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Committee Advances Jobs, Energy, and Public Health Bills

Jul 17, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced six important bills that will collectively promote economic growth, create and protect jobs, support a more secure energy future, and promote public health.

H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act, was approved by a vote of 25 to 18. Authored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), this commonsense legislation will help protect consumers by increasing transparency for major EPA regulations that may drive up energy costs and destroy jobs. It requires that before EPA finalizes any new energy-related rules estimated to cost more than $1 billion, the agency must submit a report to Congress detailing certain cost, benefit, energy price, and job impacts, and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with other relevant agencies, must make a determination regarding the impacts of the rule. EPA would be prohibited from finalizing certain rules if the rule is determined to cause significant adverse effects to the economy. 

H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, was approved by a vote of 28 to 14. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) authored this bipartisan bill to help expedite and modernize the federal review process for interstate natural gas pipeline permits. The legislation helps facilitate the construction of new pipelines needed to help transport the nation’s growing natural gas supply to markets and consumers. To do this, the bill sets reasonable deadlines for review and helps hold agencies involved in the permitting process accountable. During today’s markup, the committee adopted a substitute amendment to the legislation offered by Pompeo to address concerns raised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Democratic members at last week’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing

H.R. 83, a bill authored by Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI), was approved by voice vote. The legislation would require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at increasing the use of energy resources, and for other purposes.

H.R. 698, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act), was approved by voice vote. Sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), the bipartisan bill would eliminate the restriction on acquiring HIV-positive organs in order to permit research on transplants involving HIV-positive individuals. This commonsense proposal has the potential to save countless lives. With 100,000 patients waiting for life-saving organs, permitting HIV positive donors to be used for transplants could save 1,000 HIV-infected patients per year. The measure was strongly supported by national health care organizations including the American Medical Association, American Society of Transplantation, United Network of Organ Sharing, American Society of Nephrology, Dialysis Patient Citizens, and the HIV Medicine Association.

H.R. 2094, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, was approved by voice vote. Authored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the bipartisan bill would amend the Children’s Asthma Treatment Grants Program and other asthma programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to aid in preparing schools to treat allergic reactions. The legislation allows a preference in awarding asthma grants to states who have emergency epinephrine programs that meet specific requirements. 

H.R. 2052, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act, was approved by voice vote. The bipartisan legislation was co-authored by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE) and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to help increase the United States’ share of foreign direct investment and create jobs. Until 2012, the U.S. was the largest recipient of foreign investment, but the U.S. share of inbound global investment has declined in recent years. The Global Investment in American Jobs Act seeks to reverse that trend, calling on the Secretary of Commerce to lead an interagency review and make recommendations to Congress on ways to make the United States more competitive in attracting investment and create jobs. 

To view pictures from today’s markup, click here.