Tim Murphy is a Republican house member hailing from the 18th Congressional district of the state of Pennsylvania. He has an impressive professional and political background, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, practicing as a psychologist for many years, and serving as a Pennsylvania state senator from 1996-2002 before successfully running for U.S. House of Representatives. His political views closely match those of his constituents, a fact that has allowed him to be a representative for eight years, and he is favored to win re-election for another term later this year.
The constituents of the 18th District are described as “socially conservative,” a political stance reflected by Murphy’s opposition of abortion and federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (CQPress). According to the last census, the district has a population of 646,817 people, 95.8% of whom are white (Census). Furthermore, 88.5% of those twenty-five and older have at least a high-school education, and the median household income is $44,864, about $5,000 higher than the national average (Census, SSA). The majority of the people who reside in Murphy’s district are described as “white collar,” a status that has been linked to Republicanism in the past and more than likely a factor in Murphy’s continued success at the polls. This has also been reflected in the past recent Presidential elections, where Bush won 51% of votes in 2000 and 54% in 2004, and McCain received 55% of votes in 2008 (CQPolitics).
Murphy’s voting tendencies on the issues of energy fall squarely within the Republican Party platform. He supports “increased use of nuclear power and more domestic oil drilling” like most other Republicans, and released a statement that “a cap on greenhouse gas emissions coupled with a market-based trading system for emissions would not reduce pollution and would send jobs to China, Brazil and India” (CQPress). Again, these views are shared by his constituents and have helped him to win re-election several times.
While Congressman Murphy is registered as a Republican, his views do not line up with those of the GOP on every issue, especially that of healthcare, which has been dubbed his “pet issue.” One of Murphy’s main goals is to “improve health care information technology to help reduce medical errors that lead to increased health care costs,” also supporting a piece of legislation “requiring insurers to offer mental health benefits equal in scope to other health benefits,” support which went against the majority of the GOP (CQPress). Murphy also supported a new law “reauthorizing U.S. efforts to combat HIV and AIDS oversees” against the will of the Republican Party, which felt that the bill was not the correct answer in fighting the diseases (CQPress).
Murphy also takes a more moderate to liberal stance on labor issues, generally siding with the Democratic Party. He recently voted to increase the minimum wage and also opposed a free-...