Bill Cassidy

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"William Cassidy" redirects here. For other persons named William Cassidy or Bill Cassidy, see William Cassidy (disambiguation).
Bill Cassidy
Bill Cassidy official Senate photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Louisiana
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with David Vitter
Preceded by Mary Landrieu
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Don Cazayoux
Succeeded by Garret Graves
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 16th district
In office
December 20, 2006 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jay Dardenne
Succeeded by Dan Claitor
Personal details
Born William Morgan Cassidy
(1957-09-28) September 28, 1957 (age 60)
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura Layden
Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Occupation Physician
Religion Evangelicalism

William Morgan "Bill" Cassidy (born September 28, 1957) is an American physician and politician currently serving as the junior U.S. Senator from the state of Louisiana. He is a member of the Republican Party and served as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District from 2009 to 2015. Cassidy will become Louisiana's senior senator when David Vitter retires in 2017.

Early life, education and career

William Morgan Cassidy was born in Highland Park, Illinois, one of four sons born to Elizabeth and James F. Cassidy, and is of Irish and Welsh descent.[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).[3] His wife, Laura (née Layden), is also a physician. The couple has three children.[4] They are members of The Chapel on the Campus, a nondenominational Christian Church that meets on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge.[5]

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 with free dental, medical, mental health and vision care through a "virtual" approach that partners needy patients with doctors who provide care free of charge.[6]

Cassidy has also been involved in setting up the nonprofit Health Centers in Schools, which vaccinates children in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System against Hepatitis B and flu.[7][8]

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 hurricane.[9]

Early political career

Cassidy was first elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2006 as a Republican. He had previously been a Democrat: Cassidy supported Michael Dukakis for president in 1988 and donated to the 1992 presidential campaign of Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA),[10][11] and to Louisiana Democrats Kathleen Blanco in the 2003 gubernatorial election and Mary Landrieu in her 2002 Senate campaign. In 2013, Cassidy called his donation to Landrieu a "youthful indiscretion," saying that she "got elected and fell into partisan politics... Louisiana hasn't left Mary, Mary has left us." Since 2001, he has mostly contributed to Republican candidates, including Senator David Vitter. According to Cassidy, he switched parties after the extinction of conservative Democrats and because of his frustration with the bureaucracy and inefficiency of the public hospital system.[11][12]

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 reelected, this time to a full four-year term in the Louisiana State Senate. Cassidy received 76% of the vote against Republican Troy "Rocco" Moreau (15%) and Libertarian Richard Fontanesi (9%).[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives


On November 4, 2008, Cassidy was elected to serve Louisiana's 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating incumbent Democratic Congressman Don Cazayoux with 48% of the vote.[13] He likely owed his victory to the independent candidacy of state representative Michael L. Jackson. Jackson, who is African-American, finished third with 36,100 votes, more than the 25,000-vote margin separating Cassidy and Cazayoux.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Cassidy easily won a second term, defeating Democrat Merritt E. McDonald of Baton Rouge with 66% of the vote.[14]

In the 2012 election, Cassidy was reelected again, defeating Rufus Holt Craig, Jr., a Libertarian, and Richard Torregano, an Independent. Cassidy received 79% of the vote.[15]


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.[16] In June 2010, he 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.[17][18] He 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.[19]

In December 2010, Cassidy voted to extend the tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.[20] He voted for the Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment of 2011.[21]

In May 2013, Cassidy introduced the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1582) to 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).[22][23] The Department of Energy and Congress would then have the option of stopping or altering the EPA proposal.[22]

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. Cassidy said 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.[24]

In June 2013, Cassidy supported a House-passed bill that federally banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.[25] Also in 2013, Cassidy circulated a draft letter opposing an immigration reform bill, asking for signatures. Representative Mark Takano, a high school literature teacher for 23 years, marked it up in red pen like a school assignment and gave it an F, with comments like, "exaggeration -- avoid hyperbole," and "contradicts earlier statement."[26]

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.[27]

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.[28] On September 11, 2014, the House passed legislation sponsored by Cassidy, the Employee Health Care Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 3522; 113th Congress), which would enable Americans to keep health insurance policies which do not meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.[29]

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.[30] The bill is intended to increase domestic energy production and lower gas prices.[31][32] He argued that the bill "would allow us to take advantage of our natural resources and expands our energy manufacturing and construction industries."[33]

Committee assignments (113th Congress)


Cassidy's membership in Congressional caucuses:[35]

  • 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

U.S. Senate

Bill Cassidy at Hudson Institute, May 2015

Committee Assignments

2014 U.S. Senate election

Cassidy ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2014 election, in which he was endorsed by Republican Senator David Vitter. He defeated three-term incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in the run-off election held on Saturday, December 6, 2014, receiving 56% of the vote to Landrieu's 44%. It was the first Republican victory for the seat since William P. Kellogg in 1883.[36][37]

Electoral history

United States Senate, Louisiana (2014)

Runoff Election, December 6, 2014

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Bill Cassidy Republican 712,330 (55.94%) Elected
Mary Landrieu Democrat 561,099 (44.06%) Defeated

General Election, November 4, 2014

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Mary Landrieu Democrat 619,402 (42.08%) Runoff
Bill Cassidy Republican 603,048 (40.97%) Runoff
Rob Maness Republican 202,556 (13.67%) Defeated
Thomas Clements Republican 14,173 (0.96%) Defeated
Brannon McMorris Independent 13,034 (0.89%) Defeated
Wayne Ables Democrat 11,323 (0.77%) Defeated
William Waymire Democrat 4,673 (0.32%) Defeated
Vallian Senegal Democrat 3,835 (0.26%) Defeated

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


  1. "bill cassidy". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  2. "CASSIDY, Bill profile at". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  3. Murphy, Paul (December 5, 2014). "Bill Cassidy's employment at LSU scrutinized". WWL. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  4. James F. Cassidy obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, February 24, 2009.
  5. O'Donoghue, Julia (January 22, 2015). "Bill Cassidy's most trusted political adviser is his wife, Laura". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  6. Anderson, Laurie Smith. "Program offers health care for adults without insurance." Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, May 24, 2002, Metro Edition, p. 1C.
  7. "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. 
  8. "Viral Hepatitis – The Secret Epidemic". US Government Printing Office. June 17, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  9. Ruggeri, Amanda (November 4, 2008). "Democratic Trends Don't Help Incumbent in Unusual Three-Way House Race in Louisiana". US News & World Report. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  10. Ginger Gibson (November 3, 2013). "Bill Cassidy tries to unite Louisiana conservatives". Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ginger Gibson. "Cassidy once donated to his rival". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  12. Cameron Joseph (2013-09-19). "Cassidy donated to Landrieu's first reelection". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  13. "Louisiana". 2008 Election Results. New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  14. "Louisiana 6th District Profile". Election 2010. New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  15. Chatelain, Kim (November 6, 2012). "U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy cruises to re-election". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  16. "Earmarks should require an itemized receipt". Huffington Post. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  17. "H.R. 5519 (111th)". Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  18. Restuccia, Andrew (2010-08-19). "In Louisiana, Candidates Fight For – And Over – Oil Jobs". The Washington Independent. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  19. Blum, Jordan (2013-08-23). "Congressmen spar over BP money". The Advocate. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  20. "To extend Bush tax cuts". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  21. "Balanced Budget Amendment". The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "CBO – 1582". United States Congres. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  23. Kasperowicz, Pete (July 24, 2013). "Energy bills advance with House vote". The Hill. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  24. Gross, Charles (June 19, 2013). "Senators Carper, Murkowski, Representatives Cassidy, Kind Introduce Bill to Help Reduce Obesity". Benzinga. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  25. "Abortion becomes issue in Louisiana Senate race". POLITICO. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  26. Rep. Mark Takano Corrects Republican Letter, Proves He Will Always Be A Teacher, By Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post, 07/12/2013
  27. Alpert, Bruce (2014-03-12). "Will flood insurance bill get a vote this week?". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  28. Blum, Jordan (2013-05-17). "Cassidy blasts Obamacare". The Advocate. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  29. Marcos, Cristina (2014-09-11). "House ok's Cassidy's 'keep your plan' bill". The Hill. 
  30. "CBO – H.R. 4899" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  31. Marcos, Cristina (26 June 2014). "House passes bill to increase offshore energy projects". The Hill. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  32. Graeber, Daniel J. (June 27, 2014). "House measure on gas aimed at lower prices". UPI. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  33. Alpert, Bruce (June 26, 2014). "House passes bill to expand production and drop cap on sharing". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  34. "Committee Assignments | Congressman Bill Cassidy". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  35. "Caucus Memberships | Congressman Bill Cassidy". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  36. Deslatte, Melinda (24 August 2013). "Bill Cassidy's ability to oust Mary Landrieu questioned". Shreveport Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  37. Philip Bump (December 7, 2014). "Mary Landrieu’s seat will be held by a Republican for the first time in 132 years". Washington Post. 

External links

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

Succeeded by
Garret Graves
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Neely Kennedy
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
(Class 2)

Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Mary Landrieu
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Louisiana
Served alongside: David Vitter
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Gary Peters
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Cory Gardner