Committee Advances Seven Bipartisan Bills
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today advanced 7 bipartisan bills to improve the public health and strengthen the economy. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) commented, "Last week, the Energy and Commerce Committee released its mid-year report, which highlighted our bipartisan success in 2014 to promote jobs and economic growth, transform Washington to create a smaller modernized government for the innovation era, and protect families, communities, and civic initiatives." The approval of these bills today, all by voice vote, builds on that success.
H.R. 4771, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, was authored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Pitts explained that the bill would "end a loophole that allows designer anabolic steroids to easily be found online, in gyms, and even in retail stores. When taken by consumers, designer steroids, which are Class III controlled substances, can cause serious medical harm, including liver injury and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also lead to aggression, hostility, and addiction. Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition, so the resulting product is not on the DEA’s list of controlled substances. H.R. 4771 will help protect consumers from these harmful products by giving the DEA the tools and authority to properly classify designer steroids as controlled substances and increase criminal penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing them under false labels."
H.R. 669, the Sudden Unexpected Death and Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, was authored by Pallone and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). This legislation provides for activities to help improve the understanding of stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death, and sudden unexplained death in children.
King, along with Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), also authored H.R. 4290, the Wakefield Act of 2014. This bill would reauthorize grant programs that support the expansion, improvement, and evaluation of emergency medical services for children.
The committee also approved H.R. 4450, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) said, "Passage of H.R. 4450 will be good for the economy. It’s a jobs bill. A recent analysis performed by the independent firm Oxford Economics estimated that, in fiscal year 2013, Brand USA generated 1.1 million additional international visitors who spent an estimated $3.4 billion dollars, generating economic revenue and supporting job creation in communities across America."
H.R. 4250, the Sunscreen Innovation Act, was authored by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John Dingell (D-MI). Whitfield commented, "The framework we have in front of us today will ensure all sunscreen ingredients receive a transparent review within a predictable time frame. This will allow Americans access to the best products on the market and also spur innovation in an area of significant public health importance. With skin cancer being by far the most common form of this terrible disease, it’s important that consumers have access to the latest breakthroughs in sunscreen technology."
Speaking in support of H.R. 594, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance and Education Amendments of 2014, Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) said, "This bill makes targeted updates and improvements to legislation first passed by this committee in 2001 and reauthorized in 2008. These efforts have passed on voice votes and passed overwhelmingly on the floor. This legislation is supported by the totality of the muscular dystrophy community, with over 20 organization writing letters of support which are all part of the subcommittee record. Since its enactment, this law has successfully used limited federal resources to improve clinical care across the muscular dystrophies. Muscular dystrophy is not a single disease, but a group of genetic disorders. It’s important to note that this bill provides no additional authorization of appropriations and proposes a small set of improvements intended to ensure that the program is focused on the most critical areas and that the funding is being provided that reflects current scientific and medical knowledge."
H.R. 5057, the EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 was introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY). Gardner explained, "This bipartisan legislation makes a simple technical correction to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to allow external power supply manufacturers to continue to sell service parts compatible with older technology. By making repairs to older everyday devices such as computers, tablets, and printers easier and less costly, both U.S. consumers and manufacturers will benefit. This is a much-needed update to current law, and I look forward to this bill’s consideration before the full House of Representatives."