Congressman William J. Coyne
WILLIAM J. COYNE
Biography

William J. Coyne, Democratic Member of Congress from Pittsburgh, represents Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District. The 14th District consists of the City of Pittsburgh and thirty-three other communities in Allegheny County. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980. Since then, he has concentrated on policy initiatives dealing with Social Security, trade, tax reform, health care, housing and community development, job creation, and job training -- issues which are of great importance to Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Coyne is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is currently the ranking Democratic member on the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee. In past years, Coyne has served on the Banking Committee, the Budget Committee, the Committee on House Administration, and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Coyne has consistently used his committee assignments to promote federal policies important to urban America.

During the 103rd Congress, Coyne succeeded in making the tax-exempt Industrial Development Bond program permanent. IDBs helped to create or retain more than 26,000 manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania alone between 1987 and 1992. Coyne also led the successful House Ways and Means Committee opposition to a proposed $1 per gallon hike in the federal fuel tax for waterway commerce in 1993. Coyne also succeeded in having the Congress adopt language in the 1993 reconciliation bill that provided low-income workers with an improved opportunity to receive an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit on a monthly basis, instead of waiting for a single annual payment.

During the 104th Congress, Coyne worked with many of his Democratic colleagues to protect federal funding for programs serving children, seniors, and working families, and to ensure that the burden of federal taxation was not disproportionately borne by working families. He also worked to provide tax incentives for businesses and municipalities to clean up and redevelop abandoned industrial sites, and he worked to expand protection for workers’ rights in international trade agreements.

During the 105th Congress, Coyne worked to provide middle class tax relief while balancing the federal budget responsibly; he was a supporter of both the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. He worked successfully to include a provision in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 which allowed businesses to deduct the cost of cleaning up brownfields sites in certain targeted areas. He was also actively involved in developing and enacting legislation to reform the Internal Revenue Service, and much of his taxpayer bill of rights legislation was included in this bill. He worked to make federal organ transplant regulations fairer, and he was successful in making the Medicare Disproportionate Share program’s reimbursement formula for hospitals fairer as well. He also worked successfully to include nearly $800 million in earmarks for projects in the 14th District in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century -- including reconstruction of the Drake, Library, and Overbrook trolley lines, construction of an extension of the MLK Jr. Busway, construction of an industrial access road in Lawrenceville, and construction of transit links between downtown and the North Shore.

During the 106th Congress, Congressman Coyne worked to protect federal programs that serve children, senior citizens, the disabled, and working families; enact a Medicare prescription drug benefit; strengthen U.S. laws that punish unfair foreign trade practices; protect Americans’ pensions and other retirement benefits; increase funding for medical research and education; and make the federal tax code simpler and fairer by reforming the capital gains tax and the alternative minimum tax. He also worked successfully to increase public awareness about Food Stamp eligibility and to expand the brownfields tax provision and push back its expiration date by several years.

A lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Coyne is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and Robert Morris College. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1955 to 1957. Coyne worked as a corporate accountant for 13 years before entering politics in 1970. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1971 to 1972. He served on the Pittsburgh City Council from 1973 until 1980. He has represented Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981.


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