Stephanie Murphy (born Đặng Thị Ngọc Dung; September 16, 1978) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 7th congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she defeated incumbent Republican John Mica in 2016. The district includes much of downtown and northern Orlando, as well as all of Winter Park, Maitland, Sanford and Altamonte Springs.

Murphy was born in 1978 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before leaving the country with her family in 1979. After growing up in Northern Virginia, Murphy attended the College of William & Mary, afterwards going to Georgetown University. Prior to becoming a member of Congress, she worked as a national security specialist at the United States Department of Defense, subsequently working as an executive at Sungate Capital, and as a business professor at Rollins College.

Murphy is the first Vietnamese-American woman and the second Vietnamese-American overall (after Republican Joseph Cao of Louisiana) to be elected to Congress.[1]

Early life and education

Stephanie Murphy was born Đặng Thị Ngọc Dung (Đặng being her surname) on September 16, 1978, in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), Vietnam.[2] Her family fled Communist-controlled Vietnam in 1979 when she was six months old.[3] Their boat ran out of fuel and they were rescued by the United States Navy while at sea.[4][5] They settled in Northern Virginia, where she grew up.[6]

With the help of Pell Grants and student loans, Murphy attended the College of William & Mary, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. She then went to Georgetown University, from which she received a Master of Science degree in foreign service.[5][7]

Pre-congressional career

After the September 11 attacks, Murphy went to work for the United States Department of Defense as a national security specialist.[5][8] For her service, she received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award.[9] She worked as an executive on investment efforts and government affairs initiatives at Sungate Capital in Winter Park, Florida, and as a business professor at Rollins College.[7]

In 2013, Murphy was employed by the company 3N2 to lead a design team for new women’s softball pants, ultimately being listed in patent records as an inventor of “NuFit Knickers”. In 2018 Murphy came under criticism after it was revealed her husband’s company has the pants and other sports gear from the company made in China.[10][11]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2016

Murphy declared her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives for Florida’s 7th congressional district in the 2016 elections. She ran against 12-term incumbent Republican John Mica in the general election on November 8, 2016.[6] She was endorsed by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords.[5][12][13] Murphy defeated Mica, receiving 51% of the vote.[14] Murphy is the second Vietnamese-American, after Joseph Cao, to be elected to the United States Congress, and the first Vietnamese-American woman to do so.[5]

Murphy ran in a district that was somewhat bluer than its predecessor after a court-ordered mid-decade redistricting. The old 7th had been a marginal district, even though Mica had won it twice without serious difficulty (he had previously represented a more Republican St. Augustine/Daytona Beach/Orlando district from 1993 to 2013). Mitt Romney narrowly won it over Barack Obama in 2012, with 51 percent of the vote.[15] In contrast, had the redrawn 7th existed in 2012, Obama would have won it with 49.4 percent.[16]

After meeting with President Trump in September 2017, Murphy said that she and fellow Democrats could work with him.[17]

2018

Murphy, according to political commentators, was faced with the challenge of representing an evenly divided district. “Of the three freshman Democrats from Central Florida, which include U.S. Reps. Val Demings, D-Orlando, and Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, Murphy faces the toughest race for re-election,” stated the Orlando Sentinel on January 2, 2018. “I think she has one of the toughest districts in the country,” said Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida. “It’s very difficult to please everybody in a swing district, and that’s why it’s so challenging.”[17]

She was re-elected with 57.6% of the vote, defeating Republican Mike Miller.

2020

Murphy was re-elected in 2020 with 55.34% of the vote, defeating Republican Leo Valentín.

Tenure

Murphy was sworn into office on January 3, 2017. She has urged the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate various bomb threats against Jewish facilities.[18] She joined the Blue Dog Coalition in the 115th U.S. Congress,[19] and was named one of three co-chairs, handling administration, in December 2018 for the 116th U.S. Congress.[20]

With the Democrats winning a majority in the House in 2018, Murphy was named to the Ways and Means Committee.[21]

Murphy endorsed Beto O’Rourke in the 2020 Democratic party presidential primaries in March 2019.[22] After O’Rourke withdrew from the race, Murphy endorsed Michael Bloomberg in January 2020, becoming his campaign’s national co-chair.[23] After Bloomberg withdrew in March 2020, Murphy endorsed Joe Biden.[24]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Joe Biden

As of November 2021, Murphy had voted in line with President Joe Biden‘s stated position 100% of the time.[31]

Economy and COVID-19 relief

Murphy is a self-identified capitalist.[32][33] She supports a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. constitution, which would prohibit the government from spending more than it takes in on a given year. She views growing federal budget deficits as “major threats to the economy, the future health of America, and national security.”[34][35]

In an April 2020 conference call with business executives and lobbyists, Murphy expressed support for a lobbyist-led effort to reverse a ban in the original CARES Act that blocked business advocacy and lobbying groups from participating in the taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program. The effort included a request to be eligible for an additional $25 billion in government funds for canceled events and other lost revenue from the pandemic.[36]

Murphy was part of an effort by some Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to use the coronavirus outbreak to press President Donald Trump to remove tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods and imported steel and aluminum.[37] After the administration rejected the requests, Murphy and Rep. Joe Cunningham sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting she include a suspension of the tariffs in the COVID-19 relief package and mandate the government refund to businesses the tariffs already paid on imported Chinese goods and imported steel and aluminum.[38][39]

She introduced a bill to make it easier for small business owners to obtain low-interest loans. The bill was passed by the House. She also co-sponsored a law, passed and signed by President Trump, that ensures that small businesses will receive a share of federal government contracts.[17]

Immigration

Murphy supports comprehensive immigration reform to fix what she characterizes as a broken system with one that is “consistent with American values.”[33] She supports a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants and reforms to the visa system to focus on economic development.[33] To demonstrate her support for immigration reform, she posted online a picture of herself wearing an “I Am An Immigrant” t-shirt along with the message, “#IAmAnImmigrant and proud of it. Our nation’s diversity is its strength. Opportunity and freedom keep the American dream alive.”[40]

She was one of 24 House Democrats who voted for Kate’s Law,[41] which proposes to increase the penalties for those who have previously been deported or removed and who are apprehended re-entering the country again.[42]

Murphy opposed President Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban entry into the United States by citizens of six Muslim-majority countries, North Korea and Venezuela. “I strongly oppose the President’s executive orders on refugees, which violate fundamental American values and undermine our national security,” she said. “We must work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our refugee policy in a way that keeps us secure AND upholds our values.”[43]

Gun policy

Murphy decided to run for office when incumbent Republican John Mica accepted a campaign contribution from the NRA two days after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. (The 7th congressional district includes much of Orlando). She won office with the support of gun-control groups, such as Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, which was formed after the Pulse shooting.
Murphy supports universal background checks, as well as prohibiting those on the No Fly List from purchasing firearms.[44]
Murphy has stated, “We should protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, but we should also protect our communities by passing commonsense gun laws.”[45]

In 2017, Murphy introduced the “Gun Violence Research Act” into the United States House of Representatives, which was designed to repeal the 1996 Dickey Amendment, a federal ban on the use of federal funds to fund gun-violence research. Murphy stated that the current ban on gun-violence research was “un-American to its core.”[46]
Following the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, several Republican Congress members indicated that they were in favor of the Gun Violence Research Act, and Murphy ultimately spoke to Vice-President Mike Pence, which she credits with helping the bill pass as an amendment to a budget bill that year.[47] The first grants for studies were issued in October 2020.[48] In March 2018, Murphy said that gun control might be approaching “a tipping point” because the present younger generation “had to grow up where they don’t know anything but school mass shootings. They’re sick and tired of it, and they’re activating.”[49]

Impeachments of Donald Trump

On December 18, 2019, Murphy voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.[50]

On January 7, 2021, Murphy called for President Trump to be removed from office under the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.[51] Murphy voted in favor of President Trump’s second impeachment on January 13, 2021.[52]

Military

Murphy was one of 8 Democrats to oppose a House resolution limiting President Trump’s military actions against Iran without congressional approval.[53][54][55]

National security

In the aftermath of the attack on the capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, Murphy proposed to deny security clearances to QAnon members.[56]

In a December 2020 op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times, Murphy characterized climate change as a “national security threat and economic opportunity” for Florida.[57]

Police reform

Murphy co-sponsored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a sweeping civil rights and police reform bill that would limit legal protections for police from individual lawsuits, ban chokeholds, create a national registry of police misconduct, grant the Department of Justice more power to investigate local police departments for potential misconduct, among a number of other provisions.[58][59][60]

Murphy authored a statement from the Blue Dog Caucus calling for “swift and systematic change” and calling on Republicans to join them in pursuing police reform.[59]

Personal life

Murphy and her husband, Sean, have two children.[61] She is a Protestant Christian.[62]

See also

References

  1. ^ Weik, Taylor. “Stephanie Murphy Went from Vietnam War Refugee to Member of Congress”. NBC News. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  2. ^ “Candidate Conversation – Stephanie Murphy (D) – News & Analysis – The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report”. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Dunkelberger, Lloyd (October 24, 2016). “John Mica faces major challenge in redrawn district from Stephanie Murphy”. Orlando Weekly. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Bade, Rachael (November 1, 2016). “Top GOP congressman laughs his way to possible defeat”. Politico. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Hassan, Mohamed (November 8, 2016). “5 Things to Know About Stephanie Murphy, First Vietnamese-American Woman Elected to Congress”. NBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ a b “Democrats find a challenger against Mica”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  7. ^ a b “Stephanie Murphy files to run against John Mica in CD 7 – Florida Politics”. Florida Politics. June 23, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Hackman, Michelle (October 23, 2016). “In Diversifying Florida District, a Challenge for the GOP”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  9. ^ “2020 Great Immigrants Recipient”. Carnegie Corporation of New York. 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  10. ^ Leary, Alex. “Rep. Stephanie Murphy stresses U.S. manufacturing but tied to sports gear made in China”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Garcia, Eric (November 2, 2017). “Murphy Criticized for Husband’s Company Manufacturing in China”. Roll Call.
  12. ^ Sentinel, Orlando. “Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy endorsed by Gabby Giffords”. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  13. ^ “Barack Obama endorses Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy – Florida Politics”. October 24, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  14. ^ Comas, Martin E. (November 8, 2016). “Political newcomer Murphy pulls stunner, unseats Mica; Demings defeats Lowe”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  15. ^ Presidential results by congressional district for districts used in 2012 and 2014, courtesy Daily Kos
  16. ^ Presidential results by congressional district for districts used in 2016, courtesy Daily Kos
  17. ^ a b c Lemongello, Steven. “Stephanie Murphy attempts bipartisan balancing act in first year”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  18. ^ Derby, Kevin (February 27, 2017). “Stephanie Murphy Leads Congressional Push for Feds to Investigate Threats to Jewish Centers”. Sunshine State News, Florida Political News. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Powers, Scott (December 21, 2016). “Stephanie Murphy Joining Blue Dogs, New Democrats”. Florida Politics. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  20. ^ “Blue Dog Coalition Elects 3 New Co-Chairs to Lead Them in Next Congress”. Roll Call. November 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Naomi Jagoda (January 9, 2019). “Ten Dem lawmakers added to House Ways and Means Committee”. The Hill.
  22. ^ Peters, Xander. “Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy endorses Beto O’Rourke in 2020 presidential election”. Orlando Weekly. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  23. ^ Powers, Scott (January 17, 2020). “Stephanie Murphy named national co-chair of Mike Bloomberg’s campaign”. Florida Politics. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Lemongello, Steven. “U.S. Reps. Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy endorse Joe Biden”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  25. ^ http://www.dems.gov/coalitions/national-security-task-force/
  26. ^ Lemongello, Steven. “Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto among Democratic ‘Problem Solvers’ holdouts against Nancy Pelosi”. orlandosentinel.com.
  27. ^ “Members”. Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  28. ^ “Members”. LGBT Equality Caucus. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  29. ^ “Members”. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  30. ^ Derby, Kevin. “Stephanie Murphy to Lead 50 House Democrats in Future Forum.” Sunshine State News, December 6, 2018, sunshinestatenews.com/story/stephanie-murphy-lead-50-house-democrats-future-forum. Accessed December 8, 2017.
  31. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  32. ^ Murphy, Stephanie. “Opinion: I’m a proud Democrat. I’m also a proud capitalist”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  33. ^ a b c Powers, Scott (September 11, 2020). “In CD 7, Stephanie Murphy touts bipartisan effectiveness in contest with Leo Valentin”. Florida Politics. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  34. ^ Torres, Frank (June 29, 2017). “Stephanie Murphy introduces balanced budget amendment”. Orlando-politics.com. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  35. ^ Powers, Scott (July 6, 2017). “Stephanie Murphy pledges support for balanced budget, then shows it’s not easy”. Florida Politics. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  36. ^ Fang, Lee. “Speaker Pelosi Supports Push for Taxpayer Bailout of Corporate Lobbyists”. The Intercept. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  37. ^ Rodriguez, Sabrina. “Lawmakers press Trump for tariff relief in coronavirus response”. Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  38. ^ Lawder, David; Shalal, Andrea (March 13, 2020). “U.S. Treasury chief dashes hopes for broad tariff cut to fight coronavirus”. Reuters. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  39. ^ Staff. “Stephanie Murphy, Joe Cunningham Urge Congress to Suspend Tariffs as Coronavirus Threatens the Economy”. Florida Daily. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  40. ^ Powers, Scott (August 11, 2017). “Stephanie Murphy lets immigration reform shirt do the talking”. Florida Politics. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  41. ^ Wolf, Colin. “Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings just voted for an incredibly terrible anti-immigration bill”. Orlando Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  42. ^ “H.R.3004 – Kate’s Law”. congress.gov. July 10, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  43. ^ Nielsen, Allison (January 30, 2017). “Florida Congressional Freshmen React to Trump’s Refugee Ban”. Sunshine State News. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  44. ^ Garcia, Patricia (June 12, 2017). “Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy Ran for Office After the Pulse Shooting: Now She’s Taking on the NRA and Steve Bannon”. Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  45. ^ “U.S. House District 7 – Stephanie Murphy”. Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. September 26, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  46. ^ Powers, Scott (March 9, 2017). “Stephanie Murphy bill to repeal ban on gun violence research”. Florida Politics. Peter Schorsch. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  47. ^ Ferris, Sarah. “The ‘Velvet Hammer’ leads resurgent Blue Dogs”. Politico. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  48. ^ Powers, Scott (October 8, 2020). “CDC funds first 16 gun violence studies since Stephanie Murphy bill”. Florida Politics. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  49. ^ Gancarski, AG. “Stephanie Murphy anticipates ‘tipping point’ in gun debate”. Orlando Rising. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  50. ^ Panetta, Grace. “WHIP COUNT: Here’s which members of the House voted for and against impeaching Trump”. Business Insider.
  51. ^ Moyer, Matthew. “Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy calls for 25th Amendment to be invoked to remove President Trump from office”. Orlando Weekly. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  52. ^ “Here’s how the House voted on Trump’s second impeachment”. Politico.
  53. ^ Caplan, Craig (January 9, 2020). “2nd term Florida Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy on voting No on Iran war powers resolution: “I am not prepared to unduly limit our nation’s ability to respond to different contingencies that may arise”. @CraigCaplan. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  54. ^ Murphy, Rep Stephanie (January 9, 2020). “I voted against #WarPowersResolution b/c I’m not prepared to unduly limit our nation’s ability to respond to new & evolving threats. The War Powers Act of 1973 already restricts POTUS’s ability to wage war. Our goals must be peace & the security of all Americans. Full Statementpic.twitter.com/upBQb2KlzP”. @RepStephMurphy. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  55. ^ “Murphy on War Powers Resolution”. U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy. January 9, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  56. ^ Rogin, Josh (February 3, 2020). “Opinion: Why this congresswoman is working to deny security clearances to QAnon members”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  57. ^ Murphy, Stephanie. “Climate change is a national security threat and economic opportunity for Florida | Column”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  58. ^ Edmondson, Catie. “House Passes Sweeping Policing Bill Targeting Racial Bias and Use of Force”. New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  59. ^ a b Powers, Scott (June 9, 2020). “Stephanie Murphy-led Blue Dogs push police reform”. Florida Politics. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  60. ^ Associated Press (June 8, 2020). “Democrats propose sweeping police overhaul; President criticizes”. Florida Politics. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  61. ^ “EMILY’s List Endorses Stephanie Murphy in Florida’s 7th Congressional District”. July 25, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  62. ^ Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “Religious affiliation of members of 116th Congress” (PDF). pewforum.org. p. 3. Retrieved April 2, 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida’s 7th congressional district

2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by

Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
2019–present
Served alongside: Lou Correa, Tom O’Halleran (Communications);
Tom O’Halleran, Ed Case (Policy)
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
277th
Succeeded by