- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, MO. (AP) - A first-term Missouri congressman is apologizing to people offended by his online post using the death of British singer Amy Winehouse to make a point about the federal government.

Republican Billy Long posted a Twitter message Monday saying: “No one could reach (hash)AmyWinehouse before it was too late. Can anyone reach Washington before it’s too late? Both addicted _ same fate???”

Winehouse was found dead Saturday after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for years. An autopsy didn’t determine what killed the 27-year-old.

Long says he thinks spending more than is collected also is an addiction. He told the Springfield News-Leader he meant no disrespect to Winehouse and apologized if anyone was offended.

Long is serving his first term in Congress after working for years as an auctioneer and realtor.