Hearings Updates

Subcommittee Chair Latta Delivers Opening Remarks at Hearing on Rural Broadband Funding

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered the following remarks at today’s hearing titled “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.” “Americans rely on internet connectivity for work, education, health care, and staying connected with loved ones. Yet, despite years of effort and billions of dollars, many Americans are still without a reliable broadband connection. “Closing this digital divide is a bipartisan priority and significant federal resources have been dedicated to this effort. “Unfortunately, a problem that requires a dedicated and efficient response spurred an overwhelming and scattered federal funding response. As Ronald Reagan rightly said, the 'government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.'” ONGOING BROADBAND PROGRAMS “In May 2022, the Government Accountability Office found that there are over 130 broadband programs across 15 federal government agencies. The largest of these programs—the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment, or BEAD, program, created in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—commits $42.45 billion to broadband deployment. “One of this Committee’s top priorities is making sure these programs are administered effectively so that money dedicated to closing the digital divide achieves its goal. I remain concerned about whether that will happen. Some of these programs, including BEAD, were created outside of regular order. “There was no discussion of whether $42 billion is the right number or debate on how this program should be administered. “Very little of this money, if any, will support rural wireless carriers that provide critical services. I am also concerned that rising costs for labor and equipment will create supply chain shortages, taking both additional money and time required for deployment. Given this uncertainty, I worry that the federal government will waste this opportunity to connect all Americans.” FUTURE OF BROADBAND FUNDING “Oversight of these existing programs is crucial for their success, but we also need to look towards the future to consider what federal funding for broadband should look like once programs like BEAD conclude. “For example, the Universal Service Fund, or USF, was created in 1997 and distributes approximately $8 billion per year. It supports four broadband programs targeting high-cost areas, schools and libraries, low-income households, and rural health care facilities. Many small, rural providers are dependent on the USF to support their deployment in unserved areas. “Over the past few years, however, Congress has also spent billions of dollars funding these same efforts through BEAD, the Emergency Connectivity Fund, the Affordable Connectivity Program, and COVID-19 Telehealth Program. “Given this duplication, Congress needs to address whether we still need the USF and, if so, what it should look like. This includes addressing what programs the USF should fund, how the USF should be funded, and what reforms are needed to ensure the programs are run effectively and without waste, fraud, or abuse. “These are important questions for Congress to consider. Answering them will require serious bipartisan, bicameral discussions. “That is why I am pleased to announce today that Ranking Member of this subcommittee and I are joining the bipartisan Universal Service Fund Working Group, led by Senators Thune and Lujan. I look forward to hearing from stakeholders and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol to find a solution that will ensure sustainable universal service for years to come. “Today’s hearing is a start of looking towards the future of federal broadband programs. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. And I also thank you again for appearing before us today.”

Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers: “We all share the same goal—ensuring connectivity for every American.”

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s hearing titled: “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.” E&C IS LEADING TO CONNECT ALL AMERICANS “Broadband connectivity has become essential for Americans. “People need it to pay their bills, continue their education, open a new business, and so much more. “Yet there are still many communities, particularly in rural areas, who lack a reliable connection. “That includes many in my district in Eastern Washington.” “Energy and Commerce is committed to supporting policies that lead to better and faster internet access. “Today, there are more than 130 federal broadband programs, and Congress has dedicated an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars towards funding these programs in recent years. “That includes the $65 billion for broadband deployment, affordability, and adoption in the IIJA, as well as existing programs like the Universal Service Fund, or USF. “As resources are made available and new funding programs are considered, we must ensure taxpayer dollars aren't being wasted or duplicated.” ENHANCING EFFECTIVENESS OF BROADBAND PROGRAMS “The USF, for instance, has helped internet service providers connect rural homes and health centers, schools, libraries, and low-income Americans across the country for more than 25 years. “Now, with so many other programs working to achieve the same or similar goals, it is important that we evaluate the necessity of the USF and consider what it should support to ensure federal resources are achieving their intended purpose and that efforts aren’t being duplicated. “Once we address those questions, we can turn to how we fund the USF. “Today, the USF is funded by contributions from providers based on a revenue source that is declining, causing the contribution factor to increase. “In fact, next quarter, the contribution factor will hit a new record. “This cost ultimately increases the cost of services. “This means that Americans will soon see the highest ever USF fee on their phone bills. “This is not sustainable. “As we consider the future of the USF, it is important that we develop a stable funding mechanism that meets the needs of the program without raising costs for hardworking Americans.” AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM “The Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP, is also important in the context of today’s discussion. “This COVID-era program was supposed to be a temporary band-aid to help families economically impacted by the pandemic stay connected to broadband. Then, Congress made it permanent and has given it over $17 billion. “That money will soon run out and we must consider the program’s future. “This program is in addition to the Lifeline program, a federal subsidy program under USF designed to ensure that low-income Americans can afford broadband and telephone service. “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that these programs are run effectively, and I do have questions about which program is most effective, how efforts can be consolidated or streamlined, and what a federal subsidy program for low-income Americans should look like going forward. “Ultimately, minimizing duplicative spending, waste, and fraud will ensure resources are being used efficiently and serving as many people as possible. “Otherwise, without careful evaluation, rural Americans will continue to watch from a distance as technologies advance. “Kids will continue to grow up without access to online educational resources and businesses in rural America will continue to be left behind as the digital economy booms in urban centers and across the globe.” “Today’s hearing is an important step as we look to the future of rural broadband funding. All of us here today share the same goal—ensuring connectivity for every American. This will improve lives, strengthen the economy, and ensure that America wins the future.”

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Announce Hearing with Electric Grid Operators

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) announced a subcommittee hearing titled “Powering America's Economy, Security, and our Way of Life: Examining the State of Grid Reliability.”   “America's electric grid is essential to every part of our lives. A well-managed, balanced, and secure electric grid is vital for a strong economy and our way of life. Grid operators play a critical role in delivering reliable, affordable energy across the country. We look forward to hearing from these operators about how federal regulations, state policies, and subsidies affect Americans’ utility bills. We’ll also be discussing how to enhance electric generation, improve siting and planning of electric infrastructure, and what Congress can do to improve the reliability and management of our grid.”  Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security hearing titled “Powering America's Economy, Security, and our Way of Life: Examining the State of Grid Reliability.”  WHAT: Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing with electric grid operators. DATE: Thursday. September 28, 2023 TIME: 10:30 A.M. LOCATION: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be livestreamed online at If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at

POSTPONED: Chairs Rodgers and Johnson Postpone East Palestine Field Hearing on Derailment Cleanup Progress

Washington, D.C. — Due to changes in the House Floor schedule requiring Members be present to vote, the Energy and Commerce Committee has postponed its Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee field hearing in East Palestine, Ohio, titled “Life After the Train Derailment: Ensuring Transparency and Accountability for the People of East Palestine.”  WHAT: A field hearing to assess the cleanup progress and community needs following the February train derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio.  STATUS: This hearing has been postponed due to changes in the House Floor schedule.  If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson with the Committee staff at . For media inquiries, please reach out to Sean Kelly at .  

Chairs Rodgers & Johnson Announce Legislative Hearing on Revitalizing American Communities By Reauthorizing Brownfields Program

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) today announced a legislative hearing titled “Revitalizing American Communities: Ensuring the Reauthorization of EPA’s Brownfields Program.”  “EPA’s Brownfields program is critical to the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield sites across the country. By utilizing existing space and infrastructure, this program has taken development pressure off undeveloped land, helped increase local tax bases, and, most importantly, created jobs in communities across the country,” said Chairs Rodgers and Johnson . “We look forward to discussing reauthorizing the Brownfields program, which has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. Members will hear from government officials and affected stakeholders about how to ensure the program’s long-term success.”  Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials legislative hearing titled “Revitalizing American Communities: Ensuring the Reauthorization of EPA’s Brownfields Program.”  WHAT: Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing on reauthorizing the EPA’s Brownfields Program.  DATE: Wednesday, September 27, 2023  TIME: 10:00 AM  LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building  Legislation to be considered:  H.R.___ , The Revitalization Through Brownfields Act 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 . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at .   

Sep 20, 2023
Press Release

IDC Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis Opening Statement on Mapping America’s Supply Chains

Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered opening re marks at today’s Subcommittee legislative hearing titled " Mapping America’s Supply Chains: Solutions to Unleash Innovation, Boost Economic Resilience, and Beat China ."  Prepared remarks below:  BOLSTERING AMERICA'S GLOBAL LEADERSHIP  "Good morning, everyone. Welcome to today’s hearing on legislation that will help bolster America’s global leadership and secure our nation’s economic and national security.  "Since this committee was created in 1795, it has had a clear purpose on how to promote interstate commerce domestically and conduct business abroad. Learning how our supply chains work and ensuring their integrity is an integral part of that work and historically has not been a partisan issue.  "More recently, this was on display in several emerging technology supply chain bills that formed Chair Rodger’s bipartisan American COMPETE Act legislation that became law in 2020."  NEED TO STRENGTHEN SUPPLE CHAINS AFTER PANDEMIC  "As we learned from the crippling effects of the pandemic on America’s supply chains in 2021, further efforts began in our Committee to examine how we can better map and monitor supply chains to ensure resiliency in the future.  "What started as a positive bipartisan process unfortunately went down a different path. To be clear, I don’t blame my Democratic colleagues on this Committee, as I know this was a top-down decision dictated by Speaker Pelosi. Instead of consensus legislating, the process led to multibillion-dollar spending programs that skipped regular order, which ironically the now minority party insists we preserve.  "The conclusion to that effort was failure, as even the Senate was unable to agree with the enormous price tag and government interventions into the private sector.  "I say this not to re-litigate the past but more to help us get a fresh start."  SOLUTIONS   "Today we have legislation from Dr. Bucshon that takes us back to our earlier consensus, identifying the special role that emerging technologies will have in our future economy. It is best to promote and deploy these technologies now with our values driving the process, rather than to spend billions to figure out how to reclaim them later if they are deployed and developed with an adversary’s values.  "I believe both sides of the aisle can appreciate this legislation on the docket in draft form to continue a dialogue that results in a bipartisan consensus.  "We have all been legislating long enough to know that America cannot simply throw taxpayer dollars at an issue to rectify concerns.  "The multibillion-dollar semiconductor program enacted last Congress has been hamstrung by issues we flagged during its consideration for not considering regulatory burdens like permitting.  BEATING CHINA  "The way we retain and grow our leadership is not to outspend China, but instead provide a stable regulatory framework that rewards innovators and entrepreneurs with results.  "To secure our future, we need to address problems our nation faces at the root cause.   That means mapping and monitoring supply chains and understanding why we are so reliant on adversaries like China for many critical minerals and components, essential for products our constituents use. We should understand how we can source in America or with allied nations.  "It means promoting the deployment of emerging technologies like blockchains to have greater transparency into a chain of custody, or autonomous vehicles to help deliver goods where we see voids.  "It means removing barriers that small businesses and startups face in their effort to enter markets and developing a plan to promote their growth and their workforce.  And specifically on that note, I also want to thank Representatives Bill Johnson and Dean Phillips for their continued leadership on H.R. 5398, the Advancing Tech Startups Act, and to Representatives Miller-Meeks, Bucshon, Johnson, Kuster, Schrier, and Spanberger for H.R. 5390, the Critical Infrastructure Manufacturing Feasibility Act.  "I look forward to the discussion today and welcome any constructive and specific language we can review to get these bills passed and ultimately succeed in getting them to the Presidents’ desk.  "Thank you to our panelists for your testimony today, and I yield back." 

Chairs Rodgers and Bilirakis Announce Legislative Hearing on Proposals to Enhance Product Safety and Transparency for Americans

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) today announced a hearing titled “Proposals to Enhance Product Safety and Transparency for Americans.”  “Energy and Commerce is leading to ensure the safety of our kids, protect Americans from harms, and strengthen U.S. technological leadership. We look forward to discussing several proposals next week aimed at improving people’s lives, increasing safety, and encouraging business practices that promote transparency for the costs of items, like concert tickets, and hidden fees.” Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce legislative hearing titled Proposals to Enhance Product Safety and Transparency for Americans.”   WHAT: Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee legislative hearing on proposals to enhance product safety and transparency.  DATE: Wednesday, September 27, 2023  TIME: 10:30 AM ET  LOCATION: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building  This notice is at the direction the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be livestreamed online at . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Jessica Herron at . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at .  The following draft legislation will be discussed:  H.R. 2964 , The Wastewater Infrastructure Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety (WIPPES) Act (Reps. McClain and Peltola)   H.R. 3950 , The Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing (TICKET) Act (Reps. Bilirakis and Schakowsky)   H.R. 3660, The Better Oversight of Stub Sales and Strengthening Well Informed and Fair Transactions for Audiences of Concert Ticketing (BOSS and SWIFT) Act of 2023 (Reps. Pascrell, Pallone, Brownley, and Del. Holmes Norton)   H.R. 5202 , The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act (Reps. Wasserman Schultz, Burgess, Carter, Allred, Castor, Williams, Garcia, Flood, Ross, Bacon, and Gottheimer)  H.R. 4310, The Youth Poisoning Protection Act (Reps. Trahan, Carey, Porter, and Stewart)   H.R. 4814, The Consumer Safety Technology Act (Reps. Soto, Burgess, Trahan, and Guthrie)   H.R. 5556 , The Reinforcing American-Made Products Act (Rep. Curtis)   H.R. ___, The No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays Act (Rep. Kim)   H.R. ___ , The Online Dating Safety Act of 2023 (Rep. Valadao)   H.R. ___ , To amend the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to establish a Federal standard relating to ingredient disclosure in cleaning products, and for other purposes (Rep. Bucshon)  H.R. 1797, The Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act (Reps. Torres, Garbarino, Clarke, Ryan, Bowman, D'Esposito, Espaillat, and Goldman)  H.R._906, The Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair Act (REPAIR) Act (Reps. Dunn, Boyle, Davidson, and Gluesenkamp Perez)  H.R. ___ , The Consumer Product Safety Commission Awning Safety Discussion Draft  H.R. ____ , The Speculative Ticketing Ban Discussion Draft 

Sep 20, 2023
Press Release

Chair Rodgers: “The IRA's Price Setting Scheme will Crush Innovation and Hope for Patients”

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 "At What Cost: Oversight of How the IRA's Price Setting Scheme Means Fewer Cures for Patients." CRUSHING INNOVATION “In many ways, this hearing feels like déjà vu. “Just last Congress, we repeatedly warned that the Democrats’ drug pricing control scheme was going to do immense harm to patients by crushing drug innovation. “Earlier this month, President Biden named the first ten drugs that will be subjected to CMS’s price controls in a big celebration at the White House. “However, in the months and weeks leading up to President Biden’s announcement, we saw a steady stream of terrible news for patients in need of hope. “One after another, company and after company started to issue announcements that began: ‘we are discontinuing phase 1’ trials for a promising blood cancer drug’ ‘we will not launch a Phase III trial’ for a drug to treat Stargardt disease’ ‘we are now carefully considering’ whether to seek ‘a second rare disease indication’ ‘we will delay our launch’ ‘we will not be seeking a second indication’ ‘we are abandoning further investigation.’ “These announcements go on and on. “We’ve catalogued over 24 such announcements since the IRA’s passage, and, with the list of the first ten drugs finally out, there are certain to be more.” HURTING PATIENT ACCESS “Each one of these doleful announcements represents a window of hope closing: hope for many patients, families, and caregivers. “Americans rightly expect to have the earliest possible access to the most effective and innovative treatments and cures. “We are a country of believers and American biomedical innovation gives people battling a disease or illness a fighting chance at life. “This was the great bipartisan balance achieved by Hatch-Waxman. “A framework that provided incentives to make massive private sector investments in research and development while allowing for competition to drive down prices after a drug had been on the market. “Was it perfect? Of course not. Are there bad actors who abused patent protections and gamed the system? Absolutely. “But it did ensure that Americans got cutting edge treatments and cures—sometimes years before people in other developed countries that have government price controls. “I’m deeply concerned that—because of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act—the American people will not have the same fighting chance for a host of serious diseases. “Instead, they will join people in so many other countries—like the UK and Canada, where unaccountable bureaucrats—not cutting-edge science—backed with entrepreneurial initiative—dictate the value of new cures. “That’s why I’m looking forward to hearing from patient advocates and caregivers, like Mr. Crowley and Mr. John Czwartacki — individuals who are on the front lines. “And from people, like Dr. Potts who have dedicated their lives to not just researching cancer but fighting it.  “If there’s going to be a successful cancer moonshot it’s not going to be done by the National Institutes of Health or ARPA-H alone. “The bulk of the work is going to have to be done by private industry innovators. People like Dr. Potts, who spend years and billions of dollars translating basic research into lifesaving treatments.” CONSEQUENCES OF GOVERNMENT PRICE CONTROLS “This brings me back to why this hearing is so important. “Last Congress—with a bipartisan vote—this Committee stopped Speaker Pelosi’s government price controls in H.R. 3. “Then, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act was passed on a party line vote through budget reconciliation. “It short-circuited the hard bipartisan work of lowering drug prices for all Americans while preserving innovation. “Instead, Democrats passed the buck to the Secretary of HHS and CMS and gave bureaucrats virtually unlimited discretion to dictate the price of a negotiation eligible drug. “Congress’s failure to do the hard work has created a whole host of consequences. “As Chairman Griffith mentioned, the drug price negotiation program is currently being challenged in court on constitutional grounds. We will see what the courts say, but I share Chairman Griffith’s belief that, at least, parts of it will likely be found unconstitutional. “When that happens, this Committee will stand ready to do the hard work of building bipartisan solutions that lower drug prices without sacrificing innovation and America’s biomedical edge. “I thank the witnesses again.” 

Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan Delivers Opening Remarks at Hearing on Reliable, Clean Hydropower

Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s legislative hearing titled “American Hydropower: Unleashing Reliable, Clean Power Across the U.S.” UNLEASING MORE HYDROPOWER   “Our goal on the Energy and Commerce Committee is to enact policy that delivers affordable, reliable, and clean energy to all Americans and hydropower is essential to this mission.   “Hydropower and pumped storage provide clean power and storage. They are also flexible and can generate power to the grid immediately, which provides essential backup power in times of major outages or disruptions.”  “ Unfortunately, hydropower relicensing is among the most complicated and bureaucratic permitting processes in the U.S.    “The primary reasons for these delays are due to the number of federal statutes involved as well as the number of federal agencies. There are 11 federal agencies involved in the hydropower licensing process.   “I am glad we have some of these stakeholders in front of us today to give us their perspectives on the process.   “It is no question that in order to ensure hydropower remains a critical part of our energy matrix, the licensing and re-licensing processes must be reformed and streamlined.   “Nearly half of the nonfederal U.S. hydropower fleet will be up for relicensing in 2035. The current process creates uncertainty and confusion, and ends up costing millions of dollars.    “On average, relicensing a hydropower facility can take between seven to ten years, and can cost over 3 and a half million dollars. This doesn’t even consider the potential costs of fish passage, new turbines, and dam safety investments.   “The long and expensive relicensing process causes many hydropower owners to surrender their licenses instead and decommission their plants. That leaves America with less emissions-free, reliable electricity generation at a time when our electric grid desperately needs this type of generation.  “And it’s not just relicensing that requires projects to go through federal approvals.   “In my district, Buzzard’s Roost, a hydro dam in Greenwood County, South Carolina, is currently redesigning a fuse plug that requires FERC approval. This process faced countless delays, and the county feels as if FERC has given them the runaround on numerous occasions.  “Almost 20 years and $3 million later, not a single shovel has broken ground at Buzzard’s Roost to begin the project. This is a prime example of why FERC needs to focus on streamlining their approval processes, providing more certainty to applicants, and enabling projects to begin in a timely manner.”  HYDROPOWER CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE ACT “To address these licensing challenges, Chair Rodgers has introduced the “Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act.”    “Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy, and this legislation will ensure that this clean energy stays online, preserving the existing fleeting and paving the way to bring more power online.    “This of course, is important for Chair Rodgers and her home state of Washington where hydropower accounts for nearly 70 percent of electricity generation; but it’s also critical for states and counties all over the country. For example, this bill will help my home state of South Carolina.   “In my district, the third district of South Carolina, Duke Energy has the Bad Creek Hydro Project, which is a hydro storage facility, is able to provide enough energy to power nearly 1 million homes.   “Last summer I was able to host members of this Committee on a tour of the facility and its approximately 1,600 - megawatt battery that stores mainly renewable solar energy as well as excess nuclear baseload power that would otherwise be curtailed because it was generated during periods of low demand.   “Recently, Duke Energy filed to relicense the existing Bad Creek Facility and also expressed a desire to build a second powerhouse that would offer an additional 1,600 megawatts of storage capacity that would help to integrate carbon free generation across the Carolinas.    “I am hopeful both the relicensing, as well as the possible expansion, are successful as this would help increase reliability and affordability for customers in my home state and the Southeast.   “So, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on how we can improve hydropower relicensing and licensing in order to unleash this critical source of reliable, affordable, and clean energy in the U.S.”