Billy Tauzin
CEO, Pharm. Research and Manufacturers of America
01:25

Re: Are special interests breaking the system?

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Are special interests breaking the system?

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
Oh you have a lobbying industry time immemorial in America. I’m not sure that they share the biggest part of the blame. Probably you can assign some blame to every institution around our government today. And I’m sure lobbyists carry their load. But again there’s . . . something else has happened that you can’t ignore. I mean listen to these debates today. Listen to a campaign for a little while. It’s not so much about what you are, about what you stand for. It’s about how awful that other guy is. And if you keep saying it over and over again, soon everybody believes it – not just about them; they believe it about you as well. And that’s . . . that’s deteriorating the fabric of our democracy, and we should all be concerned about it. Someday sooner or later we’re gonna have to, you know, build a better system or we’re gonna have to put an end to this stuff and just say, you know, as . . . as . . . as Romeo said, you know, “Plague on both your houses.” We’ll _________ find another house.

Recorded on: 9/11/07


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