Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has resigned the chairmanship effective Feb. 16, citing health concerns. After 24 years in Congress, Tauzin also announced he won't seek re-election.
Tauzin was instrumental in crafting the recently signed Medicare reform legislation. In recent weeks he has been rumored as the next chief of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, replacing Alan Holmer. Tauzin already has turned down an offer to head the Motion Picture Association of America.
At deadline, a telephone call to Tauzin's office had not been returned.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) has been mentioned as a successor to Tauzin as Energy and Commerce Committee chairman. Barton has said he will seek the position. He currently chairs the committee's energy and air quality subcommittee.