Vote now in the Sweet 16 of Roll Call's Taste of America!
Roll Call New Member Profiles: 113th Congress
Election: Defeated Laureen Cummings, R, to succeed Rep. Tim Holden, D, who was defeated in a primary
Born: May 1, 1961; Erie, Pa.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Family: Wife, Marion Munley Cartwright; two children
Education: Hamilton College, A.B. 1983 (history); Temple U. School of Law, attended 1984; U. of Pennsylvania, J.D. 1986
Political highlights: No previous office
Matt Cartwright, D Pa.-17
Cartwright heads to Washington with his district in mind and his politics on his sleeve.
His top priorities are winning increased infrastructure funding and repeal of a 2005 law that stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. Cartwright promises to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act to increase disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, prevalent throughout his state.
Cartwright has been eyeing a position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has already met with aides to the panels top Democrat, Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia. He is particularly interested in expanding rail service in his district and across the country. "If we dont invest in our infrastructure, what kind of people are we?" he asks. "Are we not to honor the generation that gave us those bridges?"
Cartwright says the two-year reauthorization of transportation funding approved in 2012 did not go far enough.
"It was sort of like kissing your sister," he says. "I dont think anyone can claim victory over it, and certainly not the progressives."
Cartwright is an advocate for a government-run health insurance program, and he would like to see the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire.
With several major defense firms in his district, including Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, Cartwright favors rolling back the $55 billion in automatic cuts in defense spending set to go into effect in January.
Subscribe to the full CQ Member Profile, including in-depth political biographies of all members of Congress, with CQ's analysis of what makes each member tick. CQ Member Profiles also provides: