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Rep. John Murtha

Former Representative for Pennsylvania’s 12th District

Murtha was the representative for Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1973 to 2010.

Alleged misconduct & resolution

In 2009 Murtha was investigated for soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for legislative outcomes. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct dismissed the charges. On February 8, 2010, Representative Murtha died.

Dec. 2, 2009 House Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct dismiss the allegations
Feb. 8, 2010 Representative Murtha died.
Feb. 26, 2010 House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct dismissed the charges on the OCE's recommendation

In 1981, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct investigated Murtha for bribery and conspiracy as part of ABSCAM investigation. On Jul. 28, 1981, the charges were dismissed and the Special Counsel resigned.

Jul. 28, 1981 House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct preliminary inquiry voted (May 28, 1981); dismissed (July 28, 1981) and Special Counsel resigned
Photo of Rep. John Murtha [D-PA12, 1973-2010]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Murtha is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 2010 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Murtha sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 4, 2005 to Dec 21, 2010. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Murtha was the primary sponsor of 16 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 16 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Murtha sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Armed Forces and National Security (21%) Government Operations and Politics (17%) International Affairs (14%) Law (14%) Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (10%) Education (10%) Taxation (7%) Families (7%)

Recent Bills

Some of Murtha’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Murtha voted Yea

Passed 240/179 on Jun 3, 2009.

Murtha voted Nay

Murtha voted Nay

Passed 411/8 on Jul 31, 2007.

The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (Pub.L. 110–81, 121 Stat. 735, enacted September 14, 2007) is a law of the United States ...

Murtha voted No

Missed Votes

From Jan 1973 to Feb 2010, Murtha missed 1,813 of 21,734 roll call votes, which is 8.3%. This is much worse than the median of 3.1% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Feb 2010. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: