Mick Mulvaney

Mick Mulvaney


  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1989). [1]
  • J.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. (1992). [1]


John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney is a Representative from South Carolina. He was a member of the South Carolina state house of representatives from 2007 to 2009, member of the South Carolina Senate from 2009 to 2010, and elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Twelfth and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 2011-present). [1] Mick Mulvaney was elected during the 2010 “Tea Party” wave.

He received a degree in international economics, commerce, and finance from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina. Before working in government, Mulvaney practiced law for several years and then joined his family’s real estate business. [2]

Mick Mulvaney, chosen by President Trump to lead the Office of Management and Budget, is known as a budget “hawk” who has historically wished to cut federal spending. Mulvaney said he would restore budgetary and fiscal sanity […] after eight years of an out-of-control, tax-and-spend financial agenda” under the Obama administration. [3]

According to the League of Conservation Voter’s “National Environmental Scorecard,” Mick Mulvaney has a lifetime score of 7%, and a 2015 score of 3%, with the majority of his votes classified as “anti-environment.”

Mulvaney has historically opposed funding for planned parenthood. In 2015, he called on House Republicans “to use every available tool to strip this organization [Planned Parenthood’ of any and all taxpayer funds.”

He has called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” a view that he did not renounce at his 2017 confirmation hearing. [4], [5], [6], [7]

Trump Pick as Director of the Office of Management and Budget

In December, 2016, Donald Trump selected Mick Mulvaney for the position of Director of the Office of Management and Budget. [8]

He’s a tremendous talent, especially when it comes to numbers and budgets,”  Trump said in a statement.

The Club for Growth applauded Trump’s choice of Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, announcing that “The days of the White House producing massive, ridiculous budgets that are dead on arrival on Capitol Hill are over.” Club for Growth president David McIntosh described Mick Mulvaney as  “a leader among economic conservatives, and the Trump Administration’s selection is a major victory for taxpayers and for all who want to see the downsizing of the federal government. […]” [9]

Mulvaney’s nomination could face some challenges, given his disclosure that he failed to pay taxes for a household employee in the early 2000s. The Atlantic reported that He had failed to pay more than $15,000 in taxes, noting that such disclosures have threatened the nominations of high-profile presidential picks in the past. [10]

During his confirmation hearing, Muck Mulvaney made a number of statements at odds with the views of President Trump. For example, Mulvaney believed that tax increases could be on the table. Associated Press reported that Mulvaney said he would be open to increasing the amount of wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax, in addition to gradually raising the retirement age and other benefit cuts. While as a member of Congress Mulvaney had signed a pledge not to raise taxes, he has said “I will not be bound by that.” [11]

Stance on Climate Change

January 24, 2017

At his confirmation hearing as nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney said he did not believe climate change is a major risk. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) pressed Mick Mulvaney on his climate change views (video below): [12]

Climate change driven partly by human-generated CO2 emissions is a huge risk ― agree or disagree?” Kaine asked.

After trying to avoid the question, claiming that climate change was not part of the responsibilities of the OMB director, Kaine still demanded an answer. 

I’m not asking about OMB. I’m off OMB now,” Kaine said. “Statement of fact, agree or disagree ― you’re gonna follow the facts ― climate change driven partly by human-generated CO2 emissions is a huge risk, agree or disagree?”

I’m not convinced we’re at the point where we have to start to require American citizens to pay high prices ―” Mulvaney began to reply, before Kaine interjected.

I’m just asking, do you agree with the fact. Is climate change driven by human-generated CO2 emissions a huge risk?” Kaine repeated.

Yeah, I challenge the premise of your fact,” Mulvaney said.


On his congressional bid website, archived in 2010, Mulvaney described climate change as “questionable science”: [13]

“Energy independence, green technology, and innovation is something we should pursue as a nation. However, we shouldn’t seek to accomplish that by taxing people based on questionable science. Neither should we ignore domestic energy resources – coal, natural gas, oil – because of baseless claims regarding global warming.

“I believe that making it easier to drill for and use domestic resources, build nuclear power plants, and develop new technologies is the best formula for ending the current energy regime, which essentially has us empowering governments and groups that are markedly anti-American.”

Key Quotes

September 9, 2016

Mother Jones reports that in a September 9 Facebook post, Mulvaney questioned whether the federal government should be spending any money on scientific research: [14]

“[D]o we need government-funded research at all,” he wrote. Mother Jones notes that Mulvaney appeared to have deleted his Facebook page since then. In his post, Mulvaney tries to justify his position on government-funded research by questioning the scientific consensus that the Zika virus causes the birth defect microcephaly. Mulvaney wrote: 

“And before you inundate me with pictures of children with birth defects, consider this:

Brazil’s microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery – if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases? According to a new report from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), the number of missing cases in Colombia and elsewhere raises serious questions about the assumed connection between Zika and microcephaly.”

An image of the full post below:

Mulvaney on Zika Virus

April 27, 2011

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Rock Hill, Mick Mulvaney declared: [15]

“Medicare as it exists today is finished.” 

Top Campaign Contributors

According to data from OpenSecrets.org, Koch Industries was consistently a top donor to Mick Mulvaney and his related Leadership PACs. Duke Energy was another consistent backer. View top ten donors below, or see the attached spreadsheet for Mick Mulvaney’s campaign donors by year (.xlsx). [16]

Contributor201220142016Grand Total
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$15,000$30,500$4,750$50,250
Koch Industries$12,000$18,000$20,000$50,000
American Financial Services Assn$5,000$18,000$15,000$38,000
National Auto Dealers Assn$15,000$10,000$10,000$35,000
Tucker Lumber$15,000$13,200 $28,200
Duke Energy$8,000$10,000$10,050$28,050
American Bankers Assn$7,500$10,000$10,000$27,500
Credit Union National Assn$10,250$10,000$5,000$25,250
Delta Air Lines$2,500$12,100$10,200$24,800
American Society of Anesthesiologists$7,500$10,000$6,000$23,500
Investment Co Institute $12,000$10,000$22,000
Scana Corp$6,500$9,000$6,000$21,500
CM Tucker Lumber Companies$2,500$5,200$12,800$20,500
AFLAC Inc$5,000$7,500$7,500$20,000
National Assn of Insurance & Financial Advisors $10,000$10,000$20,000
Ernst & Young $10,000$10,000$20,000

Key Deeds

June 24, 2019

Nearly 100 internal documents were leaked to Axios in 2019. As Axios reported, the documents identified a host of “red flags” about many individuals who would go on to work in the Trump administration, as well as others who were considered but failed to secure a position. [39]

Mulvaney was listed among the documents. Some notable samples from the internal documents below:

Mulvaney Said That ‘One Thing We’ve Learned About Donald Trump During This Campaign Is That He Is Not A Very Good Person’ And That ‘I Don’t Particularly Like Donald Trump As A Person.’”

Background: From 2009 to 2011, Mulvaney used campaign funds to pay his mother-in-law a total of $13,886 for work on his campaign. These payments were never deemed illegal.” [39]

January 24, 2017

Mick Mulvaney appeared for his confirmation hearing to become director of the Office of Management and Budget. Full video below: [17]

During his confirmation hearing, Mulvaney said that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would need significant changes. Mulvaney said that he would not propose cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits for those already receiving them. [18]

I’m not making my parents go back to work,” Mulvaney said. [18]

However, he also added that younger workers should expect to work longer than their parents. 

I think folks on Social Security and Medicare ought to be really worried,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “The alarm bells should be going off right now.” [18]

Senator Bernie Sanders read quotes from Trump’s campaign where Trump had said he would not cut the benefit programs.   

The only thing I know to do is to tell the president the truth,” Mulvaney said. “I have to imagine that the president knew who he was getting,” he added. [18]

On January 25, the Tea-Party-Affiliated FreedomWorks sent out social media advertising promoting Mulvaney as an OMB Director pick. The FreedomWorks ad reads: [19]

“Yesterday, John McCain joined the Democrats to attack Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick to head his OMB. This is wrong.

Call John McCain at 202-883-5773 and tell him to stand with you and support Rep. Mick Mulvaney for OMB right now.”

July 2016

Mich Mulvaney spoke at an event hosted by the John Birch Society, an “ultra-conservative” group known for its continued emphasis on the communist threat and described by some as an embarrassment for the right, reported Mother Jones. [20]

Mulvaney’s speech would address “the Federal Reserve’s role in bailing out Europe.”

Mother Jones obtained audio of the speech, noting that Mulvaney proceeded to criticize the Federal Reserve, saying its actions have “effectively devalued the dollar” and “choke[d] off economic growth.” He praised bitcoin as a currency that is “not manipulatable by any government.” He told his audience, “You all put out some really good stuff and it’s always interesting.” He said he was “looking forward to reading The Shadows of Power,” a 1988 book by James Perloff with the subtitle “The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline.” The book advances conspiracy theories about the New York-based think tank, alleging that it advocates “the creation of a world government.” After referring to this book, he told the crowd, “Keep doing it.” [20]

March 15, 2016

Mick Mulvaney introduced a bill, H.R. 4745, that would allow nuclear waste to be stored in interim storage facilities. While Mulvaney didn’t specify where the interim site would be, he said the material should not stay in South Carolina or at power plants in other states. [21], [22]

Power plants “are in the power generation business,’’ he said. “They’re not supposed to be in the waste-management business. The whole idea is the best way to manage this stuff was to put it at one site.’’ [22]

August 13, 2014

Mick Mulvaney was one of 54 members of Congress to sign an letter to the House Leadership calling to end the Wind Production Tax Credit. [23]

“[W]e believe Congress should stop picking winners and losers and finally end the wind PTC,” the letter concludes. ” We applaud Chairman Camp’s leadership on this important issue and urge you to stand firm with him in opposition to extending this provision and allow the wind energy to compete on its own.” [23]

July 11, 2014

Mick Mulvaney was a co-sponsor of bill H.R.5078, which would prevent the expansion of the Waters of the United States. [24], [25]

May 12, 2011

Mick Mulvaney was one of those who voted “yes” on Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (Bill H.1231). The bill would open up the outer Continental Shelf to drilling, an area containing an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil, and more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. [26], [27]

April 7, 2011

Mick Mulvaney voted “yes” to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. From the congressional summary, the Energy Tax Prevention Act (Bill H.910): [28], [29]

  • Excludes GHGs from the definition of “air pollutant” for purposes of addressing climate change.
  • Exempts from such prohibition existing regulations on fuel efficiency, research, or CO2 monitoring.
  • Repeals and makes ineffective other rules and actions concerning GHGs.

July 27, 2010

Mick Mulvaney signed the “No Climate Tax” pledge (PDF) sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Taxpayers Union, and the Institute for Liberty. His pledge reads as follows: [30]

“I, Mick Mulvaney, pledge to the taxpayers of the State of South Carolina and to the American people that I will oppose any legislation related to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” [30]

April, 2010

Mick Mulvaney was a signatory to the 2010 Contract from America, a legislative agenda put forward by the Tea Party movement and unveiled the day before Tea Party Protests scheduled to be held across the country on April 15, Tax Day. The contract took inspiration from the Contract With America, released by Representative Newt Gingrich and fellow Republicans in the 1994 midterm elections, reports The New York Times. [31], [32]

Oneof the contract’s “agenda items” is to “Reject Cap & Trade” and “Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.” [33]

Contract from America describes itself as a “a grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic conservative and good governance reform in Congress.” The Contract from America website launched in September 1, 2009 and the final contract was revised until it was released in April, 2010. According to their website, the contract received support from individuals from groups including FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers’ Union, Liberty Central, American Solutions, Regular Folks United, and various tea party groups. [34]

“Founding Partners” listed on the Contract from America website include:


Social Media


Mick Mulvaney has published or co-published a range of Op-Eds and article. See some samples below:


  1. MULVANEY, Mick, (1967 – ),Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Il74W 
  2. Rep. Mick Mulvaney,” Conservative Review. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zxREj
  3. Trump picks budget ‘hawk’ Mick Mulvaney to lead budget office,” The Guardian, December 17, 2016. Archive.is URL:  https://archive.is/yZATW
  4. Representative Mick Mulvaney (R),” League of Conservation Voters. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9b1dR
  5. Rep. Mulvaney Leads Letter to House Leadership in Defund Planned Parenthood Effort,”  United States Congressman Mick Mulvaney, July 29, 2015. Archived February 11, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/uYDJi
  6. Ben Weyl. “Mick Mulvaney: What to watch,” Politico, January 24, 2017. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/mBAaE
  7. Michael McAuliff. “Trump’s Budget Nominee Still Thinks Social Security Is A Ponzi Scheme, The Huffington Post, January 30, 2017. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/78NOz
  8. Michael D. Shear. “Trump Picks Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina Congressman, as Budget Director,” The New York Times, December 16, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Ic6bN
  9. Doug Sachtleben. “CLUB FOR GROWTH APPLAUDS CHOICE OF MULVANEY TO HEAD OMB,The Club for Growth, December 17, 2016. Archived February 7, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/K32L3
  10. Russell Berman. “Mick Mulvaney’s Unpaid Taxes,” The Atlantic, January 18, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1Bxhh
  11. Associated Press. “Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s OMB pick, faces questions at Senate hearing,” CBS News, January 24, 2017. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/CnEgO
  12. Daniel Marans. “Trump Budget Director Pick Does Not Believe Climate Change Is A Major Risk,The Huffington Post, January 24, 2017.  Archived February 7, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8S0Lh
  13. Issues: Enough is Enough,” Mick Mulvaney. Archived July 22, 2010. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ezh9P
  14. Pena Levy. “Trump’s Pick for Budget Director Isn’t Sure the Government Should Fund Scientific Research,” Mother Jones, December 19, 2016. Archived February 7, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/xrUGQ
  15. Jamie Self. “Mulvaney in York Co.: Budget a bipartisan mess,” The Herald, April 28, 2011. Archived February 11, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yExXT
  16. Mick Mulvaney,” OpenSecrets.org. Data retrieved February 10, 2017.
  17. Andrew V. Pestana. “Watch live: Mick Mulvaney’s budget director confirmation hearing,” UPI, January 24, 2017. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/H1Dxu
  18. Stephen Ohlemacher. “Trump budget pick says benefit programs must be changed,“ The Seattle Times, January 24, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Acvbm
  19. Yesterday, John McCain joined the Democrats to attack Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick to head his OMB. This is wrong. […]” Facebook post by FreedomWorks, January 25 at 3:43 PM. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  20. Trump’s Budget Director Pick Spoke at a John Birch Society Event,” Mother Jones, December 19, 2016. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/9JE19
  21. H.R.4745 – Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2016,” Congress.gov, March 15, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/t36Yn
  22. Mulvaney introduces bill to move nuclear waste,” The State, March 18, 2016. Archived February 17, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0Z4sA
  23. (Press Release). “54 Members of Congress Write House Leadership In Support of Concluding Crony System,” U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo, August 13, 2014. Archived July 8, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Gx7cF
  24. Summary: H.R.5078 — 113th Congress (2013-2014),” Congress.gov. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/g6rZh
  25. Cosponsors: H.R.5078 — 113th Congress (2013-2014),” Congress.gov. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yPHa4
  26. FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 320,” Clark.house.gov, May 12, 2011. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/wOG42
  27. H.R.1231 – Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act” Congress.gov. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/coFI9
  28. FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 249,” Clerk.house.gov, April 7, 2011. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/arPvo
  29. H.R.910 – Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011: 112th Congress (2011-2012),” Congress.gov. Archived February 8, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4uAvA
  30. “NoClimateTax.com Pledge” (PDF), Retried from NoClimateTax.com. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  31. WE SUPPORT THE CONTRACT FROM AMERICA Contract from America. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/SQCFV
  32. Bernie Becker. “A Revised Contract for America, Minus ‘With’ and Newt,” The New York Times, April 14, 2010. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Ioe5T
  33. AMAZING THINGS THAT BRING POSITIVE RESULTS,” Contract from America. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/CYViB
  34. About Us,” Contract from America. Archived February 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0IWqo
  35. Club for Growth PAC Endorses David Schweikert in AZ-05,” Club for Growth, September 7, 2010. Archived November 15, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/lqMUb 
  36. Lauren French. “9 Republicans launch House Freedom Caucus,Politico, January 26, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/GwRIm
  37. Susan Ferrechio. “Conservative lawmakers form House Freedom Caucus,” Washington Examiner, January 26, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/YmPeG
  38. Shannon Travis. “Who is the Tea Party Caucus in the House?CNN, July 29, 2011. Archived February 11, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FqFLt
  39. Full list: The leaked Trump transition vetting documents,” Axios, June 24, 2019. Archived June 24, 2019. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/gm9i7

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