WASHINGTON — Rep. W. J. "Billy" Tauzin, former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has ended negotiations to head the pharmaceutical industry's lobby, his spokesman said Thursday.
Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican, announced on Feb. 3 that he would step down as committee chairman and leave Congress this year because of a bleeding ulcer.
That announcement came amid criticism that he was considering the pharmaceutical lobbying job while leading the powerful committee that regulated the industry.
Calling the controversy too distracting, Tauzin, a 12-term congressman, "instructed his attorney to end negotiations with PhRMA," said spokesman Ken Johnson, referring to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which lobbies Congress on behalf of drug companies.