News

All Updates


Apr 17, 2024

Witness Spotlight: Ava Smithing

Tune in to the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Legislative Hearing on Proposals to Protect People Online Meet Ava Smithing.   A Nashville, Tennessee-native, she grew up playing volleyball, including at the Stevens Institute of Technology where she earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 2023.  She’s now among those leading the charge to ensure that Americans—especially young people—can use social media platforms without being targeted or manipulated.   In her role as Director of Advocacy at the Young People’s Alliance, Ava is stepping up to confront a challenge that she and so many other young people face today: social media companies exploiting Americans’ mental health.  Big Tech platforms collected and then weaponized Ava’s data—like her age, location, and gender—against her. According to Ava, “they used my data to infer what other types of ads and content I might ‘like,’ leading me down a pipeline from bikini ads, to exercise videos, to dieting tips, and finally to eating disorder content.”  By monitoring her post engagements and what she spent time viewing, social media companies could track Ava’s vulnerabilities. These platforms were able to drive her into a downward spiral that resulted in a threat to her well-being. In her case, watching one video for just a little too long encouraged the algorithm to funnel harmful content into Ava’s feed.  Ava says, “How was I—a 14-year-old child—supposed to understand that social media platforms would use my age, location, and gender to target me with advertisements designed to instill insecurity in me?”  Today, Ava is flipping the script. As an advocate, she is leading to promote kids’ safety online through a national data privacy standard so people can control their data and be protected from manipulative algorithms.  Last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced a comprehensive data privacy bill, the American Privacy Rights Act.    Support for establishing privacy rights has more momentum than ever, in no small part because people like Ava are speaking up about the consequences of companies’ unchecked power.  Among its protections, the American Privacy Rights Act will establish the ability for users opt-out of targeted advertising. Ava said that if such an option existed when she first joined social media, she may never have been put in harm’s way.  The bill also requires companies to review their algorithms to ensure they do not endanger children through malicious content suggestions. This will stop the downward spiral that exploits so many children online.  The Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a legislative hearing at 10:00 AM today to consider proposals to protect kids online and advance strong comprehensive data privacy protections. Ava Smithing will highlight why these proposals are critical for Americans who want to use the internet without being targeted and manipulated by the sites they visit. Be sure to tune in! 



Apr 16, 2024

Subcommittee Chair Griffith Opening Remarks on CMS Improper Payments

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled "Examining How Improper Payments Cost Taxpayers Billions and Weaken Medicare and Medicaid." “Today’s hearing is an opportunity to examine improper payments within the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  “Economic outlooks forecast the deficit in this country will balloon to $1.8 trillion, equating to 6.8 percent of the GDP by 2024. Given these fiscal realities, financial mismanagement cannot be tolerated.  “Improper payments, whether because of deliberate fraud, mistake, or an inaccurate amount, is a pervasive problem across the federal government.”  PERVASIVE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE   “Since Fiscal Year 2003, federal agencies have reported an estimated $2.7 trillion in total improper payments.  “A recent Government Accountability Office report disclosed that in Fiscal Year 2023 alone, government-wide improper payments amounted to $236 billion.  “This underscores the scale of the problem and just how bad the federal government’s internal controls are—a concern that the GAO has been raising since 1997.  “Furthermore, in a separate GAO report published in February of this year, the Comptroller General stated, ‘Congress and the administration must act to move the nation off the untenable long-term fiscal course on which it is currently operating.'  “GAO also stated, ‘The federal debt level is growing at a rate that threatens the vitality of our nation’s economy and the safety and well-being of the American people.'  “I could not agree more with that sentiment.   “For Fiscal Year 2023, GAO reports Medicare reporting approximately $51.1 billion—let me repeat that $51.1 billion in improper payments and Medicaid reporting $50.3 billion in improper payments.  " These staggering figures not only highlight the magnitude of the problem but also signal deep-rooted systemic issues at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.”   FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY TO TAXPAYERS   “Amidst the highest inflation in decades and facing increased costs across all fronts, the government's fiscal irresponsibility here is unacceptable. Americans deserve better.  “Today, we aim to identify measures that can enhance oversight and address the long-standing problem of improper payments plaguing CMS.  “Ensuring the integrity of our health care system is paramount; every dollar lost to an improper payment is a dollar not spent on life-saving care, innovative treatments, and essential services for our citizens.   “Recent audits by the HHS OIG underscore the severity of the issue, revealing that Medicare incorrectly compensated acute-care hospitals for inpatient claims that should have been subject to the post-acute-care transfer policy, resulting in $41.4 million in overpayments because of the misuse of discharge status codes.    “Furthermore, investigations found that in just two years, California and New York alone were responsible for $1.7 billion in Medicaid payments to approximately 1.6 million ineligible recipients, with an additional estimated $4.3 billion directed towards nearly 4 million potentially ineligible enrollees.”  SAFEGUARDING AMERICA’S RESOURCES   “Our duty is to ensure that not only are these funds recovered, but that stringent preventive measures are put in place.  “It is critical that we implement rigorous oversight and accountability mechanisms.  “This hearing will also address challenges posed by Medicaid state financing mechanisms.   “Insights from the HHS Inspector general suggest that diligent oversight can mitigate and even reduce improper payments.  “By embracing modern solutions and fostering innovation in monitoring and compliance, the federal government can significantly deter fraud, waste, and abuse. It’s clear that as health care evolves, our strategies for safeguarding its resources must as well.  “Combating improper payments will require a multifaceted strategy including improved data sharing, enhanced provider education, and stronger audit mechanisms.   “Each of these actions has to work together to be effective.  “In our federal system where states play such an important role, leveraging technology and fostering collaboration between federal and state agencies, and health care providers will be crucial for fraud prevention and program integrity.  “I hope that all of my colleagues here today will agree on the importance of ensuring Medicare and Medicaid’s program integrity.   “As Congress, it is our job to ensure that federal dollars are spent effectively and appropriately, ultimately leading to improved access and quality of care.”   “It’s time to increase our use of transparency and innovative data tracking to reduce the amount of improper payments in CMS and ensure that every taxpayer’s dollar is allocated correctly and with precision and purpose.” 



Apr 16, 2024
Health

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on Health Care Cybersecurity

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee hearing titled "Examining Health Sector Cybersecurity In The Wake Of The Change Healthcare Attack."   “Thank you to everyone for being here today as we discuss cybersecurity in health care and the recent Change Healthcare cyberattack.   “While I am disappointed that UnitedHealth Group chose not to make anyone available to testify today, so the Committee and the American people could hear directly from them about how that specific cyberattack occurred, I will note UnitedHealth briefed E&C members recently on the matter and have committed to testifying at a future hearing.  “Health care cybersecurity was already a concern before the Change attack, and I look forward to today’s discussion about what the federal government, doctors, hospitals, and others have done right and where there is opportunity to improve the resiliency of the health care sector.”  CHANGE CYBERATTACK   “The Change Healthcare cyberattack is just the most recent case of ransomware targeting our health care system, and, due to Change’s integration with so many of the health care providers and payers, it is still impacting providers and health care organizations across the country.   “I have heard concerns from providers, rural hospitals, and many others, all worried about what this cyberattack means for them.   “And just this morning, the Change Health hackers were posting stolen data from the ransomware attack.  “There are still many unanswered questions and lessons to be learned from this attack.   “How did this attack gain entry to the Change system?   “How can hospitals, doctors, and others best protect themselves?   “What other third parties do our nation’s health care providers rely upon that, if taken offline, could have a similarly negative impact on the U.S. health care system?”  HEALTH SYSTEM CONTEXT FOR CHANGE   “Health care infrastructure is crucial for patients receiving the care they need, and, sadly, this will likely not be the last breach or ransomware attack that will happen.   “Patient data is valuable, and it is housed online.   “That is why we must continue to examine health care cybersecurity and make sure that patient data remains protected.   “HHS has overall responsibility for ensuring cybersecurity within health care across the U.S. federal government, and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, or ASPR, has been designated as the ‘one-stop shop’ responsible for leading and coordinating the cybersecurity efforts—both within HHS and with external partners.  “However, there seems to be multiple offices and agencies that have some role in our cyber response.  “The Office of Civil Rights, the HHS Chief Information Officer, the Office of the National Coordinator, and, in this most recent response, CMS, all played a role.  “As our health care system becomes more consolidated, the impacts of cyberattacks—if successful—may be more widespread, pulling in even more agencies and offices within HHS.”  E&C CYBER WORK   “This Committee has led at examining cybersecurity across all sectors.   “In 2019, Congress made explicit that part of the responsibilities of ASPR is preparedness and response to cyber threats.   “In 2020, a bill led by Dr. Burgess, which passed through this Committee, encouraged health care organizations to adopt strong cybersecurity best-practices.   “Last Congress, this committee worked to give FDA more authority over cyber security of medical devices.  “And more recently, in the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act reported by this committee, we made it explicit that cybersecurity should be considered and prioritized as part of ASPR’s National Health Security Strategy, and the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue leading the way in examining this issue.   “I hope we can use this hearing today to learn more about the Change Healthcare cyberattack and the response.   “Is this a unique situation?   “What do providers and patients need to know and look out for?   “I don’t want this committee to be back here in five or 10 years, after more patients’ health care is disrupted by known criminal actors finding vulnerabilities in the cyber security of our health system.  “To prevent that, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about:   “What can health care learn from other sectors?   “Are there more federal authorities HHS needs?   “What is the best balance to get better adoption of existing cybersecurity practices?  “I look forward to the discussion today and yield back.”



Apr 16, 2024

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on CMS Improper Payments

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing titled "Examining How Improper Payments Cost Taxpayers Billions and Weaken Medicare and Medicaid." “Today’s hearing gets to the heart of a dire concern: the fiscal health of this nation.   “Each dollar misappropriated, spent improperly, or diverted from its intended use, only further burdens our already staggering national debt.   “In the case of improper payments in Medicare and Medicaid, it also a threat to the long-term ability of these programs to provide quality care for our nation's vulnerable populations.  “For Medicare, especially, this cuts into the solvency of the program, which is currently slated to run out of money in 2031.”  ONGOING EFFORTS   “House Republicans have been raising the alarm on the need to address improper payments for years.   “This Committee has sent multiple letters to Inspector General Grimm’s office on issues, such as payments to deceased beneficiaries and those enrolled across multiple states.  “We’re probing options for how states might strengthen their systems for beneficiary verification and eligibility detection.”  SCOPE OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS   “It’s appalling to see the government’s disregard for taxpayer funds.   “Since 2005, the federal government has recorded a staggering $2.7 trillion in improper payments, a clear and unacceptable systemic failure.  “This mismanagement indicates not only a lack of internal control but also a severe deficiency in program integrity that undermines public trust in government.  “Federal-state cooperation is vital in health care delivery, and I hope our hearing today will inform ideas to strengthen that partnership.   “However, my frustration mounts with an administration that seems to prioritize spending sprees over meaningful stewardship of taxpayer’s hard-earned money.”  UNANSWERED BUDGET NEUTRALITY QUESTIONS   “For instance, the administration significantly altered the 'budget neutrality' policy within Medicaid's Section 1115 demonstrations.   “Despite these changes, they have not updated the guidance outlined in an August 2018 letter to State Medicaid Directors, which is still listed on the CMS website as the current policy.  “This letter originally set forth the rules for calculating budget neutrality in Medicaid demonstrations, ensuring that these initiatives do not result in increased federal spending.   “The failure to update this guidance leaves states and the public relying on outdated information, potentially leading to misunderstandings and misalignments with the actual fiscal policy being implemented.   “Budget neutrality ensures that any new health care initiative under these demonstrations won't cost the federal government more money than existing programs.   “These unexpected changes have profoundly changed policy frameworks that dictate the allocation of billions in taxpayer dollars.   “This approach to policy making, which implicates significant taxpayer funds, is concerning.   “I extend my gratitude to the Comptroller General for addressing this critical matter in his written statement, underlining the pressing need for transparency and fiscal responsibility in managing these significant policy shifts.  “Despite our Committee's efforts, most notably through an October 2023 inquiry to CMS, our questions have been met with a disappointing silence.   “This lack of communication is just another example of this administration's reluctance to engage in good faith with congressional oversight and uphold a standard of transparency that is critical for public trust and the responsible management of taxpayer dollars.   “We are at a crossroads where continued inaction is not just irresponsible, it threatens the future of these critical benefits.   “Today, we seek answers to shortcomings in transparency, accountability, and fiscal prudence.  “Today, not only will we continue to highlight these issues, we will talk about what we are doing to address them through robust oversight and smart policy solutions.”



Apr 16, 2024
Health

Subcommittee Chair Guthrie Opening Remarks on Health Care Cyber Security

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled "Examining Health Sector Cybersecurity in the Wake of the Change Healthcare Attack." “Today we will hear from industry experts and health care providers, large and small, about our health care cybersecurity. This is especially important considering recent events.”  CHANGE HEALTHCARE RANSOMWARE ATACK CAUSED SIGNIFICANT DISRUPTION FOR PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS   “On February 21, our health care system experienced one of the largest cyberattacks known to date.    “Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth, experienced a ransomware attack that resulted in substantial disruption to the health care industry.   “UnitedHealth Group took three key systems offline, impacting claims processing, payment and billing, and eligibility verifications.   “The disruption that ensued caused patients to go without access to medications or experiencing higher than expected out of pocket costs for these daily medications.   “Providers—large and small—went unpaid, and in some cases still haven’t been made whole—and patients experienced delays accessing care they otherwise would be eligible to receive.    “To put this in greater context, Change Healthcare alone processed 15 billion health care claims annually, that are linked to providers and hospitals across the country.   “My office and I have personally heard from constituents impacted. In one such instance, an independent provider in my hometown of Bowling Green is still grappling with the fallout from the attack.   “His practice is losing staff because they can’t make payroll while systems are still getting back online. I am concerned that we still don’t know how much sensitive information may have been compromised.  “I am committed to continuing our work alongside the Department of Health and Human Services and our private sector partners, including United Health, to assess the damage caused by the ransomware attack.”   CYBER ATTACKS HAVE BEEN ON THE RISE IN RECENT YEARS   “I am equally committed to working to ensure health care providers are doing all they can to stop these ransomware attacks in their tracks.   “These attacks are nothing new to the health care system. According to HHS data, large data breaches increased by more than 93 percent between 2018-2022, with a 278 percent increase in large breaches reported to HHS’ Office of Civil Rights involving ransomware from 2018 to 2022.   “One of the primary drivers of the alarming increase in ransomware attacks is the payout the perpetrators demand in exchange for retrieving the stolen information, which in the case of the Change attack, allegedly resulted in a $22 million pay day for the sophisticated dark web group AlphV.   “The average health care data breach now costs an average of $10 million, which has increased by 53 percent in the past three years according to a 2023 report by IBM.   “The federal government’s response to protect against cyberthreats targeting our health care system has been lagging relative to the serious threat posed by such threats, especially by adversarial nations.   “A July 2022 alert issued by key national security agencies underscored this reality, uncovering that a North Korean state-sponsored ransomware attack targeted assets responsible for housing electronic health records, diagnostic services, and imaging services.   “Another attack against an Ohio-based health system led to the cancelation of surgeries and diverted care for patients seeking emergency services.”  THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST BE PROACTIVE AND PARTNER WITH INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS TO PREVENT FUTURE ATTACKS   “The Biden administration published a National Strategy document last year outlining steps the federal government will take to bolster our cyber readiness.   “That culminated in HHS issuing a four-step plan to strengthen our health care cyber defenses in December of last year, including establishing voluntary sector cybersecurity performance goals, providing resources to incentivize and implement best practices, and increasing enforcement and accountability efforts within the agency.   “I think we need to be very deliberate when thinking through the balance of incentives and penalties and accountability.    “To be clear, I appreciate the administration’s continued work in this critical space.   “However, I can’t help but wonder if we could have avoided the most recent event if these steps were taken much sooner.     “While I don’t ever believe it is ever too little, too late, we have our work cut out for us to ensure our health care system is a global leader in cybersecurity and patient safety and Americans’ privacy remains front and center.”



Apr 16, 2024
Hearings

Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone Announce Plans for Bipartisan Legislative Hearing on AM Radio

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ) today announced plans to hold a legislative hearing on April 30 titled “Draft Legislation to Preserve Americans’ Access to AM Radio.”  “Communities across the country, especially rural communities, rely on AM radio service for critical information. It plays an essential role during public emergencies when other alert systems that rely on the electric grid and cellphone networks don’t work, which is why it's so alarming that some auto manufacturers are considering not installing AM radios in new cars," said Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone. "We look forward to working together to preserve Americans’ access to this vital source of information.”  Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce legislative hearing titled “Draft Legislation to Preserve Americans’ Access to AM Radio.”   WHAT: Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce legislative hearing on draft legislation to preserve Americans' access to AM radio in new cars.  DATE: Tuesday, April 30, 2024  Legislative proposals to be considered include:   H.R. __ , the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2024  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 Jessica Herron at Jessica.Herron@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at Sean.Kelly@mail.house.gov .  



Apr 15, 2024
Press Release

Bipartisan E&C Committee Leaders Seek Answers from UnitedHealth Group on Change Healthcare Cyberattack

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Ranking Member Kathy Castor (D-FL) wrote to UnitedHealth Group, Inc., CEO Andrew Witty today seeking information about the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. Change Healthcare, which was acquired by UnitedHealth Group’s Optum subsidiary in 2022, is one of the nation’s largest providers of health care payment management systems. On February 21, UnitedHealth Group reported it had experienced a cyberattack on its platforms, and it had taken all Change Healthcare systems offline to contain the incident. As a result of the outage, critical services affecting patient care—including billing services, claims transmittals, and eligibility verifications—became inoperable. Though UnitedHealth first notified users that it expected the disruption to “last at least through the day,” several of the company’s products have now been inoperable for more than a month. “Change Healthcare is a central player in the country’s health care system, which has been upended by the recent breach,” t he bipartisan Committee leaders wrote to Mr. Witty. “We are interested in your efforts to secure Change Healthcare’s systems since it was acquired by your company and the efforts you are taking to restore system functionality and support patients and providers affected by the attack.” Change Healthcare’s platforms touch an estimated one in three U.S. patient records. Its systems process roughly 15 billion transactions annually, and are linked to approximately 900,000 physicians, 118,000 dentists, 33,000 pharmacies, and 5,500 hospitals nationwide. The breadth of Change Healthcare’s infrastructure all but ensures that the scope of the current disruption, and any disruption in Change Healthcare services, will be extensive. “The health care system is rapidly consolidating at virtually every level, creating fewer redundancies and more vulnerability to the entire system if an entity with significant market share at any level of the system is compromised,” the Committee leaders wrote. “In order to understand better the steps UnitedHealth has taken to address this situation, we request information about the impact of the cyberattack, the actions the company is taking to secure its systems, and the outreach to the health care community in the aftermath.” As a result of the system outage, providers reportedly struggled to make payroll while some patients have been forced to pay out of pocket for crucial medications including cancer therapy drugs and insulin because pharmacies are unable to verify coverage. The Committee leaders requested answers to a series of detailed questions by April 29, 2024. CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Chair Rodgers in Fox News: “It is past time for us to put people in control of their data”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) spoke with Fox News Digital about the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 . The bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation will establish a national data privacy and security standard and give people the right to control their personal information online. Highlights and excerpts from the article : “Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said it is her ‘biggest fear’ as a parent for her children’s sensitive data to be exploited online, and she is aiming to quell those fears for herself and millions of Americans with a new federal data privacy standard .  “ ‘ There’s very dangerous activity online, and data collection is foundationally how these algorithms are developed and then ultimately used to target children, but also people in general,' Rodgers told Fox News Digital in an interview.   “‘This is really my biggest fear as a parent, having three school-aged children, other friends who have had kids that have been targeted online. We know that these algorithms have been targeting children with dangerous content, targeted advertising that leads to dangerous life-threatening behaviors.’” [...] “The Washington Republican teamed up with Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to unveil a bipartisan framework aimed at giving Americans more control over personal data they share online and empowering them to take action when that sensitive information falls prey to bad actors." […] “It also gives people the right to sue if a company [...] continues to harvest and sell their data without their permission, and if a data breach or hack caused ‘clear harm,’ Rodgers explained. “Rodgers told Fox News Digital to expect a hearing this week as the legislation begins to make its way through Congress. “The ambitious proposal would set the first-ever federal data privacy standard if passed. However, the issue of data privacy has been around for a long time – almost as long as the internet itself. “‘It is imperative that we move this bill. It's been decades that Congress has been grappling with a privacy data security law, and it is past time for us to put people in control of their data,’ she said.” CLICK HERE to read the full article. CLICK HERE to watch our legislative hearing on Wednesday to discuss the draft legislation and other solutions to protect people online.



Apr 11, 2024
Hearings

Subcommittee Chair Latta Opening Remarks on the Future of Section 230

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing to discuss the future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. FOSTERING A DYNAMIC ONLINE ENVIRONMENT “In 1996, the early days of the Internet, Section 230 was enacted to provide online platforms immunity from liability for content posted by third-party users.   “This legal protection was instrumental in fostering the growth of these platforms and unleashed a vibrant online ecosystem that led to the creation of social media platforms that promoted user-generated content, social interaction, and innovation. “Section 230 has two main mechanisms: first, a provision that exempts platforms from being held liable for content that is posted on their website by a third-party user; and second, a provision that exempts platforms from being held liable for content that they remove or moderate in ‘good faith.’ “This dual liability protection is often referred to as the 'sword' and the 'shield.'   “The sword being the ability for platforms to remove content and the shield being the liability protection for content posted by users of the platform. “As the Internet has evolved and become deeply integrated into our daily lives, we have encountered new challenges and complexities that require a reevaluation of Section 230's role and impact.”  BIG TECH CENSORSHIP “One of the most pressing concerns is the power that Section 230 has given to social media platforms.   Big Tech is able to limit free speech and silence viewpoints, especially of those they do not agree with. “There are countless instances where individuals and groups with conservative viewpoints have faced censorship, deplatforming, and content moderation practices.   “In contrast, Big Tech continues to leave up highly concerning content.   “The prevalence of illegal activities such as illicit drug sales, human trafficking, and child exploitation on some platforms underscore the need for stronger mechanisms to hold platforms accountable for facilitating or enabling harmful behavior.” LEGAL CHALLENGES TO SECTION 230 “Big Tech’s authoritarian actions have led to several court cases challenging the scope of Section 230’s liability protection.   “Over the years, the courts have shaped the broad interpretation and application of the law.   “Some argue the courts have provided Big Tech with too much liability protection.    “Last year, two high profile cases related to terrorist activity on platforms were considered before the Supreme Court.   “In one case, the law was upheld. In the other case, which challenged Section 230’s application to content promoted by algorithms, the Court declined to rule.   “This year, two more cases are before the Supreme Court related to a State’s ability to regulate how social media platforms moderate content.” MODERNIZING SECTION 230   “It has become clear that Congress never contemplated the Internet as it exists today when Section 230 was enacted.   “While the Courts have too broadly interpreted the original intent of this law, numerous Supreme Court Justices declared last year that it’s up to Congress, not the courts, to reform Section 230. “It’s time for Congress to review the current legal framework that shields Big Tech from accountability for their decisions.   “We must determine how to strike a balance between protecting online speech and holding platforms accountable for their role in amplifying harmful and illegal content. “I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and working with my colleagues for thoughtful and targeted reforms to Section 230.”