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.
Early life, education and career
Cassidy graduated from Louisiana State University in 1983. He specializes in the treatment of diseases of the liver, both in private practice and at the Earl K. Long Medical Center (LSUMC). He is married to the former Laura Layden, herself a physician, and they have 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.
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.
U.S. House of Representatives
Cassidy was a vocal opponent of the Patient Protection and 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 that was passed and signed into law by President Obama in 2010.
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.
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 officially 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 candidacy of 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.
November 20th, 2011