|Director of the Office of Management and Budget|
February 16, 2017
|Preceded by||Shaun Donovan|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
January 3, 2011 – February 16, 2017
|Preceded by||John Spratt|
|Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 16th district
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Chauncey K. Gregory|
|Succeeded by||Chauncey K. Gregory|
|Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 45th district
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Eldridge Emory|
|Succeeded by||Debora Long|
|Born||John Michael Mulvaney
July 21, 1967
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Pamela West (1998–present)|
|Education||Georgetown University (BS)
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (JD)
John Michael "Mick" Mulvaney (//; 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 and confirmed by Senate vote (51–49) on February 16, 2017. 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. Mulvaney served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 2007–2011, first in the State House of Representatives and then the State Senate.
Mulvaney was born in Alexandria, Virginia and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, before moving to Indian Land, South Carolina. He attended Charlotte Catholic High School and then Georgetown University, where he majored in international economics, commerce and finance. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. Mulvaney denied the allegations and said that the project's failure was due to Democratic economic policies. He defeated Spratt, who had held the seat since 1983, with 55% of the vote.
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.
According to the New York Times, Mulvaney took "a hard line on spending during President Obama’s term, vowing not to raise the nation’s debt limit and embracing the term 'Shutdown Caucus' because of his willingness to shut the government down instead." In 2015, Mulvaney voted against a government-funding resolution, which would have prevented a government shutdown, in part because it included funding for Planned Parenthood. Explaining his vote, Mulvaney said, "This is not about women's health. It’s about trafficking in pieces of dead children." After his appointment as head of the OMB in 2017, he reiterated his conditional position of support for a shutdown.
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. The budget deal capped the federal government's spending for Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2015 at $1.014.
The proposed deal eliminated 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. This did 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 increased government spending by $45 billion and $18 billion over what would have been spent had the sequester remained in place. Some Republicans wanted Speaker John 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.
The deal was designed to make up for this increase in spending by raising airline fees and changing the pension contribution requirements of new federal workers. According to The Hill, Mulvaney spearheaded opposition to the bill. He did not blame Ryan for the budget deal, instead saying that the problem was that too few conservatives had been elected to Congress to pass a budget with a greater focus on debt reduction. 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.
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."
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.
In March 2017, Mulvaney stated that he believed that "the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate — that percentage rate — look smaller than it actually was," and that "[w]hat you should really look at is the number of jobs created." Some media outlets reported that there is no evidence that jobs numbers under the Obama administration were manipulated. FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman noted that "manipulating the jobs figures... would mean not just messing with one number but rather interfering with an entire ecosystem of statistics."
In March 2017, Mulvaney stated that the Congressional Budget Office was not capable of assessing the American Health Care Act, stating that "[i]f the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there'd be 8 million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are." Others have disagreed with Mulvaney's statement, including FactCheck.Org, which stated that "[t]he CBO actually nailed the overall impact of the law on the uninsured pretty closely."
While promoting the Trump administration's budget proposal in March 2017, Mulvaney stated that, as to taxpayers, the government was "not gonna ask you for your hard-earned money, anymore… unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function." For instance, Mulvaney justified cuts to block grants that go towards spending on Meals on Wheels because it was "just not showing any results." Others disagreed with Mulvaney's statement, citing research that has "found home-delivered meal programs to significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intakes, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk among participants. Other beneficial outcomes include increased socialization opportunities, improvement in dietary adherence, and higher quality of life."
On April 28, 2017, Walter Shaub, the Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics issued a data request to see the ethics waivers given to ex-lobbyists in the executive branch, which Mulvaney then refused. On May 22, Shaub sent Mulvaney, in addition to every federal ethics officer, every inspector general, and the six members of Congress responsible for government oversight, a ten-page response reasserting his legal authority to see the ethics waivers.
In a press briefing on May 2, 2017, Mulvaney said that a "good shutdown" of the federal government might be necessary in September. He defined such a situation as one "that fixes Washington, D.C. permanently."
On May 22, 2017, Mulvaney presented President Trump's $4.1 trillion budget. The budget includes cuts to the United States Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the social safety net and increases in funding for defense spending and paid family leave. The "America First" budget included a 10.6% decrease in domestic program spending and a 10% increase in military spending, in addition to $1.6 billion for a border wall. The budget would remove $272 billion from welfare programs, including $272 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. The budget would also remove $800 billion from Medicaid, and $72 billion from Social Security disability benefits, while removing nothing from Social Security retirement or Medicare benefits. Mulvany projected the budget will not add to the federal deficit because future tax cuts will lead to 3% GDP growth. He described the budget as "the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes."
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|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district
|Director of the Office of Management and Budget