Senator John Breaux, co-chairs our Public Policy practice, and provides strategic advice to attorneys and clients on a wide range of public policy matters, with a particular focus on the areas of health care and energy law.
Senator Breaux led a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Congress. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972 at the age of 28—at the time of his election he was the youngest member of Congress. He represented the 7th District of Louisiana for 14 years before being elected to fill Senator Russell Long’s seat in 1986.
Senator Breaux was a widely recognized bipartisan leader in the Senate, and in 1993 was appointed by his Democratic colleagues to the post of Chief Deputy Whip, a position he held until his retirement. He also held a number of key Senate committee positions. A senior member of the Finance Committee, Senator Breaux served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy. He also held positions on two other Finance subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Health Care and the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight. From his position on the Finance Committee, he played instrumental roles in forging the compromises that led to passage of the welfare reform and health insurance reform bills in 1996. He was also a leader in the efforts to reduce the capital gains tax and to provide tax relief for college education expenses.
Senator Breaux also served on the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee where he was a leader on telecommunications and transportation issues, along with his work on fisheries and ocean policy.
As Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, Senator Breaux highlighted the importance of protecting and strengthening Social Security, Medicare and other programs. In 1998 he was selected by the White House and House and Senate leaders to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Also in 1998, Senator Breaux co-chaired the National Commission on Retirement Policy, which produced legislation to help reform Social Security.
While in the Senate, Senator Breaux was a recognized leader on energy issues. He served as Co-Chair of the Oil and Gas Caucus and was a conferee on the energy legislation that eventually was written into the 2005 Energy Bill. Senator Breaux was active in advancing legislation to promote domestic oil and gas production, and was a Co-Sponsor of the Marginal Well Preservation Act, a tax-incentive program to encourage oil production from marginal oil wells. He was also a principal author of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Senator Breaux was a founder of the Centrist Coalition of Senate Democrats and Republicans and served as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Senator Beaux as the Co-Chair of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, while in 2006, Senator Breaux was chosen to be a member of the Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State.
Before joining the firm, Senator Breaux and fellow former Senator Trent Lott founded the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group, a bipartisan public policy firm that quickly became one of the 20 largest government relations firms in Washington.