Tim Murphy (congressman)

Tim Murphy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Mike Doyle
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 37th district
In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Mike Fisher
Succeeded by John Pippy
Personal details
Born (1952-09-11) September 11, 1952 (age 61)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nanette Missig
Residence Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Wheeling Jesuit University, Cleveland State University, University of Pittsburgh
Occupation Psychologist
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy Reserve

Timothy "Tim" F. Murphy (born September 11, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the Pennsylvania Senate.

The district includes several suburbs south of Pittsburgh. It includes parts of Allegheny, Washington, Beaver and Westmoreland counties. He won re-election in 2012 with 63.8% of the vote.[2]

Early life, education, and psychologist career

Murphy was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School, and received his Bachelor of Science from Wheeling Jesuit University, his MA from Cleveland State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

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.[3]

Murphy is co-author of 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 CBS Face the Nation, C-SPAN, and others in the media on the topics of mental health, anger management and violence, parenting and relationships. A few years later, he co-authored Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career, and Happiness (2005), both co-authored with Loriann Hoff Oberlin, a writer/author and mental health counselor.

Pennsylvania Senate (1996-2003)


In 1996, Republican State Senator Mike 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%.[5] In the general election, he defeated State Representative Greg Fajt 55%-45%.[6] In 2000, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Joseph Rudolph 64%-36%.[7]


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."[8] He resigned his senate seat on January 3, 2003.

Committee assignments

  • Aging and Youth

U.S. House of Representatives (2003-Present)



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 some areas, one side of the street was in the 18th while the other was in the 12th. In other areas, one side of the street was in the 18th while the other was in the Pittsburgh-based 14th District. 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%.[9]


Murphy won re-election to a second term, defeating Mark Boles 63%-37%.[10]


In 2006, Murphy was confronted by KDKA News reporter Andy Sheehan with evidence indicating his District Office employees were illegally working on his campaign.[11] 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%.[12]


Murphy was challenged Democrat Steve O'Donnell, a Monroeville health care executive. Murphy won re-election to a fourth term, defeating O'Donnell 64%-36%.[13][14]


Murphy was challenged by Democrat Dan Connolly. Murphy was endorsed by Veterans of Foreign Wars PAC[15] and the US Chamber of Commerce.[16] Murphy won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Connolly 67%-33%.[17]


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,[18] 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.[19][20][21] Murphy won the primary 63%-33%.[22][23] In the general election, he won re-election to his seventh term, defeating Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi 64%-36%.[24][25]


Murphy lives in Upper St. Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh. However, he is listed on the official House roll as "R-Pittsburgh", although his district does not include any portion of Pittsburgh itself.

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. The driver of Murphy's bus suspected a car riding alongside the bus was a suicide bomber, and drove off the road on purpose. 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.[26][27]

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."[28]

Murphy was named a "Hero of the Taxpayer" by Americans for Tax Reform.[29] Notably, he voted to increase the debt limit along with historic budget cuts in August 2011.[30] Prior to that, he approved the "short term" debt limit increase.[31]

Murphy supported a House earmark ban in theory, yet requested millions nearly $14 million in earmarks in 2010 with over 60% going directly to campaign contributors.[32] Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled "Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch)".[33] Murphy was included on the list. CREW issued their analysis of Murphy's alleged ethical lapses,[34] together with various exhibits which CREW asserted supports their naming him to their list of the most corrupt members of Congress.[35]

Murphy was the Republican sponsor of 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.[36] Murphy told WDUQ that the goal is 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 can undercut US manufactures by 40%. In other words, manufacturers in China can make and ship products to the US for less than a manufacturer here can buy the raw materials.[37] The Senate failed to take up the legislation, and Murphy reintroduced the bi-partisan measure in February 2011.[37]

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.[38][39]

Following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Murphy and Mental Health Caucus Co-Chair Grace Napolitano (D-CA) spoke with national media about mental health issues.[40] Both members also held briefings for congressional staffers with questions on the Tucson shooting.[41]

Committee assignments

Murphy previously served on the Veterans Affairs and Government Reform committees.[42][43]

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district: Results 2002–2012[46][47]
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% [48] Tim Murphy 204,784 64%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 13 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 189 votes.


External links

  • Congressman Tim Murphy official U.S. House site
  • Tim Murphy for Congress
  • Energy Independence for America
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Ballotpedia
  • NNDB
  • Project Vote Smart
  • GovTrack
  • OpenCongress
  • Roll Call
  • Federal Election Commission
  • OpenSecrets.org
  • The Washington Post
  • Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
  • On the Issues
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Washington Post
  • WorldCat catalog)
  • C-SPAN programs
  • The Washington Post
Articles and videos
  • YouTube Video from KDKA where Congressman Murphy is presented with documents stolen from his office.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on Murphy's alleged ethics lapses
  • 11/23/2006 Pittsburgh City Paper article regarding Murphy's use of staff to research writers of letters to the editor critical of Murphy
  • Publisher's Weekly, October 31, 2005
  • Official Website, Overcoming Passive-Aggression
  • Psychology Today, March 1, 2006
  • CNN, State of the Union with Candy Crowley takes a look at mental illness in the U.S.
  • Face the Nation looks at mental illness and violence
  • Book TV, C-SPAN video archive
  • CBS Early Show
  • Washington Journal, C-SPAN, March 5, 2013 discussion of mental health
  • House Committee Energy & Commerce | Oversight and Investigations | Mental Illness and Violence, March 5, 2013
  • The Last Word compares two C-Span videos of his reactions to Medicare Part D (2006) and the Affordable Care Act (2013)
Preceded by
Mike Doyle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district

2003– present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Candice Miller
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Devin Nunes
Preceded by
Mike Fisher
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 37th District
Succeeded by
John Pippy
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