Spencer Bachus

EXIM Director and former Congressman | Board of Directors

Portrait of Spencer Bachus

Spencer Bachus graduated from Auburn University in 1969. He began his legal career in 1973 after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law. In law school, he earned the Somerville Prize for distinguished legal scholarship. He served in the Alabama National Guard from 1969 through 1972 during the Vietnam War. Bachus maintained a private law practice and co-owned a small lumber company until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992.

In the House of Representatives, Bachus won appointment to such important committees as Transportation and Infrastructure, Judiciary, and Financial Services. His accomplishments for his district and state include work on I-22, the Northern Beltline, and other major highway and infrastructure projects, establishment of the National Computer Forensics Institute, creation of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, and 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 to 2012), Bachus assumed his responsibilities while the U.S. financial system confronted its greatest challenges since the 1930s. During the depths of the crisis in Fall 2008, he was the first to advocate for capital injections (Capital Purchase Plan) to help stabilize the financial sector. The approach was ultimately adopted by the Treasury Department and returned a profit to the U.S. Treasury of more than $15 billion dollars.

Term-limited in 2012, Bachus was named Chairman Emeritus of the Committee for the 113th Congress.

Among many of Bachus' legislative accomplishments are the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, deposit insurance reform, and Check 21. Bachus is also regarded with honor for originating the provisions that authorized Medicare coverage to seniors for prostate cancer screening, which started in the year 2000, and provisions that became part of 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 the world's poorest countries.

In addition to his legislative accomplishments, Bachus is the recipient of numerous prestigious financial, legal, humanitarian, and leadership honors. They include the American Bar Association Justice Award, Burton Foundation Award for Achievements in Law, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Directorship 100, The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's "National Distinguished Advocacy Award for Excellence in Cancer Fighting Public Policy" (the group's highest legislative honor), the American Football Coaches Association Award, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Certificate of Recognition Award for National Child Identification Program "to protect children through the largest child safety initiative in history."

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 Selma-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.

Starting in 1993 Congressman John Lewis and Bachus cohosted an annual Civil Rights pilgrimage to Alabama, visiting Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham. Congressman Lewis and Congressman Bachus traveled to India to retrace Martin Luther King's pilgrimage years earlier. Their friendship was the subject of a PBS segment in 2015.

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