Tim Murphy (American politician)

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Tim Murphy
113th Congress Official Photo of Rep. Tim Murphy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – October 21, 2017
Preceded by Michael Doyle
Succeeded by Vacant
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 37th district
In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Michael Fisher
Succeeded by John Pippy
Personal details
Born Timothy Francis Murphy
(1952-09-11) September 11, 1952 (age 65)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nanette Missig
Children 1 daughter
Education Wheeling Jesuit University (BS)
Cleveland State University (MA)
University of Pittsburgh (PhD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Rank Commander[1]
Unit United States Navy Reserve

Timothy Francis Murphy (born September 11, 1952) is an American psychologist[2] and politician from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. A Republican, he served as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, serving from 2003 until his resignation in 2017. He had previously served in the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing the 37th Senate district from 1997 to 2003. He is also a commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

The 18th district includes several suburbs south of Pittsburgh. It includes parts of Allegheny, Washington, Greene and Westmoreland counties. In his elections, Murphy never won with less than 58% of the vote, including unopposed re-election bids in 2014 and 2016.

On October 5, 2017, after allegations arose that Murphy had encouraged his mistress to terminate a pregnancy despite holding a strict anti-abortion stance, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Murphy had tendered his resignation effective October 21.[3]

Early life, education, and psychologist career[edit]

One of eleven children,[2] Murphy was born in Cleveland and was raised in Northfield, Ohio, where he attended St. Barnabas Catholic School and Walsh Jesuit High School. He received his Bachelor of Science from Wheeling Jesuit University, his M.A. from Cleveland State University, and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.[2]

Upon leaving school, he became a practicing psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He also made regular appearances on KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh from 1979 to 1995 as a health care expert.[4]

Murphy co-wrote The Angry Child: Regaining Control When Your Child Is Out of Control (2002). The Angry Child won the National Parenting Publications Award and was featured on Book TV,[5] a program of C-SPAN. A few years later, he co-wrote Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career, and Happiness (2005), both co-written with Loriann Hoff Oberlin, a writer/author and mental health counselor.

Overcoming Passive-Aggression received abundant reviews, including those from the mental health field. Murphy has been interviewed by reporters from Psychology Today,[6] The Washington Post, USA Today, CBS Early Show, CNN,[7] Face the Nation,[8] C-SPAN, and others in the media on the topics of mental health, anger management and violence, parenting, and relationships.

Pennsylvania Senate (1996–2003)[edit]


In 1996, Republican incumbent State Sen. Michael Fisher decided not to run for re-election in order to run for Pennsylvania Attorney General. Murphy decided to run in Pennsylvania's 37th Senate district. He won the Republican primary, defeating John Schnatterly 70%–30%.[9]

In the general election, he defeated State Representative Greg Fajt 55%–45%.[9] In 2000, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Joseph Rudolph 64%–36%.[9]


He wrote the Pennsylvania Patient Bill of Rights and supported public funding for medical research. In 2002, the political website PoliticsPA named him to the list of "Smartest Legislators".[10] He resigned his state senate seat on January 3, 2003.

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Aging and Youth

U.S. House of Representatives (2003–2017)[edit]



After redistricting, Murphy ran for the newly redrawn 18th Congressional District in 2002. The district had previously been the 20th, represented by four-term Democrat Frank Mascara. However, the legislature re-drew the district after the 2000 Census in such a way that a large portion of Mascara's district ended up in the neighboring Johnstown-based 12th District, represented by 28-year incumbent John Murtha. The new district lines were harshly criticized, in part because in some areas portions of several neighborhoods—and even streets—were split between districts. In parts of the eastern part of the district, one side of the street was in the 18th while the other was in the 12th. In parts of the western portion, one side of the street was in the 18th while the other was in the 14th. In the most extreme example, nearly all of Mascara's hometown of Charleroi was drawn into the 12th district, but Mascara's house stayed in the 18th.

After a legal battle, the courts largely upheld Pennsylvania's redistricting plan after some minor modifications. Murphy was a member of the committee that redrew Pennsylvania's congressional map, and rumors abounded that he'd reconfigured the district for himself, even though numerous Democrats were also on the committee. Mascara challenged Murtha in the Democratic primary for the 12th District, since the newly configured 12th was geographically more his district than Murtha's. However, Murtha easily defeated Mascara. This removed a significant barrier to Murphy. Even though Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 70,000 registered voters, it was somewhat friendlier to Republicans than the old 20th had been.

Murphy won the Republican primary unopposed and won the general election, defeating Democrat Jack Machek 60%–40%.[11]


Murphy won re-election to a second term, defeating Mark Boles 63%–37%.[12]


In 2006, Murphy was confronted by KDKA News reporter Andy Sheehan with evidence indicating his District Office employees were illegally working on his campaign.[13] Murphy was challenged by Democrat Chad Kluko, a telecommunications executive, in the November 2006 general election. Murphy won re-election to a third term, defeating Kluko 58%–42%.[14]


Murphy was challenged by Democrat Steve O'Donnell, a Monroeville health care executive. Murphy won re-election to a fourth term, defeating O'Donnell 64%–36%.[15][16]


Murphy was challenged by Democrat Dan Connolly. Murphy was endorsed by Veterans of Foreign Wars PAC[17] and the US Chamber of Commerce.[18] Murphy won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Connolly 67%–33%.[19]


For the first time in Murphy's career, he was challenged in the Republican primary. Evan Feinberg, also of Upper St Clair, was a 28-year-old political novice and "Tea Party" favorite,[20] was endorsed by Senators Rand Paul and Tom Coburn, FreedomWorks, and ABC Contractors. Murphy had the backing of two pro-life groups: National Right to Life Committee and PA Pro-Life Federation. He was also endorsed by former Governor Tom Ridge, former Congresswoman Melissa Hart, Allegheny County Republican Party Chairman Jim Roddey, State Representative Mark Mustio, State Senate candidate D. Raja, the National Rifle Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police of Allegheny County.[21][22][23] Murphy won the primary 63%–33%.[24][25] In the general election, he won re-election to his sixth term, defeating Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi 64%–36%.[26][27]


Murphy successfully ran for re-election to a seventh term in the U.S. House in the 2014 election. He was re-nominated unopposed in the Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election, since no candidates filed to run in the Democratic primary.[28][29]


Murphy was unopposed in the primary and the general election. He was re-elected to his eighth term in the U.S. House. He resigned on October 21, 2017.


Murphy lives in Upper St. Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh. However, he is listed on the official House roll as "R-Pittsburgh." While his district does not include any portion of Pittsburgh itself, it does include several unincorporated portions of Allegheny County with Pittsburgh addresses.

On November 26, 2005, Murphy was injured during a traffic accident in Iraq while riding in a van along with fellow Congressmen Jim Marshall and Ike Skelton. The van swerved off the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle and overturned, injuring Murphy and Skelton. The two were airlifted to Ibn Sina Hospital in Baghdad.

After an MRI indicated head and neck injuries, Murphy was flown to the U.S. Military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for further tests, which indicated no permanent damage. After wearing a neck brace for a brief period, Murphy made a full recovery.[30][31]

He opposed both Wall Street bailouts in 2008, the $820 billion stimulus package supported by President Obama, and the climate change/greenhouse gas initiative bill known as "Cap and Trade".[32]

Murphy was named a "Hero of the Taxpayer" by Americans for Tax Reform.[33] Notably, he voted to increase the debt limit along with historic budget cuts in August 2011.[34] Prior to that, he approved the "short term" debt limit increase.[35]

Murphy supported a House earmark ban in theory but made nearly $14 million in earmark requests in 2010.[36] The progressive lobbying group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress titled "Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch)".[37] Murphy was included on the list. CREW issued its analysis of Murphy's alleged ethical lapses.[38][38]

Murphy co-sponsored the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, along with Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives on September 29, 2010, received bi-partisan support. The final vote was 348–79. The measure would authorize the United States Department of Commerce to impose tariffs and countervailing duties against goods from countries with currencies that it deems are undervalued.[39]

Murphy told WDUQ that the goal was to "protect domestic manufacturers and the steel industry from countries unwilling to compete fairly in the global marketplace". He added that by tying China's currency to the dollar and not floating its currency on the open market, China could undercut US manufacturers by 40%. In other words, manufacturers in China could make and ship products to the US for less than a US manufacturer could buy the raw materials.[40] The Senate failed to take up the legislation, and Murphy reintroduced the bi-partisan measure in February 2011.[40]

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Murphy was at the forefront of exposing the approximately $500 million taxpayer funded green energy loan scandals involving Solyndra in 2011. In appearances on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° and Fox News Channel, he highlighted the wasteful spending and political associations involved in the now bankrupt solar panel company.[41][42]

Following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Murphy and Mental Health Caucus Co-Chair Grace Napolitano (D-CA) spoke with national media about mental health issues.[43] Both members also held briefings for congressional staffers with questions on the Tucson shooting.[44]

In the 114th Congress, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,[45] Murphy sponsored the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act, a landmark mental health reform bill which, according to Fortune, would "increase the availability of psychiatric hospital beds, establish a new assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and boost treatment for young mental health patients, among other provisions".[45] The bill was passed by the House in a near-unanimous 422-2 vote,[46] The bill was considered the most significant attempt at mental health reform in decades.[47] The bill was folded into the 21st Century Cures Act and signed into law in December 2016.[48]

Committee assignments[edit]

Murphy previously served on the Veterans Affairs and Government Reform committees.[49][50]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Extramarital affair, office chaos and resignation[edit]

In early September 2017, Murphy, 64, admitted to an extramarital affair with Shannon Edwards, a 32-year-old forensic psychologist. The affair came to light in the course of Edwards' divorce proceedings. On October 3, 2017, Murphy's hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reported that a text message on January 5 of that year from Edwards to Murphy included the statement, "[Y]ou have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options" in the midst of an unfounded pregnancy scare. To which Murphy replied, "I get what you say about my March for life messages. I've never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don't write any more. I will."[54]

In the same article, the Post-Gazette published a June 8 memorandum from Murphy's chief of staff to Murphy complaining of the congressman's repeated harassment of staff and his "hostile, erratic, unstable, angry, aggressive and abusive behavior," which led to an "inability to hire and retain competent staff, [and] abysmal office morale".[55][3]

On October 4, Murphy announced that he would not run for an eighth term in 2018. During the next 24 hours, several former staffers came forward with claims of an abusive environment in his office. By October 5, House Republican leaders concluded the allegations should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee. Believing it would create a distraction, they pressed Murphy to leave immediately. Accordingly, he resigned from the House on October 21.[56][57]

Electoral history[edit]

Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district: Results 2002–2016[58][59][60][61]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2002 Jack Machek 79,451 40% Tim Murphy 119,885 60%*
2004 Mark G. Boles 117,420 37% Tim Murphy 197,894 63%
2006 Chad Kluko 105,419 42% Tim Murphy 144,632 58%*
2008 Steve O'Donnell 116,446 36% Tim Murphy 206,916 64%
2010 Dan Connolly 77,212 33% Tim Murphy 158,224 67%
2012 Larry Maggi 115,975 36% Tim Murphy 204,784 64%
2014 Tim Murphy 166,076 100%
2016 Tim Murphy 293,684 100%

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 13 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 189 votes.

Personal life[edit]

Murphy is married to the former Nanette Jean Missig. They have an adult daughter, Bevin.[62]


  1. ^ "Tim Murphy (R)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
    Staff. "Eighteenth District" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Drash, Wayne (December 11, 2014). "'I ask members of Congress to look those Newtown families in the eye'". CNN. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Rachael Bade; Jake Sherman (October 5, 2017). "Tim Murphy resigns from Congress". Politico. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Angry Child by Congressman Tim Murphy". Random House. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ Staff (July 14, 2003). "The Angry Child". C-SPAN. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ "The Stealth Saboteur". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  7. ^ "State of the Union with Candy Crowley takes a closer look at mental illness in the U.S". CNN. January 16, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  8. ^ "VIDEO: Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy Takes Mental Health Discussion to CBS News' Face The Nation". United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce. February 25, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Our Campaigns – Pa State Senate 37 – R Primary Race – Apr 23, 1996". ourcampaigns.com. 
  10. ^ "Smartest Legislators". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2002. Archived from the original on January 15, 2002. 
  11. ^ "PA District 18 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  12. ^ "PA - District 18 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  13. ^ Congressman Tim Murphy R-PA on KDKA News taking the evidence. November 2, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2012 – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ "PA - District 18". Our Campaigns. 
  15. ^ "PA - District 18 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  16. ^ "Whispers". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. November 9, 2008. 
  17. ^ Murphy for Congress (October 3, 2010). "Tim Murphy for Congress: Murphy Earns VFW PAC Endorsement". Electtimmurphy.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ Murphy, Tim (June 17, 2010). "Tim Murphy for Congress: NY On the Brink – A Sign of Things to Come". Electtimmurphy.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ "PA - District 18 Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  20. ^ Timothy McNulty (April 4, 2015). "Feinberg attacks Murphy's record". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. 
  21. ^ Jerry, Tara. "Murphy Campaign Unveils Endorsements". 
  22. ^ Gibson, Keegan. "Murphy Internal Poll Shows 74-12 Lead Over Feinberg". 
  23. ^ Gibson, Keegan. "NRA Backs Murphy". 
  24. ^ "PA District 18- R Primary Race - Apr 24, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  25. ^ "2012 Primary Election Results - Plum, PA Patch". Plum-oakmont.patch.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  26. ^ "PA - District 18 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  27. ^ Len Barcousky; Joe Smydo (November 7, 2012). "Doyle, Murphy, Kelly win re-election bids". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  28. ^ "2014 Pennsylvania House Election Results". Politico. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ Cholodofsky, Rich (March 11, 2014). "2 Democrats challenge for congressman's seat in 12th District". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Congressmen involved in Baghdad road accident" Archived June 20, 2005, at the Wayback Machine., Reuters, November 28, 2005.
  31. ^ "Rep. Murphy hurt in Iraq convoy crash", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; accessed June 30, 2017.
  32. ^ Lerer, Lisa; O'Connor, Patrick (June 25, 2009). "House passes climate-change bill". Politico. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Congressman Tim Murphy: Murphy Named "Hero of the Taxpayer"". Murphy.house.gov. June 8, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  34. ^ "House Vote 690 – Approves Compromise to Increase the Debt Ceiling". The New York Times. August 1, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  35. ^ "House Vote 677 – Approves Boehner's Short-Term Debt Ceiling Increase". The New York Times. July 29, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  36. ^ "111th Congress Earmarks". opensecrets.org. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Crew Releases Third Annual Most Corrupt Members Of Congress Report | Beyond Delay". Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. September 18, 2007. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  38. ^ a b "CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress". Crewsmostcorrupt.org. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  39. ^ Malloy, Daniel (September 30, 2010). "U.S. House moves against China's undervalued currency". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  40. ^ a b Nootbaar, Mark (September 17, 2010). "Murphy Rallies for HR 2378". WDUQ News. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  41. ^ Tim Murphy on Fox News discussing Bombshell Solyndra Email. November 16, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012 – via YouTube. 
  42. ^ Rep. Tim Murphy talks about the Solyndra Loan with Anderson Cooper. September 15, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012 – via YouTube. 
  43. ^ "Lawmakers: Close look needed at mental health issues". CNN. 
  44. ^ Pecquet, Julian (January 25, 2011). "Staff briefing on mental health scheduled in wake of Giffords shooting". The Hill's Healthwatch. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b "Congress Is on the Verge of Passing a Landmark Mental Health Bill", Fortune, July 6, 2016.
  46. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 355 Clerk.house.gov
  47. ^ Merod, Anna (2016-07-17). "House Passes Most Significant Mental Health Reform Bill in Decades". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  48. ^ PA-18: Murphy's Mental Health Bill Signed Into Law, Politicspa.com; accessed June 30, 2017.
  49. ^ "House Energy and Commerce Committee – Full Committee Membership". Republicans.energycommerce.house.gov. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  50. ^ "House Energy and Commerce Committee – Subcommittees". Republicans.energycommerce.house.gov. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  51. ^ "GOP Doctors Caucus: Who We Are". Doctorscaucus.gingrey.house.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Congressman Tim Murphy: Biography". Murphy.house.gov. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 
  54. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (October 4, 2017). "Pro-Life Congressman Tim Murphy Announces Retirement After He Allegedly Asked Mistress to Get an Abortion". People. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  55. ^ Reed Ward, Paula (October 3, 2017). "Rep. Tim Murphy, popular with pro-life movement, urged abortion in affair, texts suggest". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  56. ^ DeBonis, Mike (October 5, 2017). "Rep. Tim Murphy resigns from Congress after allegedly asking woman to have abortion". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  57. ^ Rachel Bade; Jake Sherman; John Bresnahan (2017-10-05). "Inside Tim Murphy's reign of terror". Politico. 
  58. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved August 8, 2007. 
  59. ^ "2010 General Election Results". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  60. ^ "2012 General Election". Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  61. ^ "Returns". Archived from the original on June 20, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  62. ^ Associated Press; Ganney, Michelle (October 4, 2017). "'You had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child': Congressman and pro-life advocate Tim Murphy, 64, asked his mistress, 32, to 'get an abortion' when he thought she was pregnant". Daily Mail. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Tim Murphy (American politician) at Wikimedia Commons

Articles and videos
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Mike Fisher
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 37th district

Succeeded by
John Pippy
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Doyle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district