Strengthening the Economy
A growing economy provides more opportunity for more Americans. We’re working to strengthen our economy and create more good-paying jobs by rebuilding America, leveling the playing field for small businesses, expanding diversity in key industries and investing in clean energy jobs.
- Restoring a free and open internet to spark innovation and protect small businesses: Passed through Full Committee and Communications and Technology Subcommittee the Save the Internet Act, which was then passed by the House on April 10, 2019, by a vote of 232-190.
- Ensuring U.S. economy is not left behind in transition to green energy economy: Passed through Full Committee H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which prevents President Trump from withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. With nearly 200 nations party to the Agreement, we can either lead that transition or watch as American workers and industries get left behind. The bill was passed by the House on May 2, 2019, by a roll call vote of 231 - 190.
- Rebuilding America through a comprehensive infrastructure package that combats climate change, expands broadband access, and protects public health and the environment: On May 22, 2019, the Committee held a Full Committee hearing on the Committee Democrats’ The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act to discuss the bill and how it will move us toward a clean energy future. Many of these priorities were included in H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which passed by the House on July 1 of this year by a roll call vote of 233 – 188. This legislation will help stimulate our economy and create good paying jobs as our nation struggles through a severe economic downturn.
- Improving America’s broadband maps to improve telecommunications services: The Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 (S. 893) and the Broadband DATA Act (S. 1822) were signed into law on March 23, 2020. S. 1822 includes two bipartisan bills passed through the Full Committee to ensure the reliability of our nation’s broadband maps. Accurately mapping the availability of broadband internet service is essential to promote the deployment of high-speed service to Americans living in unserved and underserved areas.
- Protecting workers from dangerous chemicals: Held a hearing on March 13, 2019, on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mismanagement of chemical risks and its failure to protect workers. With more than 50,000 workers dying each year from occupational diseases, Committee leaders made the case that protecting our economy starts by protecting our workforce.
- Protecting consumers and workers by banning asbestos now. On May 8, 2019, held a legislative hearing on H.R. 1603, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, which would completely ban the manufacture, import, processing and distribution of asbestos. Asbestos is a toxic substance that kills nearly 40,000 Americans every year. The bill passed Full Committee with a 47-1 vote.
- Creating a diverse energy workforce: Favorably reported ten energy bills to the full House of Representatives, including the "Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act," which invests in a diverse workforce – training a new generation in the areas of wind energy, energy efficiency and grid modernization – the very areas in greatest need of support as we transition to clean energy.
- Examining the impact of mergers on jobs, consumers and competition: The Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on February 13, 2019, to explore the effects of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger on jobs, innovation, costs to consumers and competition.
- Promoting travel and tourism and stopping consumer fraud: Passed through the Subcommittee and Full Committee two bills, H.R. 3851 and H.R. 4779, to reauthorize the Brand USA program and the U.S. SAFE WEB Act. The Brand USA program promotes travel to the United States and the SAFE WEB Act enhances the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ability to collaborate with foreign law enforcement agencies to go after foreign actors engaged in consumer fraud and deception. The House passed H.R. 4779, the bill to reauthorize the SAFE WEB Act, on December 16, 2019, and H.R. 3851, the bill to reauthorize the Brand USA program, was included in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package that passed the House.
- Exploring the lack of diversity in the technology industry and its impact on our economy: The Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee held a hearing on March 6, 2019, about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. People of color, women and older Americans are largely absent from this workforce, and the decisions these companies make impact our economy in many ways.
- Securing America’s wireless future: Passed through the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Full Committee six bills to ensure our nation’s continued dominance in wireless communication, including H.R. 4998, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, a bill to secure our telecommunications supply chain. The bills ensure that the government will work more efficiently to promote wireless innovation and better serve all Americans, as well as guarantee our networks are secure from foreign adversaries that may wish to do us harm. H.R. 4998 passed the House by voice vote on December 16, 2019.
- Improving spectrum and wireless infrastructure: Favorably reported seven communication bills and one House Resolution out of the Full Committee to the House floor that will make Americans safer, improve the security of wireless infrastructure and modernize federal spectrum management.
- Enhancing the Security of our electric grid: Passed four bills out of the Subcommittee and Full Committee to enhance the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure by protecting it against cyberattacks. Collectively, the bills modernize the electric grid by investing in much-needed upgrades, create a new Department of Energy (DOE) program to enhance the physical and cyber security of electric utilities, and establish a new DOE Assistant Secretary position with jurisdiction over all energy emergency and security functions.
- Addressing needs of tribal communities: Held a Full Committee hearing to examine our nation’s tribal communities and how they are suffering terrible health inequities, unequal access to safe drinking water, unreliable access to the energy grid, little to no broadband connectivity, unreliable funding from the federal government and other systemic problems that have created unnecessary hardship and turmoil.
- Leading on COVID-19 relief: Passed the HEROES Act that would build out national testing and contact tracing by finally requiring the Administration to develop comprehensive plans, with clear benchmarks and timelines. Additionally, had stimulus packages signed into law by President Trump, including the CARES Act that included $100 billion to our hospitals and $16 billion for personal protective equipment and other resources for our courageous health care workers so they can safely treat patients. Learn more about the Committee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.