At age 29, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., became the youngest member of the 113th Congress after beating Tea Party rival Allen West for his seat in the House. Murphy, a CPA who started a business in Florida committed to environmental cleanup following the BP oil spill, believes his accounting and business background will help the House.
“Well the way I look at it, we really have an opportunity right now to get our country back on track,” Murphy told NBC’s Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown. “If you look at what’s happening across the world—Asia slowed down, Europe’s still in a recession, South America is struggling right now—we have an opportunity to get our financial house in line.”
Murphy blames spending as one of the biggest problems adding to the country’s deficit and preventing Congress from balancing the budget. As a new member of the House, he plans to concentrate on “reducing spending, increasing revenue and getting our economy back on track.”
“We’re seeing pockets of growth throughout the country and I’m optimistic about that, but if our government could create some stability and provide business owners and entrepreneurs with some predictability on what’s to come, I think we would see investments just unleash and employment come back in our country,” Murphy said.
The freshman congressman did agree, however, that President Barack Obama has tried to reduce spending, more steps just need to be taken. He especially remained protective over programs such as Social Security and Medicare, taking note of their success but also suggesting taking a look at their long-term sustainability.
Todd pressed Murphy over whether the retirement age should be increased in regards to the Social Security and Medicare programs. Murphy wouldn’t give a definite answer but did say Congress must be realistic and proposed a solution of raising the cap.
“Right now you’re taxed up until you make $113, 000. Let’s raise that cap to $150,000,” Murphy said. “There’s been numerous proposals by Democrats to do this and this adds years and years of life to Social Security so let’s put that on the table and see what the other side comes back with and have that conversation.”
Murphy, a member of the Financial Services Committee, also talked about budgeting the funds for national disaster cleanups. He explained to Todd how national disasters can heavily impact a state’s economy and a “national catastrophic fund,” is something he plans to look into during his term.