Mick Mulvaney

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Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Director of the Office of Management
and Budget
Assumed office
February 16, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Shaun Donovan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – February 16, 2017
Preceded by John Spratt
Succeeded by Vacant
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 16th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Chauncey Gregory
Succeeded by Chauncey Gregory
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 45th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Eldridge Emory
Succeeded by Debora Long
Personal details
Born John Michael Mulvaney
(1967-07-21) July 21, 1967 (age 49)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pamela West (1998–present)
Education Georgetown (B.S.)
UNC Chapel Hill (J.D.)

John Michael "Mick" Mulvaney (/mʌlˈvni/; born July 21, 1967) is an American politician in the Republican Party and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He was nominated as OMB director by President Donald Trump in December 2016[1] and confirmed by Senate vote (51–49) on February 16, 2017.[2] Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011, he was the first Republican since 1883 to represent South Carolina's 5th congressional district where he served until his confirmation as OMB director in 2017.[3] Mulvaney served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 2007–2011, first in the State House of Representatives and then the State Senate.[4]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Mulvaney was born in Alexandria, Virginia and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, before moving to Indian Land, South Carolina.[5][6] He attended Charlotte Catholic High School and then Georgetown University, where he majored in International Economics, Commerce and Finance.[5] At Georgetown, he was an Honors Scholar, the highest level of academic achievement awarded to members of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and ultimately graduated with honors in 1989.[6]

Mulvaney attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a full scholarship to attend law school, where his focus was on anti-trust law. He graduated with his J.D. degree in 1992.[7]

From 1992 to 1997, Mulvaney practiced law with the firm James, McElroy & Diehl. Mulvaney joined his family's homebuilding and real estate business. He participated in the Owners and Presidents Management Program at Harvard Business School. He was a minority shareholder and owner-operator in Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, a privately held regional restaurant chain.[8]

South Carolina legislature[edit]

State House[edit]

Mulvaney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2006.[9]

State Senate[edit]

In 2008 an unexpected retirement created a vacancy in the South Carolina Senate and he campaigned for and won that office in what was widely regarded to be the hardest fought legislative race in South Carolina that year.[10]

While in the State Senate, Mulvaney served on the Judiciary, Labor/Commerce/Industry, Medical Affairs, Agriculture/Natural Resources, and Corrections Committees. The Palmetto Family Council identified him as the Freshman Legislator of the Year in 2006 for his work on the South Carolina ultrasound bill.[11]

In 2010 he was named Legislator of the Year for his work in support of the State's Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He has received one of the few A+ ratings in the entire legislature from the South Carolina Club for Growth.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Mulvaney, a GOP Young Gun, ran against Democratic incumbent John Spratt for South Carolina's 5th congressional district. The race was highlighted by Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC's "Take Congress Back: 10 in '10" initiative as one of the top 10 House challenger races.[12] Mulvaney's involvement in the now defunct Edenmoor real estate development in Lancaster County, South Carolina became a campaign issue, with Mulvaney's opponents alleging that he misled the Lancaster County council and taxpayers to provide $30 million in public funding for the real estate development and that once the public funds had been approved, Mulvaney sold his interest in the development to a third party at a $7 million profit.[13][14] Mulvaney denied the allegations and said that the project's failure was due to Democratic economic policies.[13] He defeated Spratt, who had held the seat since 1983, with 55% of the vote.[15]

Mulvaney's campaign against Spratt was aided by a 501(c)(4) organization named the Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity. The group, which was established by anonymous donors and run by lobbyist Scott W. Reed, has been accused by the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington of violating federal campaign finance laws and disclosing false information to the Internal Revenue Service.[16]


Mulvaney speaking at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.

He won re-election to a second term, by defeating Democrat Joyce Knott 56%–44%.[17][18]


He won re-election to a third term, by defeating Democrat Tom Adams, a Fort Mill Town Council[19] member, 59%–41%.[20]

Mulvaney cofounded the bipartisan Blockchain Caucus, "meant to help congressmen stay up to speed on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies", and develop policies that advance them.[21]


Mulvaney faced Ray Craig in the Republican primary and defeated him 78–22%.[22] Mulvaney was re-elected to a fourth term, winning over 59% of the vote.[23]


In 2015, Mulvaney voted against a government-funding resolution, in part because it included funding for Planned Parenthood.[24]

Mulvaney supported the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, which would have "[created] a commission tasked with eliminating and revising outdated and redundant federal regulations."[25][26]

Fiscal year 2014 budget[edit]

On December 10, 2013, Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray announced that they had negotiated the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, a proposed two-year budget deal.[27][28] The budget deal would cap the federal government's spending for Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2015 at $1.014.[29]

The proposed deal would eliminate some of the spending cuts required by the sequester by $45 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in January and $18 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in 2015.[29] This does not decrease federal spending; instead, by reducing the amount of spending cuts the government was going to be forced to make by the sequester, it actually increases government spending by $45 billion and $18 billion over what would have been spent had the sequester remained in place. Some Republicans wanted Speaker Boehner to pursue a temporary measure that would cover the rest of Fiscal Year 2014 at the level set by the sequester – $967 billion, rather than pass this budget deal, which would have $45 billion in additional spending.[30]

The deal is supposed to make up for this increase in spending by raising airline fees and changing the pension contribution requirements of new federal workers.[27] According to The Hill, Mulvaney is "spearheading opposition to the new budget bill". He did not blame Ryan for the budget deal, instead saying that the problem was too few conservatives had been elected to Congress to pass a budget with a greater focus on debt reduction.[30] Mulvaney said that he expected the budget deal to pass because "it was designed to get the support of defense hawks and appropriators and Democrats", not conservatives.[27]

On April 9, 2014, Mulvaney offered a proposal based on the Obama proposal as a substitute amendment in order to force a vote on the President's budget request. The President's proposal failed in a vote of 2–413, although Democrats were urged by their leadership to vote against this "political stunt."[31]

Presidential endorsements[edit]

Mulvaney speaking at a campaign event for Senator Rand Paul in Spartanburg, South Carolina in September 2015.

In September 2015, Mulvaney endorsed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries.[32]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Director of the Office of Management and Budget[edit]


On December 16, 2016, Mulvaney was announced to have been chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.[34]

Mulvaney's nomination as Director-designate was reviewed in hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

In his statement to the Senate Budget Committee, Mulvaney admitted that he had failed to pay $15,000 in payroll taxes from 2000-04 for a nanny he had hired to care for his triplets. Mulvaney said he did not pay the taxes because he viewed the woman as a babysitter rather than as a household employee. After filling out a questionnaire from the Trump transition team, he realized the lapse and began the process of paying back taxes and fees. Senate Democrats noted that Republicans had previously insisted that past Democratic nominees' failure to pay taxes for their household employees was disqualifying, including former Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle in 2009.[35][36]

On February 16, 2017, the Senate confirmed Mulvaney, 51–49.[2] Every Democratic Senator as well as John McCain voted against his nomination. McCain cited Mulvaney's prior votes to cut the military budget as his reasoning why. [37]

Political positions[edit]

Mulvaney aligns himself with the Tea Party movement.[38][39]

Mulvaney opposes gun control initiatives.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Mulvaney has two siblings. He married his wife Pamela West in 1998; they have triplets.[41] He is a Roman Catholic.[42]


  1. ^ "Trump picks US Rep. Mulvaney to head White House budget office", Reuters via CNBC, December 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote". www.senate.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Rep. Mick Mulvaney: A freshman's view of Washington". Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ Chris Cillizza (July 21, 2010). "Lindsey Graham's vote on Elena Kagan ensures primary challenge". Political news and analysis. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "MULVANEY, Mick". United States Congress. 
  6. ^ a b "Arena Profile: Rep. Mick Mulvaney". Politico. 
  7. ^ "Sen. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC 16th District)". Congress.Org. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Sen. Mick Mulvaney latest Salsarita's franchisee". FastCasual.Com. March 23, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Mick Mulvaney". Catholicvote.org. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  10. ^ "Mulvaney At A Glance". Conservative Review. 
  11. ^ a b "CONGRESSIONAL PROFILE: REP. MICK MULVANEY (R-SC)". Heritage Action For America. 
  12. ^ Paul Conner (October 28, 2010). "Romney stumps in South Carolina as Mulvaney opens lead on Spratt". The Daily Caller. 
  13. ^ a b Overman, Jenny (October 19, 2010). "Mulvaney refutes latest Edenmoor accusation". Rock Hill Herald. 
  14. ^ Matt Garfield (October 8, 2010). "Republican hopeful Mulvaney defends past land deal". The Herald. 
  15. ^ "2010 General Election". South Carolina State Election Commission. November 18, 2010. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  16. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (July 17, 2012). "Tax-Exempt Group's Election Activity Highlights Limits of Campaign Finance Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ POLITICO. "2012 Election Results Map by State". POLITICO. 
  18. ^ "Mulvaney easily defeats challenger to represent 5th Congressional District". GoUpstate.com. 
  19. ^ "South Carolina: Haley, Graham re-elected; Scott to finish term". charlotteobserver. 
  20. ^ "South Carolina Election Results 2014: House Map by District, Live Midterm Voting Updates". POLITICO. 
  21. ^ "Trump Picks Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Advocate as Budget Chief - Finance Magnates". 20 December 2016. 
  22. ^ "June 14, 2016 Statewide Primary Election official results". South Carolina State Election Commission. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ "2016 Statewide General Election official results". South Carolina State Election Commission. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ "The madness resumes". The Economist. September 26, 2015. 
  25. ^ Sophie Kleeman (December 20, 2016). "Why Science Fans Should Be Very Worried About Trump's Pick for Budget Director". Gizmodo. 
  26. ^ https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1484
  27. ^ a b c Erik Wasson; Russell Berman (December 11, 2013). "Ryan budget deal gets positive review at closed-door Republican conference". The Hill. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Murray and Ryan Introduce Bipartisan Budget-Conference Agreement". House of Representatives Committee on the Budget. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Desjardins, Lisa (December 10, 2013). "The budget deal in plain English". CNN. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b Wasson, Erik. "Conservatives: Ryan not tarnished by 'bad' deal". The Hill. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ Marcos, Cristina (April 9, 2014). "House kills Obama budget 2–413". The Hill. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Rep. Mick Mulvaney endorses Rand Paul for president". Washington Post. September 21, 2015. 
  33. ^ Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (September 25, 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight.com. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  34. ^ Shear, Michael (December 16, 2016). "Trump Picks Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina Congressman, as Budget Director". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  35. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 18, 2017). "Trump Budget Nominee Did Not Pay Taxes for Employee". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ Weyl, Ben; Griffiths, Brent (January 24, 2017). "Mulvaney defends nanny tax lapse, tangles with Democrats on budget". Politico. 
  37. ^ Berman, Russell (February 16, 2017). "The Donald Trump Cabinet Tracker". The Atlantic. 
  38. ^ Jeremy Herb (January 23, 2017). "Trump's tea party budget chief on collision course with GOP hawks". Politico. 
  39. ^ Taylor, Andrew (February 16, 2017). "Tea Party Gains Voice in Trump's Cabinet with Budget Chief". ABC News (from the Associated Press). Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  40. ^ Jake Sherman (December 3, 2015). "GOP unmoved on gun control as massacres pile up". Politico. 
  41. ^ "About". 
  42. ^ "The Arena". 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Spratt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

Political offices
Preceded by
Shaun Donovan
Director of the Office of Management and Budget