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Allyson Young Schwartz
Birthdate: Oct. 3, 1948
Birth Place: Queens, NY, United States
Residence: Jenkintown, PA
First Elected: 2004
District: District 13
Undergraduate: Simmons College
Graduate: Bryn Mawr College
Allyson Schwartz was born in Queens, N.Y., and now lives in Jenkintown, Pa. Schwartz's mother fled Austria to escape the Holocaust and her father served in the Korean War before becoming a neighborhood dentist.
Schwartz earned a bachelor's degree at Simmons College in 1970 and a master's degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College in 1972. In 1975, she helped open Philadelphia's first women's health center and served as its executive director until 1988.
Schwartz served as acting commissioner and first deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services from 1988 to 1990. In November 1990, she was elected to the first of four terms in the state Senate. She served until 2004, when she was elected to the U.S. House.
Schwartz and her husband, David, have two sons.
Allyson Schwartz showed her tenacity in getting elected to the U.S. House in 2004 by beating back tough challenges in the primary and general elections. She topped funding in every other House race in the state that year, raising $4.8 million for her campaign.
Schwartz has pressed in Congress for an expansion of subsidized health insurance for needy children through the State Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, a measure signed into law by President Barack Obama in February 2009. She has also supported measures to encourage energy conservation and reduce fuel and electricity costs.
Schwartz worked toward passage of the 2010 health care reform bill, in particular a provision to ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. In July 2012, she said the law would result in $109 billion in savings and therefore would "play an important role in advancing deficit reduction" while improving health care for millions of Americans.
In July 2012, campaign spending reports showed that the four-term incumbent had raised the most money of any Pennsylvania candidate for the U.S. House with nearly $2.9 million on hand _ more than 100 times as much as her Republican challenger, Joe Rooney, who had less than $24,000 on hand.
Schwartz in October 2008 voted in favor of the $700 billion bailout package for the financial industry and she supported the Obama backed 2009 approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package.
Schwartz said during her 2004 campaign that she supported the war in Iraq. She was backed that year by EMILY's List, a group that favors Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights.
She authored legislation during her first term that sought to offer tax credits to businesses that hire returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. "This is a way to give respect to our servicemen and women who have served," Schwartz said at the time.
She co-authored the Delaware River Protection Act, which passed the House in June 2005 and creates tougher shipping-safety standards on the Delaware. The legislation was written after a tanker spilled 265,000 gallons of oil into the Delaware River.
When the Pentagon proposed closing the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Schwartz testified against it, saying the Department of Defense did not properly consider the joint cooperation among the branches at the base. "Those who serve Willow Grove are accustomed to joint service, cooperation, training and war fighting ... a key aspect of DOD modification strategy," she said.
Schwartz has sought help for taxpayers caught in the economic crunch through relief from the alternative-minimum tax and programs that help Americans troubled by their mortgages and credit card fraud. She also has called for more regulation to restore confidence in the financial markets.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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