Tea Party-backed U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is back in hot water after being accused of filing a bill practically identical to one previously introduced by a Democrat -- without consulting or crediting them.
In May, Walsh introduced the Renovate and Enhance Veterans’ Meeting Halls and Posts (REVAMP) Act, which would establish a grant program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides funding for the refurbishment of veterans' facilities such as VFW halls.
Walsh's bill was practically identical to a separate bill introduced to bipartisan support by U.S. Rep Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) two years ago.
Oliver Longwell, Bishop's communications director, described Walsh's move as "really unprecedented" in an interview with Politico.
"Perhaps it’s just a rookie mistake, but it’s a reflection of the total collapse of collegiality that has characterized the House since it came under the influence of the Tea Party, even on what should be the most bipartisan of issues: assisting our veterans," Longwell continued.
A spokesman for Walsh's office described their failure to loop Bishop in as a "misstep" that was not intended to be a diss, Politico reports.
Walsh is being challenged in Illinois' 8th congressional district by Tammy Duckworth, a double-amputee Iraq War veteran and former director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Walsh previously stirred up a national controversy when he criticized how frequently Duckworth discusses her military service.
Duckworth's campaign last month announced it had brought in almost $900,000 in the latest fundraising quarter, her strongest fundraising period to date.
The National Journal last month identified Walsh's district as the third most likely to change parties this fall, surpassed only by districts currently represented by retiring representatives.
Tea Party insurgent Christine O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/14/delaware-election-results_n_715598.html" target="_hplink">defeated</a> GOP establishment candidate Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican Senate primary in 2010. O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/02/chris-coons-defeats-chris_n_765874.html" target="_hplink">lost</a> in the state's general election contest to Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.
After serving six terms in the Senate, Indiana Republican Richard Lugar <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/dick-lugar-richard-mourdock-lugar-loses-indiana-republican-senate-primary_n_1501416.html" target="_hplink">was defeated</a> by Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock in a primary contest in the 2012 election season.
Former Sen. Bob Bennett was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/08/bob-bennett-utah-gop-senate_n_568988.html" target="_hplink">ousted from his post</a> at the 2010 Utah GOP Convention. Tea Party-backed Sen. Mike Lee currently holds Bennett's old seat.
Before winning another term in the 2010 midterm election, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was defeated by Tea Party-backed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/joe-miller-alaska-candida_n_694559.html" target="_hplink">Joe Miller</a> in Alaska's race for the Republican Senate nomination. Murkowski mounted a successful <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/12/alaska-senate-race-write-in-ballots_n_782724.html" target="_hplink">write-in campaign</a> to keep her seat.
Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/09/sharron-angle-wins-nevada_n_605366.html" target="_hplink">crushed</a> GOP establishment pick Sue Lowden's political ambitions in Nevada's GOP Senate primary in 2010. Angle <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/harry-reid-sharron-angle_n_765995.html" target="_hplink">proved unsuccessful</a> in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the general election.
GOP establishment candidate Jane Norton was defeated by Tea Party-backed Ken Buck in Colorado's 2010 Senate GOP primary. Buck ultimately <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/colorado-election-results_1_n_765865.html" target="_hplink">proved unsuccessful</a> in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who ran for Senate as an independent after beginning his campaign as a Republican in 2010, ultimately fell short in his political operation. Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/02/marco-rubio-defeats-charlie-crist-kendrick-meek_n_765882.html" target="_hplink">defeated</a> Christ and Democrat Kendrick Meek in Florida's Senate general election match-up.