Murphy, Bishop sworn into the U.S. House
From wire, staff reports
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
WASHINGTON — Two Republicans who triumphed last week in North Carolina special elections — including one whose narrow win displayed anew that suburban voters are deserting the GOP while rural residents are embracing the party — became members of the House on Tuesday.
The swearing-in of Dan Bishop and Greg Murphy brought the House to full strength, if only briefly because a Wisconsin lawmaker will relinquish his office next week, The Associated Press reported. But it still left Republicans needing to gain 19 seats in the 2020 elections to recapture House control, a surge that will be difficult.
The oath of office was administered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Rep. David Price, dean of the North Carolina congressional delegation asked that they be sworn in even through their elections have not been finalized and certificates of election sent to Congress.
“There is not question and not contest has been raised in regards to their elections,” Price said. Murphy and Bishop were joined by the entire North Carolina delegation as they took their oath from the well of the House chambers.
“They are experienced legislators who have traveled long and sometimes unexpected paths to get here and they face special challenges,” Price said. “Our new members had hard-fought campaigns and the people of North Carolina have spoken.”
Murphy, whose 3rd Congressional District includes part of Pitt County, is a surgeon who was appointed to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2015 to fill an unexpired term. He was subsequently elected in 2016 and 2018. Murphy championed legislation that strengthened the oversight and tightened supervision on opioid prescriptions along with increasing access to naloxone, which can reverse an opiod overdose.
Bishop has served as a Mecklenburg County commissioner and in both chambers of the General Assembly. He wrote the 2016 North Carolina law that restricted which public bathrooms transgender people may use. It was later repealed under widespread criticism.
Murphy fills the unexpired term of Walter B. Jones Jr., who died in February. Price paid brief tribute to Jones saying he was “one of the most independent-minded and well-liked members of this institution, our friend.”
Murphy also paid tribute to Jones.
“Walter was a friend of mine, he was a mentor,” he said, stopping when the House members rose for a standing ovation.
“I know he was beloved by this institution, I would not be here today without him,” Murphy said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to working with each and every one of you, getting to know every one of you so we can continue to make this the greatest nation on Earth.”
Murphy also offered thanks to God, “for given me the opportunity of life and the ability to experience all the great wonders he’s given us. I thank this country for the freedom it’s given me as an individual and how much I can enjoy this freedom.”
Price said the 9th Congressional District has been without a representative for 257 days after evidence of election fraud resulted in a new election.
Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready by 2 percentage points last week, less than Donald Trump’s 11-point win in the district in the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats now control the House over Republicans, 235-199. There’s also one independent.
A fresh vacancy will occur Monday, when Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy leaves Congress. The five-term veteran announced his resignation last month, citing a desire for more family time.
Republicans are expected to retain that seat. No date for a special election to replace Duffy has been set.