|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 7th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||John Mica|
Đặng Thị Ngọc Dung
September 16, 1978
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
|Political party||Independent (Before 2016)|
|Education||College of William & Mary (BA)|
Georgetown University (MS)
Stephanie Murphy (born Đặng Thị Ngọc Dung; September 16, 1978) is a Vietnamese-born 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 and Georgetown University. Before becoming a member of Congress, she worked as a national security specialist at the United States Department of Defense, an executive at Sungate Capital, and a business professor at Rollins College.
Murphy is the first Vietnamese-American woman, first Vietnamese-American Democrat, and the second Vietnamese-American overall (after Republican South Vietnam-born Joseph Cao of Louisiana) to be elected to Congress.
On December 20, 2021, Murphy announced that she will not run for reelection to a fourth term in 2022.
Stephanie Murphy was born Đặng Thị Ngọc Dung on September 16, 1978, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her family fled Communist-controlled Vietnam in 1979 when she was six months old. Their boat ran out of fuel and they were rescued by the United States Navy at sea. They settled in Northern Virginia, where she grew up.
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.
After the September 11 attacks, Murphy went to work for the United States Department of Defense as a national security specialist. For her service, she received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award. 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.
In 2013, the company 3N2 employed Murphy to lead a design team for new women's softball pants; she is listed in patent records as an inventor of "NuFit Knickers". In 2018 Murphy came under criticism after it was revealed that her husband's company has the pants and other sports gear made in China.
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 November 8 general election. She was endorsed by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Murphy defeated Mica with 51% of the vote. She 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.
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 represented a more Republican St. Augustine/Daytona Beach/Orlando district from 1993 to 2013). Mitt Romney won it over Barack Obama in 2012, with 51% of the vote. In contrast, had the redrawn 7th existed in 2012, Obama would have won it with 49.4%.
After meeting with President Trump in September 2017, Murphy said that she and fellow Democrats could work with him.
According to political commentators, Murphy faced 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," the Orlando Sentinel wrote 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."
Murphy defeated Republican state Representative Mike Miller with 57.6% of the vote,
Murphy was reelected with 55.34% of the vote, defeating Republican Leo Valentín.
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. She joined the Blue Dog Coalition in the 115th U.S. Congress, and in December 2018 was named one of three co-chairs, handling administration, for the 116th U.S. Congress.
With the Democrats winning a majority in the House in 2018, Murphy was named to the Ways and Means Committee.
In March 2019, Murphy endorsed Beto O'Rourke in the 2020 Democratic party presidential primaries. After O'Rourke withdrew from the race, Murphy endorsed Michael Bloomberg in January 2020, becoming his campaign's national co-chair. After Bloomberg withdrew in March 2020, Murphy endorsed Joe Biden.
On December 20, 2021, Murphy announced on Twitter that she would not seek reelection to a fourth term, writing, "I've decided not to seek another term in Congress. Serving Central Florida has been the honor of my life, but it's also been incredibly challenging for my family and me." While the Republican state legislature is redrawing all of Florida's congressional districts and could make her seat friendlier to Republicans, the final maps may not be approved until shortly before the state legislature adjourns in mid-March 2022.
As of November 2021, Murphy had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.
As a chief deputy whip and leader of the House Blue Dogs, Murphy was instrumental in helping to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more commonly known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and in advancing the Build Back Better Act to the Senate. After months of deadlock when progressives refused to vote for the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill until the House passed the Build Back Better Act, the New York Times reported "that it was Ms. Murphy who helped seal a deal to salvage both, by drawing up a carefully negotiated statement of support for the safety net legislation that persuaded progressives to vote for the infrastructure bill. It helped lead to a fragile détente between moderates and liberals who had been at odds for months over Mr. Biden’s plans, and ultimately helped steer both the $1 trillion public-works measure and the $2 trillion social policy bill through a House where Democrats have just a three-vote margin of control."
Murphy is a self-identified capitalist. 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."
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.
Murphy was part of an effort by some Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to use the coronavirus outbreak to press Trump to remove tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods and imported steel and aluminum. After the administration rejected the requests, she and Representative Joe Cunningham sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter requesting that she include a suspension of the tariffs in the COVID-19 relief package and mandate that the government refund to businesses the tariffs already paid on imported Chinese goods and imported steel and aluminum.
Murphy introduced a bill to make it easier for small business owners to obtain low-interest loans. It passed the House. She also co-sponsored a law, passed and signed by Trump, that ensures that small businesses will receive a share of federal government contracts.
Murphy supports comprehensive immigration reform to fix what she characterizes as a broken system with one that is "consistent with American values." She supports a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants and reforms to the visa system to focus on economic development. 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."
Murphy was one of 24 House Democrats to vote for Kate's Law, which proposes to increase the penalties for those who have been deported or removed from the U.S. and are apprehended reentering the country.
Murphy opposed Trump's executive order to temporarily ban entry into the U.S. 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."
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 formed after the Pulse shooting. Murphy supports universal background checks, as well as prohibiting those on the No Fly List from purchasing firearms. She has said, "We should protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, but we should also protect our communities by passing commonsense gun laws."
In 2017, Murphy introduced into the House the "Gun Violence Research Act", which was designed to repeal the 1996 Dickey Amendment, a federal ban on the use of federal funds to fund gun-violence research. She said the ban on gun-violence research was "un-American to its core." After the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, several Republican Congress members indicated that they supported 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. The first grants for studies were issued in October 2020. In March 2018, Murphy said that gun control might be approaching "a tipping point" because young people "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."
On December 18, 2019, Murphy voted for both articles of impeachment against Trump.
On January 7, 2021, Murphy called for Trump to be removed from office under the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. She voted in favor of Trump's second impeachment on January 13, 2021.
Murphy was one of 8 Democrats to oppose a House resolution limiting Trump's military actions against Iran without congressional approval.
In the aftermath of the attack on the capitol by Trump supporters, Murphy proposed to deny security clearances to QAnon members.
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.
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, and grant the Department of Justice more power to investigate local police departments for potential misconduct, among a number of other provisions.
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.
Murphy considers herself a pro-trade Democrat, saying in a speech before the National Foreign Trade Council Foundation, "...I don’t support free trade. That’s a common term, but a misnomer—because it suggests unfettered trade or a free-for-all. I believe trade in goods and services is vital to advancing America’s economic and security interests. I believe protectionist measures are more likely to result in self-harm than self-preservation. I support a trading system that is rules-based. These rules should help ensure U.S. companies rise or fall on their own merits, and don’t have to compete on an unfair playing field with foreign-based companies that mistreat workers, pollute the environment, steal intellectual property, or receive excessive government support."
In February 2022, Murphy was the only House Democrat to vote against the America COMPETES Act of 2022, a bill primarily focused on encouraging and strengthening American scientific and technological innovation and R&D. Murphy said that while she supported many elements of the bill, "the trade section of the bill includes problematic, poorly-vetted provisions and excludes sensible, bipartisan provisions that were part of the Senate-passed version of the bill" according to Murphy. She said the bill "does more to limit trade than to enhance trade, even though expanded trade helps far more American workers than it hurts, reduces the prices that American consumers pay for goods and services, and is a powerful weapon in our strategic competition with China."
Murphy and her husband, Sean, have two children. She is a Protestant Christian.