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The Latest

From the Committee

Feb 2, 2023
Hearings
Chair Rodgers: Next-gen Satellite Technologies Must be Developed in America, not China

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s Communication and Technology subcommittee hearing titled “Launching Into the State of the Satellite Marketplace.”

Excerpts and highlights below:

“I would like to congratulate you, Bob Latta, on leading the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology this Congress and to Buddy Carter for becoming the Vice Chair.

“Congratulations to you, Ranking Member Matsui, on your new role too.

“Under your leadership, I know this subcommittee will lead to help close the digital divide and ensure America leads a new era of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Finally, welcome to all our new members joining the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

“I’m looking forward to all the great work we will do together.”

BEATING CHINA

“We’re here today to discuss how America can keep pace with the rapidly evolving satellite communications industry.

“Countries like China seek to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology.

“We can’t afford to let this happen.

“The Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to embed their authoritarianism into next generation technologies like these.

“This is a country that spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy.

“They want to replace the U.S. as the economic and technological power so they can spread their values and vision of the future.

“We need to make sure these technologies are developed in an ecosystem that promotes America’s values, not China’s.

“As this technology evolves, we must reevaluate and adapt the regulatory environment to make sure America is winning the future, beating China, and continue to push the limits of innovation to solidify American dominance.

“Satellite technologies have become vital to the communications marketplace, providing services to connect millions of American homes and businesses.

“To ensure the U.S. leadership, we need to foster a regulatory environment that encourages innovation and guarantees that the reliable services they provide remain available to combat bad actors seeking to undermine our national interests.”

SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE

“This Subcommittee is at the forefront of protecting and enhancing technological innovation in the U.S.

“We’re responsible for overseeing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“In recent years, the satellite marketplace has seen a surge of investment because of a combination of lower launch costs to innovations that have made satellites more affordable, reliable, and available.

“Some estimates show the space industry could triple to a $1.4 trillion market within a decade.

“The FCC has received dozens of applications for new NGSO satellite systems, indicating that the industry is ready to lead in this space.

“American satellite operators are providing in-home broadband at faster speeds than ever before as well as key voice and data services to these industries and the Federal government.

“Both longstanding operators and newer entrants have made or announced significant investments in next-generation systems.

“It’s been far too long since Congress reassessed the role of satellite technology in the communications marketplace and whether or not our regulatory environment encourages investment and innovation in the space economy, or hampers it.

“Today’s hearing is our first step in what will be a robust effort to evaluate the state of the satellite marketplace.”

LEADING A NEW ERA OF AMERICAN INNOVATION

“Many existing and proposed satellite systems raise novel questions about the use of space and spectrum that the FCC’s rules do not address.

“For example, large non-geostationary orbit, or NGSO, satellite systems use spectrum more intensely than other types of satellite systems.

“These NGSO systems are required to share spectrum, and the rules that govern sharing will be a critical ingredient to their success.

“Moreover, the satellite marketplace is global.

“Operators from around the world need to be able to license in many different regions, including the U.S.

“Because of the global nature of the satellite industry, we need to consider international considerations on the use of spectrum as well as orbital resources that are unique to the industry.

“We must lead in this industry, and we must ensure that our regulations encourage this innovation, rather than stifle it.

“I look forward to hearing more from our witnesses about the industry and how this Committee can be a partner to promote U.S. leadership, competition, and innovation in satellite communications.”


More News & Announcements


Feb 2, 2023
Hearings

Subcommittee Chair Latta Opening Remarks on the Evolving Satellite Communications Industry

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled “ Launching Into the State of the Satellite Marketplace .” Excerpts and highlights below: DRASTIC CHANGES IN SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY “It has been over a decade since this subcommittee held a hearing dedicated to understanding the satellite communications marketplace and the FCC’s role in licensing commercial satellite communications systems. “Since then, how satellite technology is used has changed drastically. “Our esteemed panel before us has experience across the full range of satellite communications technologies. “Satellite technology offers a variety of services spanning high-speed broadband and video delivery, to data services that enable precision agriculture and global financial transactions. “This hearing today is the first step this Committee is taking as we look at these novel issues. “In recent years, satellite communications capabilities have dramatically advanced, and satellite operators have identified new ways to serve customers with greater speed and reliability. “Many satellite operators currently operate, or are seeking to operate, different types of satellite constellations. “Some satellite systems operate in geostationary orbit, while others operate closer to Earth in non-geostationary orbit. “Satellite operations are also global in nature, which adds an additional layer of complexity when developing and operating systems. “Because satellite systems rely on radio spectrum to operate, the use of this spectrum raises complex challenges that U.S. and international regulators must address. “In the last few months, satellite operators and cellular carriers have announced partnerships to stretch connectivity further into rural and remote areas. “International standards bodies are also making progress in identifying technical specifications for greater integration of 5G with satellite communications technologies. “These are significant developments that may provide new or enhanced opportunities to connect unserved Americans.” ENSURING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP “We must also ensure continued American leadership in advanced communications services. “In order to do that, our regulations must foster an environment of innovation and certainty. “As countries like China seek to dominate the technologies of the future, we must make the United States an attractive place to invest in cutting edge developments that align with American values and guarantee the availability of trusted satellite communications. “The FCC plays an important role in licensing new or enhanced satellite communications systems, and it is important we understand the current licensing and regulatory process and the impact these rules have on our international competitiveness.”



Chairs Rodgers, Griffith, and Guthrie Launch E&C’s 118th Congress COVID-19 Origins Investigation

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) today launched the committee’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19 for the 118th Congress. The members sent letters to the National Institutions of Health (NIH) and EcoHealth Alliance for information and documents as well as formally noticing a preservation of documents related to research done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).  “With more than a million American lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, fully examining all available evidence to have a clearer picture of the origins of COVID-19 is one of the greatest public health responsibilities of our lifetime. For the past two years, Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans have been pursuing an in-depth investigation into the early days of SARS-CoV-2 with an emphasis on the virus’ origins,” said Chairs Rodgers, Griffith, and Guthrie. “Despite severely inadequate cooperation to date from the NIH and EcoHealth, we expect greater responsiveness to our Republican majority—either voluntarily or through the Committee’s authority. As we learned in yesterday’s oversight hearing, the stakes are too high with the growing risks of future pandemics for our nation not to unite behind stronger efforts to investigate the origins of pandemics. We will continue to pursue the facts related to how NIH spends taxpayer dollars and to what extent it was involved in potentially dangerous research in a hostile nation within a lab that was not at an adequate biosafety level. Bringing the truth to light is crucial in our efforts to help restore public trust in our government institutions.”  The letters come in the lead up to a February 8, 2023, joint Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Subcommittee on Health hearing titled: “ The Federal Response to COVID-19 ” at which Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., PhD., Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director at the NIH, is confirmed to testify.  KEY NIH LETTER EXCERPT:   “The COVID-19 pandemic is a catastrophic biological incident resulting so far in the deaths of more than a million Americans and more than 6 million people worldwide. The threat of similar pandemics is increasing. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted, globalization, climate change, and urbanization has increased the probability, intensity, and frequency of catastrophic biological incidents. A study in 2021 found a high probability of observing pandemics similar to COVID-19 (probability of experiencing it in one’s lifetime is 38 percent), which may double in coming decades. The global proliferation of high-containment laboratories has similarly increased the probability of a catastrophic biological incident caused by the escape of a pandemic pathogen. “  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Dr. Tabak.  KEY ECOHEALTH ALLIANCE LETTER EXCERPT:   “As noted by the NIH and in EcoHealth’s correspondence with NIH, EcoHealth failed to obtain laboratory notebooks and electronic files of transgenic mice experiment(s) conducted by the WIV as a research activity supported by the NIH grant. This material failure violated the NIH grant terms and conditions. There is no evidence that the work from the experiment(s) was ever published. There is no substantiation of the experiment(s) other than the WIV’s assertions to EcoHealth that included inconsistent and incomplete data representations. Thus, there was no scientific work product produced for the American taxpayers who helped finance these efforts, and no useful information to support pandemic preparedness efforts. Further, EcoHealth's lack of monitoring of the WIV research in accordance with NIH grant terms presented additional biosafety risks, raising questions about the possibility that WIV biosafety lapses could have contributed to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.”   CLICK HERE to read the full letter to EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak.  CLICK HERE to read more about the Energy and Commerce Republicans COVID-19 origins investigation. 



Feb 2, 2023
Hearings

Chair Rodgers: Next-gen Satellite Technologies Must be Developed in America, not China

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s Communication and Technology subcommittee hearing titled “Launching Into the State of the Satellite Marketplace.” E xcerpts and highlights below: “I would like to congratulate you, Bob Latta, on leading the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology this Congress and to Buddy Carter for becoming the Vice Chair. “Congratulations to you, Ranking Member Matsui, on your new role too. “Under your leadership, I know this subcommittee will lead to help close the digital divide and ensure America leads a new era of innovation and entrepreneurship. “Finally, welcome to all our new members joining the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. “I’m looking forward to all the great work we will do together.” BEATING CHINA “We’re here today to discuss how America can keep pace with the rapidly evolving satellite communications industry. “Countries like China seek to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology. “We can’t afford to let this happen. “The Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to embed their authoritarianism into next generation technologies like these. “This is a country that spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy. “They want to replace the U.S. as the economic and technological power so they can spread their values and vision of the future. “We need to make sure these technologies are developed in an ecosystem that promotes America’s values, not China’s. “As this technology evolves, we must reevaluate and adapt the regulatory environment to make sure America is winning the future, beating China, and continue to push the limits of innovation to solidify American dominance. “Satellite technologies have become vital to the communications marketplace, providing services to connect millions of American homes and businesses. “To ensure the U.S. leadership, we need to foster a regulatory environment that encourages innovation and guarantees that the reliable services they provide remain available to combat bad actors seeking to undermine our national interests.” SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE “This Subcommittee is at the forefront of protecting and enhancing technological innovation in the U.S. “We’re responsible for overseeing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “In recent years, the satellite marketplace has seen a surge of investment because of a combination of lower launch costs to innovations that have made satellites more affordable, reliable, and available. “Some estimates show the space industry could triple to a $1.4 trillion market within a decade. “The FCC has received dozens of applications for new NGSO satellite systems, indicating that the industry is ready to lead in this space. “American satellite operators are providing in-home broadband at faster speeds than ever before as well as key voice and data services to these industries and the Federal government. “Both longstanding operators and newer entrants have made or announced significant investments in next-generation systems. “It’s been far too long since Congress reassessed the role of satellite technology in the communications marketplace and whether or not our regulatory environment encourages investment and innovation in the space economy, or hampers it. “Today’s hearing is our first step in what will be a robust effort to evaluate the state of the satellite marketplace.” LEADING A NEW ERA OF AMERICAN INNOVATION “Many existing and proposed satellite systems raise novel questions about the use of space and spectrum that the FCC’s rules do not address. “For example, large non-geostationary orbit, or NGSO, satellite systems use spectrum more intensely than other types of satellite systems. “These NGSO systems are required to share spectrum, and the rules that govern sharing will be a critical ingredient to their success. “Moreover, the satellite marketplace is global. “Operators from around the world need to be able to license in many different regions, including the U.S. “Because of the global nature of the satellite industry, we need to consider international considerations on the use of spectrum as well as orbital resources that are unique to the industry. “We must lead in this industry, and we must ensure that our regulations encourage this innovation, rather than stifle it. “I look forward to hearing more from our witnesses about the industry and how this Committee can be a partner to promote U.S. leadership, competition, and innovation in satellite communications.”


Trending Subcommittees

Innovation, Data, and Commerce


3 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


5 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


11 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


Jan 18, 2023
Press Release

Chair Rodgers: GAO Gain-of-Function Research Report Affirms Our Concerns with HHS P3CO Framework

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) offered the following statement after the Government Accountability Office issued a report titled “ HHS Could Improve Oversight of Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens ,” which is commonly referred to as “gain-of-function" research.  “Today’s watchdog report affirms many of my concerns with the secretive HHS board that purportedly reviews risky research projects from federal agencies. So far, the risky research proposals of concern only appear to be funded by the National Institutes of Health, specifically by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The American public deserve to know to what extent their tax dollars are being used to fund pathogenic research that has the potential to cause a pandemic. Whether or not the U.S. government played any role—directly or indirectly—in the creation of COVID-19, our committee’s investigation is uncovering a host of issues that require more attention. Thankfully, we were able to enact some commonsense prohibitions regarding where and how this type of research is funded, but we will continue pushing for more accountability and oversight to start rebuilding public trust in these research agencies.”  KEY EXCERPT FROM GAO REPORT : By working with its funding agencies to identify and share non-sensitive information about how HHS, in coordination with its funding agencies, conducts reviews and makes funding recommendations, researchers, Congress, and the public would have greater assurance that departmental review provides meaningful and effective suggestions to address biosafety and biosecurity concerns about research involving enhanced potential pandemic pathogens. Moreover, doing so could enhance public confidence in the department’s oversight as well as ensure the agency’s goal to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.  Chair Rodgers, along with Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA) wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xaiver Becerra in April of 2022, raising concerns on the “flawed and overly secretive review process of whether risky research for potential pandemic pathogens can be conducted safely and have a justifiable benefit.”  KEY LETTER EXCERPT : “Dr. Chris Hassell, the HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the chair of the HHS P3CO review committee, briefed the committee staff twice during the summer of 2021. During the briefings, when asked about the identities of the members, Dr. Hassell did not provide the names of the members of the review group. However, he indicated which agencies or departments were represented on the HHS P3CO Review Committee. Dr. Hassell noted there were members from the NIH on the review committee, but he specifically pointed out that the NIH members were from the Office of the Director and not from any of the NIH institutes or centers that would be funding entities to avoid conflict-of-interest concerns.   “The minority committee staff requested that HHS provide the names and affiliations of all members of the HHS P3CO review committee. In response, HHS provided some of the names of the HHS P3CO review committee, but on a confidential basis because of personal security concerns.”  You can read the full letter here . 



Jan 17, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Turn Up the Heat and Demand Biden Stop Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves

President Biden wants to control every aspect of our lives—from what kind of cars we can drive, how we can heat our homes, and now how we’re allowed to cook food for our families. Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is looking to ban gas stoves from American homes across the country. This is just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical Left. It's not about public safety, but rather about telling the American people the federal government knows what’s best. Nearly 35% of homes in the U.S. – more than 40 million Americans – use a natural gas stove. That’s why Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 86 of her House Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden demanding the administration reverse any attempts to ban gas stoves. Chair Rodgers also sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) echoing these concerns.  Highlights and excerpts from the Fox Business exclusive coverage on the letter to President Biden : Furious lawmakers are calling on President Biden to cease any efforts by his administration to ban natural gas stoves inside Americans' homes. Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the president Friday writing in "strong opposition" to reported efforts by regulators to ban natural gas appliances. "This kind of intrusion into the homes of Americans by the federal government as a way of forcing rush-to-green, liberal policies is the ‘nanny state’ at its worst," the Republicans wrote. "Banning natural gas stoves is not about public safety – it is another example of government control; like other policies we have seen from your administration, to tell Americans what kinds of cars they can drive, how they heat their homes, and how to live their lives." The Biden administration caused an uproar over gas stoves earlier this week after a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested regulators were considering banning the appliance due to health and safety concerns. From E&E News : House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is already making plans to bring the issue before her committee. “I’m quite concerned,” Rodgers told E&E News. “I think we need to dig into this more and probably bring them in and ask some questions.” CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 11th statement on President Biden’s plan to ban gas stoves. CLICK HERE to read House Republicans’ January 13th letter to President Biden. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 13th letter to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.



Dec 20, 2022
Letter

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Question Peer-to-Peer Delivery Services on Fentanyl Deliveries

Last year, more than 100,000 individuals died from drug overdoses with 71,000 lives lost due to overdoses caused by fentanyl or its analogues. Many of the transactions of this dangerous drug have been facilitated online. In response to recent reports of Uber Connect being used to deliver drugs, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leaders sent letters questioning peer-to-peer (P2P) delivery services on what actions they’re taking to prevent their services from being used for transporting illegal drugs, including illicit fentanyl.  In the letters, led by Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), Subcommittee on Health Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), the members highlight the story of Ann Portillo, who lost her 22-year-old daughter, Alex, to a fentanyl poisoning. Alex received the drugs through Uber Connect.  Letters were sent to the CEOs of Uber, Lyft, Roadie, and Alto.  NBC News reported exclusively on the letters:   NBC— House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to Uber asking the tech company to explain what steps it is taking in response to drivers' complaints that they’re being asked to deliver packages they suspect to be drugs.   The letter from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee cites reporting from NBC News that described the concerns of drivers as well as the case of a 22-year-old Arizona woman who died from an overdose of fentanyl that her mother said was delivered via Uber Connect, a courier service that the San Francisco-based ride-hailing app started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic so that people could send small items across town.   […]   The letter asks Uber to explain what actions the company has taken in response to drivers' complaints about suspected drugs; how the company would work with law enforcement in such a scenario; how many accounts Uber has deactivated as a result of users sending prohibited items; what information Uber collects about packages; and many other questions.   “Just as we have asked social media companies to do their part to curb the sale of drugs on their platforms, Uber must act to ensure Uber Connect is not used to transport untracked shipments of illicit drugs to Americans,” the lawmakers wrote.   The Hill— They said they have supported the development of new technologies and the benefits that the gig economy provides people, but noted that bad actors might take advantage of the service to send harmful products to unaware recipients.   The representatives said that GOP members of the committee previously sent letters to the heads of social media companies on their responsibility to address the spread of fentanyl but that the “crisis” is not just limited to the scope of such companies.   They asked for information including an explanation of the agreement terms for participants of Uber Connect, the number of accounts that have been deactivated after shipping packages with prohibited contents and what information from the sender and recipient Uber Connect gathers.   CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Uber.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Lyft.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Roadie.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Alto.