Look Ahead: Committee Announces Hearing and Vote Schedule for the Week of April 7

April 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced its hearing schedule for the week of April 7, 2014. The committee will examine legislation aimed at improving predictability and transparency in DEA and FDA regulation, discuss ways to end abusive patent demand letters, review the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act, and vote on legislation to clear the backlog of LNG export applications at DOE.

On Monday, April 7, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on “Improving Predictability and Transparency in DEA and FDA Regulation.” The subcommittee will review three bills: H.R. 4299, the “Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act,” H.R. 4069, the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act,” and H.R. 4205, the “Sunscreen Innovation Act.”

  • H.R. 4299, introduced by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to improve efficiency, transparency, and consistency of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s process for scheduling new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • H.R. 4069, introduced by full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) would improve enforcement efforts regarding prescription drug diversion and abuse.
  • H.R. 4205, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), would expedite the FDA’s approval process for new sunscreen ingredients while maintaining strict safety standards.

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and the legislation are available here. Witness testimony will be available at the same link as it is posted.

On Tuesday, April 8, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will a hold hearing on “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.” The subcommittee will hear from stakeholders regarding the growing abuse of patent demand letters. In recent years, small businesses have increasingly been targeted with financial threats through demand letters. Businesses are often told to either pay for a license within a short period of time, or face going to court for infringing the sender's vaguely defined and often specious intellectual property rights. The hearing will explore ways to prevent the bad actors from abusing the process, often at the expense of small businesses, while preserving the legitimate business purposes of patent demand letters. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Also on Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to review the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act. This year marks five years since the Tobacco Control Act became law, which for the first time provided FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. Subcommittee members will review the agency’s implementation of key aspects of the law. The subcommittee will also review H.R. 389, the “Transparency in Tobacco User Fees Act of 2013,” legislation introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) that would require FDA to provide Congress with annual reports regarding the tobacco user fees collected and how they are spent. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and the legislation are available here. Witness testimony will be available at the same link as it is posted.

Finally on Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power will begin a markup to consider H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) authored H.R. 6 to expedite the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to our allies as well as boost our economy. The subcommittee will convene for opening statements only on Tuesday afternoon and will reconvene on Wednesday morning to consider the legislation. An electronic copy of the bill, a background memo, amendments, and votes will be posted here as they are available.

Hearing Details:

Monday, April 7, 2014
3 p.m.
2123 Rayburn HOB
Subcommittee on Health
Hearing on “Improving Predictability and Transparency in DEA and FDA Regulation”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
10 a.m.
2123 Rayburn HOB
Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
Hearing on “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters”

10:15 a.m.
2322 Rayburn HOB
Subcommittee on Health
Hearing on “Examining the Implementation of the Tobacco Control Act”

4 p.m.
2123 Rayburn HOB
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Markup on H.R. 6, the “Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act” (Opening statements only)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
10 a.m.
2123 Rayburn HOB
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Reconvene Markup of H.R. 6

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