Murtha dies at 77 after hospitalization

House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pa., died Monday afternoon at the age of 77. He had been hospitalized since last Tuesday after complications from gall bladder surgery.

According to a statement from his office, Murtha died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington with his family at his bedside.

Murtha was the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress when he won his seat in a special election in February of 1974. Just this past Saturday, he became Pennsylvania's longest-serving member of Congress.

The hawkish, gruff Marine shepherded Defense appropriations bills through the House with a minimum of time and opposition after working behind the scenes to strike deals to ensure support.

Murtha was a strong supporter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and unsuccessfully challenged House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., when Democrats regained the House majority in 2006.

Although he supported the original resolution sending U.S. troops to Iraq, he later had second doubts and argued that it was time to bring the troops home.

In December, Murtha was among several lawmakers who had received news that the Office of Congressional Ethics had recommended against a formal House Ethics Committee investigation regarding their ties to the defunct lobbying firm PMA Group.

Murtha had obtained nearly $2.5 million in donations from PMA and its clients, and the OCE was looking into allegations that he and others had gained those donations in return for undisclosed "official acts."

A House Ethics spokesman declined comment Monday on whether the panel had followed the OCE recommendation and had abandoned scrutiny of Murtha regarding his connections to PMA or any other issue.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.