March 31, 2002 - US Congress: Biography of Congressman and RPCV James Walsh

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, March 31, 2002 - 7:24 pm: Edit Post

Biography of Congressman and RPCV James Walsh

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Biography of Congressman and RPCV James Walsh*

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Biography of Congressman and RPCV James Walsh

Congressman Walsh represents Central New York in the House of Representatives as a member of the Committee on Appropriations. His district includes all of Onondaga and Cortland Counties, the northernmost half of Cayuga County and several towns in Tioga and Broome Counties.

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 107th 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 $92.5 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), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and about a dozen smaller agencies including the US Peace Corps in which he served as a volunteer.

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.

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.

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 five years. The goal is for them to learn a trade and to experience life in a multi-cultural society.

For his work on the peace process, Mr. Walsh 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.

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.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; US Peace Corps - Congress; COS - Nepal



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