|Name||James T. Walsh|
Onondaga, New York , United States
|| June 19, 1947
Dec 20, 2014 01:14am
Caucasian - Irish - Catholic - Straight -
|Info||Congressman Walsh represents New York State in the House of Representatives as a member of the Committee on Appropriations. His district includes Onondaga County, northern Cayuga County, Wayne County, and the northeastern portion of Monroe County. |
He is one of 13 Chairmen of the Appropriations Subcommittees, a group sometimes referred to in Washington as "the college of cardinals" because of their influence on national spending policies.
In the 108th Congress, Mr. Walsh is chairman of the Subcommittee on the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies. As chair of VA/HUD, the third largest of the 13 appropriations budgets at approximately $121.9 billion, Mr. Walsh has spending oversight responsibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and about a dozen smaller agencies.
The New York Times called Mr. Walsh's Chairmanship "important to New York State" and noted that the Congressman is "in a strong position" to assist Governor Pataki with New York projects. The Buffalo News recently described Walsh as "commonly seen as New York's most powerful House member."
Mr. Walsh is also Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Construction, and a senior member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration.
Of particular interest to many in New York, Mr. Walsh proudly serves as Chairman of the Friends of Ireland, having been first named to that post by the Speaker of the House in 1995. He also serves as co-chair of the U.S.-Irish Interparliamentary Group.
Mr. Walsh chaired a historic Congressional Delegation in 1995, accompanying President Clinton to Northern Ireland for the first such visit by a sitting U.S. President. Subsequently, Mr. Walsh has led other delegations and was a member of the Distinguished Delegation to accompany President Clinton to Ireland in 1998 following ratification of the Good Friday Agreement. He most recently led a delegation in February 2003.
Mr. Walsh is responsible for the Walsh Visa, passed by Congress in 1998, which as part of the peace process will allow citizens from Northern Ireland and the border counties to live and work in the U.S. for three years. The goal is for them to learn a trade and to experience life in a multi-cultural society.
For his work in promoting the Irish Peace Process, Walsh was presented with a 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and has been honored in his hometown by the local Ancient Order of Hibernians, receiving the Bobby Sands Award in 1998. Additionally, he received the Flax Trust Award in 1997 for his leadership in economic support plans for Ireland including the International Fund for Ireland.
In other areas, Mr. Walsh is nationally recognized as a leader in child nutrition through his support of the WIC Program (Women with Infants and Children) and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) and as sponsor of the Hunger Has a Cure bill in the House of Representatives.
In 1999, Walsh was the author and primary sponsor of the "Newborn and Infant Screening and Intervention Program Act," creating a nationwide program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist states in establishing programs to detect and diagnose hearing loss in every newborn child and to promote appropriate treatment and intervention for newborns with hearing loss. Today he remains a co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, an organization of Members of Congress committed to advancing health and accessibility issues of particular concern to those with hearing loss.
With his wife DeDe, he has been active in support of breast cancer research and treatment as well as community-based and federally funded relief for battered women and teen-age mothers.
He is perennially endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) and others for his stands against government waste and his support of balanced budgets and tax reform.
A history-major graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Mr. Walsh is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, Social Services case worker, and telephone company executive. He served as Director of the Telecommunication Institute at SUNY (State University of New York) Utica-Rome and taught telecommunication policy. At the same time, he served on the City Council in Syracuse, N.Y. as its President.
Mr. Walsh is active in civic and charitable organizations. To name a few, he is a board member of the Erie Canal Museum, Vera House and Everson Museum.
An avid sportsman who hunts, fishes and skis on a regular basis, Mr. Walsh and his wife live in the town of Onondaga, a suburb of Syracuse. They have three children, Jed, Ben, and Maureen, and are parishioners of Most Holy Rosary Church. Mr. Walsh's father, William F. Walsh, served as Mayor of Syracuse from 1961-69, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1972-78.