Issue One mourns the passing of former Rep. William “Bill” Clinger (R-PA) and sends our condolences to his friends, family, and former constituents. In his passing, we take time to reflect and celebrate his dedication to integrity and civility. Rep. Clinger was a prominent and active member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet members. He passed on May 28, 2021, at the age of 92.
Clinger was elected in 1978 and served for eight terms representing Pennsylvania’s 23rd and 5th Congressional Districts. While in Congress, he was the chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the vice chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Among his accomplishments while in office, Rep. Clinger championed the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 which restricts the federal government from imposing unfunded mandates on state, local, and tribal governments. He also co-sponsored the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, which set federal standards for pesticides in foods and established additional safety precautions, and co-sponsored the Information Technology Management Reform Act, also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act, which improved the way the federal government acquires, uses, and disposes information technology.
Before serving in Congress, Rep. Clinger graduated from John Hopkins University and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. He served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955.
Rep. Clinger represented his constituents in Congress by frequently working across the aisle to help secure commonsense and bipartisan solutions. He was especially focused on passing legislation supporting veterans like the Veterans’ Compensation Amendments of 1991, the National Defense Authorization Act, and designating November 23rd as National Military Families Recognition Day.
After retiring from Congress, Rep. Clinger served as the chairman on the Chautauqua Institution’s board of trustees. He was also a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.
We thank Rep. Clinger for his years of public service upholding and defending the value of democracy. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.