Michael Thomas McCaul Sr. (born January 14, 1962) is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 10th congressional district, since 2005. During 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses, he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Congressman McCaul is a member of the Republican Party. The district stretches from Austin to Houston. As of 2018 he is the fifth-wealthiest member of Congress.
Early life, education, and law career
McCaul was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Frances Jane (Lott) and James Addington McCaul, Jr. He has English, Irish, and German ancestry. He graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Antonio's Trinity University in 1984 and his Juris Doctor from St. Mary's University in 1987. McCaul also completed the Senior Executive Fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.
McCaul worked as an attorney and a federal prosecutor before entering politics. He was the Chief of Counterterrorism and National Security for Texas's branch of the US Attorney's office, and also worked under the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section. After he left the USDOJ, McCaul took a position as a Deputy Attorney General in 1999 with the Texas Attorney General's Office and served in this capacity until 2002.
U.S. House of Representatives
He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004. He won a crowded Republican primary in the newly created 10th District. The district was thought to be so heavily Republican that no Democratic candidate even filed, effectively handing the seat to McCaul.
In 2006 he defeated Democratic candidate Ted Ankrum and former Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik with 55% of the vote. McCaul won re-election once again in 2008, against Democratic candidate Larry Joe Doherty and Libertarian candidate Matt Finkel by a 54 to 43 percent margin.
In 2010, he was re-elected to a fourth term with 76% of the vote against Democratic candidate Ted Ankrum (22%) and Libertarian candidate Jeremiah "JP" Perkins (1 percent).
McCaul won a seventh term in the House in the general election held on November 8, 2016. With 179,221 votes (57.3 percent), he defeated the Democrat Tawana W. Cadien, who polled 120,170 (38.4 percent). The Libertarian Bill Kelsey held another 13,209 votes (4.2 percent).
McCaul won an eighth term in the House in the general election held on November 6, 2018. With 157,166 votes (51.1 percent), he defeated the Democrat Mike Siegel, who polled 144,034 (46.8 percent). The Libertarian Mike Ryan held another 6,627 votes (2.5 percent).
On December 11, 2013, McCaul introduced the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 3696; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct cybersecurity activities on behalf of the federal government and would codify the role of DHS in preventing and responding to cybersecurity incidents involving the Information Technology (IT) systems of federal civilian agencies and critical infrastructure in the United States. McCaul said that the bill was "an important step toward addressing the cyber threat." According to McCaul, the bill "establishes a true partnership between DHS and the private sector to ensure the distribution of real-time cyber threat information in order to secure our nation in cyberspace without burdensome mandates or regulations."
In a December 2, 2016 Fox News op-ed, McCaul declared his intention to support legislation, in line with president-elect Donald Trump's proposals, to build a wall along the Mexico–United States border, to secure the border, and have Mexico and other Latin American countries pay for these proposals.
In April 2019, McCaul spoke out against a resolution that would end US involvement in the Yemeni Civil War. Recognizing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, McCaul explained his belief that approving the resolution would "disrupt US security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries."
In December 2016, the House Republican Conference voted to appoint McCaul for a third term as the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Committee. The selection follows McCaul's recent publication of "A National Strategy to Win the War Against Islamist Terror", a compilation of more than 100 counterterrorism strategies and recommendations. McCaul says his approach to counterterrorism will aid in integrating the nation's homeland security policies into the digital age through the implementation of detailed screening of foreign visitors, including immigrants and refugees, by utilizing the latest technologies and intelligence.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere (Vice Chair)
- Committee on Homeland Security (Chairman)
- Republican Study Committee
- Co-Chair of the Congressional High Tech Caucus – Founder
- Co-Chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus- Co-Founder
- Co-Chair of the Congressional Cyber Security Caucus –
- Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan
- Tuberculosis Elimination Caucus
- United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
McCaul is married to Linda Mays McCaul. She is the daughter of Clear Channel Communications chairman Lowry Mays and sister of its CEO Mark Mays. In 2011, Roll Call named McCaul as one of the wealthiest members of the United States Congress, surpassing then U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA). His net worth was estimated at $294 million, which is approximately 300% higher than it was in the previous year ($74 million). In 2004, Roll Call estimated his net worth at just $12 million. His wealth increase was due to large monetary transfers from his wife's family. McCaul and his family live in West Lake Hills, Texas, a wealthy suburb of Austin, Texas.. McCaul is frequently in the top ten users of household water in the Austin area, and was the #1 consumer of household water in Austin for 2017.