|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th district
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Patrick Murphy|
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Jim Greenwood|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Murphy|
|Member of the Bucks County
Board of Commissioners
January 17, 1995 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Mark Schweiker|
|Succeeded by||Jim Cawley|
June 28, 1963 |
|Alma mater||St. Thomas University, Dickinson School of Law|
Michael G. "Mike" Fitzpatrick (born June 28, 1963) is a lawyer and Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. He was first elected to Congress in 2004 and represented the district from 2005 to 2007, but he was defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy in 2006. He declined to challenge Murphy in 2008. Fitzpatrick ran again in 2010, and reclaimed the seat. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. A supporter of term limits, he will be retiring in 2016.
Throughout his tenure, Fitzpatrick maintained a moderate conservative position, and consistently ranked among the most bipartisan members of Congress.
- 1 Early life, education and law career
- 2 Bucks County Commission (1995–2005)
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives (2005–2007)
- 4 Inter-Congressional career (2007–2011)
- 5 U.S. House of Representatives (2011–present)
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life, education and law career
Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Bucks County. He graduated from Bishop Egan High School, now Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, in Fairless Hills. He moved to Florida to attend St. Thomas University with an academic scholarship where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1985 from the school's honors program. He then earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University. He was named business manager of the Dickinson Journal of International Law.
After graduating law school in 1988, Fitzpatrick was admitted to the practice of law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Bucks County Commission (1995–2005)
In January 1995, Fitzpatrick was appointed to the Bucks County Board of Commissioners by an 11-member panel of county judges. The appointment was made to fill the unexpired term of Mark Schweiker, who had been elected lieutenant governor. Fitzpatrick, who was an attorney at a firm active in county affairs, was the candidate preferred by county Republican Party leaders. The appointment was not without controversy, however, as some claimed the judges had acted solely on the recommendation of the county Republican Party.
As Commissioner, Fitzpatrick oversaw social agencies, coordinated the response of local governments to emergencies, preserved open space, and responded to regional issues. Fitzpatrick supported a $7 million information-technology project to upgrade the county's communication and outreach abilities in light of the Information Age.
U.S. House of Representatives (2005–2007)
In July 2004, popular moderate Republican James C. Greenwood unexpectedly withdrew from his re-election campaign. In the party convention held to select Greenwood's replacement on the ballot, the more conservative Fitzpatrick won the nomination over Greenwood's choice, state Senator Joe Conti, thanks to the backing of Bucks County Republican Party boss Harry Fawkes. Fitzpatrick went on to face liberal activist Virginia "Ginny" Schrader (something of a "sacrificial lamb candidate", chosen before Greenwood withdrew) in the general election. Fitzpatrick won the general election against Schrader 55%–44%, with the remaining vote split between two minor candidates. The Pennsylvania 8th District includes all of Bucks County, a sliver of Montgomery County, and parts of two wards in Northeast Philadelphia.
Fitzpatrick faced Democrat Patrick Murphy in the November general election of 2006.
In January 2006, Fitzpatrick said he had donated to charity the $21,500 he received from political action committees headed by U.S. Representatives Bob Ney (R-OH), Tom DeLay, (R-TX), and Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA).
Fitzpatrick was endorsed by several environmental groups including the Sierra Club. He was the only incumbent Republican congressman in Pennsylvania who had the support of the environmentalist lobby during this election.
The Cook Political Report rated the race as "Leans Republican". However, Congressional Quarterly pegged the contest as a "Toss-up". A poll released at the end of October showed Fitzpatrick trailing Murphy by three percentage points.
In the end, the election was decided by less than one percentage point, with Fitzpatrick initially trailing by just over 1,500 votes out of nearly 250,000 cast.
On November 8, with all precincts reporting, Murphy led by 1,521 votes. Philadelphia television station NBC 10 later reported that Fitzpatrick had conceded the election to Murphy. He along with Mike Sodrel (R-IN) and Joe Schwarz (R-MI) were the only freshman Republicans to be defeated in 2006 (the latter albeit in a primary).
In May 2006, Fitzpatrick introduced the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006, which requires most schools and libraries to actively restrict minors from access to "Commercial Social Networking Websites" and "Chat Rooms."
In late July, the DOPA Act overwhelmingly passed the House. Speaking before the vote was taken, Fitzpatrick said, "The social networking sites have become, in a sense, a happy hunting ground for child predators".
Fitzpatrick served on the United States House Committee on Financial Services and the United States House Committee on Small Business.
Inter-Congressional career (2007–2011)
After the loss to Murphy, Fitzpatrick re-entered the practice of law, taking a position with Middletown Township law firm—and major Republican Party contributor—Begley, Carlin, and Mandio. In the fall of 2007, the Bucks County Commissioners asked Fitzpatrick, along with former Commissioner Andy Warren and former Common Pleas Judge William Hart Rufe to co-chair an effort to pass a ballot initiative authorizing the county to borrow $87 million for open space preservation. The initiative, which was also endorsed by Congressman Murphy, passed by a large margin.
Throughout 2007, there was much speculation that Fitzpatrick would seek to reclaim the seat in Congress that he lost to Murphy. Fitzpatrick laid the rumors to rest in January, 2008 by announcing that he would not be running for Congress, but instead would challenge freshman State Representative Chris King in the 142nd District. Despite charges by some Democrats that he was "afraid to run against Murphy because he knows he would lose," Fitzpatrick claimed that he was interested in the job because of his "passion ... in solving local problems and serving the local community," as well as a desire to "change the way business is done in Harrisburg." 
However, a cancer diagnosis forced Fitzpatrick to end his bid for the State House in early February. Fitzpatrick yielded his spot on the ballot to Republican activist Frank Farry (who went on to win the seat), and supported Doylestown pharmaceutical company executive Thomas Manion for the congressional seat he once held.
U.S. House of Representatives (2011–present)
On January 23, 2010, Fitzpatrick announced he would once again run for his old seat in the House of Representatives. He pledged that if elected, he would only serve for a maximum of three more terms, for a total of four terms. He described Washington, D.C. as "a town of embedded politicians" with a seniority system that "rewards congressmen for political careers lasting decades and encourages members to serve in perpetuity." He called for "real reform of house rules and procedures" and "congressional term limits."
He won the Republican nomination with 77% of the vote in the May primary. A Franklin and Marshall poll taken in mid-September 2010 suggested the race was leaning towards Fitzpatrick at that time. On November 2, Fitzpatrick defeated Murphy and was elected the Congressman for the 8th district.
On November 2, 2010, Fitzpatrick defeated Patrick Murphy to reclaim his old seat. He was sworn in on January 5, 2011 and has joined the Republican Main Street Partnership.
Fitzpatrick defeated Kathryn Boockvar 57%–43%.
Before the election, Fitzpatrick reiterated a pledge he made in 2010 that this will be his last re-election bid, due to self-imposed term limits. In the Democratic primary, former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse defeated businesswoman Shaughnessy Naughton. Fitzpatrick comfortably beat Strouse in the general election. After he won, he again confirmed that he would not run for re-election in 2016.
On January 5, 2011, Fitzpatrick failed to attend the swearing-in ceremony for members and instead attempted to take the oath-of-office remotely at a reception. However, House rules require that the oath be taken within proximity of the Speaker. The oath was administered the following day, but two votes that he cast prior to taking the oath were nullified according to the Constitution. Some Congressional ethics experts contend that the reception was in fact a fundraiser and have called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. A spokesperson for Fitzpatrick denied the event was a fundraiser and asserted that donations made went to cover the cost of campaign-provided buses to Washington.
On January 5, 2016, the House Committee on Financial Services reauthorized the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing with Fitzpatrick as Chairman and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) as Ranking Member. Over the course of a two-year period, the Task Force investigated the financial mechanisms used to fund terrorist activities, specifically the vulnerabilities of the global financial system, trade-based money laundering, assistance for developing world, and the sale and trafficking of illicit goods.
Since December 2014, Fitzpatrick has become a leading voice in Congress on medical device safety. He has pressed the FDA after dangerous medical devices remained in use after causing serious injury and death.
On June 8, 2016, Fitzpatrick and Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced two bills to reform the medical device review and approval process. The first bill, Ariel Grace’s Law, would allow victims of dangerous medical devices to seek legal recourse. The second bill, the Medical Device Guardians Act, would require physicians to identify and report unsafe medical devices and would protect them from having their reports used against them in a civil court.
- Committee on Financial Services
Fitzpatrick and his wife Kathleen, a high school science teacher, reside in Levittown, Pennsylvania, with their six children.
He is affiliated with the Washington Crossing Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Temple Lower Bucks Hospital Board of Directors, the Conwell-Egan Catholic Board of Advisors, the Knights of Columbus, the Levittown Bristol Kiwanis Club, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Brehon Law Society. He is also an Eagle Scout from the Bucks County Council and former president of that council, and was honored with the Silver Beaver Award for his services to Scouting.
Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2008. He reported in November 2008 that the cancer went into remission after chemotherapy.
- "Michael G. Fitzpatrick Biography". fitzpatrick.house.gov. Archived from the original on 2006-08-31.
- "Archives: Allentown Morning Call - FITZPATRICK REPLACES SCHWEIKER". pqarchiver.com. January 18, 1995. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Our Work: The Lugar Center". www.thelugarcenter.org. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- "Philadelphia Inquirer: Search Results". newsbank.com. January 12, 1995. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Archives: Allentown Morning Call - BUCKS CANDIDATE BLASTS JUDGES COMMISSIONER HOPEFUL SAYS 11 JURISTS BLINDLY CHOSE RIVAL". pqarchiver.com. January 21, 1995. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Bucks Race Hinges On Land Use Both Sides Cite Open Space As A Key Issue In The Campaign For County Commissioner. All Three Seats Are On The Ballot.". Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- Doylestown Patriot \–- Schrader responds to Greenwood's retirement
- "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2006 House". centerforpolitics.org. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Election Results – CBSNews.com". CBS News.
- "Site Unavailable" (PDF). Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- NBC10.com. Fitzpatrick Concedes Defeat. 2006-11-08.
- "Social network sites face US ban". BBC News. July 31, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "Above Average Jane". aboveavgjane.blogspot.com. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick, Begley, Carlin & Mandio, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
- Pay to play not a given in Bucks (phillyBurbs.com) | Intelligencer
- Big push for open space support (phillyBurbs.com) | Outdoor
- "Mcall.com: Pennsylvania Ave. Blog". mcall.com. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Fitzpatrick to run for state House (phillyBurbs.com) | Courier Times
- Weckselblatt, Gary (2010-01-13). "Report: Fitzpatrick in D.C. rounding up support". PhillyBurbs.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- [dead link]
- "Fitzpatrick pledges to limit himself to four terms". Bucks Local News. February 8, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- Walsh, Brian (2010-07-08). "2010 Race of the Day: PA-08". Townhall.com. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "Franklin and Marshall College Poll" (PDF). Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "2014 Election Results Senate: Map by State, Live Midterm Voting Updates". POLITICO. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Tamari, Jonathan (24 October 2013). "3 area Republicans face tough reelection after shutdown". Philly.com. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Report: Rep. Fitzpatrick to retire". The Hill. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- "Bucks Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick faces ethics complaint over swearing-in snafu". Montgomery Media. January 15, 2011.
- "House nullifies votes by 2 representatives who skipped swearing-in". Cleveland.com. January 8, 2011.
- "Votes for GOP members who missed oath ruled invalid". Washingtonpost.com. January 6, 2011.
- "Did Rep Who Skipped Swearing In For Fundraiser Break The Law?". huffingtonpost.com. January 7, 2011.
- "More trouble for Fitzpatrick?". www.mcall.com. January 7, 2011.
- "More Accusations Leveled At Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)". CBSPhilly.com. January 8, 2011.
- Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.
- "Financial Services Resolution" (PDF). 2015-12-08.
- "Financial Services Supplemental Memorandum" (PDF). 2016-06-23.
- "Bucks congressman fixes on medical device safety". Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- "Reps. Slaughter, Fitzpatrick Introduce Medical Device Safety Bills - Morning Consult". Retrieved 2016-08-22.
- Hasel, David E. (Spring 2002). "contests New Bucks County,Pennsylvania Boy Scouts to Launch the Essay Contest" (PDF). Laws of Life. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- "Mike Fitzpatrick for Congress2006". FitzpatrickforCongress.com. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- John Mullane (2008-11-27). "A second chance". Bucks County Courier Times, archived at WebCite. Archived from the original on March 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Fitzpatrick.|
- Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick official U.S. House site
- Fitzpatrick Mike Fitzpatrick at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district
|Member of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority