Rep. Joe Walsh Accused Of Stealing Another Congressman's Bill
By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 1, 2012 5:55PM
Here's a story about Rep. Joe Walsh that has nothing to do with anything he said. Walsh introduced a bill that would provide renovation grants to Veterans of Foreign Wars post called the Renovate and Enhance Veterans’ Meeting Halls and Posts Act. The bill is a nice one, especially for a congressman like Walsh who's prone to telling his constituents to stop suckling at the federal teat.
There's only one problem: a fellow congressman is accusing Walsh of lifting the bill from him. Rep. Tim Bishop (D - NY) introduced the bipartisan Renovate and Enhance Veterans’ Meeting Halls and Posts Act in 2010 and was shocked to find Walsh's bill, with a couple of exceptions, was a word-for-word copy of his bill, according to Politico.
Although portions of proposed legislation from retired lawmakers is commonplace Bishop's communications director, Oliver Longwell, told Politico such taking legislation from a serving congressman is unprecedented.
“Perhaps it’s just a rookie mistake, but it’s a reflection of the total collapse of collegiality that has characterized the House since it came under the influence of the tea party, even on what should be the most bipartisan of issues: assisting our veterans,” he said.
Now Walsh's chief of staff, Justin Roth, has another fire set by his boss he needs to douse.
“There was no purposeful slight; members introducing other member’s legislation that has been dormant for a year is not uncommon,” Roth said. “It was misstep by our office that he was not asked.”
Roth said Walsh was interested in doing something for VFW halls for a while and, even though he introduced his REVAMP Act in May, passage would be feather in his cap after all the criticism he received for his whining about how often his Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth mentions her military service.