Nov. 6, 2012 – 10:35 p.m.

113th Congress: Matt Cartwright, D-Penn. (17th District)

Matt 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 panel’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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.