Tauzin Tells Hollings He'll Decline Invite


House Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) has no intention of testifying on his broadband legislation before a potentially hostile Senate Commerce Committee on March 20.

"Billy's been a hunter too long not to know a bear trap when he sees one. He has no intention of seeing his head hang on the wall somewhere over in the Senate," Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson said last week.

Tauzin was invited to testify by committee chairman Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-S.C.), a vocal opponent of the bill (H.R. 1542) co-sponsored by Tauzin and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.).

The bill would deregulate broadband services sold by the Baby Bell phone companies. It passed the House last week by a 273-157 vote.

Tauzin would consider a Senate appearance if he could get a fair hearing from Hollings, Johnson said.

"But he is not walking into an ambush," Johnson added.