Michael H. Michaud was sworn in as a United States Congressman in January 2003 to represent the Second Congressional District of Maine in Congress. He is the first recognized Franco-American from Maine to be elected to federal office.
Mike is the second of six children. He was raised in Medway and attended Schenck High School in East Millinocket. After graduation, Mike followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, gaining employment at the Great Northern Paper Company. He is a 29 year employee of GNP and is a member of USW Local #4-00037 (formerly PACE Local #1-40037).
Citing a desire to help clean up the badly polluted Penobscot River near his home, Mike first ran for and was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1980, where he went on to serve seven consecutive terms. In 1994, he defeated a millionaire incumbent in his first bid for the Maine Senate, despite huge Republican victories across the country.
During his first term in the Maine Senate, Mike was appointed to Governor King’s Productivity Realization Task Force. In 1996 Mike was appointed Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In 2000, as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Mike fought to ensure there were funds in the budget for the legal defense of the Maine Rx program, which he cosponsored.
In December 2000, Mike was unanimously elected Maine Senate President. Writing on his time in the Maine Legislature, the Portland Press Herald described Mike “as being the first legislator to come to work in the morning and the last to leave at night.”
In 2001, Mike was honored with the dedication of the Michael H. Michaud Technology Center in recognition of his critical leadership in securing state funding for the University of Maine at Presque Isle Houlton Higher Education Center. He also received the College Board’s Education Award at the National Council of State Legislatures Annual Meeting in Texas for his lifelong commitment to higher education.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike serves on the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where he is the Ranking Member, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Mike has made economic development a top priority. In 2008, his legislation creating the Northern Border Regional Commission became law. The commission is authorized to invest $30 million per year in federal resources for economic development and job creation in the most economically distressed areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
In Congress, the first bill Mike introduced was a national version of the innovative Maine Rx law, called America Rx, which would allow the federal government to negotiate affordable prescriptions for all Americans without coverage. Leaders in Congress recognized that this approach made commonsense. On January 12th, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
Through his leadership on the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Mike is working to ensure that our veterans receive fair and equal treatment as well as the benefits that they deserve. As the Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, he helped pass the largest ever funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mike has also successfully passed provisions into law which led to increased access to health care services for rural Maine veterans. For additional information on Mike’s work on the Committee, please click here.
Mike attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Unity College, Husson College, and Maine Maritime Academy.
Mike currently resides in East Millinocket, where he is remodeling his late grandmother’s home.