|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Don Cazayoux|
|Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 16th district
December 20, 2006 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Jay Dardenne|
|Succeeded by||Dan Claitor|
September 28, 1957
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Louisiana State University, New Orleans
William "Bill" Cassidy (born September 28, 1957) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who serves as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 6th congressional district, serving since 2009. On April 3, 2013, Cassidy announced that he will challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu for re-election in 2014.
Early life, education and career
Cassidy was born in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, located in Lake County, Illinois, the son of Elizabeth and James F. Cassidy. He received a B.S. degree in 1979 from Louisiana State University and an M.D. from LSU School of Medicine in 1983. 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.
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.
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.
Early political career
Cassidy was first elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2006 as a Republican. Well before entering politics, he had been a Democrat. He supported Michael Dukakis for President in 1988 and donated money to the 1992 presidential campaign of Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas. He also donated to Louisiana Democrats Kathleen Blanco for the 2003 gubernatorial election and Mary Landrieu for her 2002 Senate campaign. In 2013, Cassidy stated that he made the donation to Landrieu before she moved to the left and said that she "got elected and fell into partisan politics... Louisiana hasn't left Mary, Mary has left us." He called that donation a "youthful indiscretion". He has mostly contributed to Republican candidates, including Senator David Vitter. According to Cassidy, he switched parties after the demise of conservative Democrats and due to his frustrations over the bureaucracies and inefficiencies in the public hospital system.
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).
U.S. House of Representatives
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (July 2014)|
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 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.
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 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. He has also worked to ensure that money from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established in the wake of the BP oil spill, is spent on coastal restoration efforts.
In December 2010, Cassidy voted to extend the tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Cassidy voted for the Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment of 2011.
In May 2013, Cassidy introduced the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 (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). The Department of Energy and Congress would then have the option of stopping or altering the EPA proposal.
In 2013, due to the American Medical Association's decision to officially recognize obesity as a disease, Senators and Representatives, including Cassidy, helped introduce 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.
Cassidy co-sponsored an amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in 2014 to limit annual premium increases for flood insurance, re-instate the flood insurance program's grandfathering provision, and eliminate a provision which required an increase to actuarial levels when a home is sold.
Cassidy was a vocal opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act). 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.
Cassidy supported the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014 (H.R. 4899; 113th Congress), a bill that would revise existing laws and policies regarding the development of oil and gas resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. The bill is intended to increase domestic energy production and lower gas prices. Cassidy argued that the bill "would allow us to take advantage of our natural resources and expands our energy manufacturing and construction industries."
Committee assignments (113th Congress)
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
Cassidy's membership in Congressional caucuses:
- Bi-Cameral Congressional Arthritis Caucus
- Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
- Bi-Partisan, Bi-Cameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease
- Community College Caucus
- Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus
- Congressional Biomass Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans
- Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkish Relations and Turkish Americans
- Congressional Chicken Caucus
- Congressional Coalition on Adoption
- Congressional Contaminated Drywall Caucus (CCDC)
- Congressional Diabetes Caucus
- Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus
- Congressional Dyslexia Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional Fragile X Caucus
- Congressional French Caucus
- Congressional Gulf Coast Caucus
- Congressional Health Care Caucus
- Congressional Hearing Health Caucus
- Congressional International Conservation Caucus
- Congressional Kidney Caucus
- Congressional Military Family Caucus
- Congressional Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus
- Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus
- Congressional National Guard Caucus
- Congressional Prayer Caucus
- Congressional Rice Caucus
- Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Services Caucus
- Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
- Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus
- Congressional Task Force on Childhood Obesity
- Congressional Transparency Caucus
- Congressional Zoo and Aquarium Caucus
- GOP Doctors Caucus
- Mitochondrial Disease Caucus
- PORTS (Ports Opportunity, Renewal, Trade, and Security) Caucus
- USO Congressional Caucus
- House Tea Party Caucus
- Republican Study Committee
2014 U.S. Senate election
United States House of Representatives, 6th District of Louisiana (2012)
General Election, November 6, 2012
|"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
|"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
|"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
|"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
|"Bill" Cassidy||Republican||8,394 (58%)||Elected|
|William Daniel||Republican||5,472 (38%)||Defeated|
|S.B.A. Zaitoon||Libertarian||592 (4%)||Defeated|
- "CASSIDY, Bill, (1957 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- James F. Cassidy obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, February 24, 2009
- Anderson, Laurie Smith. "Program offers health care for adults without insurance." Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, May 24, 2002, Metro Edition: Page 1C
- "Congressman Cassidy Celebrates $500,000 Federal Grant With Ribbon Cutting at Westdale Middle School’s Health Center". East Baton Rouge Parish School System. October 26, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- "Viral Hepatitis - The Secret Epidemic". US Government Printing Office. June 17, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Ruggeri, Amanda (November 4, 2008). "Democratic Trends Don't Help Incumbent in Unusual Three-Way House Race in Louisiana". US News & World Report.
- Ginger Gibson (2013-11-03). "Bill Cassidy tries to unite Louisiana conservatives". Retrieved 2014-05-31.
- Ginger Gibson (2013-09-20-03). "Cassidy once donated to his rival". Retrieved 2014-05-31.
- Cameron Joseph (2013-09-19). "Cassidy donated to Landrieu's first reelection". Retrieved 2014-05-31.
- "Earmarks should require an itemized receipt". Huffington Post. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "H.R. 5519 (111th)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- Restuccia, Andrew (2010-08-19). "In Louisiana, Candidates Fight For – And Over – Oil Jobs". The Washington Independent. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- Blum, Jordan (2013-08-23). "Congressmen spar over BP money". The Advocate. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "To extend Bush tax cuts". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "Balanced Budget Amendment". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "CBO - 1582". United States Congres. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (July 24, 2013). "Energy bills advance with House vote". The Hill. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Gross, Charles (June 19, 2013). "Senators Carper, Murkowski, Representatives Cassidy, Kind Introduce Bill to Help Reduce Obesity". Benzinga. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Alpert, Bruce (2014-03-12). "Will flood insurance bill get a vote this week?". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- Blum, Jordan (2013-05-17). "Cassidy blasts Obamacare". The Advocate. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "CBO - H.R. 4899". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Marcos, Cristina (26 June 2014). "House passes bill to increase offshore energy projects". The Hill. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Graeber, Daniel J. (27 June 2014). "House measure on gas aimed at lower prices". UPI. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Alpert, Bruce (26 June 2014). "House passes bill to expand production and drop cap on sharing". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Deslatte, Melinda (24 August 2013). "Bill Cassidy's ability to oust Mary Landrieu questioned". Shreveport Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Congressman Bill Cassidy official U.S. House site
- Bill Cassidy for Senate
- Bill Cassidy at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority