Conducting Robust Oversight
We’re conducting vigorous oversight, so Washington works again for the people not the special interests. We’re holding the Trump Administration accountable for the cost of its culture of corruption that hurts regular Americans and undermines critical health care, environmental and consumer protections.
- Demanding answers on the skyrocketing price of insulin: Held two-part hearing on the skyrocketing cost of insulin with patient advocates, manufacturers and pharmacy middlemen. Committee leaders also sent oversight letters to pharmaceutical companies requesting answers on the root causes of rising costs.
- Investigating junk Short-Term Insurance Plans that put consumers at risk: Committee leaders are conducting an ongoing investigation into junk insurance plans expanded by the Trump Administration that may be misleading consumers into purchasing plans that leave them with significant financial risk.
- Conducting oversight of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) role in carrying out the Trump Administration’s inhumane Family Separation Policy: The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee is conducting an ongoing investigation into family separation including questioning key HHS officials on their role in implementing the policy and their chaotic efforts to reunify children with their families.
- Successfully Urged HHS Inspector General to investigate Administrator Verma’s use of millions of taxpayer dollars on GOP consultants: Chairman Pallone requested the Inspector General review whether Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma adhered to federal regulations and ethics requirements, which the Inspector General agreed to do in a letter to bicameral Committee leaders.
- Demanding answers from HHS on Title X family planning services grants awarded in March. The Title X program provides grant funding to providers that offer high-quality family planning and essential preventive health care services in their communities. Committee leaders are concerned that the Trump Administration continues to place political ideology over the well-being of women and families across the nation. The Administration’s attacks on this program were under the microscope at a hearing in June.
- Holding the Trump Administration accountable for health care sabotage: On October 16, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing with CMS Administrator Verma to question her over the Administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine American’s health care.
- Accountability for e-cigarette manufacturers: the Committee sent letters to the five dominant e-cigarette manufacturers requesting information on each of the companies’ research into the public health impacts of their products, marketing practices, and role in the promotion of e-cigarette use by adolescents. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee also held a hearing with FDA, CDC, and state public health officials on the threat posed by e-cigarettes.
- Examining the Trump EPA’s efforts to undermine mercury protections and how that is endangering human health and the environment. Held an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on May 21 on a recent EPA proposal that says limiting mercury and other air toxics from coal and oil-fired power plants is not “appropriate and necessary.”
- Protecting consumers from contaminated drugs: Bipartisan Committee leaders asked FDA for a briefing on a series of recalls that appear to involve possible contaminated drugs manufactured overseas. In June, bipartisan Committee leaders requested GAO review FDA’s drug inspection program.
- Investigating failures at Indian Health Service Hospitals (IHS): Bipartisan Committee leaders are conducting a review of reports of medical errors and systemic failures at IHS hospitals. The Committee requested updates on corrective actions taken to date as well as updates on the agency’s strategy to ensure improvements are made at IHS facilities nationwide.
- Investigating EPA’s lack of enforcement measures: Grilled EPA on its stark enforcement record, demanding to know why it is conducting the fewest investigations of any EPA in recent times and relying on industry to voluntarily come forward with their violations. In June, the Committee brought together a bipartisan group of former EPA Administrators to hear precisely why the Trump EPA’s actions – and lack thereof – are so troubling for an agency whose work is based on science.
- Investigating EPA officials’ ties to secretive industry group: Committee leaders sent a series of letters demanding information and documents related to William Wehrum’s and David Harlow’s relationship with the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), a secretive front group funded by utility companies and devoted to rolling back Clean Air Act regulations. On May 10, in the face of this Congressional scrutiny, UARG announced that it was disbanding. Wehrum, EPA’s top air policy official, resigned shortly thereafter.
- Demanding an investigation into the Administration’s failure to finalize oil spill protocols: Wrote to GAO in August demanding that they investigate EPA’s failure to finalize critical oil spill protocols related to the use of chemical dispersants. Given the Administration’s efforts to rollback offshore drilling regulations, and increase offshore drilling, ensuring the federal government is ready to adequately respond to a spill has become more important than ever.
- Conducting oversight of EPA’s efforts to change Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) procedures to benefit industry: Committee leaders sent a letter in August demanding an explanation for EAB procedure changes that would prevent affected citizens and communities from being able to file permit appeals. These changes could leave the federal court system as communities’ only venue for dispute resolution, making the appeals process financially untenable for many.
- Demanding answers from EPA on the Agency’s efforts to systemically weaken the role of science: In September, Committee leaders demanded documents and answers related to EPA’s ongoing attempts to discredit science and undermine independent scientists’ role in developing environmental protections. Specifically, they requested information pertaining to the Agency’s decision to disband the panel of independent science experts that typically supports the work of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC).
- Requesting a GAO investigation of the FCC’s response to communications failures in U.S. territories following Hurricane Maria: In October, Chairman Pallone and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Doyle requested a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) response to Hurricane Maria, which raised serious questions about the state of our telecommunications infrastructure.