October 19, 2022
Rep. Brendan Boyle isn't afraid to take an unpopular position. In 2015, for instance, he went after milk's favorite cookie on the floor of Congress. "Say no to Oreo," he told his colleagues, with a poster featuring the same slogan propped up beside him.
Boyle wasn't dunking on the dessert for no reason — he was calling out Oreo-maker Mondelez, which had announced plans to close its factory in Philadelphia and lay off 300 workers.
The stunt highlighted Boyle's affinity for job security, workers rights and corporate oversight, all issues he's advocated as a self-styled champion of the working and middle classes.
On Nov. 8, Boyle, a Democrat, will seek reelection to his seat as representative of Pennsylvania's 2nd District, which covers Northeast Philly and parts of North Philly. He faces a challenge from Republican Aaron Bashir, who previously ran for a seat in District 172 of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2020.
Boyle previously defeated Philadelphia city official David Torres in his 2018 and 2020 reelection bids. He ran unopposed in 2016, and bested businessman Carson Dee Adcock in his initial 2014 race.
A native of Olney, Boyle was the first of his family to go to college. He attended Notre Dame and later Harvard for his masters in public policy, which he used in his early career as a consultant. The pivot to politics came in 2008, when he won his first race in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. His brother, Kevin J. Boyle, won a seat himself in 2010, making them the first brothers to serve concurrently in that body.
Since assuming office in the U.S. House of Representatives, Boyle has focused his attention on income inequality. Along with Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, he pushed for a wealth tax in the Democrats' 2022 spending plan, calling tax hikes on rich Americans "damn popular." He has also supported an immediate raise in the minimum wage to $12, and eventually $15.
"It is simply wrong and immoral that, in the richest country in the world, someone could work full-time and still be stuck below the poverty line," he told CBS Philadelphia.
Boyle has sponsored several bills aimed at strengthening national drinking water standards, as well as two that incentivize the use of American-made products in infrastructure projects. He voted for the Women's Health Protection Act and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act.
There's one other piece of legislation Boyle is known for: his 2018 STABLE GENIUS Act, which would require presidential candidates to undergo medical examinations before the election. It did not make it out of either chamber of Congress.