He served in the United States House of Representatives from December 1948 to January 3, 1955. He was in private business until 1970 when he won an upset victory against Ralph Yarborough in the Democratic primary. Bentsen went on to win the general election against George H.W. Bush. He was the Democratic nominee for United States Vice President in 1988. He retired from the Senate in January, 1993. He served as United States Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1994.