A Representative from Texas; born in Bay City, Matagorda County, Tex., January 21, 1942; graduated from West Columbia High School, 1960; B.A., Texas A.&M. University, 1964; LL.B., University of Texas School of Law, 1967; United States Army, 1968-1970; United States Army Reserve, 1964-1967, 1970-1988; admitted to the bar in 1967; lawyer, private practice; assistant district attorney, Harris County, Tex., 1970-1974; unsuccessful candidate for election to the One Hundredth Congress in 1986; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred First and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1989-June 26, 1995); changed from a Democrat to an Republican on June 26, 1995; continued serving as a Republican in the One Hundred Fourth Congress (June 26, 1995-January 3, 1997); was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination to the One Hundred Fifth Congress in 1996.
Mr. Laughlin has been in private practice focusing on public policy, energy, international trade and tax law. Mr. Laughlin joined the Washington, DC office of Pillsbury in February 2006.
As a member of Congress, he served on the Committee on Ways and Means, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (where he served on the Subcommittees on Aviation, Surface Transportation and Water), and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. The legislation Mr. Laughlin worked on as a Member of Congress included the Intermodal Transportation Safety and Efficiency Act, Pipeline Safety, Deep Water Royalty Relief Act, Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Private Property Protection Act and the Military Reserve Revitalization Act of 1995.
Mr. Laughlin was founder and co-chair of the U.S./Former Soviet Union Energy Caucus and helped initiate the Duma-Congress meetings to better understand and resolve problems involving oil and gas development confronting U.S. oil companies operating in Russia. During his Congressional career, he undertook many energy and economic development missions to Russia and the Central Asian republics, including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
Mr. Laughlin previously represented the Republic of Turkey in a wide range of issues including public policy, infrastructure development, economic development, international trade and foreign investment.
A colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Mr. Laughlin was the only member of the U.S. Congress to see active duty during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. While on active duty, he was stationed at Sinop, Turkey during 1968-69. Mr. Laughlin retired from the U.S. Army Reserves, in 1998.
Prior to his election to Congress in 1988, Mr. Laughlin practiced law in Texas. He also served as assistant district attorney for Houston, Harris County, Texas, for four years.