House Leaders Fear WorldCom Disruption


President Bush should ensure that millions of WorldCom Inc. customers may
continue to place long-distance calls and send electronic mail without
disruption in the event the troubled firm declares bankruptcy, two House leaders
said in a letter to Bush Friday.

The letter, from Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), also
warned the White House that WorldCom customers include 'many critically
important government agencies,' citing the Defense and State departments.

Tauzin is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Upton is
chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Tauzin's staff is investigating WorldCom's alleged fraudulent accounting of
$3.8 billion in costs since 2000 -- an action disclosed by the company that has
put the No. 2 long-distance carrier on the brink of failure.

In their letter, Tauzin and Upton noted that if WorldCom tumbles into
bankruptcy, the potential exists for a large impact on
telecommunications-service customers. They noted that WorldCom's network carries
50 percent of all Internet traffic and 50 percent of e-mail in the United

'We cannot afford to be anything less than vigilant and proactive in our
efforts,' the lawmakers' one-page letter said.