'Ghoulish' and 'gross': GOP congresswoman blasted for her remarks on death of AFL-CIO chief

'Ghoulish' and 'gross': GOP congresswoman blasted for her remarks on death of AFL-CIO chief
US House Office of Photography, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Virginia Foxx


Richard Trumka, the head of the largest labor union in the country for over a decade and an organized labor leader since the 1980s died Thursday at the age of 72. Trumka started his career as a Pennsylvania coal miner, just like his father, and later went to college and earned a bachelors degree and a law degree.

U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), whose constituents include union members and probably some coal miners, issued a statement observing Trumka's passing that was so offensive it's being called "gross" and "disgusting."

Congresswoman Foxx, who was part of the GOP's House leadership team until 2017, is likely best known for her remarks disparaging Matthew Shepard, the 21-year old college student whose anti-LGBTQ hate crime murder was so horrific the 2009 federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act bears his name.

In her remarks Thursday, just hours after Trumka's death, Foxx attacked him for what she called "forced unionization, jobs-killing mandated wages, and other socialist policies."

Here's how some are responding:

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