The new congressman for the 5th Congressional District pledges to fight the federal health care law, oppose any new stimulus spending and pursue tax cuts for all Americans - including the highest earners.
Republican Mick Mulvaney won on a message of limited government and lower taxes, a mentality shared by a large group of conservative freshmen he'll join on Capitol Hill.
But Mulvaney has also signaled a willingness to use the federal purse strings in some cases. For example, he supports federal dollars for a proposed 11-mile extension of Dave Lyle Boulevard into Lancaster County. The price tag exceeds $120 million.
"Spending on transportation projects is one of the few times when a government expenditure is properly described as an investment," Mulvaney said recently.
With so many candidates running on anti-government messages, Spratt predicted S.C. communities would find it tougher to win support for local projects.
"You're going to have a delegation made up of folks like Jim DeMint," Spratt said. "Lindsey (Graham) believes in it, but the rest of them are indifferent to that politics."
Mulvaney and his wife, Pam, live with their young triplets in the suburban community of Indian Land. After forays into law and real estate development, Mulvaney now works in the restaurant business as the owner/operator of a Salsarita's.
For Mulvaney, a top priority will be to block key parts of the health care law. Full repeal is impossible, Mulvaney said, so Republicans should focus on preventing new rules from taking effect.
"My goal is to put off as much as possible until after 2012 so we can have a national debate," Mulvaney told a group of seniors.