Blog Updates

Sep 20, 2023

Bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act Saves Seniors Money, Strengthens Medicare

The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is good news for seniors. That is why the Association of Mature Americans Citizens (AMAC) and AARP support it. It will drive down the costs of health care and strengthen the Medicare program. Here’s what you need to know:  Right now, America’s seniors are being forced to pay more out-of-pocket for the exact same treatment, by the exact same doctor, in the exact same office, if that doctor’s office is owned by a hospital. It's a legal gimmick that is putting seniors into medical debt. The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act bans this practice and makes health care more affordable for seniors. Medicare is running out of money and growing at an unsustainable rate. The bill also saves Medicare money. This is how we preserve benefits for seniors while also making sure the program is strong for future generations.  The “site neutral” policies included in the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act have been praised by conservative experts, like Bob Moffit and Bobby Jindal , for how they strengthen the health care system through less consolidation and lower costs.  Bottom line: the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act will strengthen Medicare for current seniors and generations to come.  CLICK HERE to more from former Speaker Newt Gingrich about the benefits of price transparency in health care.  CLICK HERE to read more about how the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act will help patients.  CLICK HERE to read the section-by-section summary. 

Sep 15, 2023

How the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act Helps Patients

It’s time to change the status quo and make health care more affordable H.R. 5378, The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, was written with patients in mind so they can find the right care at a price they can afford. It includes solutions like making hospitals post their prices—something that 95 percent of Americans support.  Don’t miss these stories on how this bill will make a real difference in people’s lives.  RIGHT NOW: Hospital pricing is complicated and hard to navigate. Dani Yuengling, a patient from South Carolina, had a $6,000 deductible and needed a biopsy. She attempted to shop responsibly and was quoted $1,400 by her hospital’s price estimator, but she ended up with a charge of $18,000—more than $5,000 of which she was forced to pay out-of-pocket.   The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act makes hospital pricing clear and understandable to patients. It requires hospitals , insurance companies, labs, imaging providers, and ambulatory surgical centers to publicly list the prices they charge patients , building upon the Trump administration price transparency rules.  __________________________________________________________________________________________ RIGHT NOW: Patients don’t know how much they’ll be charged until AFTER they receive care. Take for example Nikki Pogue, who was overcharged $11,000 by a hospital that attempted to bill her for a service she didn’t receive. According to testimony before the Energy and Commerce Committee, “She had no idea what this charge was and did not get any transparency or explanation from the hospital. She spent the next five months working to decipher the bill on her own, only to discover the hospital had miscoded her Emergency Severity Index and severely over-charged her.”  The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act brings patients accurate and accountable pricing information BEFORE they seek care. It empowers patients to shop for health care and make informed decisions by providing information about the cost of care, treatment, and services. ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________  RIGHT NOW: Patients are charged more for the same medicine provided by the same doctor to the same patient, if the doctor’s office is purchased by a hospital. This happened to Kyunghee Lee, a senior citizen from Ohio, who saw the cost of her annual steroid injection increase from $30 to $354.68. Her bill increased by more than 1,000 percent just because her doctor’s office was purchased by a bigger hospital system, despite the fact that she was receiving the same shot, from the same doctor, in the same building.  The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act ensures that patients pay the same price for the same drugs regardless of where those drugs are administered by preventing out-patient facilities owned by hospitals from charging more for a drug than a non-hospital-owned doctor’s office.  ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________  RIGHT NOW : Consolidation in the health care sector drives up pricing by eliminating competition and limiting choices for patients, in many cases, those battling cancer. Earlier this year, the Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), who described the Committee’s work on transparency and health care costs as “urgent” for the 180,000 Americans who are diagnosed with blood cancer each year.   According to LLS, “We are encouraged by many of the proposals the Committee is considering today to promote healthcare competition and encourage meaningful transparency. We share these goals because we believe that improved competition and transparency have the potential to realign incentives to achieve improved health outcomes while lowering costs for patients, consumers, employers, and taxpayers.”  The testimony also noted the importance of site neutral drug policies for cancer patients given the proportion of chemotherapy infusions to Medicare beneficiaries in higher-cost hospital-owned outpatient facilities, which were once lower-cost independent physician practices, has increased from 15.8 percent in 2004 to 45.9 percent in 2014. Further, LLS noted, “Equalizing payments between these sites of service would weaken the incentive for provider consolidation, which would also produce long-term cost savings across insurance types and give patients additional options for their care.”  The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act helps cancer patients afford their care by increasing transparency and competition in health care.  ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________ RIGHT NOW: Vague bill practices leave patients on the hook for bills they never saw coming. Last year, Mike Lauze spent one hour in an O.R. undergoing eye surgery. His bill included three separate facility fees totaling $7,800 and professional fees totaling $6,200. In the words of Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, “Why are three facility fees necessary for one hour of surgery in one O.R.? I do not know. But I do know that the system must be simpler, more affordable and work better for patients.”  The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act extends price accountability to outpatient surgery centers by requiring price transparency for services.   It’s time to change the status quo that is hurting patients and make health care more affordable. That is why the bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act has a singular goal in mind—lowering costs for patients through increased price transparency and competition.   CLICK HERE to learn more about how the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act helps patients.  

Sep 14, 2023

E&C Republicans Lead Passage of Bill to Stop the Bans on Gas-Powered Cars

Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act passes House with Bipartisan Vote of 222-190 Washington D.C. —  Today, the House of Representatives took action on the  Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act  to protect America’s automotive future and stop California and President Biden from dictating the vehicles Americans can drive. The bill, led by Energy and Commerce Member John Joyce (R-PA), passed the house by a bipartisan vote of 222-190. As Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said , “Gas-powered cars are much less expensive than EVs and continue to outperform them in range, towing capacity, and their ability to operate in severe weather conditions.”  Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) added , “If California is granted that EPA waiver, 17 states, representing 40% of the US market for new vehicles, are poised to adopt California’s exact standards. This would result in California effectively forcing their values and their mandates on all of us.” Rep. John Joyce said , “At its core, the vote on H.R. 1435 asks a very simple question: should consumers or the federal government decide what types of vehicles Americans can drive?”

Sep 13, 2023

WSJ Editorial Board: Congress Takes on California’s Car Ban

Energy and Commerce is leading to stop California and Biden from dictating the vehicles Americans can drive The Biden administration is handing China the keys to America’s energy and auto future, hurting American workers and jobs, and forcing people to buy expensive electric vehicles (EVs).  To protect America’s automotive future and people’s ability to choose the affordable vehicles that are right for them and their families, Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) is leading on the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act. Don’t miss the WSJ Editorial’s write-up on it below.    WSJ OPINION : “The U.S. House this week plans to vote on a bill that would stop California and other states from banning internal-combustion engines and making Americans in the rest of the country pay for their climate follies. Let’s hope it passes .” [...] “The problem is that California’s mandates have national economic implications . Vehicle manufacturers can meet mandates on EV sales only by raising prices on internal-combustion engine vehicles. “That means Texans will have to pay more for gas-powered pickups to offset auto-maker losses on EV sales in California. Ford lost nearly $60,000 on each electric vehicle sold in the first quarter. Progressives in California are increasingly using their state’s size to dictate policy for the rest of the country. ” Bottomline: Americans—not the California government, its liberal allies, or the Biden administration—should be able to decide what vehicle best suits their needs. CLICK HERE to read the full article. CLICK HERE to read more on Rep. Joyce’s bill.  CLICK HERE to read about Secretary Granholm’s charging woes. CLICK HERE for info on our investigation into China’s influence over an American electric battery plant. CLICK HERE to read about our letter about how the IRA’s EV loopholes may be increasing our reliance on China. 

Sep 7, 2023

District Update: E&C Republicans are Championing Solutions to Lower Health Care Costs and Improve People’s Lives

House Republicans are fulfilling our Commitment to America as we lead on health care solutions to improve people’s lives. These policies will increase price transparency throughout the health care system, lower the cost of prescription drugs, bolster treatment and prevention programs for substance use disorders, and take care of mothers and infants. Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) hosted a roundtable with community leaders about substance use disorders in our communities and how the SUPPORT Act will help fight against the drug overdose epidemic, which continues to tragically claim hundreds of thousands of lives. Earlier this year, the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a field hearing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to examine reauthorizing the SUPPORT Act programs. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner about how the PREEMIE Act , which passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in July, will improve the health of preemie babies. Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) met with ALS patients who spoke about their continued support for federal research for new treatments for ALS. All lives are worth living, which is why the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act of 2023 to the Full House to eliminate the use of ‘quality-adjusted life years’ (QALYs) as a measurement to discriminate against people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, like cystic fibrosis, ALS, or Down syndrome. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) received an award from Valley Professionals Community Health Center in Clinton, Indiana, for his leadership on legislation that ensures the 340B program can continue to serve low-income and vulnerable patients. Earlier this year, the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced solutions to the Full House that will bring transparency and accountability to the 340B drug discount program.  Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) toured Sturgis Hospital in Michigan to hear about the challenges rural hospitals face and share how the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act will help improve price transparency throughout the system, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and support hospitals and healthcare workers. Solutions in the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act—like increasing price transparency and lowering the cost of prescription drugs—are supported by the vast majority of Americans. Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) visited Rush Memorial Hospital in Indiana to discuss rural health care and solutions the Energy and Commerce Committee is leading on to increase access to care. The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act helps fund Community Health Centers, which are crucial for patients in rural and underserved areas, and supports training programs to address ongoing doctor shortages.  Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) met with school and law enforcement leaders to discuss combating the illicit fentanyl crisis and keeping communities safe. Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading the HALT Fentanyl Act to permanently give law enforcement the tools they need to keep these extremely lethal and dangerous drugs off our streets. HALT Fentanyl passed the House earlier this year with bipartisan support. Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) spoke with health care professionals from across her district about how Energy and Commerce Republicans are working to improve health care access and options for Americans through solutions like the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act , PREEMIE Act , Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act of 2023 , and SUPPORT Act .  Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) visited Washington County Hospital in Iowa to talk about solutions to address rising health care costs and increasing access to telehealth services for rural commu nities. Energy and Commerce Republicans recently passed the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act of 2023 out of the Full Committee, which will increase access to telehealth options to part-time and seasonal employees. Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) met with his Health Care Advisory Committee to share solutions for price transparency, doctor shortages, and people’s access to care. Energy and Commerce Republicans are addressing these challenges with solutions like drug shortage legislation , the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act , and the SUPPORT Act . The Energy and Commerce Committee is also leading on solutions to support research for childhood cancer and increased access to care for patients with rare diseases . Chair Rodgers is also calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cover Alzheimer’s treatments. 

Aug 23, 2023

District Update: E&C Republicans are Leading to Restore America’s Energy Dominance

House Republicans are fulfilling our Commitment to America to address the most pressing issues facing our nation. This month, Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are back home in their districts talking about Republican solutions to lower the cost of living, improve people’s quality of life, boost our energy security, create jobs, cut China out of our supply chains, and reduce emissions. Check out these updates: Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) , Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) , and Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) participated in the West Texas Legislative Summit to discuss how, to win the future, America must lead in energy production and innovation. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) hosted a roundtable discussion with America’s Coal Association. Unlike the Biden administration’s radical rush-to-green energy agenda that threatens our energy security and makes us more reliant on China, House Republicans are leading on an all-of-the-above energy approach to restore American energy dominance. For example, Energy and Commerce Republicans are pushing back on harmful EPA regulatory proposals, like the Clean Power Plan 2.0, which threatens the reliability of our grid. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) met with Orion Engineered Carbons to talk about their innovative, specialty chemicals that are used for lithium-ion batteries. Right now, China produces around 75 percent of all lithium-ion batteries and is dominating the electric vehicles market. E&C Republicans are leading on solutions to ensure America—not China—is in the driver’s seat of our automotive future. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) spent time with the Jefferson Energy Cooperative to talk about the need for affordable, reliable energy, which is foundational for a strong economy. When the price of energy goes up, everything else costs more. H.R 1 is projected to lower energy bills by $795 per year for American   families. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) visited the Guernsey Power Station, a critical natural gas-fired energy facility, to learn how their operations are helping deliver clean, reliable, and affordable energy to millions of Americans. Republicans are leading to stop President Biden’s war on natural gas, including by repealing his natural gas tax and de facto ban on natural gas cooking appliances. Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) joined J&J Gas Service, a local and family-owned business, to hear about the challenges they are facing as a result of President Biden’s war on American energy production. Under the Biden administration, gas prices have increased nearly 62% and natural gas prices are up more than 40% . Energy Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) wrote an op-ed in The Washington Times about the future of clean, reliable, and affordable nuclear power. E&C Republicans are leading solutions for efficient, predictable licensing and deployment which will allow for the expansion of nuclear energy.  Don’t miss: Chair Rodgers is leading on H.R. 1042, the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, to ban fuel imports from Russia and send a strong signal to the market that will help restore American nuclear leadership. Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) met with a local car dealership to talk about H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, a bill he is leading to prevent the Biden administration from banning the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles. Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-ID) had similar conversations with the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association about preserving people’s freedom to buy reliable, affordable vehicles. Unlike the Biden administration, Republicans are leading on solutions to increase—not limit—people's choices and access to vehicles. Click here to watch our June 22, 2023, Environment Subcommittee hearing with the EPA on the impacts of Biden’s rush-to-green agenda on transportation affordability. Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote an op-ed for The Washington Times highlighting why, instead of regulating the choice out of Americans’ lives, we should trust that Americans will make the best choices for themselves. As Rep. Latta said, “with the average cost at $64,000, most American families cannot afford to make the quick transition to an electric vehicle.” 

Aug 16, 2023

One Year Later, Even President Biden Admits the “Inflation Reduction Act” Failed to Lower Costs for Americans

One year ago, President Biden signed the Democrats’ so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” into law, promising it would reduce inflation and make life more affordable for Americans. Unfortunately today, people continue to struggle more than they did when the president first took office: Inflation is up more than 15 percent. The cost of groceries for Americans has risen approximately 20 percent . U.S. gas prices are up nearly 62 percent. Natural gas prices are up more than 40 percent. His policies have led innovators to stop research into potentially new treatments, including for brain cancer and leukemia. The bill is expected to increase launch prices of drugs according to a CBO analysis . Polling shows that a majority of Americans disapprove of the state of the economy under President Biden. Even he regrets naming the bill the Inflation Reduction Act, since it ultimately “has less to do with inflation.” Republicans warned this Inflation Expansion Act was, in fact, a massive down payment on the Green New Deal that would fail to strengthen our economy and continue to make life unaffordable for people. Here are some of the worst provisions from President Biden’s Inflation Expansion Act: A natural gas tax. It’s a tax on every part of our lives. This burdensome tax harms communities and shuts down production. This has done nothing to ease prices for Americans from heating homes and buying goods, to manufacturing thousands of essential, everyday products, the cost of living is still higher for people than it was when he first took office. President Biden’s latest efforts to ban natural gas stoves and appliances doubles down on this war on American energy. An EPA-run climate bank. It’s an unaccountable $27-billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded slush fund for liberal pet projects and Democratic cronies. It fails to ensure accountability or transparency in how the resources are used, heightening the risk for overspending, fraud, and abuse. Furthermore, loopholes in the bill’s electric vehicle tax provisions will lead to an increased reliance on China. An EPA school bus and garbage truck program. The program is a $1 billion giveaway that Americans were forced to foot the bill for. Reportedly, the school busses hardly work . DOE Loan Guarantee Program is Solyndra on steroids. $250-billion-dollars—expensed to the taxpayer—in government handouts to fund the Left’s rush-to-green pet projects. This amount of spending is unprecedented. Meanwhile, hardworking Americans are paying more across the board than when President Biden took office and cannot afford for the administration to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on a political agenda that forces an expensive energy transition, threatens energy reliability, increases costs, and makes America reliant on the Chinese Communist Party. The Democrats’ drug pricing scheme. The scheme means less innovation and fewer cures, as well as increased reliance on Chinese medical manufacturing and supply chains. Drug developers have already suspended development of medicines to treat multiple blood cancers. It’s expected to lead to higher launch prices , meaning more expensive drugs for patients. House Republicans are leading on solutions to combat the consequences of the Far-Left Inflation Expansion Act and make life better for the American people. H.R. 1. Earlier this year, House Republicans passed H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to unleash American energy production and help bring down energy costs. H.R. 1 would claw back the Democrats’ $27-billion-dollar climate bank and repeal the natural gas tax, while lifting barriers to expanding our energy supplies and build more pipelines. This is just one part of House Republicans’ all-of-the-above energy approach to secure American jobs and ensure energy is affordable and reliable for people across the country. Protecting Gas Stoves.  With strong bipartisan votes, Republicans also passed H.R. 1640, the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, and H.R. 1615, the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, to stop President Biden’s de facto ban on natural gas cooking appliances and protect Americans’ choices, wallets, and jobs. Access to Care : Just last month, Chair Rodgers released a discussion draft of policies designed to mitigate drug shortages and preserve access to care for patients who rely on medicines with currently fragile supply chains. Oversight. President Biden spent an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars through his Inflation Expansion Act, and Americans have a right to know exactly how that money is being spent. Energy and Commerce Republicans are conducting thorough oversight efforts to ensure tax dollars aren’t being wasted, abused, or used in fraudulent ways. CLICK HERE to read more about committee Republicans’ investigation into tax loopholes in the IRA’s electric vehicle tax provisions that risk increasing America’s reliance on China. CLICK HERE to read more about the committee’s oversight of the drug price-setting fund. BOTTOM LINE: Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading on solutions to boost energy production, lower costs across the board, and make life more affordable for people. That is how we build a more secure American future. CLICK HERE to view the statement from Chair Rodgers.

Aug 7, 2023

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich: The one health care solution to protect everyone from outrageous medical bills

PATIENT Act will help people get access to the right care, at the right time, and at a price they can afford Americans need health care transparency and lower prices. The bipartisan PATIENT Act , led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), will help people get access to the right care, at the right time, and at a price they can afford.  To help increase price transparency throughout the system, the PATIENT Act requires health care price information from hospitals, insurance companies, and labs to be posted publicly, building upon Trump administration price transparency rules.   The PATIENT Act also aims to stop health care consolidation so there is more competition, more options, and lower prices for patients. As noted in a FOX News opinion piece by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, “this bill can finally reveal actual hospital, health insurance, and prescription drug prices Americans need to substantially reduce their medical bills.” “Price transparency is the bipartisan solution to America's health care cost crisis . The Patient Act of 2023 recently passed the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 49 to 0.    “This bill can finally reveal actual hospital, health insurance, and prescription drug prices Americans need to substantially reduce their medical bills. All Americans and members of Congress should support it.  “As I wrote in my latest bestseller "March to the Majority," when we developed the Contract with America in 1994, we made sure each provision enjoyed at least 70% public support. Numerous polls show health care price transparency enjoys 90% support. This overwhelming, bipartisan backing is not a surprise.”  […]   “Price transparency empowers patients and other health care consumers, including employers and unions, to fight back against runaway medical bills and hold the health care industry accountable. When we can compare actual, upfront prices, including all negotiated rates between hospitals and insurers, we can spot wide price differences that can vary by 10 times or more for the same treatments. We can avoid price gouging in favor of affordable care.  “For instance, a standard MRI ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. When employers and unions can see such price fluctuations, they can choose the best value and share the savings with employees through lower premiums and higher wages. Patients can budget for care and have peace of mind that they won't face financial ruin from unknown bills that arrive in the mail months later.”   […]   “No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, price transparency is a health care solution you can support. It is a market-based reform that empowers consumers to substantially reduce their health care costs and protects patients from price discrimination and outrageous medical bills.”   CLICK HERE to read the full opinion piece on  CLICK HERE to learn more the PATIENT Act.  CLICK HERE to read expert opinion pieces featured in Newsweek and RealClear Policy supporting the PATIENT Act. 

Jul 27, 2023

Top Moments in E&C Oversight Hearing with Secretary Becerra

The Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra to hold him accountable for his failed leadership. Don’t miss these top moments, including Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) telling Secretary Becerra that HHS has “lost sight of its core mission.”  More from Chair Rodgers yesterday morning :  “Secretary Becerra, I remain deeply troubled for how you are leading the Department of Health and Human Services. You have broken the American people’s trust on nearly every front.    “I’ll begin today with your complete failure to assure the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children crossing the border." […]   “In addition, you failed to follow the law and the Constitution to reappoint 14 NIH officials, including Dr. Fauci. As a result, they exercised power and authority they didn’t legally have in approving billions of dollars in taxpayer funded grants. “There is a crisis of confidence at your public health agencies, including the CDC, FDA and NIH.   “CMS is denying seniors approved Alzheimer’s medications and your department is dragging its feet on meaningful price transparency rules to lower drug costs.   “The FDA’s baby formula shortage caused panic and harm to mothers, fathers, and children across the nation.  “You have failed to provide transparency for President Biden's radical spending agenda that fueled record-breaking inflation.   “For the sake of time, I won’t go on, but I will close by saying this, HHS has lost sight of its core mission.”  TOP MOMENTS:   1. Secretary Becerra refused to answer whether sponsors of unaccompanied minors must pass a home inspection check Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ):  Does ORR inspect the homes of 100% of the prospective UC (unaccompanied children) sponsors?  Secretary Becerra: We do a thorough vetting process of any sponsor.   Representative Lesko: Yes or no, 100% of the UC sponsors, sir. Do you inspect the homes of the unaccompanied children proposed sponsors?  Secretary Becerra: We will often do home studies.  Representative Lesko: Well, I guess that's a no. If you don't, which I assume you don't, since you didn't answer yes or no, why is it that dogs and cats that are being foster parented in D.C. homes get a more thorough vetting and their homes are inspected and not the sponsors of unaccompanied children being put into homes?  2. Secretary Becerra could not guarantee that HHS is performing background checks against the sex offender registry: Chair Rodgers: Can you guarantee that no child that you're responsible for keeping safe is sent to a sponsor looking to exploit their labor? Can you guarantee that? Can you say yes or no that you can guarantee ORR doesn't place children in households with convicted sex offenders or child abusers? Secretary Becerra: Madam Chair, I know you're a mom and I’m a dad. There are very few times when you can say yes or no about anything about your kids, and we've got thousands of kids in our care. And what I will tell you is that the challenge that we face, to make sure that those children are properly placed, is one we take very seriously and so we do everything we can to vet those sponsors before we let those children... Chair Rodgers: You only conducted child abuse and neglect, background checks in 9% of the cases in 2021. 3. Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) to Secretary Becerra: Is it standard operating policy for HHS to release children to sponsors who haven't been properly vetted? Representative Kate Cammack talking about a young girl she saw at the southern border: I want to show a quick photo. I myself took this photo. That little girl was acting terrified, not of the agents, not of myself, but of the man holding her. {…} We threatened this man with a DNA test. He confessed that he was actually not her father, that he had 'rented' her. 4. Secretary Becerra could not provide evidence that he lawfully reappointed 14 senior NIH officials, including Dr. Fauci. Chair Rodgers:  So, Mr. Secretary, is there a form? Is there a letter? Can you provide us any documentation that Dr. Collins reappointed these IC directors?  Secretary Becerra:  Although we have already provided you with a lot of information, I'm more than willing to have my team follow up with you on that particular question.  Chair Rodgers:  I haven't seen it yet. On June 8, 2023, and June 15, 2023, you signed affidavits ratifying the selection, and prospectively reappointing certain NIH directors. Was that the first time you signed a document related to the reappointments? Can you just say yes, or no?  Secretary Becerra:  Again, Madam Chair, the evidence is before you. Chair Rodgers:  Okay, what evidence?  Secretary Becerra:  The process that we have appointed, we’ve answered these questions in writing. I'm saying to you again. Chair Rodgers:  I have yet to see the documents. READ MORE: The law is clear. The Secretary of HHS Must Appoint NIH IC Directors . More from Energy and Commerce Republicans: ,