Rep. Bliley won't seek re-election
- By Judi Hasson
- Mar 07, 2000
Rep. Bliley's official Web site
Rep. Tom Bliley (R-Va.), one of the most influential members of Congress
on topics ranging from Internet regulation to tobacco taxation, has decided
not to seek re-election.
Bliley has scheduled a news conference for today to announce his decision
not to seek an 11th term. His decision could change the character and agenda
of the House Commerce Committee, which he has chaired since 1995.
Bliley has overseen legislation concerning a host of communications issues,
including Internet taxation, computer encryption and telephone competition.
His committee also handled legislation dealing with restricting the sale
However, Bliley has been criticized for taking a pro-business and anti-regulatory
stance in dealing with high-tech issues. He has never minced words that
he wanted to tame Congress. He once described it as a "regulatory beast."
His departure will have "an impact, but I don't see a sea change," said
Larry Allen of the Coalition for Government Procurement. "He has been a
significant player in bringing telecommunications into the 21st century
and has nurtured technology developments in Virginia."
If the Republicans maintain control of Congress after the fall elections,
Bliley's likely successor as chairman of the House Commerce Committee is
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), a supporter of high-tech issues. If Democrats
win the majority of congressional seats, the chairman likely will be Rep.
John Dingell (D-Mich.).