James T. Walsh
James Thomas Walsh (born June 19, 1947) is an American Republican politician from Syracuse, New York. Currently a government affairs counselor for K & L Gates in Washington, DC, Walsh retired from the United States House of Representatives in 2009 after serving for twenty years. Walsh represented a portion of Central New York, that is now known as the state’s 24th Congressional District.
While in Congress, Walsh was a member of the United States House Committee on Appropriations for 16 years, also chairing several of its subcommittees. As chair of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, alone, Walsh had spending oversight of more than $100 billion during the 109th Congress. In his capacities as chair and member of committees, subcommittees, and caucuses in Congress, Walsh secured hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds for veterans affairs, healthcare, technology, the environment, higher educational institutions, and many other areas.
Walsh was further active in the peace process in Northern Ireland, for which the Walsh Visa was created and named in his honor. As co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, Walsh secured passage of laws aimed at guaranteeing universal hearing screenings for newborns and infants in the United States. In 2009, an act that he proposed and which was enacted that achieved this effort was renamed for him in his honor, becoming known as the James T. Walsh Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program. Walsh’s change of perspective regarding both of then-President George W. Bush’s troop surge of 2007 and ideology regarding the Iraq War, caused Walsh’s views to gain headlines in the news media, as well as for additionally desiring a gradual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
For one decade during the 1970s and 1980s, Walsh was active on the Syracuse City Council, serving as its leader for five years. In 1999, he issued a challenge with several goals that is known as The Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) for revitalization of the city. The many phases of SNI have been successful in improving neighborhoods and housing in numerous areas of the city.
Generally known as a moderate, pro-labor Republican, Walsh currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Dede. Walsh’s father, William F. Walsh, served as Mayor of Syracuse during the 1960s, as well as a Republican Congress Member of the House of Representatives in the 1970s, and his son, Ben Walsh, began serving as Mayor of Syracuse in 2018.