Biography of Rep. Billy Tauzin
Rep. Tauzin is very pro high-tech. He scored a perfect 100 on the Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998, and was selected for the Top Ten list of Representatives.
District. Rep. Tauzin represents a district comprised of fourteen coastal and river parishes in southern Louisianna. He was first elected in 1980 as a Democrat in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Dave Treen, who resigned from Congress after becoming Governor of Louisiana.
Committee Assignments. In January 1997, Congressman Tauzin became Chairman of the influential House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection, which has jurisdiction over many key issues affecting telephone, cable, wire, and Internet communications and commerce. The subcommittee also has oversight authority over the Federal Communications Commission. He also ranks second in seniority among Republicans on both the House Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Resources. In addition, he is Vice-Chairman of the Finance and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, and a senior member of two other subcommittees: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans, and Energy and Mineral Resources. Congressman Tauzin also serves as Deputy Majority Whip.
|See, Summary of Broadband Bills in the 106th Congress.|
Legislative Activities. Rep. Tauzin is involved in some way with most legislation affecting telecommunications and the Internet. In the 106th Congress, he is the sponsor of the HR 2420, Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act. This bill provides for deregulation of Internet and high speed data services. It is just one of many bills dealing with broadband services.
|See, Summary of E-Rate Bills in the 106th Congress.|
He is also the sponsor of the HR 1746, Schools and Libraries Internet Access Act. This is a bill to reform the e-rate program. It would transfer the program from the FCC to the NTIA, and fund it out of the existing excise tax on telephones, rather than universal service funds. It would also sunset the e-rate after five years.
|See, Summary of Database Protection Bills in the 106th Congress.|
He is one of the original cosponsors of the HR 1858, the Consumer and Investor Access to Information Act. The bill is the Commerce Committee's alternative to HR 354, the Collections of Information Anti-Piracy Act. HR 354 would provide a quasi intellectual property right to developers of databases, and is supported by those who develop databases. HR 1858 would all but deny protection to databases, and is supported by Internet and telecom companies which do not want to pay for use of other people's databases.
Recent Election Returns
|Nick Accardo (I)||24%|
Elections. Rep. Tauzin has no trouble either winning votes, or raising money. In Louisiana there is an open primary system. If one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, there is no general election. In 1994 Rep. Tauzin faced only an independent opponent in the primary, who he easily beat. There was no general election. In 1996 he did not have any opposition at all. Rep. Tauzin spent $770,827 in the 1997-1998 election cycle, in which he had no opponent, and still had $829,775 on hand at the end of 1998.