Joe (R-IL) is a Tea Party Republican serving in Congress since January 2011. He defeated three-term incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean by a margin of 291 votes in a surprising upset. He received little Republican Party support for his bid against Bean, but was popular with the Tea Party.
Walsh was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of North Barrington, the fifth of nine children. He graduated from Barrington High School in 1980, where he was the class president and active in sports. He attended Grinnell College and then earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa. In the mid-1980s, he embarked on an acting career, taking lessons in stage, theater and television at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. He completed a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies in 1991.
For the 112th Congress, Walsh has been appointed to leadership positions on the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security (vice chairman), and the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth (chairman). Walsh holds other memberships related to his work as a congressman including: the Congressional Hockey Caucus, the House Republican Israel Caucus, the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.
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