Rick Boucher

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Rick Boucher
Rick Boucher, official 109th Congress photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byWilliam Wampler
Succeeded byMorgan Griffith
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 39th district
In office
January 8, 1975 – December 27, 1982
Preceded byGeorge M. Warren Jr.
Succeeded byJames P. Jones
Personal details
Frederick Carlyle Boucher

(1946-08-01) August 1, 1946 (age 76)
Abingdon, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseAmy Hauslohner
Residence(s)Abingdon, Virginia
EducationRoanoke College (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)

Frederick Carlyle Boucher (/ˈbər/; born August 1, 1946) is an American politician who was the U.S. representative for Virginia's 9th congressional district from 1983 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He was defeated in his bid for a 15th term by Republican Morgan Griffith in the 2010 elections.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Boucher is a native of Abingdon, Virginia, where he currently lives. He earned his BA from Roanoke College where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has practiced law on Wall Street initially as an associate at Milbank Tweed in the firm's New York City office, and later in Virginia. Prior to his election to Congress, he served for seven years as a member of the Senate of Virginia. He is a former member of the Law and Justice Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Board of Directors of the First Virginia Bank of Damascus, Virginia, and the Board of Directors of Client Centered Legal Services of Southwest Virginia.[1] He also formerly served on the Advisory Board of Virginia Cares Inc.[1]

In May 2011, Boucher joined prominent Washington law firm Sidley Austin and was charged with leading their government strategies practice.[2] The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), an industry advocacy group, also announced that Boucher has joined as the honorary chair.[3] The IIA includes among its members AT&T and Americans for Tax Reform and has focused on expanding broadband access and adoption with particular emphasis on increased mobile connectivity for underserved and rural communities.[4][5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Political campaigns[edit]

Boucher was first elected to Congress in 1982, defeating 16-year Republican incumbent Bill Wampler by 1,100 votes. He was narrowly reelected in 1984, defeating Delegate Jefferson Stafford by four points, even as Ronald Reagan carried the 9th in a landslide. However, he was completely unopposed for a third term in 1986, and was reelected 11 more times without serious difficulty.

Boucher remained very popular in his district even as its socially conservative tint made it friendlier to Republicans. The GOP won most of the area's seats in the Virginia General Assembly in 2001, and has held them ever since. From 2002 to 2006, he fended off three reasonably well-funded Republican challengers with relative ease. In 2002, he defeated state delegate Jay Katzen with 66 percent of the vote. In 2004, he defeated NASCAR official Kevin Triplett with 59 percent of the vote even as George W. Bush easily carried the district. In 2006, he defeated state delegate Bill Carrico with 68 percent of the vote. He was reelected unopposed in 2008 even as John McCain carried the district with his largest margin in the state. It was generally thought that Boucher would be succeeded by a Republican once he retired.


In 2010 Boucher faced his strongest opponent to date in House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith. Although Boucher charged that Griffith lived outside of the 9th (Griffith's home in Salem was indeed just outside the 9th's borders), it was not enough to overcome Griffith's attacks that Boucher was an ally of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Ultimately, Griffith unseated Boucher with 51 percent of the vote to Boucher's 46 percent.[6] No Democrat has crossed the 40 percent mark in the district since Boucher left office.

Committee assignments[edit]

Boucher served in the House Democratic leadership as an assistant whip from 1985 to 2010.

Political positions[edit]

Boucher has been active on Internet-related legislation, including cosponsoring the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991.[7] He chaired the Science Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology and through hearings oversaw the transition of the Internet from a National Science Foundation managed government research project (known as NSFnet) to the private sector. In that role, he authored the legislation which permitted the first commercial use of the Internet.[8] His proposals to promote competition in the cable and local telephone industries contributed to the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.[citation needed]

Boucher originated the House Internet Caucus and served as its co-chairman (1996-2011).[citation needed] He also authored the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA) legislation and introduced the FAIR USE Act. He was named Politician of the Year for 2006 by the Association of American Libraries' Library Journal, largely due to his efforts to protect the fair use doctrine and expand Internet technologies to rural areas.[9]

Boucher voted in favor of the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, as well as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Boucher has received a rating of "A+" from the National Rifle Association and is one of the 81 House Democrats who voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

Boucher is a strong opponent of tax patents and has introduced bills to either have them banned or to exempt tax attorneys and tax payers from liability in infringing them.[10]

In June 2009, Boucher voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act which, if enacted, would establish a cap-and-trade system.[11] Boucher was chairman of the energy sub-committee of the previous Congress which first drafted the legislation, and was deemed to be instrumental in the bills development. Boucher opened his pre-vote remarks on the bill by saying that he was in "strong support of the bill."[12]

In November 2009, Boucher, along with 39 other Democratic members of the House, voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[13] Also, on March 21, 2010, Boucher voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[14] and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Rick Boucher endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president, while his district went solidly for Hillary Clinton.[citation needed]

In 2007, Congress.org ranked Rick Boucher as the 10th most powerful member of the U.S. House of Representatives.[15]

Electoral history[edit]

Virginia's 9th congressional district: Results 1982–2010[16][17]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1982 Rick Boucher 76,227 50% William Wampler 75,009 50%
1984 Rick Boucher 102,446 52% Jefferson Stafford 94,510 48%
1986 Rick Boucher 59,864 99% no candidate Write-ins 602 1%
1988 Rick Boucher 113,309 63% John Brown 65,410 37%
1990 Rick Boucher 67,215 97% no candidate Write-ins 2,015 2%
1992 Rick Boucher 133,284 63% Gary Weddle 77,985 37%
1994 Rick Boucher 153,311 59% Steve Fast 72,133 41%
1996 Rick Boucher 122,908 65% Patrick Craig Muldoon 58,055 31% Tom Roberts Virginia Reform 8,080 4%
1998 Rick Boucher 87,163 61% Joe Barta 55,918 39%
2000 Rick Boucher 137,488 70% Michael Osborne 59,335 30%
2002 Rick Boucher 100,075 66% Jay Katzen 52,076 34%
2004 Rick Boucher 150,039 59% Kevin Triplett 98,499 39% Seth Davis Independent 4,341 2%
2006 Rick Boucher 129,705 68% Bill Carrico 61,574 32%
2008 Rick Boucher 207,306 97% no candidate Write-ins 6,264 3%
2010 Rick Boucher 86,743 46% Morgan Griffith 95,726 51% Jeremiah Heaton Independent 4,282 2%

Personal life[edit]

Boucher announced his engagement at age 59 to Amy Hauslohner, an editor of the Galax Gazette in Galax, Virginia. Said Boucher of the engagement "We have decided since I will be 60 in August and she just turned 50 last week, we probably are mature enough to handle marriage." [18] Boucher and Houslohner were married on June 3, 2006.


  1. ^ a b 1983-1984 Official Congressional Directory: 98th Congress
  2. ^ Samuelsohn, Darren (May 18, 2011). "Rick Boucher lands with D.C. law firm". Politico. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "Press Room". Internet Innovation Alliance. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ Jerome, Sarah (May 24, 2011). "Boucher joins AT&T-backed advocacy group". TheHill.com.
  5. ^ "Internet Innovation Alliance". Internet Innovation Alliance. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "GOP's Griffith ousts 14-term Va. Democratic Rep. Boucher". The Virginian-Pilot. Associated Press. November 2, 2010.
  7. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:HR00656:@@@P%7C/bss/d102query.html%7C[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ 102d Congress, 2d Session, H.R. 5344, passed the House on June 29, 1992 (see Congressional Record - House pp5342-3), the relevant language from which was enacted as Section 4 of Public Law 102-476 (102d Congress) October 23, 1992, 106 STAT. 2297. This language amended the National Science Foundation's "acceptable use policy" which only permitted the NSFnet to carry research and educationally related material. The amended language authorized commercially oriented traffic on the NSFnet. The NSFnet transitioned to the National Research and Education Network (NREN) which transitioned to what we today call the Internet.
  9. ^ Politician of the Year 2006: Rick Boucher-Fighter for Access , John N. Berry III, Library Journal, September 15, 2006
  10. ^ [1]Dennis Crouch "Tax Patent Legislation: Excusing Infringement of Patented Tax Planning Methods" Patently O blog, June 20, 2008
  11. ^ "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball". Centerforpolitics.org. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  12. ^ "Youtube Infringement". YouTube. Retrieved July 12, 2010.. February 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 887". clerk.house.gov. Clerk, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  14. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 165". clerk.house.gov. Clerk, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  15. ^ "Legislative Action Center". Ssl.capwiz.com. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  16. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 25, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  17. ^ "Election results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  18. ^ The big secret is out: Rick Boucher is engaged, Roanoke Times, March 17, 2006

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

January 3, 1983 - January 3, 2011
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative