John T. Myers, who represented a swath of western Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and became the chamber’s third-most senior Republican, died Jan. 27 at his home in Covington, Ind. He was 87.
A daughter, Carol A. Myers, confirmed his death and said she did not know the cause.
Mr. Myers was elected to Congress in 1966 and represented his district — including the cities of Terre Haute and Lafayette — until 1996, when he declined to seek a 16th term.
After the 1994 elections, when Republicans took the majority after 40 years of Democratic House control, Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) passed over Mr. Myers to name a more junior colleague, Bob Livingston (R-La.), the Appropriations Committee chairman.
Mr. Myers was ranking Republican and then chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water development, an influential panel that oversees dams and other public works.
He also served as ranking Republican on the House Ethics Committee during the investigation of Speaker James C. Wright (D-Tex.), who resigned in 1989 amid a probe into his book sales and personal business activities.
The Almanac of American Politics cited among Mr. Myers’s legislative accomplishments the Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, which he co-sponsored, and which aimed to regulate mammography facilities for the effective detection of breast cancer. His wife had suffered from the disease.
Mr. Myers also was credited with obtaining federal funds for Indiana State University and a cancer research center at Indiana University.
John Thomas Myers was born Feb. 8, 1927, in Covington and was a 1951 graduate of Indiana State University.
He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, remained in the Army Reserve for two decades and worked in banking before being elected to Congress. Until his death, he ran a farm in Fountain County, Ind.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Carol Carruthers Myers of Covington; two children, Carol A. Myers of Marion, Ind., and Lori Kerns of Terre Haute; and seven grandchildren.
His son-in-law Brian Kerns, also an Indiana Republican, served in the House from 2001 to 2003.