Institute for Corean-American Studies

Joseph M. Hoeffel
Biographic Sketch

Congressman Joe Hoeffel is a Democratic Member of Congress from Pennsylvania's 13th District, which includes a majority of Montgomery County in suburban Philadelphia. Hoeffel is a member of the Budget Committee, the International Relations Committee, and the Science Committee.

Joe, 50, is a life-long resident of Montgomery County where he most recently served seven years as a county commissioner.

Since he was 22, Joe has devoted himself to public service. In 1976, he began his political career as a state representative, becoming the first Democrat to represent the Abington area in 60 years. While in Harrisburg, Joe earned a reputation for independent votes and fighting for hard working families.

In 1996, Joe ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, challenging a freshman incumbent and lost by just 84 votes. Two years later, he achieved a resounding victory.

In his first term, Joe played a major role in bringing a public health center to Norristown; introduced a bill that would reform Corporate Welfare; and, introduced legislation that would reform the way the federal government provides funding to public schools and provide an additional $35 billion in funding. He also succeeded in bringing over $50 million dollars in federal funds to the county during his first term in office.

He has also been a staunch supporter of legislation that would curb suburban sprawl, and promote livable communities. He has fought for the Patients' Bill of Rights that would reform HMOs, and is committed to preserving Social Security and Medicare and providing a prescription drug plan for seniors under Medicare. As a member of the International Relations Committee, Joe has supported international efforts such as the peace process in the Middle East and the Kosovo conflict.

After a disgruntled former employee of Norristown State Hospital took two hostages, killing one and seriously injuring the other with a replica of an antique firearm, Joe introduced legislation that would bring antique and replica firearms under the same federal regulations as modern firearms. He also introduced legislation to create a veterans' cemetery at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Joe has also created a very successful constituent outreach program. Through "Saturday's with Joe." Through this program, Joe holds town meetings and visits supermarkets and other retail establishments on multiple Saturdays each month to meet with constituents to discuss important issues before Congress. He has also held larger community town meetings on specific subjects such as a prescription drug program for seniors, transportation issues, Social Security and Medicare and the Schuylkill River Greenway initiative.

In his second term he has expanded his constituent outreach to include "Joe's Job Days". Under this new program, Joe spends one day each month in a different job to better understand the job and the issues surrounding it as well as increasing his interaction with constituents.

Joe is a graduate of William Penn Charter School, Boston University and Temple University School of Law. He has been married for 23 years to Francesca, a registered nurse with a master's degree in public health nursing. They have two children - Mary, 21, and Jake, 18.

ICAS Web Site Links for Joseph M. Hoeffel:

Spring 2001 Symposium

This page last updated 6/15/2001 jdb

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