Tauzin Surgery

Posted March 9, 2004 at 5:55pm

Retiring Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) will undergo surgery next week for intestinal cancer in the opening of his small intestine after being hospitalized several times for what were thought to be bleeding ulcers. [IMGCAP(1)]

The surgery, which will take place next Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, is expected to sideline Tauzin for a month.

“The doctors are very optimistic that he will have a complete recovery, though I suspect that he won’t be using any Tabasco sauce in the near future,” said Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson.

On Tuesday, House leaders granted Tauzin a one-month leave of absence to recover.

The cancer was discovered after Tauzin went to Bethesda Naval Hospital and Johns Hopkins last week to undergo a battery of tests for his nagging health problem.

Tauzin will enter the hospital Monday and remain there for 10 days before being sent home for a few weeks of bed rest.

“Perhaps Nancy Pelosi will now realize that Billy’s decision to retire had more to do with getting well physically than it did with getting well financially,” Johnson added, referring to the House Minority Leader’s attacks on Tauzin for considering a lucrative lobbying job with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

This Is Only a Test. The Capitol Police and House Sergeant-at-Arms recently began conducting performance tests of the chamber’s emergency announcement system.

The annunciator system, installed in House offices in February 2003, will undergo routine testing “to correct and eliminate any problems,” Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Contricia Sellers-Ford said. There are more than 2,000 annunciator units throughout the Capitol and House office buildings.

According to an announcement posted on the House’s Office of Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Operations Web site, the tests will focus on specific buildings and staff will be notified prior to the tests. A related survey will be issued to House staff to record problems with the annunciators and any needed repairs.

— Brody Mullins and Jennifer Yachnin