William Clinger Jr., 92, Dies; Led House Inquiries on Clinton

William Clinger Jr., 92, Dies; Led House Inquiries on Clinton

2021-06-11 14:41:02
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William F. Clinger Jr., a nine-year-old Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who vigorously pursued two investigations into misconduct by the Clinton administration and two decades later said his party's candidate Donald J. Trump was unqualified to run for president, died on May 28 in Naples, Florida. He was 92.

His death, in a hospital, was confirmed by his daughter Eleanor (Bijou) Miller. Mr. Clinger had lived in Florida for several years since moving from Virginia.

Mr. Clinger, the only millionaire member of the United States House of Representatives when he was first elected in 1978, was a relatively moderate Republican, a former appointee of President Gerald R. Ford as chief adviser to the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration, and an advocate of public works.

His signature legislation, however, was a plank of the Contract With America, the conservative legislative agenda successfully proposed by Speaker Newt Gingrich and his fellow Republicans during the 1994 midterm elections, in which they took control of the House for the first time in 40 years. conquered. .

The following year, Mr. Clinger, as chairman of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, played a key role in passing legislation that prevented Congress from imposing mandates on states and places to spend money on programs that the federal government needed but not financed.

Mr. Clinger also led legislation to streamline government procurement of goods and services.

He launched two investigations into the White House overrun. One, dubbed "Travelgate" in the news media, investigated allegations that the White House under President Bill Clinton had fired staff at its travel agency and replaced them with Clinton friends. The committee accused the administration of obstructing the investigation, and an independent prosecutor found evidence that although First Lady Hillary Clinton had played a role in the firings, there was insufficient evidence that she had misled investigators.

The Independent Prosecutor also acquitted Mr. and Mrs. Clinton after an investigation into whether they had unlawfully gained access to the FBI. files on Republican opponents (inevitably referred to as "Filegate").

Mr. Clinger was so popular that he ran for reelection several times without a Democratic opponent. He did not want a 10th term in 1996.

In October 2016, weeks before the general election, he was one of about 30 former Republican lawmakers to vote in a public letter that Mr Trump was "evidently unqualified to be president".

William Floyd Clinger Jr. was born on April 4, 1929 in Warren, Pennsylvania, in the northwestern part of the state. William Sr. was a banker and owned oil wells. His mother, Lella May (Hunter) Clinger, was a homemaker.

After graduating from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, he received a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1951, served in the Navy for four years, and was discharged as a lieutenant. He worked as an advertising manager for the New Process Company, a mail-order clothing company in Warren, before enrolling at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he received a degree in 1965.

After retiring from Congress, Mr. Clinger at Johns Hopkins University, was the president of the… Chautauqua Institute's supervisory board and was co-chair of the Institute for Representative Government, a non-profit, bipartisan Washington organization that promotes democracy internationally.

He married Julia Whitla, who died in 2016. In addition to his daughter Eleanor, he leaves behind another daughter, Julia Boulton Clinger; two sons, James and William F. Clinger III; and seven grandchildren.


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