House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) has turned down an offer from the Motion Picture Association of America to succeed Jack Valenti as president and is instead mulling an offer to head the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
The offer to take the motion picture association’s top lobbyist spot has been on the table for a week or so and Tauzin called Valenti Thursday night to tell him he planned to pass on it. Tauzin had been widely expected to take the MPAA job.
Tauzin Spokesman Ken Johnson called it a "flattering offer," and said Tauzin had a tough time turning it down. "At this point in his life, he did not feel this was the best fit for him and his family," Johnson said.
As to the pharmaceutical post, Johnson said: "Just as I said for the past year that there was no deal with MPAA, there is no deal with Pharma either."
A Hill source says that Pharma was "making a run" at Tauzin, adding, "he’s listening, and you can expect a decision in the next couple of weeks. He’s not going to let this thing hang out there."