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As a servant to the people of Alabama and committee chairman in the U.S. House, Congressman Spencer Bachus is recognized as a principled conservative who works diligently to promote economic opportunity, individual freedom, and civility.
A native of Birmingham, Congressman Bachus is the son of Spencer T. Bachus II and Edith Bachus, from whom he learned the importance of family, personal responsibility, hard work, respect for others, and a strong faith. His father often used the adage, “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, don’t say anything at all.” He earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, where he received the Somerville Prize for distinguished legal scholarship. Transitioning from a successful career as an attorney in private practice, Bachus achieved several notable firsts for the Republican Party in Alabama, including election to the State Senate and State School Board and managing the campaign of the first Republican Governor of Alabama since Reconstruction, Guy Hunt.
Defeating an incumbent Democrat to win election to the U.S. House in 1992, Bachus dedicated himself to providing the highest level of representation to his constituents. He won appointment to such important committees as Transportation and Infrastructure, Judiciary, and what today is the Financial Services Committee. His accomplishments for his district and state include his work on I-22, the Northern Beltline, and other major highway and infrastructure projects ; the establishment of the National Computer Forensics Institute; the creation of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge; and the construction of the Alabama National Cemetery to honor veterans and their families.
Selected by his Republican colleagues as their leader on the Financial Services Committee as Ranking Member and Chairman (2006-2012), Bachus assumed his responsibilities as the U.S. financial system confronted its greatest challenges since the 1930s. Working with a strong team of committee members and his highly-respected committee staff, Bachus strove to find solutions to the critical issues facing the nation’s economy. During the depths of the crisis in Fall 2008, Bachus advocated capital injections to help stabilize the financial sector, the approach ultimately adopted by the Treasury Department. According to Act of Congress by Robert Kaiser, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson “asked his staff to figure out how to do just what Spencer Bachus had suggested on September 18…”
Bachus was named Chairman Emeritus of the Committee for the 113th Congress.
The legislative accomplishments of Congressman Bachus include the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, deposit insurance reform, Check 21, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and originating the provisions that became the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. One of his proudest legacies is debt relief, which has been credited with reducing hunger and poverty in poor countries and which the singer and humanitarian activist Bono wrote in a private note has allowed more than 51 million children to attend school.
A voice for racial understanding and reconciliation, Bachus received the Houghton-Lewis Leadership Award from the Faith and Politics Institute. As Dean of the Alabama delegation, he worked on a bipartisan basis with his Birmingham area colleague, Representative Terri Sewell, to authorize a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Four Little Girls who died in the civil rights movement era bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Congressman Bachus has said that he could not have achieved any of his successes without the support of his family. He draws inspiration from his wife Linda, who is active in numerous charitable activities in the Birmingham area and in Washington; their five children, Candace, Warren, Lisa, Stuart, and Elliott; and their seven grandchildren, Christopher, Madeline, Olivia, Rayner, Charlotte, Braden, and Lillie. Strong in their faith, Congressman and Linda Bachus attend Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover.
During his 22 years of service in the U.S. House and throughout his public life, Congressman Bachus has lived by the credo of President Ronald Reagan, who said, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” He has demonstrated how to remain true to principle and integrity while reaching out to bridge differences in an honest and respectful way. Congressman Bachus thanks the people of Alabama for giving him the opportunity to serve, terming it “the greatest honor imaginable and one that I never dreamed I might have.”