Charles William Boustany Jr. (; born February 21, 1956) is an American politician and retired physician from Lafayette, Louisiana, who had served as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district from 2013-17. From 2005-13, he represented Louisiana's 7th congressional district, since abolished. The Third District is located in the southwestern portion of the state and includes Lafayette and Lake Charles. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Boustany stepped down from the U.S. House in January 2017; he was a candidate for the United States Senate in 2016 in a bid to succeed the retiring Republican David Vitter. Boustany did not advance beyond the primary election, finishing third in the jungle primary behind Republican John Neely Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell. He was succeeded in the House of Representatives by Clay Higgins, a Republican who is a Lafayette law enforcement officer residing outside the district in St. Landry Parish.
Early life, education, and medical career
Boustany was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, the son of Madlyn M. (née Ackal) and Charles W. Boustany, Sr. (1930–2009); his paternal grandparents, Alfred Frem Boustany and Florida (née Saloom), were immigrants from Lebanon. His maternal grandparents were also Lebanese.
In 2006, he was one of four Arab-American members of Congress.
The senior Boustany, a Democrat, served for sixteen years as coroner of Lafayette Parish. Congressman Boustany has nine siblings: James, Jon, Ron, Stella (Dr. Stella B. Noel), Therese (Mrs. Reggie), Kathryn (Mrs. Scurlock), Madlyn (Mrs. Juneau), Adele (Mrs. Weber), and Cheryn (Mrs. Eppley). He is a cousin of Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of U.S. SenatorEdward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Boustany attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, at which he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans in 1978. He is a retired cardiovascular surgeon in who completed his residency in Rochester, New York before returning to Louisiana to take a job at Charity Hospital, New Orleans.
U.S. House of Representatives
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2004 § District 7
In 2004, incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman Chris John of Louisiana's 7th congressional district decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. John had held the district for eight years without serious difficulty, even though it had been trending increasingly Republican at the national level. Boustany jumped into the race with another Republican, the late David Thibodaux of Lafayette, Democratic state senator Willie Mount of Lake Charles and Democratic state representative Don Cravins Jr. of Opelousas. In the open primary election, Boustany ranked first with 39 percent, with Mount garnering 25 percent for second place. Under Louisiana's nonpartisan blanket primary system, in the event no candidate wins a "50 percent plus one vote" total, a runoff is conducted between the two top candidates, regardless of party.
Vice PresidentDick Cheney campaigned on behalf of Boustany. In the December 4 run-off election, Boustany defeated Mount 55–45 percent. He is only the second Republican to represent the district, the first having been Jimmy Hayes, who switched from Democratic affiliation in 1995.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2006 § District 7
Boustany won re-election to a second term with 71 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Mike Stagg.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008 § District 7
Boustany won re-election to a third term defeating Cravins, now a state senator, 62–34 percent.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2010 § District 7
Boustany won re-election to a fourth term unopposed.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2012 § District 3
After Louisiana lost a district in redistricting, most of Boustany's territory became the 3rd District. He faced freshman fellow Republican and 3rd District incumbent Jeff Landry of New Iberia. Although the district was numerically Landry's district, it was geographically and demographically more Boustany's district. Indeed, the new 3rd contained almost two-thirds of Boustany's former territory, while Landry retained only the western third of his former district. Landry led Boustany in third-quarter 2011 fundraising, $251,000 to $218,000. According to Federal Election Commission, Boustany led in cash-on-hand lead, $1.1 million – $402,000. In addition to Boustany and Landry, a third Republican, state Representative Chris Leopold of Plaquemines Parish, announced via Facebook his candidacy for the seat, but he never filed the paperwork.
The Boustany-Landry race attracted most of the political attention in Louisiana in 2012, as it was seen as pitting an establishment Republican against a candidate identifying with the Tea Party. Though most politicians shunned involvement in the heated race, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and ForestryMichael G. Strain endorsed Boustany, whom he described as particularly helpful to the agricultural sector while serving as a U.S. representative. Landry, meanwhile, carried the backing of most of the Republican parish executive committees in the district. Landry also was endorsed by Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum political action committee.
In the November 6 election, technically a nonpartisan blanket primary for Congress, Boustany led Landry by 45,596 votes. In a five-candidate field, Boustany received 139,123 votes (45 percent); Landry received 93,527 votes (30 percent). Democrat Ron Richard procured the critical 67,070 votes (22 percent). The remaining 7,908 votes (2 percent) and 3,765 ballots (1 percent) were cast, respectively, for Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and the Libertarian Jim Stark. Because no candidate received a majority, Boustany and Landry met in a runoff contest held on December 8.
Boustany won the runoff election against Landry with 58,820 votes (61 percent). He had large margins in seven of the ten parishes in the district, particularly in Acadia, Calcasieu, and Lafayette but lost the three parishes that Landry represents, St. Martin, Iberia, and St. Mary.
Boustany presented the Republican response to President Barack H. Obama's joint address to Congress on Wednesday September 9, 2009. He was the sponsor of H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act of 2011. The bill would repeal title VIII of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which established a voluntary long-term care insurance program. It passed the house 267–159 on February 1, 2012 but was never passed by the Senate.
In 2013, Boustany was a sponsor of the United States farm bill, which was rejected 234–195 in votes, with sixty-two Republicans voting against.
2016 U.S. Senate campaign
Main article: United States Senate election in Louisiana, 2016
Boustany ran for the open U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican David Vitter, and on election day he received 15.4 percent of the vote at third place, not enough to advance to the run-off.
Boustany's wife Bridget Edwards is a daughter of the late Acadia Parish assistant district attorney Nolan Edwards (1930–1983) of Crowley and Eleanor Merrill of Longboat Key, Florida. Nolan Edwards was shot to death in his law office by a disgruntled client. Bridget Boustany is hence a paternal niece of Democratic former GovernorEdwin Washington Edwards.
Boustany purchased a bogus European title from fraudsters Achilleas Kallakis and Alex Williams. The fraud was uncovered, however, and Kallakis and Williams were convicted in 1995 of selling bogus titles to wealthy Americans.
The Boustanys have two children. His cousin, Jerry Ramsey, and her husband, Bo, were among those wounded in the 2015 Lafayette shooting, in which two people were killed and nine others injured.
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Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) will be the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's tax-policy subcommittee, taking the reins of the panel as congressional Republicans aim to pass tax-reform legislation this year.
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“Each of our subcommittees will play an integral role as we advance President-elect Trump’s and the American people’s top priorities," Brady said in a statement. "Our new subcommittee assignments reflect the broad range of experience our Members bring to Ways and Means. Whether they previously worked as a CPA, nurse, or small business owner, each Member has a unique perspective on how to deliver real solutions to the American people."
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) will succeed Roskam as chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. Buchanan had previously served as chairman of the human resources subcommittee, which will now be led by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).
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