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Tauzin to Retire

Tauzin to Retire

Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., long considered a friend to broadcasters, plans to leave Congress. He informed House Speaker Hastert, R-Ill., he would step down as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee effective Feb. 16.
Tauzin, held the powerful post since Jan. 2001. He will not run for re-election when his 12th term in Congress expires at the end of this year.
Fellow Republican Joe Barton of Texas has said he’s interested in the chairmanship and told Reuters he planned to meet with Hastert on the matter.
There were rumors for months that Tauzin intended to leave Congress for to succeed Jack Valenti as president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson steadily denied the rumors.
As Radio World previously reported, Tauzin recently turned down the MPAA position, and was said to be considering another offer from a pharmaceutical trade association.
In his resignation letter this week, the 60-year-old said two recent hospitalizations helped him decide it was time to step down.
Rep. Thomas Bliley, R-VA., chaired the Commerce Committee from 1995 to 2000.