Charles Foster "Charlie" Bass (born January 8, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously held the seat from 1995 to 2007. He has followed the footsteps of his father, Perkins, who also represented the same New Hampshire district.
Early life and education
Bass was born in Boston to Katharine and Perkins Bass. His father served as a Republican U.S.
Congressman from New Hampshire in the 1950s and 1960s. Bass's grandfather Robert Bass served as Republican governor of New Hampshire from 1911 to 1912, founded the Progressive Republican movement, and was a friend/confidant of President Teddy Roosevelt.
Charles Bass attended the Holderness School in Holderness, New Hampshire, where he was elected President of the school in his senior year. Bass graduated from Dartmouth College in 1974.
Early political career (1974–1993)
During 1974 Bass worked for Maine Republican U.S. Congressman William Cohen. From 1975 to 1979 Bass worked for Maine Republican U.S.
Congressman David F. Emery. Bass served in the New Hampshire General Court from 1982 to 1988. In 1988, he ran for the New Hampshire Senate and defeated incumbent Jean White in the Republican primary. He served there until 1992. While in the State Senate, he represented Peterborough. He was a supporter of tort reform and some abortion rights.
U.S. House of Representatives
Bass was elected to Congress in 1994, where he served for twelve years. As part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, he signed Newt Gingrich's Contract With America.
Bass was among the first and most vocal congressmen to demand that Tom DeLay step aside as House Majority Leader in 2005 and led the petition that resulted in DeLay's removal from House leadership.
Bass is a member of the Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice PAC, and Republicans for Environmental Protection. He is a Director and former head of The Republican Main Street Partnership, a coalition of centrist Republicans.
In November 2006, Bass was defeated for reelection by Paul Hodes.
Bass's defeat helped return control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party, which had been in the minority since January 1995.
Congressman Bass believes that abortion should be legal and supports the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. He receives strong ratings from pro-choice interest groups and relatively low ratings from pro-life groups. In 2005, NARAL Pro-Choice America reported that his voting record aligned with the group’s interests 100% of the time, and in 2006, Planned Parenthood reported an 82% rating for the same statistic. From 2003 to 2004, the National Right to Life Committee reported that he supported the group’s interests in 27% of his votes.
Although Bass supports the continued legalization of abortion, he does not support federal funding for abortion, or the legalization of partial-birth abortions. In 2010, he stated, “I support the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision; however, I oppose federal funding of abortions (Hyde Amendment) and support banning of so-called partial-birth abortions.” He consistently voted for bills banning the practice of late term or partial- birth abortion, including H.R. 3660 [106th]: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000 and H.R. 760 [108th]: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
Congressman Bass supports environmental protection regulations and alternative energy sources. He voted against Republican amendments of the FY 2011 spending bill, which would defund many environmental protection measures, such as the modification of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the designation of fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous material, and the enforcement of mining regulations from the EPA. He states on his official website that he supports the promotion of "clean, alternative energies that will lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil," a position he has upheld by voting for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which appropriates large amounts of funding for the pursuit of renewable energy. He defines his position on climate change, stating, “The overwhelming scientific evidence points to the existence of global climate change.”
Although Congressman Bass recognizes a need for health care reform, he opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and supports its repeal. He believes that the act will saddle “future generations of Americans with mountains of unsustainable debt" and, instead, advocates creating an interstate health insurance market to increase competition and form a larger risk pool. Congressman Bass voted for H.R. 1217 – To repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2011, a bill that would end funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Business career (2007–2009)
Bass is a business consultant to renewable energy companies. He has been on the Board of Managers of New England Wood Pellet, a producer of clean burning wood pellets, located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, since January 2007.
In March 2006, the company publicly credited Bass with setting up a February 2006 meeting in New Hampshire between its president, Steven Walker, and Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman. In March 2007, Bass reported on his financial disclosure statement that he had bought shares in the company in January and November 2006. But in October 2010 he said that his initial purchase had been in January 2007, after he left office.
In 2009, Bass joined the Board of Directors of Laidlaw Biopower, LLC, a developer of biomass power plants in the northeastern United States.
2010 U.S. Congressional campaign
Incumbent Democrat Paul Hodes, who ousted Bass in 2006, decided to retire in 2010 to run for the U.S. Senate. Bass ran for his old seat and narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Ann McLane Kuster, Libertarian nominee Howard Wilson, and Independent candidate Tim vanBlommesteyn.
Bass currently resides in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
December 13th, 2011