Bill Cassidy

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Bill Cassidy
Bill Cassidy, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Don Cazayoux
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 16 district
In office
December 20, 2006 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jay Dardenne
Succeeded by Dan Claitor
Personal details
Born William Cassidy
(1957-09-28) September 28, 1957 (age 56)
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura Layden
Alma mater Louisiana State University, Baton Rogue
Louisiana State University, New Orleans
Religion Evangelical Christianity

William "Bill" Cassidy (born September 28, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 6th congressional district, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. On April 3, 2013, Cassidy announced that he will challenge incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu for re-election in 2014.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Cassidy was born in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, located in Lake County, Illinois, the son of Elizabeth and James F. Cassidy.[1] He received a B.S. degree in 1979 from Louisiana State University and an M.D. from LSU School of Medicine in 1983.[2] Cassidy specialized in the treatment of diseases of the liver at the Earl K. Long Medical Center (LSUMC). His wife is the former Laura Layden, herself a physician. The couple has three children: Will, Meg, and Kate. Cassidy is one of four sons of the late James F. Cassidy, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and an insurance underwriter in Baton Rouge. His mother is Betty Cassidy of Baton Rouge, and his brothers are James F. Cassidy of Randolph, Massachusetts, and David Cassidy and Steve Cassidy, both of Baton Rouge.[3]

In 1998, Cassidy helped found the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic to provide uninsured residents of the greater Baton Rouge area with access to free health care. The Clinic provides low-income families free dental, medical, mental health and vision care through an innovative "virtual" approach that partners needy patients with doctors who provide care free of charge.[4]

Cassidy has also developed public health programs such as the School-Based Hepatitis B Vaccination program, a public-private coalition that has vaccinated over 36,000 children.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Cassidy led a group of health care volunteers to convert an abandoned K-Mart building into an emergency health care facility, providing basic health care to victims of the natural disaster.

Cassidy is a member of The Chapel, a nondenominational church in Baton Rouge.

Political campaigns[edit]

On December 9, 2006, Cassidy won a special election for the District 16 seat in the Louisiana Senate. In his first bid for public office, Cassidy defeated veteran State Representative William Daniel, a fellow Republican, and Libertarian candidate S.B. Zaitoon. The election was held to replace Jay Dardenne, who vacated the seat he had held since 1992 upon his election as Louisiana Secretary of State. Cassidy was sworn in on December 20, 2006.

On October 20, 2007, Cassidy was re-elected, this time to a full four-year term in the Louisiana State Senate. Cassidy received 76 percent of the vote against Republican Troy "Rocco" Moreau (15 percent) and Libertarian Richard Fontanesi (9 percent).

On November 4, 2008 Cassidy was elected to serve Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating incumbent Democratic Congressman Don Cazayoux. His victory was one of five seats that Republicans gained from the Democrats, two of those seats being in Louisiana (the other being Joseph Cao in the 2nd). Cassidy's victory was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disastrous year for Republicans. He likely would not have won if not for the Independent (politics)Independent candidacy of liberal State Representative Michael Jackson, also of Baton Rouge. Jackson won 36,133 votes—more than the 25,000-vote margin between Cassidy and Cazayoux. Indeed, the precinct tally suggested that Jackson siphoned off many African-American votes that would have otherwise gone to Cazayoux.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Cassidy defeated Democrat Merritt E. McDonald of Baton Rouge. Cassidy earned 66% of the vote to win his first re-election campaign, while Republicans nationwide gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives and assumed majority status after four years of Democratic control in the House.

In the 2012 election, Cassidy was re-elected upon defeating Rufus Holt Craig, Jr., a Libertarian, and Richard "RPT" Torregano, an Independent. Receiving 79.41% of the vote, incumbent Congressman Cassidy defended his seat in Louisiana's 6th Congressional District.

Cassidy is running for the Senate in 2014, and has been endorsed by Republican Senator David Vitter. Three-term Senator Mary Landrieu holds the seat and is running for re-election.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In May 2010, Cassidy sponsored H.Res.1374 providing that all revenue from the excise tax on oil production should continue to pay for cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.[6]

In June 2010, Cassidy introduced the Gulf Coast Jobs Preservation Act to terminate the moratorium on deep water drilling and require the Secretary of the Interior to ensure the safety of deep water drilling operations.[7]

In December 2010, Cassidy voted to extend the tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.[8]

Cassidy voted for the Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment of 2011.[9]

In May 2013, Cassidy introduced the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1584; 113th Congress) (H.R. 1582). The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to submit reports to both the United States Congress and the United States Department of Energy regarding proposed regulation that would have significant compliance costs (an impact of over $1 billion).[10][11] The Department of Energy and Congress would then have the option of stopping or altering the EPA proposal.[10]

In August 2013, Cassidy sponsored the Home Protection Act of 2013, which would reform the National Flood Insurance Program.[12]

In April 2014 Cassidy, citing the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), urged respect for the privacy of the family of fellow U.S. Representative Vance McAllister (RSwartz) who had become embroiled in allegations of adultery.[13]

Health care[edit]

Cassidy was a vocal opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act), appearing on numerous television and radio shows nationwide to lobby for its defeat. Citing his background as a physician in a state-run public hospital, Cassidy argued that the health overhaul advocated by President Barack Obama would fail to lower costs and give too much decision-making authority to the federal government.

On January 19, 2011, Cassidy voted for H.R.2, which would completely repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In 2013, due to the American Medical Association's decision to officially recognize obesity as a disease, Senators and Representatives, including Representative Cassidy, helped introduced legislation to lower health care costs and prevent chronic diseases by addressing America's growing obesity crisis. As a physician, Cassidy stated that the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act can be a part of the new technologies that were developed to help Americans fight obesity. This legislation would help empower physicians to use all the methods and means to fight the condition.[14]

Earmark reform[edit]

In May 2009, Cassidy partnered with Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA) to introduce legislation that would amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that Members of Congress list their earmark requests on their Congressional websites. Previous earmark reform efforts had focused on disclosure of earmarks that were funded by Congress.

In May 2010, Cassidy and Speier again partnered on earmark reform legislation, the Earmark Transparency Act, which would strengthen their original proposal by ensuring that all earmark requests are posted in a single, searchable online database. The Earmark Transparency Act has been endorsed by Citizens Against Government Waste and the Sunlight Foundation.

Dyslexia Caucus[edit]

Congressman Cassidy and former Democratic Congressman Pete Stark formed the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus to advocate for and address the needs of students and adults with dyslexia. The caucus was created with the aim of raising awareness of dyslexia among members of Congress as well as fostering advocacy efforts towards policy change for individuals struggling with dyslexia.

For more information see:

Committee assignments (113th Congress)[edit]


  • Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
  • Community College Caucus
  • Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Arts Caucus
  • Congressional Biomass Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans
  • Congressional Caucus on US-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans
  • Congressional Community Health Centers Caucus
  • Congressional Contaminated Drywall Caucus (CCDC)
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus
  • Congressional Dyslexia Caucus
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional Fragile X Caucus
  • Congressional Gulf Coast Caucus
  • Congressional Health Care Caucus
  • Congressional Kidney Caucus
  • Congressional Military Family Caucus
  • Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus
  • Congressional National Guard Caucus
  • Congressional Natural Gas Caucus
  • Congressional Prayer Caucus
  • Congressional Rice Caucus
  • Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Services Caucus
  • Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus (double check official membership for 112th)
  • Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus
  • Congressional Transparency Caucus
  • Congressional Zoo and Aquarium Caucus
  • GOP Doctors Caucus
  • House Tea Party Caucus
  • Republican Study Committee

Electoral history[edit]

United States House of Representatives, 6th District of Louisiana (2012)

General Election, November 6, 2012

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
"Bill" Cassidy Republican 243,553 (79.41%) Elected
Rufus Holt Craig, Jr. Libertarian 32,185 (10.49%) Defeated
Richard Torregano Independent 30,975 (10.10%) Defeated

United States House of Representatives, 6th District of Louisiana (2010)

General Election, November 2, 2010

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
"Bill" Cassidy Republican 138,607 (66%) Elected
Merritt E. McDonald, Sr. Democratic 72,577 (34%) Defeated

United States House of Representatives, 6th District of Louisiana (2008)

General Election, November 4, 2008

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
"Bill" Cassidy Republican 150,332 (48%) Elected
"Don" Cazayoux Democratic 125,886 (40%) Defeated
Michael Jackson No Party 36,198 (12%) Defeated

Louisiana State Senate, District 16 (2007)

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 20, 2007

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
"Bill" Cassidy Republican 33,463 (76%) Elected
Troy "Rocco" Moreau Republican 6,781 (15%) Defeated
Richard Fontanesi Libertarian 3,995 (9%) Defeated

Louisiana State Senate, District 16 (2006)

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, December 9, 2006

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
"Bill" Cassidy Republican 8,394 (58%) Elected
William Daniel Republican 5,472 (38%) Defeated
S.B.A. Zaitoon Libertarian 592 (4%) Defeated

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "CASSIDY, Bill, (1957 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ James F. Cassidy obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, February 24, 2009
  4. ^ Anderson, Laurie Smith. "Program offers health care for adults without insurance." Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, May 24, 2002, Metro Edition: Page 1C
  5. ^ Deslatte, Melinda (24 August 2013). "Bill Cassidy's ability to oust Mary Landrieu questioned". Shreveport Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "H.R. 1374 (111th)". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "H.R. 5519 (111th)". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "To extend Bush tax cuts". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Balanced Budget Amendment". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "CBO - 1582". United States Congres. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (July 24, 2013). "Energy bills advance with House vote". The Hill. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "H.R. 3013". Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Alpert, Bruce (2014-04-11). "Richmond reaches out to McAllister: He admonishes both parties". Times-Picayune (New Orleans). p. A3. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  14. ^ Gross, Charles (June 19, 2013). "Senators Carper, Murkowski, Representatives Cassidy, Kind Introduce Bill to Help Reduce Obesity". Benzinga. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Don Cazayoux
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matt Salmon
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jason Chaffetz