Steel Industry Leaders Express Sorrow Over Death of Legendary Lawmaker Murtha

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and steel industry leaders nationwide expressed sorrow over the death of Congressman John P. Murtha, Jr. (D-Pa.), a decorated war veteran who was a beloved and revered founding member of the Congressional Steel Caucus during his 19-term career in Congress. 

“America’s steel industry has lost a good friend with the passing of Congressman John P. Murtha,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel and AISI's chairman.  “He was a strong and tireless advocate for the industry and the tens of thousands of steel-related jobs in communities across the nation.  Above all, Congressman Murtha exemplified service to our nation in many ways.  He was a decorated military combat veteran and the longest–serving U.S. House member from Pennsylvania.  His support of our industry, along with his leadership and service to our country, will be sadly missed.  We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.”

"It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of Congressman John Murtha," said John P. Surma, chairman and CEO of United States Steel Corporation and an AISI Director.  "Jack was a leading force for American manufacturing and spent decades championing the cause of a strong and vibrant domestic steel industry.  As co-founder of the Congressional Steel Caucus, time after time he shouldered the heaviest challenges to preserve our industry, repeatedly bringing his colleagues together to fight unfairly traded steel imports, among other key issues.  His personal engagement with every President since Gerald Ford, to maintain a fair and competitive marketplace for American manufacturers, is legendary.   Jack was, at heart, a great patriot and we have always been proud to be an essential element in his powerful advocacy for national and economic security.  It will be our continuing purpose to do our part in keeping his vision for a free, prosperous and safe America alive.

“Jack Murtha was truly one-of-a-kind.  A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, he brought his courage and first-hand knowledge of the military to the Halls of Congress.  As a member of the Steel Caucus, he was a pivotal figure in conveying to his fellow members of Congress how essential having a healthy domestic steel industry is to America’s economic and national security,” AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson said. “He was an important voice on Capitol Hill and was part of sustained congressional efforts to keep domestic manufacturing jobs here in America.”

“On behalf of AISI and our members nationwide, we extend our sincere condolences to the Murtha family.  He will always be remembered as a loyal friend of America’s steel industry and its workers.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the material of choice.  AISI plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent over 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.