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Congressman reportedly owes $100,000 in back child support

After repeatedly accusing the Obama administration of irresponsible spending and financial policies, a Republican member of the House of Representatives is now facing questions about his own financial management after reports surfaced that he owes his ex-wife over $100,000 in unpaid child support. However, the congressman is fighting back, claiming that the negative reports are politically motivated and largely untrue.

Joe Walsh, a first-term Representative from Illinois, is a member of both the Republican and Tea Parties. Recently, it was reported that he is being sued for $117,437 in back child support and interest by his ex-wife, from whom he was divorced eight years ago. In a statement, Walsh stated that he and his ex-wife have been attempting to work out their child support issues in court since January, and that while he does owe child support arrears, the total amount is much lower than is alleged in the media.

The attorney for Walsh's ex-wife disagrees, alleging that the congressman paid $1,000 less than the court had ordered for the several months between November of 2005 and March of 2008. After that, the attorney stated, Walsh completely stopped making the $2,135 payments from April of 2008 until December of 2010.

It was only when Walsh joined Congress' payroll, earning approximately $175,000 per year, that he began making payments of $2,164 per month. However, the ex-wife's attorney alleges, this was because the congressional office began following a court order to withhold that amount from his pay.

Walsh has wholly denied skirting his child support duty, stating that he has "always given everything I have to meet my financial obligations to my children."

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Ill. Congressman responds to child support report," Don Babwin, 28 July 2011

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