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The Latest

From the Committee

Mar 23, 2023
Hearings
Chairs Rodgers and Johnson Announce Witnesses for Hearing on East Palestine Train Derailment

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) today announced the witnesses for a subcommittee hearing to address the environmental response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The hearing is titled “Government Response to East Palestine: Ensuring Safety and Transparency for the Community.” 

Rodgers and Johnson released the following statement: 

“The people living in East Palestine and its surrounding areas deserve transparency regarding the recent train derailment that’s upended so many lives. It’s critical that they hear from the government officials charged with responding to the incident in order to ensure the health and safety of that community. We look forward to beginning those conversations at our Energy and Commerce hearing next week. This is the first step in the committee’s ongoing efforts to bring transparency to these communities so they can trust that the air, water, and soil surrounding their homes is not a threat to their health.” 

Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials hearing titled: “Government Response to East Palestine: Ensuring Safety and Transparency for the Community” 

WHAT: Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and the response efforts to date. 

DATE: Tuesday, March 28, 2023      

TIME: 10:00 AM ET    

LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building     

WITNESSES: 

  • Debra Shore, Regional Administrator, Region 5, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Anne M. Vogel, Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Wesley Vins, Health Commissioner, Columbiana County General Health District 

This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/. If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at Kaitlyn.Peterson@mail.house.gov


More News & Announcements


Mar 23, 2023
Big Tech

Top 10 E&C TikTok Hearing Highlights

Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Chew to expose the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. Americans deserve to know how much their privacy is jeopardized, and their data is manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China. As Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said this morning:  “Banning your platform will address the immediate threats. Make no mistake, this Committee is looking to the future too. America needs to be prepared to stop the next technological tool or weapon China will use for its own strategic gain.   “We must prevent any app, website, and platform like TikTok from ever spying on Americans again, and we must provide the strongest protections possible for our children. That is why this Committee is leading on a national privacy and data security standard.”  Don’t miss these top moments: CLICK HERE to watch the full hearing.   CLICK HERE for more tweets from Energy and Commerce Republicans. 



Mar 23, 2023
Hearings

Chair Rodgers to TikTok CEO: “Your Platform Should be Banned”

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s full committee hearing titled “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms.” Excerpts and highlights below: TIKTOK'S SURVEILLANCE STATE “Mr. Chew, you are here because the American people need the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. “TikTok collects nearly every data point imaginable, from people’s location, to what they type and copy, who they talk to, biometric data, and more. “Even if they’ve never been on TikTok, your trackers are embedded in sites across the web. “TikTok surveils us all and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is able to use this as a tool to manipulate America as a whole.” TIKTOK DOESN’T SHARE AMERICA’S VALUES “We do not trust TikTok will ever embrace American values—values for freedom, human rights, and innovation. “TikTok has repeatedly chosen the path for more control, more surveillance, and more manipulation. “Your platform should be banned. “I expect today you’ll say anything to avoid this outcome. “Like that you are 100 percent responsible for what TikTok does, that you suddenly endorse a national data privacy standard, that Project Texas is more than just a marketing scheme, that TikTok doesn’t harm our innocent children, or that your ties to the Chinese Communist Party through ByteDance is just a myth. “We aren’t buying it. “In fact, when you celebrate the 150 million American users on TikTok it emphasizes the urgency for Congress to act. “That is 150 million Americans that CCP can collect sensitive information on and control what we ultimately see, hear, and believe.” TIKTOK’S PRIVACY RECORD “TikTok has repeatedly been caught in the lie that it does not answer to the CCP through ByteDance. “Today, the CCP’s laws require Chinese companies like ByteDance to spy on their behalf. “That means any Chinese company must grant the CCP access and manipulation capabilities as a design feature. “Right now, ByteDance is under investigation by the DOJ for surveilling American journalists—both digital activity and physical movements through TikTok. “We also know that many of your employees still report directly to Beijing. “Internal recordings reveal there is a backdoor for China to access user data across the platform. “Your employees said quote, ‘everything is seen in China.’ “A gateway to spy is not the only way TikTok and ByteDance can do the bidding of the CCP. “TikTok has helped erase events and people China wants the world to forget. “It has even censored an American teenager, who exposed the CCP’s genocide and torture of Uyghur Muslims. “The facts show that ByteDance is beholden to the CCP and ByteDance and TiKTok are one in the same.” PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN “TikTok also targets our children. “The ‘For You’ algorithm is a tool for TikTok to own their attention and prey on their innocence. “Within minutes of creating an account, your algorithm can promote suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders to children. “It encourages challenges for them to put their lives in danger and allows adults to prey on our beautiful, beloved daughters. “It’s also a portal for drug dealers to sell illicit fentanyl that China has banned, yet, is helping Mexican cartels produce, send across our border, and poison our children. “In China, the CCP proactively prohibits this type of TikTok content that promotes death and despair to kids.” STOPPING CHINESE SPYING ON AMERICANS “From the data it collects to the content it controls, TikTok is a grave threat of foreign influence in American life. “It's been said it is like allowing the Soviet Union the power to produce Saturday morning cartoons during the Cold War but much more powerful and much more dangerous. “Banning your platform will address the immediate threats. “Make no mistake, this Committee is also looking to the future too. “America needs to be prepared to stop the next technological tool or weapon China will use for its own strategic gain. “We must prevent any app, website, and platform like TikTok from ever spying on Americans again and we must provide the strongest protections possible for our children. “That is why this Committee is leading on a national privacy and data security standard. “It restricts sensitive American data from reaching our adversaries to begin with and what Big Tech and data brokers collect, process, store, and sell. “It makes it illegal for any platform to track and target children under 17.” THE WORLD IS WATCHING “Mr. Chew, the Committee has requested that TikTok appear before us for a long time. “For those we serve, we are glad this day has finally come. “Today, the world is watching. “ByteDance is watching. “The Chinese Communist Party is watching. “But the answers you owe are to the American people, a free people who cherish their God-given unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. “They deserve the truth. “Complete honesty and the law is the standard you are being held to before this Committee as we seek to get answers and a full understanding of what happens at TikTok under your watch.”



Mar 23, 2023
Hearings

Chairs Rodgers, Guthrie Announce Health Subcommittee Hearing on Animal Drugs User Fee Act Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) today announced a subcommittee legislative hearing to discuss the reauthorization of Food and Drug Administration animal drug and animal generic drug use free programs.  “From pet owners, to farmers and poultry producers, Americans rely on pharmaceuticals and generic drugs to keep our animals healthy and happy. It’s crucial that we continue to modernize the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine review process, so sponsors can continue to review bring safe and effective animal drugs to the market. We look forward to the work ahead on reauthorizing these critical user fee programs—as we’ve done in the past—before their September 30 expiration date.”  Subcommittee on Health hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Programs.” WHAT : A legislative hearing to discuss reauthorization of the FDA’s animal drug and animal generic drug user fee programs.  DATE : Thursday, March 30, 2023  TIME : 9:00 AM ET  LOCATION : 2123 Rayburn House Office Building  WITNESSES : Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only.  LEGISLATION UNDER CONSIDERATION : H.R. 1418, the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2023, and H.R. 1683, the Generic Animal Drug Advancement Act.  This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Jolie Brochin with the Committee staff at Jolie.Brochin@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov


Trending Subcommittees

Innovation, Data, and Commerce


11 Updates

Interstate and foreign commerce, including all trade matters within the jurisdiction of the full committee; consumer protection, including privacy matters generally; data security; motor vehicle safety; regulation of commercial practices (the Federal Trade Commission), including sports-related matters; consumer product safety (the Consumer Product Safety Commission); product liability; and regulation of travel, tourism, and time. The Subcommittee’s jurisdiction can be directly traced to Congress’ constitutional authority “to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”


Communications & Technology


13 Updates

Electronic communications, both Interstate and foreign, including voice, video, audio and data, whether transmitted by wire or wirelessly, and whether transmitted by telecommunications, commercial or private mobile service, broadcast, cable, satellite, microwave, or other mode; technology generally; emergency and public safety communications; cybersecurity, privacy, and data security; the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Office of Emergency Communications in the Department of Homeland Security; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.


Energy, Climate, & Grid Security


23 Updates

National Energy Policy, energy infrastructure and security, energy related Agencies and Commissions, all laws, programs, and government activities affecting energy matters. National Energy Policy focuses on fossil energy; renewable energy; nuclear energy; energy conservation, utility issues, including but not limited to interstate energy compacts; energy generation, marketing, reliability, transmission, siting, exploration, production, efficiency, cybersecurity, and ratemaking for all generated power. Energy infrastructure and security focuses on pipelines, the strategic petroleum reserve, nuclear facilities, and cybersecurity for our nation’s grid. Our jurisdiction also includes all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security. Agencies and Commissions in our jurisdiction include: The US Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


Recent Letters


Mar 21, 2023
Letter

Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means Republicans Urge Biden Administration to Provide Certainty for Seniors Regarding Medicare Advantage Proposed Rule

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chair Vern Buchanan (R-FL), along with their Republican committee colleagues, wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xaiver Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, urging them to provide clarity to seniors regarding the CMS Calendar Year 2024 Advance Notice for the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.  Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rodgers: “Before making any significant unilateral changes to Medicare, the Biden administration needs to have an unambiguous understanding of any potential effect on seniors’ benefits and premiums. That said, excess payments that were not authorized or intended by Congress are a misuse of taxpayer dollars that weaken the Medicare program. Congress should seek to address both problems broadly across Medicare and the federal budget. If the administration has done its due diligence, it should have no issues responding promptly to our reasonable questions."  Ways and Means Committee Chair Smith: “President Biden’s has a detailed track record of mismanaging Medicare for our nation's seniors, from implementing the largest ever increase in Medicare premiums to severely limiting access to novel treatments such as for Alzheimer's. It is vital that the Biden Administration clarify the changes they are forcing through and the rationale behind them. The 31 million seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage need assurance that their cost, coverage, and access to care will not be impacted.”   Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie: “This is about ensuring the more than 31 million seniors, who use Medicare Advantage, and Congress understand the real impact the Biden Administration’s proposed changes will have on the availability of MA services across the country. The Biden Administration’s history with Medicare gives reason for skepticism and a call for more transparency on the decision-making behind the Biden Administration’s proposed changes.”   Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair Buchanan: “Medicare Advantage is an enormously successful program and model of a public-private partnership that offers greater choice, increased competition and lower costs,” said Buchanan. “The Biden administration’s proposed changes to Medicare are a direct attack on the 55 percent of Florida seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and could affect their ability to receive access to timely, quality health care. At a time when inflation is eating away at seniors’ budgets, many of whom live on fixed incomes, the last thing they need are higher out-of-pocket costs and major cuts in services.”  The members requested responses to their questions no later than March 24, 2023.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Mar 20, 2023
Letter

Rodgers, Comer Press for Information on Data Breach of Thousands of Medicare Beneficiaries’ Personally Identifiable Information

Washington, D.C. — House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) today wrote to Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, requesting documents and communications to assist in investigating CMS’s response to a data breach impacting personally identifiable information of approximately 254,000 Medicare beneficiaries.  “On October 8, 2022, [Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC (HMS)] ‘was subject to a ransomware attack on its corporate network.’ CMS was notified about the data breach a day later, and on October 18, 2022, CMS ‘determined with high confidence that the incident potentially included personally identifiable information and protected health information for some Medicare enrollees.’ However, it was not until December 1, 2022, that CMS made the determination that the data breach constituted a ‘major incident,’ as defined in the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014,” wrote Rodgers and Comer.   After becoming aware of a major data breach and potential exposure of Medicare beneficiaries’ personal information, it took CMS two months to determine that the data breach constituted a “major incident” as defined in the Federal Information Security Modernization Act.  “In other words, bad actors had access to Medicare beneficiaries’ information for two months before CMS determined this ransomware attack was a ‘major incident,’ triggering a legal obligation to inform Congress of such incident. [...] The compromised information potentially includes the following personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI): name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security Number, Medicare beneficiary identifier, banking information, including routing and account numbers, and Medicare entitlement, enrollment, and premium information,”  continued Chairs Rodgers and Comer.   CLICK HERE to read the letter to Administrator Brooks-LaSure. 



Mar 17, 2023
Letter

Chairs Rodgers, Duncan: Vague CEQ Guidance Cannot be an Excuse to Abandon FERC’s Core Mission

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter yesterday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Acting Chairman and Commissioners demanding to know how they plan to incorporate guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in a way that does not jeopardize American energy security.   Excerpts and highlights from the letter:  “On January 9, 2023, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued interim guidance entitled ‘National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change.’  “The stated goal of this guidance is to ‘assist Federal agencies in their consideration of the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when evaluating proposed major Federal actions in accordance with NEPA...’ CEQ’s interim guidance took effect immediately for relevant agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or ‘Commission’). This vague guidance raises many concerns regarding how the Commission will follow its authorizing statutes in the issuance of permits for both natural gas and electric transmission infrastructure.   “While we understand this interim guidance is subject to change until the rule is finalized, we write to reiterate that NEPA, and especially the CEQ guidance, does not supplant the Commission’s core statutes for siting or permitting natural gas or electric transmission projects. Commissioner Christie pointed out in his dissent to the interim policy statement, entitled ‘Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Natural Gas Infrastructure Project Reviews,’ that the Commission’s own regulations implementing NEPA reflect that very fact, ‘the Commission will comply with the regulations of the CEQ except where those regulations are inconsistent with the statutory requirements of the Commission.’ As such, we request that each of you answer the below questions no later than March 30, 2023.  Is it your opinion that the CEQ guidance requires the Commission to quantify upstream and downstream emissions from natural gas projects? If so, how will the Commission apply this in its regulations?  Is the CEQ guidance consistent with facilitating the orderly development of plentiful supplies of natural gas at reasonable prices, as is the intent of the Natural Gas Act? If so, please elaborate. If not, how can the Commission legally implement the guidance?  Does the Commission intend to revise and reissue its natural gas policy statements (Docket Nos. PL21-3-000 and PL18-1-000) in order to incorporate this CEQ guidance? Please explain.  Does the Commission plan to undertake an analysis or solicit public feedback on how implementing this CEQ guidance could affect the price or availability of natural gas and electricity, or the effect on the economy as a whole?”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.  NOTE: Chairs Rodgers and Duncan sent a letter to FERC on March 3, 2023, demanding they explain why the commission has abandoned its core mission to help deliver abundant, reliable, and affordable energy for Americans. The letter specifically referenced examples when FERC has appeared to make decisions beyond its statutory authority in order to advance President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ rush-to-green agenda. CLICK HERE to read more.