for our soldiers and are an important token of our gratitude for their service.

Schwartz introduced bipartisan legislation in the 111th Congress to provide tax incentives for small and mid-sized businesses to invest in life sciences research and development on a targeted basis. The Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act of 2010 provides an opportunity to enhance medical innovation, life sciences education and job creation in the United States.

The Congresswoman’s legislative proposals also include tax deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings, tax incentives for rehabilitating and preserving historic buildings, tax incentives for small and mid-sized businesses to invest in life sciences research and development, tax credits to encourage the next generation of biofuels, and helping cities to implement job-creating green infrastructure.


In order to help working families, Schwartz introduced the Support Working Parents Act, which would allow all working parents to receive a 35 percent tax credit to cover the rising cost and necessity of child care. Having a single 35 percent tax credit rate for all families would eliminate the disparities in the tax credit and nearly double the maximum allowable credit from $1,200 to $2,100 to help account for the increased cost of child care.

Standing up for our Seniors

Congresswoman Schwartz has worked hard to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for our nation’s seniors. She understands the importance of these initiatives and knows it is critical to continue the promise we made to seniors and future generations to provide these guaranteed benefits.

Schwartz helped strengthen Medicare for seniors by increasing benefits, eliminating co-payments for preventive care services, and extending the life of this invaluable program through 2029.

Schwartz will fight any measure in Congress that would privatize Social Security. In addition, she is working to pass legislation that would provide a $250 payment to all Social Security recipients due to the Social Security Administration’s announcement that there will be no cost of living adjustments for the second consecutive year.

Building Livable Communities in PA

Congresswoman Schwartz has a long record of commitment of protecting our environment. She earned a 100 percent perfect score from The League of Conservation Voters for her work during the 111th Congress on environmental issues.

Schwartz serves on the Livable Communities Task Force, to promote sustainable communities that improve the quality of life for residents, bring economic development to our neighborhoods, and make our communities a safer and healthier environment for our children.

Back home, Schwartz has secured funding to revitalize the Delaware riverfront, improve SEPTA stations in her district, create bike and pedestrian paths throughout the Commonwealth, bolster Main Street districts in Lansdale and Ambler, and improve Dilworth Plaza in Philadelphia.

In Congress, Schwartz has introduced legislation to help municipalities implement green infrastructure—a proven way to improve quality of life, attract new businesses, and generate economic development. She introduced legislation to create a Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which would attract supermarkets and grocery stores to urban and rural areas that lack access to healthy food options. And her legislation to improve the Historic Tax Credit will expand opportunities to rehabilitate older buildings—creating economic opportunities and jobs, while strengthening America’s historic neighborhoods.

Education and Family

Prior to her service in Congress, Schwartz was a leading healthcare executive in Philadelphia. 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 ability to forge bipartisanship relationships. She 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.

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 her 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 Americans.



Biography of Allyson Schwartz from Schwartz for Congress

Vice Chair, New Democrat Coalition | Co-Chair, NDC Healthcare Task Force

Member, Foreign Affairs Committee | Senior Member, Budget Committee

DCCC National Recruitment Chair

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is a tough, skillful, and accomplished legislator with a strong commitment to finding forward-thinking solutions to the biggest challenges facing America. On January 5th, 2011, Schwartz was sworn into her fourth term in the United States House of Representatives where she represents Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district.

The district, which comprises Northeast Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County, has a tradition of hard fought campaigns and in 2004 National Journal magazine named it one of the nation’s “most competitive.” In past years the district has been home to some of the country’s most expensive races due to the costly Philadelphia media market and the closely divided partisan registration.


Noted and Respected Healthcare Expert

Congresswoman Schwartz has a well-deserved national reputation as one of America’s foremost healthcare policy experts. She has been actively working toward finding effective, innovative solutions to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care for over 30 years, first in the private sector, then as a Pennsylvania state Senator, and now as a Member of Congress.

Schwartz played a major leadership role in helping to ensure that health reform legislation was built on a centrist model of public-private partnerships. Schwartz authored several key provisions of the health care law passed this year, including increasing access to primary care, banning pre-existing conditions exclusions and allowing young adults to remain on their parent’s health coverage.

The Co-Chair of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus, Schwartz introduced legislation to create Healthcare Innovation Zones, which would allow teaching hospitals, physicians and communities to develop new strategies to deliver cost effective, efficient medical services, reducing overall expenditures on health care.

Schwartz has made investment in innovative, lifesaving, biotechnology a priority. A leader in Congress on these issues, Schwartz successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Qualified Therapeutic Tax Credit in the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This tax credit will create additional investment in this important research while creating jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the country. In addition to potentially finding new treatments for disease, biotechnology is a leading driver of the economy in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Schwartz has a solid record of leadership on health IT policy. Congresswoman Schwartz also authored and worked to pass groundbreaking legislation to modernize medicine in America. Her bill on e-prescribing, ensures that America moves forward to greater use of electronic prescriptions, which will help prevent 1.5 million medical errors per year. and worked to help see that a nearly $20 billion investment in health information technology was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

As a Pennsylvania state Senator, Schwartz led the drive to create the Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has served as a national model for expanding access to health insurance to children of middle and working class families. In Congress, Schwartz led the charge to strengthen CHIP to cover 11 million additional children, and stood with President Obama as he signed this important legislation in 2009.

Schwartz serves as the Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Health Care Task Force.


Accomplished Legislator

Schwartz now serves as Vice Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. On the Budget Committee, she has been a vocal proponent for responsible and disciplined federal budgeting, and investing in the future of our nation. She is outspoken on the critical need for balanced federal budget in which we make important and effective investments in our nation’s infrastructure, innovation, and education, while ensuring that we make the tough and necessary choices required to pay down the deficit.

In addition, Congresswoman Schwartz was appointed to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee for the 112th Congress. The Committee has jurisdiction over a range of critical issues such as foreign aid, the deployment of armed forces, war powers and treaties, and the protection of Americans overseas. She serves on the Subcommittees on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

Congresswoman Schwartz completed her second term as a member of the Committee on Ways and Means in the 111th Congress, and played a critical role in discussions of issues ranging from tax and trade to Medicare and Social Security.


Innovative Economic P1olicymaker

Congresswoman Schwartz has a lengthy record of legislative accomplishments. In addition to her prominent work in healthcare, she is actively engaged in promoting innovative solutions to ensure that America can lead in a 21st century global economy. She has been outspoken on the need for corporate tax reform and for a permanent research and development tax credit.

Schwartz’s legislative proposals have included tax deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings, tax incentives for rehabilitating and preserving historic buildings, helping cities to implement job-creating green infrastructure initiatives and an expansion of the Child Care Tax Credit for middle income families. She has been instrumental in strengthening and growing the biotechnology industry, a vital sector that continues to create jobs in southeastern Pennsylvania.


Support for America’s Veterans

The daughter of a Korean War veteran, Schwartz strongly supports America’s veterans and works to ensure that they have the healthcare and family support they deserve. Schwartz’s first Congressional bill, a plan providing tax credits to businesses hiring Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, passed Congress in 2007 with bipartisan support and today helps businesses be able to hire veterans.


Strong Advocate for Israel

Congresswoman Schwartz has a deep and personal commitment to Israel, inspired in large part by the experiences of her mother, a Holocaust survivor. She has led numerous Congressional efforts to strengthen America’s relationship with Israel.

In addition to her membership on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Schwartz is a member of the Democratic Israel Working Group and the U.S. Israel Security Caucus. In 2006, the National Jewish Democratic Coalition awarded Schwartz the Golda Meir Award for her political accomplishments.


Centrist New Democrat

Schwartz serves as Vice Chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, and serves as Co-Chair of the NDC Health Care Task Force. She is engaged in promoting NDC’s interest in Congressional action to strengthen our nation’s economic competitiveness through pro-economic growth policies, such as innovation, support for education, and fair trade policies.


Groundbreaking Political Leader

Schwartz is one of the most successful female elected officials in Pennsylvania history. She has repeatedly broken new ground in the state’s political structure, starting when she became just the third women to serve in the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1991.

She is currently the only woman in the 19-member Pennsylvania congressional delegation and the only Jewish member in either federal legislative body from Pennsylvania.

A proven political leader, House Democratic leadership has appointed Schwartz to serve as National Recruitment Chair of the DCCC. Previously, Schwartz helped to lead two national initiatives: Women LEAD, to support female congressional candidates from across the country in 2007; and Red to Blue, to actively support strong Democratic candidates in Republican leaning districts.


Education and Family

Schwartz is a graduate of Simmons College and holds a Master’s Degree from Bryn Mawr College. Her husband of over 30 years, David Schwartz, is a prominent Philadelphia cardiologist. They have two adult sons, Daniel and Jordan. Schwartz and her family are active members of their local synagogue.

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