32 Facts About John Murtha

1.

John Murtha is the longest-serving member ever of the United States House of Representatives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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2.

Former Marine Corps officer, John Murtha was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the US House of Representatives.

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3.

John Murtha had previously chaired this subcommittee from 1989 to 1995 and served as its ranking member from 1995 to 2007.

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4.

John Murtha was born into an Irish-American family in New Martinsville, West Virginia, near the border with Ohio and Pennsylvania, and grew up in Paden City, West Virginia and then Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, a largely suburban county east of Pittsburgh.

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5.

John Murtha worked delivering newspapers and at a gas station before graduating from The Kiski School, an all-male boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania.

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6.

John Murtha left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marine Corps and was awarded the American Spirit Honor Medal for displaying outstanding leadership qualities during training.

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7.

John Murtha became a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia.

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8.

John Murtha was then assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

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9.

John Murtha later took graduate courses from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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10.

John Murtha remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for service in the Vietnam War, serving from 1966 to 1967, serving as a battalion staff officer, receiving the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

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11.

John Murtha retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990, receiving the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

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12.

John Murtha lost fairly handily to longtime Republican incumbent John Saylor.

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13.

John Murtha was elected to represent the 72nd legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in a special election on May 20,1969.

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14.

John Murtha immediately jumped into the special election contest in what was now the 12th District.

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15.

John Murtha faced tough primary challenges in 1982,1990 and again in 2002.

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16.

On June 9,2006, John Murtha informed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he would run for Majority Leader if the Democrats gained control of the House in the 2006 midterm elections.

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17.

On March 18,2008, John Murtha endorsed Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and then senator from New York, in her bid for the presidency.

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18.

On February 6,2010, two days before his death, John Murtha became the longest-serving Pennsylvania congressman in history.

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19.

In 2009, John Murtha heard details from Fort Benning US Army soldiers on how their current uniforms and equipment were not providing camouflage in Iraq and Afghanistan during a personal visit.

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20.

In 1980, during his fourth term as a Congressman, John Murtha became embroiled in the Abscam investigation, which targeted dozens of congressmen.

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21.

John Murtha did agree to testify against Frank Thompson and John Murphy, the two Congressmen mentioned as participants in the deal at the same meeting and who were later videotaped placing the cash bribes in their trousers.

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22.

Full length viewing of the tape shows John Murtha citing prospective investment opportunities that could return "500 or 1000" miners to work.

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23.

John Murtha was targeted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress.

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24.

The report cited John Murtha's steering of defense appropriations to clients of KSA Consulting, which employed his brother Robert, and the PMA Group, founded by Paul Magliocchetti, a former senior staffer on the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense.

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25.

In February 2009, CQ Politics reported that John Murtha was one of 104 US representatives to earmark funds in the 2008 Defense appropriations spending bill for a lobbying group that had contributed to his past election campaigns.

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26.

John Murtha voted for the October 2002 resolution that authorized the use of force against Iraq.

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27.

Still, in early 2005 John Murtha argued against the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

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28.

John Murtha added that he would never question the courage of a fellow Marine.

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29.

In November 2005 John Murtha announced that a military investigation into the Haditha killings had concluded that US Marines had intentionally killed innocent civilians.

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30.

John Murtha generally opposed gun control, earning an A from the National Rifle Association.

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31.

John Murtha voted for the Stupak–Pitts Amendment to the health care bill that prohibits elective abortions for people covered by the public healthcare plan and to prohibit people receiving federal assistance from purchasing a private healthcare plan that includes abortions, except when the woman's life is in danger.

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32.

John Murtha voted for a bill to prohibit pregnant minors from crossing state borders to obtain abortions.

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