Charles Boustany was born in New Orleans and now resides in Lafayette. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1978 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and a medical degree in 1982 from Louisiana State University.
Boustany was a resident in the Louisiana Charity Hospital System and at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. He returned to Louisiana in 1990 and established a private practice. He was a heart surgeon from 1982 to 2004.
Boustany served on the Lafayette Parish Republican Executive Committee from 1996 to 2001. He was vice chairman of President George W. Bush's local re-election campaign.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2004.
Boustany and his wife, Bridget, have two children.
Charles Boustany faces a strong re-election challenge in 2012 from one of his U.S. House colleagues because of redistricting.
Boustany has represented Louisiana's 7th Congressional District since his election in 2004, but due to redistricting following the 2010 census he is running in the 3rd Congressional District.
Boustany's 2012 opponent, Republican Jeff Landry, has portrayed him as a member of the Washington establishment, a contrast to Landry's support from tea party groups. Boustany is considered a close ally to GOP House Speaker John Boehner.
The redrawn district, merging two congressional districts after Louisiana lost a House seat, favors Boustany because it includes much of his previous district. The district covers much of the Cajun territory in south central Louisiana and stretches to the Texas border.
Boustany has joined with the House Republican leadership in opposing most of the policies of President Barack Obama — particularly health care.
Republicans chose Boustany, a heart surgeon who was elected to the House after arthritis forced him to close his practice, to give the GOP's televised response after Obama's September 2009 national speech on health care. Boustany argued against the 2010 health care reform bill, and he's pushing to repeal it.
He strongly opposed the Obama administration's moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, saying the moratorium increased U.S. dependence on foreign oil and jeopardized thousands of jobs in the state.
Boustany has complained about bailouts and deficits since Obama took office, but he voted for the 2008 $700 billion financial industry bailout under President George W. Bush.
Oil and natural gas exploration and refining provide many of the jobs in the region, and Boustany has been a champion of these industries, supporting the lifting of restrictions on drilling, both offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Committee Assignments: Ways and Means
American Conservative Union Rating: 83
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 0
Recent winning percentages for office currently held: % (2010), 62% (2008).
(Last updated by Melinda Deslatte on July 31, 2012.)