Upton Outlines Committee's Jobs-Focused Agenda in the First Nine Months of the 112th Congress
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today released a progress report on the panel's key activities in the first nine months of 2011. The third quarter report was provided to committee members and the House Republican leadership yesterday, exactly nine months after Speaker John Boehner gaveled the 112th Congress into session. The report outlines the committee's jobs-focused accomplishments with nearly 100 hearings and 24 bills that preserve American jobs, bolster the economy, and protect individual freedoms.
"We began this year with a clear recognition that jobs are job one. I'm pleased to report that in the last nine months, our team has risen to the challenge," said Upton. "Time and again, we advanced bills through this committee and the full House that will protect jobs needlessly put at risk and help to create new ones. We exercised rigorous oversight to root out waste, fraud, and abuse and ensure government is held accountable. And we have taken meaningful steps to restore fiscal discipline, proposing significant deficit reduction and working to reduce the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy."
The third quarter report includes summaries of the key issues being addressed by each of the Energy and Commerce Committee's six subcommittees.
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), remains at the forefront of House Republican efforts to promote secure American energy, protect and create jobs, and provide regulatory relief from agencies that are recklessly putting jobs and our nation's energy supplies at risk. In the first nine months of the year, the House approved four of our major energy proposals - all of them bipartisan bills that originated in this subcommittee - and three more are being considered this week and next.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), has opened inquiries into a range of key issues and is responsible for uncovering the ill-fated $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra that prompted national headlines blaring this stunningly bad bet for taxpayers. The subcommittee was also instrumental in development of the CLASS report detailing the insolvency of a massive new entitlement program included in the health care law. The fourth quarter brings a new series of hearings to scrutinize the president's promise to go through the federal budget "line-by-line" to cut obsolete programs and eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending in a time of record debt and deficits.
The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), held a series of hearings and kicked off a new type of innovative forums engaging the public through social media to examine the Food and Drug Administration's review and approval process' impact on patients and jobs. As the health care law heads to the Supreme Court for Constitutional review, the subcommittee continued to hold hearings and produce legislation to protect taxpayers and reveal the real consequences of the health care law, focusing on issues such as IPAB, "grandfather" regulations, and the medical loss ratio rules.
The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), continued to lead an aggressive review of how to reform the Federal Communications Commission -considered in tandem with steps to advance spectrum reform -in an effort to promote an innovation economy. In response to GOP oversight and calls for action, the FCC also announced the elimination of the so-called Fairness Doctrine and 82 other obsolete rules.
The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), put together a package of reforms to the flawed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), protecting thousands of jobs, that President Obama signed into law in August. The subcommittee also began a comprehensive review of trends in online privacy and data security.
The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), advanced the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act that protects as many as 316,000 jobs put at risk by EPA proposals to create layers of new federal regulation. The subcommittee is playing a central role in the broader effort to improve regulation and has revealed that agencies are not fulfilling the basic call for cost-benefit analysis and adherence to the least burdensome approach to rule-making. The subcommittee will continue to hold agencies accountable for the consequences of their regulations in the coming months and explore reforms that address both environmental and economic concerns.