Childhood & Early Life
Mick Mulvaney was born John Michael Mulvaney, on July 21, 1967, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., into the upper-middle-class family of Mike and Kathy Mulvaney. His father worked as a real-estate developer, while his mother worked as a teacher. He is of Irish descent, and his grandparents were migrants who later settled in the U.S. He grew up with two younger siblings: a brother named Theodore and a sister named Charlotte.
Owing to his father’s work, the family moved to different cities across America. When Mick was 2 years old, the family moved to Minnesota. His younger brother was born there. Soon, his father’s real-estate job took him to North Carolina and then to South Carolina.
Following his initial education, he joined the ‘Charlotte Catholic High School.’ During his high-school years, he was not interested in politics at all and had started focusing on theater and outdoor sports. He was also academically brilliant. Following his high-school graduation, he joined the ‘Georgetown University,’ where he studied economics, finance, and commerce.
After graduating from ‘Georgetown University’ in 1989, Mick Mulvaney aspired to become a lawyer and moved back to North Carolina to pursue his Juris Doctor from the ‘University of North Carolina’ at Chapel Hill. He completed his Juris Doctor degree on scholarships, focusing on anti-trust laws.
In the early 1990s, after graduating law school, he began working with a law firm in North Carolina. Simultaneously, he also helped his father in his real-estate and home-building business. He also attended ‘Harvard Business School’ briefly, where he participated in a management program on how to run a business. In addition, he also bought shares of a local restaurant chain named ‘Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina.’
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In the mid-2000s, he started gaining an interest in national politics. Though he was a supporter of the ‘Republican Party,’ he was not happy with the way they were handling their finances.
In 2006, Mick Mulvaney announced he would be running for a seat in the United States ‘House of Representatives’ from South Carolina’s 45th congressional district. He won the election and took the chair in January 2007. He stayed in the position until his term came to an end in 2009. He did not contest again, as by then, he was on his way to do bigger things in politics.
In 2008, an empty chair was created in the South Carolina senate, and making the most of the opportunity, Mick stood for and won the seat. His term was hugely successful. He was assigned to work in the departments of judiciary, medical affairs, and labor/commerce/industry. He did a great job at the state’s ‘Emergency Medical Services,’ for which he was honored with the ‘Legislator of the Year’ award in 2010.
When he decided to enter the ‘U.S. House of Representatives’ in 2010, his opponents accused him of using his position to make people invest in a real-estate company that he had invested in, to later sell his shares at a huge profit. He, however, denied the allegations. He ran for the 5th congressional district of South Carolina, with the ‘Democratic Party’s John M. Spratt (the incumbent since 1983) as his main competitor.
He won the election and entered the ‘Upper House’ of the ‘U.S. Congress.’ As the senator, he was known for aligning himself with the ‘Tea Party Movement,’ which consisted of a group of ‘Republican Party’ politicians who had been demanding bills for lowering the taxes and reducing the debt burden of the country by decreasing the government expenditure.
In addition, Mick Mulvaney was also one of the founding members of the ‘Freedom Caucus,’ which consisted of a group of politicians from both the ‘Republican’ and ‘Conservative’ parties, which had come together to raise their voices in favor of the ‘Tea Party Movement,’ among other libertarian movements.
According to his party’s ideologies, he strongly opposed gun-control measures and ‘Obamacare.’ However, he was quite open-minded about meeting and taking suggestions from politicians of parties with different ideologies.
He won the elections from the 5th congressional district of South Carolina three more times. His tenure ended in 2017, when he refused to go for a re-election, as President Donald Trump had offered him a major position in his ministry. Back in 2015, Mick had promoted Rand Paul, making him the ‘Republican Party’ candidate for the presidential elections. Despite that, he was in Trump’s good books.
In December 2016, it was announced that President Donald Trump had nominated Mick as the director of the ‘Office of Management and Budget.’ However, he was found guilty of a minor charge of tax evasion in the early 2000s. He then paid the tax in full. Despite that, he was selected by a narrow margin of 51–49 votes.
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His main focus throughout his tenure was to cut the government spending. Hence, he tried to influence Trump to lessen the funding on social security and ‘Medicare.’
Soon after his appointment to the ‘OMB,’ he launched an attack on the previous president, Barack Obama, accusing him of showing fake numbers to prove that unemployment rates had decreased during his tenure. However, many reports later claimed that it was almost impossible to manipulate the numbers.
Before presenting the first budget under the Donald Trump administration in 2017, he assured the citizens that their tax money would be put to good use, and if not, the taxes would be low. He also put more focus on reducing the budget in areas where investments were not needed, such as on ‘Meals on Wheels.’ He argued that such schemes were not showing any results. However, his decision was opposed by many.
He presented the federal budget on May 22, 2017. In the budget, several bold proposals were made, such as cuts in the funding for the ‘Department of State and Environmental Protection Agency.’ He further proposed an increase in the expenditure on defense.
In May 2017, he stated that a government shutdown was required to make it work more efficiently and to “fix Washington, D.C.” permanently. During a conference, he also said that no budget shall be allocated to the building of the ‘Mexico Wall.’ However, that conference became notorious owing to regular interruptions and signal problems.
In December 2018, he was appointed as the new chief of staff of the ‘White House’ by President Trump. However, Trump’s fondness for Mick was unusual, as Mick had been a staunch critic of Trump and many of his policies, including his proposed Mexico–U.S. wall, which Mick had disregarded as a childish plan.
As he took to the office, he appointed many like-minded people, to ensure he was in a strong position in the ‘White House.’ In March 2020, however, he was removed from his position of the ‘White House’ chief of staff.
He was made the special envoy for Northern Ireland, partly owing to his ancestral connections with the country.