Rep John Murtha Dies - Murtha Dead At 77
John Murtha has died. Rep John Murtha, a powerful Pennsylanvia Democratic Congressman, was 77.
The first Vietnam combat veteran to be become a Congressman in 1974, John or Jack Murtha was at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA for Gall Bladder surgery. Murtha died of complications due to the surgery news reports say.
"Murtha rose to become the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that controls spending for the Pentagon. Chairs of the appropriations subcommittee panels are viewed with such prestige on Capitol Hill that they’re called “cardinals.” That’s a nod to Rome because of the eminence these lawmakers hold over spending for their federal fiefdom.
Murtha was also the endorsed candidate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to become majority leader when Democrats won control of Congress in 2006. But current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) overwhelmingly defeated Murtha by secret ballot in a hard-fought leadership contest.
Murtha enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1952 and became a drill instructor at Parris Island. He served in Korea and received a Bronze Star and Two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam. He continued to be a member of the Marine Corps Reserves until he resigned as a colonel in 1990."
John Murtha also had his share of ethical questions in his long Congressional areer
"Mr. Murtha's congressional career was clouded by questions about his ethics—from the Abscam corruption probe in 1980 to more recent investigations into the special-interest spending known as earmarks and the raising of cash for election campaigns."