Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.)

U.S. Representative (since January 2005)

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Why He Matters

A former heart surgeon whose medical career was cut short by arthritis, Boustany served in the House as one of the Republicans lead attack dogs against President Obama's health-care reform plan and as one of the younger members of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)'s inner circle during the 112th Congress.

In Washington, Boustany worked with other members of the Louisiana delegation to secure needed funding after the massive hurricanes of 2005. Taking credit for the term "Rita amnesia," he especially pushed hard for southwest Louisiana, which was battered chiefly by Hurricane Rita, amid concerns that it would be neglected because of all the focus on rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. At the outset of his 3rd term in 2009, Boustany scored a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee and became an important voice on trade issues, particularly with China. During the 112th Congress, he became the chairman of the Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee.

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Still Nothing on the I.R.S. via New York Times


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Rep. Charles Boustany won't run for Senate in Louisiana

At least one top Republican won't be challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

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From Obamacare to the IRS scandal, Republicans are ignoring the facts

Republicans are choosing what they believe on issues such as Obamacare and the IRS scandal.


At a Glance

  • Career History: practicing surgeon, 1982-2004
  • Birthday: February 21, 1956
  • Hometown: New Orleans
  • Alma Mater: Lafayette University (Louisiana) B.S. 1978; Louisiana State University M.D. 1982
  • Spouse: Bridget
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Committees: Ways and Means
  • DC Office: 1117 Longworth House Office Building, 202-225-2031

Path to Power

Born in 1956 in New Orleans, Boustany was born into a family with a long history of serving southwest Louisiana. His father worked as a general practice doctor and later would serve 14 years as Lafayatte Parish coroner. Boustany's wife, Bridget, is the niece of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

A graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Louisiana State University's medical school, Boustany would work as a surgeon for 22 years. He would practice surgery within the university system before working for Lousiana's charity hospitals. After a stint practicing heart surgery in Rochester, N.Y., he would return to Lafayette, La., and open his own practice.

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The Issues

A reliable Republican vote, Boustany joined the majority of his party 96 percent of the time during the 111th Congress.

Boustany backed a 2010 Republican moratorium on earmark requests, saying the process had become a symbol of "Washington spending being out of control."

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The Network

Boustany has become a key ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The two met during Boustany's 2004 campaign. Initially placed on the Education and Workforce Committee that Boehner chaired, Boustany would be a key ally of Boehner's successful 2006 bid to become the majority leader. Boehner would later reward Boustany with a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Boustany is a member of the Republican Doctors Caucus, which is chaired by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.). Fellow Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy is also a member.


Additional Resources

  1. Barfield Berry, Deborah, "Gulf Coast lawmakers differ on deepwater drilling ban" Gannett News Service, May 28, 2010
  2. Barrow, Bill, "Three maps for Louisiana congressional districts endorsed by House committee" The Times-Picayune, March 31, 2011
  3. Courreges, Patrick, "Boustany, Mount run rural roads" The Advocate, Dec. 3, 2004Courreges, Patrick and Angela Simoneaux, "Boustany, Melancon top vote" The Advocate, Dec. 5, 2004
  4. Shields, Gerard, "GOP backs earmark ban" The Advocate, March 12, 2010
  5. Levey, Noam N., "Republicans offer few healthcare alternatives" Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2010
  6. Courreges, Patrick, "FEMA to Boustany: Nothing *** Agency ignores request for records to explain Rita decisions" The Advocate, Aug. 9, 2006
  7. Pugh, Tony, "Congress leaves uncertainty on table for millions of jobless" McClatchy Newspapers, Nov. 24, 2010
  8. Alford, Jeremy, "Charles in Charge" The Independent Weekly, Feb. 9, 2011
  9. "Trade pacts help recovery" The Advocate, July 12, 2010
  10. Heflin, Jay, "GOP targets IRS in latest health battle" The Hill, March 18, 2010
  11. Courreges, Patrick, "Boustany driven to enter race" The Advocate, Oct. 14, 2004
  12. "Our Views: Parties agree on trade pact" The Advocate, Feb. 16, 2011
  13. "Washington Post Votes Database"
  14. Courreges, Patrick, "Boustany given leadership role on health bill" The Advocate, March 19, 2005
  15. Shields, Gerard, "Boustany running to win in 7th District" The Advocate, April 25, 2004
  16. Barfield Berry, Deborah, "Lawmakers push for more drilling permits" The Clarion-Ledger, March 16, 2011
  17. Tilove, Jonathan, "La. congressman unleashes attack on AARP" The Times-Picayune, March 31, 2011
  18. Maginnis, John, "Louisiana's congressional delegation in search of clout: John Maginnis" The Times-Picayune, Nov. 3, 2010
  19. Shields, Gerard, "Obama completes deal" The Advocate, Dec. 18, 2010
  20. Barfield Berry, Deborah and Emily Holden, "Louisiana lawmakers take aim at call for climate bill" Gannett News Service, Jan. 29, 2010
  21. Courreges, Patrick, "Boustany presses health care in campaign" The Advocate, Aug. 13, 2004
  22. "Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana calls on Obama to start over on health care" The Associated Press, Sept. 9, 2009
  23. Thrush, Glenn, "Boehner defends Boustany" Politico, Sept. 9, 2009
  24. Courreges, Patrick, "Congressional hopefuls want to be convincing" The Advocate, Nov. 4, 2004