Matt Cartwright

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Matt Cartwright
Matt Cartwright.jpg
U.S. House, Pennsylvania, District 17
In office
January 3, 2013
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorTim Holden (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryMay 20, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,361,753
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sHamilton College
J.D.University of Pennsylvania
Date of birthMay 1, 1961
Place of birthErie, Pennsylvania
Net worth$1,105,518
Office website
Campaign website
Matt Cartwright campaign logo
Matt Cartwright (b. May 1, 1961, in Erie, Pennsylvania) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Pennsylvania. Cartwright was first elected by voters from Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District on November 6, 2012, and was sworn into office on January 3, 2013. He defeated incumbent Tim Holden in the April 24 primary election and then overtook Republican Laureen Cummings in the general election in order to win the seat.[1]

Before becoming a congressman, Cartwright worked as a lawyer in Philadelphia and Scranton, Pennsylvania.[2]

Cartwright ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He sought the Democratic nomination in the primary election on May 20, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Cartwright graduated from Hamilton College in 1983, then got his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. While an undergraduate, he studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and met his future wife, Marion Munley, while there.[2]


After law school, he practiced law in Philadelphia for several years before relocating to Scranton to work with his father-in-law's firm.[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Cartwright serves on the following committees:[3]


Campaign themes


Cartwright's campaign website lists the following issues:[4]

  • Equality
Excerpt: "Matt Cartwright believes in protecting the civil rights of American citizens, including their right to privacy, their right to engage in collective bargaining, their right to vote in elections without new and burdensome requirements, and their right to live in a country that has no tolerance for crimes of hate. "
  • Defense
Excerpt: "Matt Cartwright will fight to ensure that the United States maintains the strongest armed forces in the world and that American troops overseas have every available item to carry out their mission."
  • Infrastructure
Excerpt: "Cartwright believes that the federal government needs to invest in American infrastructure. He believes that investing in one-off, earmarked pork projects is the wrong approach."
  • Economy
Excerpt: "As he has long said, Congressman Cartwright’s number one priority is to bring good-paying, family-sustaining jobs to Northeastern Pennsylvania. While the people of the 17th Congressional District of Pennsylvania are known for valuing hard work, the recent recession has created a lasting impact."
  • Environment
Excerpt: "Congressman Cartwright is fighting for an “all-of-the-above” approach to investing in American energy. He believes in utilizing domestic resources in an environmentally responsible manner, finding newer, better uses for older forms of energy production, and investing in sustainable clean energy technologies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."
  • Health Care
Excerpt: "Matt would have supported President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. He remains dissatisfied, however, that it did not go far enough to expand health care coverage for more Americans and hold insurance companies more accountable for what they charge families. "

Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[5] For more information pertaining to Cartwright's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[6]

National security

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Cartwright voted against HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[7]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Cartwright voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[7]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Cartwright voted against HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[8] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[7]


Voted "Yes" Cartwright voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[7]


Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill.[9] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[10][11] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[11] Cartwright voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Cartwright joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[15] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[16] Cartwright voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[17]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[18] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Cartwright voted for HR 2775.[19]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Cartwright voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.[7]


Affordable Care Act

Cartwright defended the Affordable Care Act in October 2013, saying “I’m the last person who’s going to sit here and say this is a perfect law. But it is the law, and it’s up to us to wrap our hands around it, to get together and learn about it and to do the best for Americans under this law.”[20]

Health Care Reform Rules

Voted "No" Cartwright voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[7]

Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act

Voted "No" Cartwright voted against HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[7]

Social issues

SNAP challenge
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including Cartwright, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[21] Participants agreed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[22]

Amash amendment

Voted "Yes" Cartwright voted in favor of House Amendment 413 - Prohibits the National Security Agency from Collecting Records Under the Patriot Act. The amendment failed on July 4, 2013, by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have prohibited the collection of records by the National Security Agency under the Patriot Act. Both parties were split on the vote.[7]

Previous congressional sessions

Health Care

Cartwright said he would have voted for the health care reform bill, however he believes it didn't go far enough to hold insurance companies accountable.[23]


Cartwright believes the government should play a vital role in the economic recovery. He also believes that when the housing market collapsed, judges should have been given the ability to adjust homeowners' mortgages. Cartwright also supports doing away with corporate tax loopholes and giving more tax breaks to middle-class families.[24]


Cartwright believes that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," should not be exempt from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or Safe Drinking Water Act. He also believes private companies should not be given the rights to drill or mine on public lands.

Response to Clinton book

Cartwright responded to claims he was on the hit list kept by the Clinton's during the 2008 election. Cartwright said, "I can tell you, I don’t have an enemies list. First time I heard that term was I think, Richard Nixon, and they gave him a bad time over that, as I recall."[25]



See also: Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District elections, 2014

Cartwright ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He sought the Democratic nomination in the primary election on May 20, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District elections, 2012

"It's Time"

Cartwright ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Pennsylvania's 17th District. He defeated incumbent Tim Holden in the April 24 Democratic primary and faced Republican Laureen Cummings in the November 6 general election.[26]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania in 2012 as 1 of the 10 states that could determine whether Democrats would retake the House or Republicans would hold their majority in 2013.[27] Ohio tied with Pennsylvania for 9th on the list.[27] [28]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 17 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMatt Cartwright 60.3% 161,393
     Republican Laureen Cummings 39.7% 106,208
Total Votes 267,601
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 17 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMatt Cartwright 57.1% 33,255
Tim Holden Incumbent 42.9% 24,953
Total Votes 58,208


On March 21, 2012, the Cartwright campaign accidentally leaked to a media outlet that they had raised $600,000 that quarter - including donations and some amount of self-funding. Holden, on the other hand, reportedly raised $230,000 this quarter, In 2011, Holden raised $480,000 for the entire year.[29]


  • Former Rep. Joe Sestak[30]
  • Scranton Times-Tribune
  • Wilkes-Barre Times Leader columnist Kevin Blaum[31]


In March 2012, Cartwright released his first television ad. The 60-second ad is titled "Priorities."

Cartwright TV ad (March 15, 2012).

"The Truth"

On April 5, Cartwright released an ad in response to the Holden campaign's "Kids for Cash" ad.[32] On April 19, Cartwright released his final campaign ad. Titled "It's Time," the positive ad said Cartwright would oppose the Bush tax cuts and fight to make childcare and elderly care tax deductable.[33]

Opponent targeted

Cartwright's primary opponent, incumbent Tim Holden, was targeted by three political action committees: the Campaign for Primary Accountability, Blue America PAC,[34] and the League of Conservation Voters.[35]

The Campaign for Primary Accountability spent nearly $200,000 looking to unseat Holden,[36] including a $70,000 ad buy with a negative ad tying Holden to Wall Street.[37] According to the Huffington Post, however, "Cartwright's campaign disavowed the Campaign for Primary Accountability's spending."[38] A Holden spokesperson said the Campaign for Primary Accountability was part of a "perfect storm" of factors that lead to his loss.[39]

"Who Does Congressman Tim Holden Look out for?"


2012 Election

A Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies internal Cartwright poll, conducted April 2-5, 2012, showed Cartwright with a single-digit lead over incumbent Rep. Holden.[40]

Pennsylvania's Congressional District 17, 2012
Poll Tim Holden (D) Matt Cartwright (D)Margin of ErrorSample Size
(April 2-5, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Cartwright is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Cartwright raised a total of $1,361,753 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 18, 2013.[41]

Matt Cartwright's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Pennsylvania, District 17) Won $1,361,753
Grand Total Raised $1,361,753


Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Matt Cartwright's reports.[42]

Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Matt Cartwright's reports.[43]


Breakdown of the source of Cartwright's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Cartwright won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, his campaign committee raised a total of $1,361,753 and spent $1,304,274.[49] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[50]

Cost per vote

Cartwright spent $8.08 per vote received in 2012.


Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Cartwright missed 3 of 108 roll call votes from January 2013 to April 2013. This amounts to 2.8%, which is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving as of April 2013.[51]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[52]

Cartwright most often votes with:

Cartwright least often votes with:

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Cartwright's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-2,483,962 to $4,694,998. That averages to $1,105,518, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Cartwright ranked as the 199th most wealthy representative in 2012.[53]

Matt Cartwright Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Voting with party


Matt Cartwright voted with the Democratic Party 95.5% of the time, which ranked 30th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[54]


Matt and his wife Marion Munley Cartwright have two sons, Jack and Matthew. They live in Moosic.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Matt + Cartwright + Pennsylvania + Congress + House

All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.

Matt Cartwright News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. Pennsylvania Department of State "2012 General Primary Unofficial Returns," April 24, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 National Journal, "New Faces: Pennsylvania, 17th House District" accessed November 20, 2012
  3., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  4. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed March 19, 2014
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Project Vote Smart, "Matt Cartwright Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  8. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  9. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  10. Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. Washington Post, "Rep. Matt Cartwright, loyal Democrat, stands by health-care law, takes stage to defend it," accessed November 4, 2013
  21. U.S., "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013 (dead link)
  22. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  23. Campaign website "Health care" accessed April 7, 2012
  24. Official campaign website "Economy" accessed April 7, 2012
  25. The Hill, "Rep. Cartwright: I don’t have an enemies list," accessed January 14, 2014
  26. Pennsylvania Department of State "2012 General Primary Unofficial Returns," April 24, 2012
  27. 27.0 27.1 Washington Post, "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012" accessed April 25, 2012
  28. Pennsylvania Dept of State "2012 Official Primary Results"
  29. National Journal, "Upset Alert: Holden Facing Deep-Pocketed Challenger" accessed March 24, 2012
  30. PoliticsPA "Sestak backs Cartwright" accessed April 20, 2012
  31. PoliticsPA "NEPA Newspapers Back Cartwright" accessed April 22, 2012
  32. PoliticsPA "New Cartwright Ad Rebuts ‘Kids for Cash’ Attack" accessed April 7, 2012
  33. PoliticsPA "After ceasefire, Cartwright releases final ad" accessed April 20, 2012
  34. The Borys Blog accessed April 7, 2012
  35. Lehigh Morning Call "League of Conservation Voters targets Congressman Tim Holden" accessed April 21, 2012
  36. CBS News "Anti-incumbent group shakes up Pennsylvania primaries," April 24, 2012
  37. PoliticsPA "Super PAC Launches Anti-Holden Ad" accessed April 7, 2012
  38. Huffington Post "Matt Cartwright, Environmentalist Candidate, Wins Pennsylvania Primary With Help Of Oil Magnates," April 25, 2012
  39. Wall Street Journal blog "Anti-Incumbent Super PAC Claims a Win in Pennsylvania," April 25, 2012
  40. PoliticsPA "Cartwright Poll: Cartwright Leads Holden 42-36" accessed April 9, 2012
  41. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Matt Cartwright," accessed April 18, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Cartwright 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Cartwright 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Cartwright July Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Cartwright Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  49. Open Secrets, "Matt Cartwright's 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 4, 2013
  50. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  51. GovTrack, "Matthew Cartwright," accessed April 17, 2013
  52. OpenCongress, "Rep. Mike Cartwright," accessed August 22, 2013
  53. OpenSecrets, "Cartwright, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  54. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Tim Holden (D)
U.S. House of Representatives - Pennsylavnia, District 17
Succeeded by