Alex Mooney
Rep.

Alex Mooney

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Party R
State WV
Years in DC 2
Next Election 2018

LibertyScore®

C 75%

Mooney at a Glance

Alexander Xavier “Alex” Mooney has represented West Virginia's 2nd congressional district since 2015.

Mooney received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College. While in school Mooney had his first experience with politics, unsuccessfully running for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Upon graduation Mooney went to work for former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) before working as a staffer for the House Republican Conference.

In 1998, Mooney ran for a seat in the Maryland State Senate, defeating incumbent pro-abortion State Senate Minority Whip John Derr (R-MD) in a contentious primary battle. Mooney went on to serve in the State Senate for twelve years before being defeated himself by former Frederick mayor Ronald Young (D-MD). Mooney would go on to serve as the elected chairman of the Maryland Republican Party for slightly over two years.

In 2011, Mooney explored challenging Bartlett, his former boss, in the 2012 Republican primary. While he ultimately decided against it, Mooney instead filed his candidacy for the seat for the 2014 election cycle. Mooney was ultimately forced to drop that bid as well; working as Bartlett's part-time community outreach director at the time, Mooney’s candidacy would have been in violation of House ethics rules.

In 2013, Mooney and his family picked up and moved to Charles Town, West Virginia, into the district incumbent Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was vacating in her run for United States Senate. Labeled a carpetbagger, Mooney argued that the area he had represented in the Maryland Senate bordered West Virginia and was similar to the district he now sought. He also said he had fled Maryland and “came to West Virginia to live in freedom.” Mooney defeated the Democratic nominee in a close race that saw neither candidate capturing 50 percent of the vote. Mooney, a Cuban-America on his mother’s side, became the first ever Hispanic member of West Virginia’s congressional delegation.

Mooney came to Washington amid much excitement. A state legislator with a long history of fighting for conservative principles and values, Mooney vowed to fight the GOP establishment, beginning with a promise to vote against John Boehner (R-OH) for Speaker. Most impressively, Mooney was prepared to stand up to Speaker Boehner even after Boehner had campaigned in West Virginia for Mooney.

All of which made Mooney’s vote in favor of John Boehner for Speaker all the more crushing. Mooney said he had pledged to vote against the Speaker when a “reasonable opportunity” presenting itself, claiming that no such opportunity existed on the floor of the House in January, 2015. Yet not only were there viable alternative candidates who were also seeking the Speaker’s gavel, but even a mere vote of “present” would have been preferable to the alternative. Mooney fails to see it that way.

There’s no question that Mooney is a solid conservative. He’s even a proactive one – Mooney has brought the same fight to Congress that he displayed as a member of the Maryland State Senate, where he led battles on issues like gay marriage, religious liberty, and abortion. But Mooney’s betrayal on the 2015 Speaker vote raises a disturbing point. Conservatives aren’t going to win the war without a few bloody battles, many of which will be unpopular and will fly in the face of the establishment center. To win, conservatives will need all hands on deck, consequences be damned.

What You Don’t See on Mooney's Scorecard

Civil Liberties

  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney led a filibuster against anti-religious liberty legislation. (Madison Project)
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney introduced a resolution in support of a then-Congressional effort to define certain religious liberties as being the purview of the state, including the right to display a Ten Commandments monument, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "under God," and to recite the national motto, "In God We Trust," on government property. Mooney said the objective behind the resolution was "let us be, let us make our own laws.” (Frederick News-Post)

Education

  • Despite criticizing Common Core and saying the standards need to be replaced (Charleston Gazette-Mail), Mooney has failed to support legislation that would prohibit the federal government from imposing Common Core standards on states. (clerk.House.gov)

Energy & Environment

  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney opposed increasing the percentage of retail electricity sales required to come from renewable energy sources. (Vote Smart)
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney opposed requiring the State of Maryland to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. (Vote Smart)

Free Market

  • While all indications point to Mooney opposing the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, he has never make a clear statement to that effect. Instead, Mooney has expressed concern with the bank’s mission, saying on the floor of the House, “I have some serious concerns about the future of the Export-Import Bank, particularly with this administration. In the past, the bank has been used to push extreme environmental policies from the president to guide how it awards their loans.” When asked to clarify his position, Mooney reiterated through his spokesman that, “I have serious concerns about reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The tax-payer funded Export-Import Bank interferes in the private market and has a history of discriminating against West Virginia coal,” still failing to clarify his position on reauthorization. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

Moral Issues

  • Mooney introduced personhood legislation that would state that life begins at conception. The bill affords the unborn with all rights afforded to all persons under the U.S. Constitution. (Govtrack)
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney supported an amendment that would limit funding for family planning to programs that exclusively promoted alternatives to abortions. (Vote Smart)
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney supported an amendment that would prohibit requiring licensed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception. (Vote Smart)
  • After President Bush reinstated the global gag rule in 2001, Mooney joined his colleagues in the Maryland State Senate in advocating for a budget amendment that would strip abortion coverage from the state’s Medicaid program. (Baltimore Sun)
  • Mooney opposes gay marriage, and fears that legalization will not end the movement. "Even if homosexual 'marriage' comes in, it's not going to stop; the radicals pushing this stuff are not going to stop. They're going to go for 'hate speech.' If you actually speak against the homosexual lifestyle, maybe from the pulpit if you're a pastor, then you're in trouble. Then they're going to go to the schools, to your kids in the schools. They'll want to teach it to the children in schools." (CNS News)
  • Mooney favors state constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and proactively preventing marriage-equivalent benefits from being awarded to couples not in a traditional marriage. (CNS News)
  • As Maryland GOP chair Mooney lobbied hard against passage of legislation in the State Senate that would legalize gay marriage. (LBGTQ Nation)

Second Amendment

  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney introduced legislation that would give domestic violence victims the right to carry handguns (Herald Mail).
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney opposed legislation that would require all domestic abuse suspects to temporarily surrender all firearms in their possession (Vote Smart)
  • As a member of the Maryland State Senate, Mooney led a filibuster against gun control. (Madison Project) 

Taxes, Economy & Trade

  • When asked for his position on raising the minimum wage, Mooney at first avoided taking a position. His initial reaction was “That’s really a state decision — the state can handle that.” When asked how he’d vote on a federal minimum wage as a member of Congress, Mooney said, “I’d have to consider it when I got there. As with all issues, it’s better to make those kinds of decisions at the local level. I will have to consider it when I get there, to see what they are proposing.” (Morgan County USA)

Political & Electoral

  • Despite signing the Madison Project’s candidate pledge to vote against House leadership, with his first vote as a newly sworn in member of the House, Mooney voted in favor of John Boehner for House Speaker. Parsing words following the vote, a Mooney spokesman said, “[t]he pledge said he would vote against leadership when a ‘reasonable opportunity’ presents itself. It is the Congressman’s belief since ‘there was no alternative candidate with a reasonable chance of success’ this was not a reasonable opportunity.” (Breitbart)
  • John Boehner campaigned for Mooney during the 2014 cycle. (MetroNews)
  • Mooney charged leadership with retaliating against him after he voted against a procedural rule on Trade Promotion Authority legislation. Mooney said he was intentionally excluded from a list of cosponsors to a Medicare-related bill introduced by Tom Reed (R-NY). Mooney later backtracked and said that he in no way meant to imply that he had been retaliated against. (The Hill)
  • In moving to West Virginia and running for Congress from an open seat, many accused Mooney of being carpetbagger. At one point Mooney compared his move to his mother fleeing from communist Cuba. “I moved about half an hour from where I lived. I moved just from one side of the Potomac River to the other. You know my mother’s a refugee from Cuba. That country was taken over by the Communists — I’m now a refugee from Maryland!” (National Review)