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Michael Robert "Mike" McNulty (born September 16, 1947) is a politician from the U.S. state of New Yorkmarker, formerly representing New York's 23rd congressional district and then, after redistricting, New York's 21st congressional district. He is a Democrat, and was chairman of the House Subcommittee on Social Security in the 110th Congress.

Early life

McNulty was born in Troy, New Yorkmarker and attended public schools, and La Salle Institue. He graduated from the College of the Holy Crossmarker in Worcester, MAmarker. He worked as an insurace broker prior to entering politics.

Political career

McNulty was mayor of Green Island, New Yorkmarker from 1977 to 1982. McNulty was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1982. In 1988, Congressman Samuel S. Stratton of New York's 23rd congressional district announced his withdrawal from the race due to health issues. McNulty was selected to replace him on the ballot and was easily elected in what was then a heavily Democratic district, one of the few reliably Democratic areas in Upstate New York. In 1993, after two terms in congress, a redistricting made McNulty part of New York's 21st congressional district instead. He was re-elected another six timesin that district without much difficulty. In 2004, he was challenged by Republican Warren Redlich. McNulty faced Redlich again in 2006, and was reelected with 78% of the vote - his widest margin. [85076]. He also had a primary challenge in 1996 by Lee H. Wasserman, in which he won by a closer margin than he ever had in the general election.

Committee assignments

  • Ways & Means Committee
    • Subcommittee on Social Security (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support
  • At-Large Whip


McNulty was more moderate since his earlier days in the House, when he favored more of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America than any other Northeastern Democrat. He was considered moderate on social issues (for instance, he is pro-life on abortion), but very liberal on economic issues.

McNulty voted for the War in Iraq, but since changed his stance and cosponsored Representative John Murtha's resolution for a phased withdrawal from the region.

McNulty was known for being one of the less prolific members of the house; he has said he does not plan to run for any higher offices or leadership posts within the house. Additionally, he was known for being relatively quiet and not saying much on the floor. Roll Call once jokingly named him Chair of the Obscure Caucus.

However, he was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush's Social Security reform plan.


McNulty presided over a vote to recommit an agricultural appropriations bill on the night of August 2, 2007 that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving food stamps. McNulty claimed the vote tied 214-214 with members changing their votes after time had expired, McNulty gaveled down a vote and tallied it 212-216 against the motion, while Republicans argued the House screen tally vote was 215-213 in favor to recommit. Republicans chanted "Shame" and later walked out of the House in protest. McNulty and Steny Hoyer apologized on the floor the next morning for prematurely gaveling down the vote. As of May 2008, a bi-partisan investigation panel including Bill Delahunt and Mike Pence is working to determine whether or not the bill must be recommitted. A year later, the panel found that the Democrats did indeed improperly tally the vote.


He was consistently endorsed by both the Conservative Party and the Working Families Party, third parties in New York.

McNulty received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Scorecard on middle-class issues.


In October 2007, McNulty announced that he would not seek an 11th term in Congress. Paul Tonko, who had served alongside McNulty in the State Assembly from 1983 to 1989, won the Democratic party's nomination to replace McNulty, and subsequently won the general election in November. Despite being an open seat, this was not considered a competitive election, as the 21st is considered the most Democratic district in the state outside of the New York Citymarker-based districts and Western New York. Both Congressional Quarterly and the Cook Political Report rated the race for the 21st's open seat as "Safe Democratic."

See also


  1. All Politics Is Local, Elizabeth Benjamin, Albany Times Union, July 20, 2006
  2. The Obscure Caucus, Lauren W. Whittington, Roll Call, September 8, 2003
  4. Rick Karlin, McNulty won't run again: 10-term congressman plans announcement; move creates wide-open race for seat, October 26, 2007 [1]. Accessed October 26, 2007.
  5. The Associated Press, McNulty retiring from Congress, Democrats say, The Legislative Gazette, October 29, 2007, p. 9.
  6. Press Release, Congressman Michael R. McNulty, McNulty:"I'm Coming Home". Available from lisa.blumenstock(at) as of October 29, 2007.

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