Patrick Timothy McHenry (born October 22, 1975) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 10th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously was a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives for a single term. The district is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes Hickory, Morganton, Lincolnton, Shelby, and part of Gastonia.
Early life, education and career
McHenry was born in Gastonia, North Carolina. He grew up in suburban Gastonia, North Carolina, the son of the owner of the Dixie Lawn Care Company, and attended Ashbrook High School.
A Roman Catholic, McHenry was the youngest of five children. His parents are now deceased.
Halfway through North Carolina State University, McHenry transferred to Belmont Abbey College. At Belmont, McHenry founded the school's College Republican chapter, then became chair of the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans and served as treasurer for the College Republican National Committee.
His first run for public office was for the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1998, while still a junior in college; he won the primary but lost in the general election. The Democratic winner was the father of a high school classmate.
After earning a B.A. in history in 1999, McHenry worked for the media consulting firm DCI/New Media, in Washington, D.C.
He was involved in Rick Lazio's campaign against Hillary Clinton during the November 2000 United States Senate election in New York; his main project was running a Web site, NotHillary.com.
Early political career
In mid-2000, McHenry was hired by Karl Rove to be the National Coalition Director for George W. Bush's successful 2000 presidential campaign. In late 2000 and early 2001, he was a volunteer coordinator for Bush's inaugural committee. After working for six months in 2001 as a special assistant to Elaine Chao, the United States Secretary of Labor in Washington, D.C., McHenry returned to North Carolina and ran again for the state legislature, winning in the November 2002 general election.
A resident of Cherryville, North Carolina, McHenry represented the state's 109th House district, including constituents in Gaston County, for the 2003–2004 session. While in the legislature, he sat on the House Appropriations Committee.
U.S. House of Representatives
At age 33, McHenry was the youngest member of the 110th United States Congress; however, 27-year-old Aaron Schock of Illinois took office in the 111th United States Congress in January 2009.
McHenry serves on two House Committees: Financial Services, and Oversight and Government Reform. McHenry holds two House Republican leadership positions; he is a Deputy Whip and Vice Chairman of Finance for the National Republican Congressional Committee's Executive Committee.
Since 2011, McHenry has been Chairman of the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services, and Bailouts of Private and Public Programs on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In this capacity he has held hearings on municipal bankruptcies and bailouts and the future of TARP.
In the 109th Congress, McHenry authored legislation which would increase the penalty for anyone who manufactured methamphetamine in the presence of a child. The legislation, H.R. 1616, was incorporated into legislation which passed the House and Senate.
It was signed into law as part of the Patriot Act reauthorization in March, 2006.
In the 110th Congress, in the Committee on Financial Services, McHenry worked with Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on legislation requiring mortgage lenders to simplify their mortgage disclosure forms for home buyers. Their Mortgage Disclosure Simplification Act was integrated into H.R. 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, comprehensive housing reform legislation passed by the House. It awaits action by the Senate.
In 2008, McHenry opposed H.R.
5767, the Payment Systems Protection Act (a bill that sought to place a moratorium on enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act while the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve defined "unlawful Internet gambling").
McHenry was honored by the North Carolina Chapters of the American Legion and Marine Corps League after assisting in bringing a Veteran's Community Based Outpatient Clinic to Hickory, a project his predecessor Cass Ballenger had begun before his retirement.
After the passing of Senator Jesse Helms, McHenry sponsored a resolution (H.Res. 608) honoring Helms's life and service. Every member of the North Carolina delegation co-sponsored his resolution, and it was passed by the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.
McHenry authored the Independence Prize Act of 2007 (H.R. 2867), which would authorize a prize of up to $1 billion to an American company or individual who invented a transformative source of energy to replace fossil fuels. McHenry also co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation designed to open drilling for oil in the outer continental shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as increased use of nuclear and clean coal energy.
On March 2, 2010, McHenry proposed new legislation, H.R. 4705, that would redesign the face of the $50 bill to include the likeness of the 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
The House passed two bills sponsored by Congressman McHenry in 2011. The first terminated the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The second was the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, commonly referred to as Crowdfunding and was introduced to foster relationships between investors and entrepreneurs. Specifically, it permits crowdfunding issuances that offer an equity stake (securities) to investors.
In 2004, after one term in the North Carolina General Assembly, McHenry successfully ran for Congress in the 10th Congressional district, which had come open when nine-term incumbent Cass Ballenger retired. McHenry faced a heavily contested primary in the 10th and bested his closest opponent, Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman, in a primary runoff by only 85 votes.
In the general election, McHenry won 64% of the popular vote, defeating Democrat Anne Fischer. However, it was generally thought McHenry's victory in the primary runoff was tantamount to election in November: his district is considered North Carolina's most Republican district, having sent Republicans to represent it since 1963.
In the 2006 election, McHenry defeated Democrat Richard Carsner, gaining almost 62% of the vote on the way to a second term representing the 10th District.
In 2008, McHenry defeated Lance Sigmon in the Republican primary, winning 67% of the vote, and faced Democrat Daniel Johnson in the general election. Johnson was considered the strongest and best-funded Democrat to run in the district in over 20 years. In part because of this, the Cook Political Report moved the race from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican." This meant that in Charlie Cook's opinion, while McHenry still had a considerable advantage, a victory by Johnson could not be ruled out. Shortly after the Cook Political Report's update, Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, also a nonpartisan analysis of American politics and elections, addressed the race and indicated his opinion that an upset is unlikely. McHenry won the 2008 election, 57.56% to 42.44%.
McHenry easily defeated Democratic challenger Jeff Gregory.
January 10th, 2012