Billy Tauzin
CEO, Pharm. Research and Manufacturers of America
01:31

Blaming the Lobbies

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"Nobody I know twists anybody's arm."

Billy Tauzin

Billy Tauzin is a politician, lawyer and lobbyist. Of Cajun descent, he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972-1979 and the United States House of Representatives from 1980-2005, representing Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. In 1994, when the Democrats lost control of the House, Tauzin helped co-found the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats. Still considering conservatives unwelcome in the Democratic party, however, in 1995 Tauzin became a Republican, and the first American to have been part of the leadership of both parties in the House. From 2001-2004, Tauzin served as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In 2005, the same day he left Congress and two months after having helped to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, Tauzin was named director of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, a trade group for pharmaceutical companies. Billy Tauzin is the original author of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1996 and the Cable Act, the only bills over the past ten years to become law despite Presidential veto. He received his BA from Nicholls State University in 1964 and his degree in law from Louisiana State University in 1967. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Healthcare Group.

Transcript
That’s an excuse. That really is an excuse. I mean first of all we don’t twist arms. Our efforts are to inform, educate, and to hopefully persuade people, not what the right policy is. Nobody I know twists anybody’s arm. That’s an excuse. I mean look, we’re a democracy for heaven’s sake. We can’t blame anybody else if things don’t happen right in our county. It’s our country. I told you my life story __________. I came from a place where if anybody would have predicted I’d be in the United States Congress one day, they would have been laughed out of church. It just wasn’t supposed to happen, but it happens in our country. It can happen and does happen everywhere in this country – that folks coming from every walk of life get to serve. What’s the percentage of lawyers you think in the United States House? When I ask that question to people, everybody says, “Oh, it’s 60, 70 percent.” You know the number is like 28 percent. Most of the people who serve in government come from every walk of life. They come from all sorts of little communities across this country. We own this country. We run this country. If we leave it to others to do it for us, or if we do a bad job of appointing our managers, that’s our fault, nobody else’s.

Recorded on: 9/11/07


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