WASHINGTON -- Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz got some added clout in the Capitol Wednesday when she was named to the influential House Ways and Means Committee.
The committee handles tax policy and has significant responsibility for Medicare -- two issues at the center of the debate on the fiscal cliff. An agreement involving tax reform or Medicare changes will most likely have to work its way through Ways and Means in the next Congress. Schwartz, a Democrat whose districts includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, said in a news release that she was "very proud to be reappointed" and that she looks "forward to working with my colleagues 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."
"We have important work to do next year as we tackle comprehensive tax reform and ensure the solvency of Medicare and Social Security for our seniors. I am excited by the opportunity to ensure we enact smart tax policy that strengthens the middle class and makes the right investments in education and innovation to strengthen our economic competitiveness," she said.
Schwartz previously had a seat on the committee but lost it in 2011 when Republicans took control of the House and Democrats became the minority on each committee. She will re-join the panel in January when the new Congress is sworn in. A seat opened up because of retirements.
Schwartz is also the second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee and earlier this month was named vice chair of the House Democrats' Steering and Policy committee, which helps guide the caucus' policy.