Conducting Robust Oversight
We’re conducting robust oversight to examine how to rebuild and restore critical functions of key agencies that were dismantled during the four years of the Trump Administration. We continue to work to ensure that Washington is working for the people not the special interests.
- Investigated the Texas power crisis and the importance of making the nation’s electric grid more resilient: Following a letter to Texas Governor Gregg Abbott demanding answers on the power outage crisis and a letter to Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) inquiring about its role in the extreme weather event, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on March 24, 2021, examining the failures that occurred as well as what lessons must be learned to prevent history from repeating itself.
- Conducting oversight and reforming Big Tech: Held a joint Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Committee Democrats continued to hold online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation. This hearing followed previous oversight letters to Facebook and YouTube. In December 2021, the Committee held two hearings on legislative proposals to hold Big Tech accountable and promote a safe and open internet.
- Held an oversight hearing with six oil company executives on rising gas prices as the companies have record profits: The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on April 6, 2022, with six oil company executives. Committee members questioned the executives on their companies’ roles in choosing to keep production low so that their own profits stay high. Committee Democrats continue to work hard to protect Americans from oil price spikes by curbing our dependence on oil and transition to renewable energy, which is more stable, affordable, and generated right here at home.
- Examined social media’s role in promoting extremism and misinformation: Held a joint Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Committee Democrats continued to hold online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation. This hearing followed previous oversight letters to Facebook and YouTube.
- Examined how to restore the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it was seriously undermined during the Trump Administration: The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on how to rebuild the EPA and undo the damage done to the agency over the last four years.
- Conducted oversight on alarmingly high shutoff rates during COVID-19 pandemic: Committee leaders wrote to six utility companies demanding answers for high customer shutoff rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee leaders explained that the utilities had made assurances at the start of the pandemic, both to the public and to the Committee, that a federal mandatory shutoff moratorium was not necessary because a patchwork of state and local moratoriums had already begun to take shape and was sufficient to address shutoff concerns.
- Held four oversight hearings on availability, distribution, and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as vaccine hesitancy: The first three hearings examined how states, vaccine manufacturers, and the Biden Administration are working to increase COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure they are equitably distributed. The vaccine hesitancy hearing examined how to continue building trust in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, reduce access barriers and encourage unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.
- Committee Democrats take action to protect the health of America’s babies: On May 25, 2022, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on the infant formula shortage to better understand the causes of the shortage, what has been done to increase production and supply thus far, and what more still needs to be done to ensure access to safe formula across the nation. The Committee heard from the Food and Drug Administration and industry executives on what needs to be done to ensure this never happens again.
- Demanded answers on cyberattacks: Bipartisan Committee leaders sent a letter to federal agencies within the Committee’s jurisdiction seeking additional information on the impacts of the SolarWinds cyberattack. Following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, Committee leaders organized a bipartisan briefing with Department of Energy (DOE) officials to better understand the impact its closure had across the country.
- Bipartisan leaders wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Hospital Price Transparency: The Committee sent a bipartisan letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra regarding implementation of the Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2021, and the need to ensure that hospitals are complying with the new rule. The letter urged HHS to enforce the final rule to ensure hospitals are fully compliant with the disclosure requirements so that patients can readily access the price information for all items and services in an easy-to-use format.
- Committee investigates new Alzheimer’s drug pricing and approval: The Committee, along with the Committee on Oversight and Reform, began an investigation into the approval and pricing of Biogen Inc.’s Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm on June 25, 2021. The Committees will be looking to better understand why this drug was approved, how Biogen set its price and what impact this will have on research for future Alzheimer’s treatments and federal health care programs.
- Examining the well-being of unaccompanied children: The Biden Administration inherited unprecedented immigration challenges and is now tasked with humanely caring for and processing unaccompanied children seeking refuge. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on June 9, 2021, to hear the current challenges and to ensure the Administration receives the resources and support it needs to properly care for these children.
- Responding to the nation’s mental health crisis: The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on February 17, 2022, to examine the need for mental health care and the continued obstacles that Americans face to access care. The Subcommittee discussed the work Congress did in 2021 in passing bills that would support the mental health needs of health care providers and students, address inequities in services, and support access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its new 988 dialing code launching this summer, and what more needs to be done.