Biography of Allyson Y. Schwartz
U.S. Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz is currently serving her fifth 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 the economy, health care, the federal budget, and tax policy. Congressional Quarterly describes her as "one of the Democrats' leading health care experts," and as the sole female member of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, the Philadelphia Daily News praises her as a "local trailblazer" for women in politics.
As a centrist Member of Congress, Schwartz is recognized 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.
Schwartz currently serves on two committees in Congress: the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal tax policy, Medicare, and Social Security.
As the Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Schwartz has distinguished herself as a vocal proponent of fiscal discipline and responsible budgeting. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget praised the Congresswoman for her fiscal responsibility and thanked her for being open to compromise and putting the nation’s fiscal interest above politics.
In the 113th Congress, Schwartz was reappointed to the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means where she will work to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and meet our obligations to our seniors and our future in a way that is fair, balanced and fiscally responsible. The Congresswoman will work with her colleagues to ensure the solvency of Medicare and Social Security and enact smart tax policy that strengthens the middle class and makes the right investments in education and innovation to strengthen our economic competitiveness.
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.
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 is also co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Health Care Task Force.
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.
As a leader on health care policy, Schwartz has played a significant role in strengthening primary care; improving access to quality, affordable coverage for all Americans; ensuring coverage for children with pre-existing conditions; and strengthening benefits for seniors. Most recently, Schwartz has taken the lead on reforming the Medicare physician payment system to protect seniors’ access to their doctors, provide physicians with stability and certainty, and improve quality and efficiency while driving down costs in Medicare.
Schwartz is founder and Co-Chair of the Healthcare Innovation Task Force, which brings together health care leaders in Congress to advance and promote innovations in the health care system. And as founder and Co-Chair of the Academic Medicine Caucus, Schwartz is a vocal advocate for academic medical centers and works closely with medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health care organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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.
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.