Jason Altmire: Wikis


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Jason Altmire

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 4th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Melissa Hart

Born March 7, 1968 (1968-03-07) (age 42)
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kelly Altmire
Residence McCandless, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Florida State University, George Washington University
Occupation political assistant, health care executive
Religion Roman Catholic

Jason Altmire (born March 7, 1968) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Pennsylvania's Fourth Congressional district.




Early years and education

Altmire was born in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, where he was a record-breaking two-sport letterman at Burrell High School. He set a school record in track and field that stood for many years and was recognized as an all-star wide receiver in football[1]. A serious knee injury kept him off the athletic field as a high school senior, and in 1986 he matriculated at Florida State University, in Tallahassee. Following a lengthy rehabilitation of his knee injury, he tried out for and made the Seminole football team as a walk on.[2] He graduated in 1990 with a B.S. in Political Science and worked in the Tallahassee campaign office of Douglas "Pete" Peterson, then a candidate for Congress in Florida's Second Congressional District.[3] He later earned a Master's in Health Administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Career prior to election to the House

Washington, DC

After Peterson won the 1990 congressional race against incumbent Republican Congressman Bill Grant, he hired Altmire to work in his Capitol Hill office. Altmire worked as a legislative assistant during Peterson's three terms in office (1991–1996), specializing in domestic policy issues.[4] He gained an expertise in health care issues and helped Peterson draft several major health care proposals. In 1993, Altmire was appointed to a working group for President Clinton's Task Force on National Health Care Reform.[5]In 1996, when Peterson was named U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Altmire continued his work in health care policy by taking a job with the Federation of American Hospitals.

Western Pennsylvania

In 1998, Altmire returned to Western Pennsylvania to work for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a 20-hospital health care system with 45,000 employees and more than $7 billion in annual revenue. By 2005, he was the acting Vice President for Government Relations and Community Health Services. His duties at UPMC included oversight of UPMC’s Office of Charitable Giving, which has primary discretion over UPMC’s then 6 million in annual charitable donations. He also represented UPMC in discussions with government officials and local community organizations.[6] During this time, Altmire was a frequent volunteer and community activist, serving on the boards of more than a dozen community and civic organizations. In recognition of his community service, in 2003 he was named by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of Pittsburgh's "40 under 40"[7], and in 2005 he was awarded the Arcadia Award by Northern Allegheny Camber of Commerce. The Arcadia Award is presented annually to the local business leader who most exemplifies dedication to community service.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives

Altmire, a Blue Dog Democrat[9], has a moderate to conservative voting record and has been identified as a centrist in Congress by non-partisan publications.[10] Altmire has introduced 24 bills/amendments that have passed the House, 17 of which have been signed into law.[11] Although he has been involved in a wide variety of issues, he has been particularly successful in championing veterans issues.[12] He gained national attention with his effort to guarantee the enlistment bonuses of combat-wounded veterans, and was the principle author of the law that expands the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover military guard and reserve families, for which he was recognized by the National Military Families Association.[13] Altmire was actively involved in the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and served on the House-Senate conference committee that finalized the bill before it was sent to President George W. Bush for his signature. Altmire was also named to the conference committees for the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act[14] and the 2007 Defense Authorization bills, each of which has become law. Along with veterans' issues, small business and health care issues have been focal points of Altmire's early legislative career. He was named to chair a congressional task force on health care reform[15], and his work in drafting and passing through the House legislation to help small businesses acquire private capital investment received recognition from Biotechnology Industries Organization.[16] In 2009, he played a major role in breaking a congressional stalemate that had for years delayed passage of an omnibus land conservation bill that combined dozens of different bills and covered millions of acres of public lands.[17] As chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, he has convened a number of congressional hearings to study the impact federal laws and regulations on American small businesses.[18]Altmire is the only member of Congress to have made every vote cast during the last two sessions of Congress.[19] He has been profiled in a variety of national publications and media outlets, and has appeared on Comedy Central's popular political satire program The Colbert Report.[20]



Altmire left UPMC on June 30, 2005, to run for Congress against three-term incumbent Republican Congresswoman Melissa Hart, who was considered by most observers to be invulnerable. On May 17, 2006 he won the Democratic nomination in a hard-fought primary against millionaire businesswoman Georgia Berner, then set his sights on Hart in what was widely considered to be a long-shot campaign.[21]

Altmire campaigned relentlessly and raised over $1 million to help fund his race against a well-known incumbent.[22] After polling well behind Hart early in the race, he eventually closed the gap heading into the final weeks before the election. On November 7, 2006, Altmire defeated Hart with 52 percent of the vote.


Altmire faced Hart again in the 2008 election and defeated her by 40,000 votes and a 56-44 margin.[23] Altmire carried a wide lead throughout the campaign and the race was never considered to be competitive.[24]

Healthcare reform

On November 7, 2009, Altmire voted Nay on HR 3962[25], the Health Care Reform Bill sponsored by his own party, cementing his status as a maverick Blue Dog.

Personal life

Altmire is married to the former Kelly Lynn Fagan of Winter Haven, Florida, and is the father of two school-aged daughters.


  1. ^ "Pittsburgh Press, December 9, 1984"
  2. ^ "Florida State Times, Feb/March 2007 http://www.fsu.edu/~fstime/FS-Times/Feb07.pdf
  3. ^ PETERSON, Douglas Brian (Pete) - Biographical Information
  4. ^ http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000259
  5. ^ "Washington Post, March 30, 1993"
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 29, 2005 http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05149/511086-54.stm
  7. ^ 2003 Pittsburgh Magazine http://www.wqed.org/mag/40/2003/winners.shtml
  8. ^ "Pgh Tribune-Review, May 1, 2005." http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_329737.html
  9. ^ http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs/index.html
  10. ^ http://www3.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/pdf/08centrists.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.altmire.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view&id=258&Itemid=54
  12. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07347/841475-366.stm;http://www.altmire.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=202&Itemid=58;http://www.butlereagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080266/NEWS01/466755413&SearchID=73326555053727
  13. ^ http://www.altmire.house.gov/indexphp?option=com_content&task=view&id=201&Itemid=58;http://www.thebostonchannel.com/newsarchive/14882804/detail.html
  14. ^ http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/news/mostreads/s_575371.html
  15. ^ http://www.altmire.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=219&Itemid=58
  16. ^ http://www.bio.org/new/newsitem.asp?id=2008_0415_06
  17. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09095/960401-113.stm
  18. ^ http://www.house.gov/smbiz.democrats/welcome.htm
  19. ^ http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/110/house/perfect-voters/
  20. ^ http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=81290
  21. ^ "Pgh Trib-Review, June 18, 2006" http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_458419.html
  22. ^ Congressional Races
  23. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Unofficial List of Candidates
  24. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08302/923332-181.stm
  25. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll887.xml

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Melissa Hart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by


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