Tax Panel Aide Hurt Seriously

Posted May 21, 2003 at 6:13pm

Al Davis, a veteran Hill staffer and top House Democratic economist, remains in intensive care at George Washington University Hospital after being hit by a taxi cab Monday night in Arlington, Va.

The hospital would not disclose Davis’ condition, but friends indicate the accident was extremely serious and his condition is grave.

Davis, 56, has served since 1999 as the chief Democratic economist on the Ways and Means Committee and prior to that spent 15 years on the Budget Committee.

Dan Maffei, spokesman for the Ways and Means Democratic staff, said the outpouring of support for Davis has ranged from prominent House Members to lobbyists and staffers. He said Davis is widely respected both on and off the Hill, providing a reliable viewpoint on economic issues.

“It’s remarkable how many people from various places have called after finding out about it,” Maffei said. “They have been very concerned and offered their support.”

“The reaction has been, ‘Oh my God, what can I do,’” Maffei added. “It’s a real shock that someone we have contact with every day was in such a horrific accident.”

The accident comes just as Ways and Means tries to wrap up its tax legislation.

“Al is absolutely essential,” Maffei said. “He produces more raw paper, graphs and information. It’s unbelievable. It is really difficult to get through the week without him, much less months and months.

“But obviously, the most important thing is his health, and he is doing the best he can to rehabilitate.”

According to Maffei, Davis was crossing at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Nelson Street in the Ballston neighborhood at about 7:30 p.m. when a cab struck him. Police and emergency medical personnel were on the scene immediately.

Police are still investigating the incident, and no charges have been filed yet.

The accident seriously damaged both of his legs. Davis has been unconscious since the accident and underwent surgery Tuesday to remove pressure from his brain.