Heritage Action: What aspect of government (i.e., program, department, agency) do you want to reform the most? What legislation are you currently pushing or working on to achieve that reform?
Rep. Mulvaney: I have a list in my desk someplace of things that need fixing…I think I am up to 3 pages, single-spaced. Looking at the big picture, we need to reform the Executive Branch. I’ve been alternatively stunned and depressed by what the Executive has tried to do (and in many cases done) through rulemaking and regulatory promulgation. If we don’t get control of this — so that neither party has the ability to essentially legislate without the participation of the Legislative Branch — we may well lose control of the whole system. Of course, changing who is currently in charge of the Executive Branch might help a lot toward this end.
HA: What’s a piece of smaller legislation, or nominee, that is currently on the agenda but flying under the radar that you feel conservatives should be concerned about?
Rep. Mulvaney: Budget process reform. It is not hyperbole to say that the current system is structurally biased toward spending money. Only in Washington could we spend $100 last year on a program, $115 this year, and call that a “cut” because the baseline called for $120. Until we start using commonsense language, at the very least, the chances to balance the budget are remote.
HA: What do you enjoy the most and the least about being a Member of Congress?
Rep. Mulvaney: The part I like least: working at a job that frequently resembles beating one’s head up against a wall on a daily basis…all the time realizing that your own party is as much of the “wall” as is the loyal opposition.
The part I like best: occasionally stopping the head banging and going home for a day or two.
HA: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in Washington?
Rep. Mulvaney: Ignore the fact that we are a long way from fixing Washington. This usually involves gardening, reading, golfing with Congressman Gowdy, and trying to help my wife in the rearing of our 12-year-old triplets.
HA: What do you miss most about being a kid?
Rep. Mulvaney: Not caring about the federal debt.