Committee Advances Legislation to Strengthen Public Health and Streamline Government
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today advanced six bipartisan bills to help patients and local communities, increase efficiency at the FCC, and help protect drinking water from harmful algae blooms known as cyanotoxins. H.R. 471, H.R. 639 H.R. 648, H.R. 647, H.R. 734, and H.R. 212 all passed the committee by voice vote.
“We’ve hit the ground running this new Congress, and these six bills underscore our commitment to protecting the public health and modernizing government for the innovation era,” said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “I look forward to the full House swiftly approving these bills as we look to build upon our solid foundation of bipartisan success.”
H.R. 734, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act, authored by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) will reduce reporting requirements and increase efficiency at the FCC. “My bill will not only help the FCC operate more efficiently, but it will also encourage the commission to holistically analyze competition in the marketplace, rather than basing their analysis on the outdated silos that no longer reflect the 21st century communications economy,” said Scalise.
The committee also approved H.R. 639, the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act, authored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), and full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Pitts commented, “H.R. 639, as amended, seeks to improve the transparency and consistency of DEA’s scheduling of new FDA-approved drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, and its registration process for manufacturing controlled substances for use in clinical trials.”
“H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act, one that I have authored in partnership with Reps. Marino, Welch, and Chu would help prevent prescription drug abuse,” Full Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said. “The bill will establish clear and consistent enforcement standards, and ensure patients have access to medications by promoting collaboration among government agencies, patients, and industry stakeholders.”
The committee also advanced two bills related to trauma care: H.R. 647, the Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, and H.R. 648, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act both authored Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX). Burgess said, “Trauma is the leading cause of death under the age of 65. It is expensive, costing over $400 billion per year. Over many years Ranking Member Green and I have worked closely on this issue to update the law and ensure reauthorization of crucial trauma grant programs.”
Finally, the committee approved H.R. 212, the Drinking Water Protection Act, authored by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH). “This bipartisan bill will put forth a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with cyanotoxins and algal toxins in drinking water provided by public water systems,” said Latta. “I believe H.R. 212 takes the robust and strong scientific approach we need to protect the health and safety of our public drinking water and better understand this issue for the short and long-term.”
These six bills add to the committee’s established bipartisan #RecordofSuccess. To view the committee’s full record, click here.