In the News Updates

Mar 22, 2023
In the News

Chair Rodgers on Fox News: TikTok Will say Anything to Avoid Being Banned

TikTok CEO Shou Chew will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee tomorrow to testify about TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platform’s impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) jointly spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier about the national privacy standard they are leading on together to prevent any app, website, and platform like TikTok from ever spying on Americans again. THE IMPORTANCE OF TOMORROW’S HEARING “This hearing has been long overdue. This will be the first time the CEO of TikTok, Mr. Chew, has been before any congressional committee. “It's very important that he answer for some of the repeated lies that we know about TikTok and their association with ByteDance and ultimately the Chinese Communist Party. “[We have] growing concerns about the threat that this platform, this app poses in the United States of America but also it highlights the concerns around other technological tools or weapons that China may use for their own strategic future and that's why we are joining together. “We believe it's very important that we hold TikTok accountable but also make sure that any app or platform is ultimately protecting individual Americans’ privacy and making sure that Americans are protected from harm and our children are protected from harm.” TIKTOK’s CONNECTION WITH BYTEDANCE AND THE CCP “It is clear that TikTok will say anything to ensure that it is not banned in the United States of America.” “They have said that they're not surveilling on Americans or spying on Americans and yet now we know that they were used. ByteDance used TikTok to spy on American journalists. “We know that they continue to say that their data is not going back to China and that this walled off from the Chinese Communist Party and yet we now have recordings of employees at TikTok that say that everything is seen by China.” A NATIONAL DATA PRIVACY STANDARD “There is a lot of common ground and I think the fact that Mr. Chew is going directly to the TikTok users in America, that 150 million Americans [use it], now only underscores the importance of us taking action, because Americans’ data privacy is not protected. “This platform can also be used to manipulate what people see or hear or think. “It all points to the importance of us passing a larger national privacy standard, as Mr. Pallone is joining me to [achieve], because we believe this is a clarion call as to the need for a national data privacy standard to minimize the amount of data that TikTok, Big Tech, or other data brokers are collecting to begin with, to make sure that Americans are alerted when their data is being used or stored or transferred over to countries like China and to protect our kids for those under 17. “The legislation that we propose would make it illegal to track our kids online and to make sure that private conversations are actually private, that apps and devices would be prohibited from listening to our private conversations when we haven't given them permission. “This is all really important and we need to ban TikTok and we need to pass a national data privacy law.” CLICK HERE to watch Thursday’s hearing.

Mar 3, 2023
In the News

Chair Rodgers on Fox Business: “We Must Reverse President Biden’s War on American Energy”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) joined Fox Business’ Larry Kudlow yesterday to discuss E&C Republicans’ robust agenda to reverse the damage of President Biden’s war on American energy. Chair Rodgers said that the Republican majority in the House will be demanding officials from the Biden administration testify about their rush-to-green agenda. Check out the interview and highlights of Chair Rodgers: REVERSING BIDEN’S WAR ON AMERICAN ENERGY “We must reverse President Biden's war on American energy, and this week in committee, we started the process. “We have several bills that we voted on in [our] subcommittees. “Our goal is to have a very significant down payment on the House floor at the end of this month. “We want to get this out of the House to unleash American energy [which is] just so foundational to our economy, our geopolitical standing, our leadership... to bring down gas prices, and secure our supply chains.” STREAMLINING PERMITTING TO UNLEASH AMERICA’S ABUNDANT ENERGY RESOURCES “We are desperate for permitting reform in the United States. It's the number one barrier to getting anything done in manufacturing, let alone drilling or refining or processing. “We have a regulatory climate right now that is the number one barrier to get anything done. “[E&C Republicans] have legislation that would address permitting for pipelines. We want to export LNG to our partners and allies around the world. “It's really natural gas and the shale revolution in the United States of America that has brought down prices, but also led the country in bringing down carbon emissions. “We have legislation that would express our disapproval of when the President shut down the Keystone XL pipeline. We would prevent the president from putting a moratorium on fracking. “We must reform the permitting process and flip the switch on American energy to get us energy independent again. “We need to reduce those timelines, whether it's a solar plant or a pipeline or whatever the project may be, including expanding refining capacity. “We must reduce the timeline so that we can actually get projects built, get manufacturing going in the United States, and unleash American energy. “It's the best thing that we can do to bring down the price of gas, secure our supply chains so that we're not dependent upon China for critical minerals, and help our partners and allies around the world.” UNCOVERING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S RADICAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA “Agency directors have to come in front of these committees. “The secretaries for the last two years have been protected by the Democrats in the majority. “We will be having the secretaries come in, whether it's [Department of] Energy and FERC. “We'll ask them the questions that are fundamental to our role as the elected representatives of the people—to provide that oversight, to bring in the agencies, to ask them the questions.” EXERCISING THE POWER OF THE PURSE “When these agencies do not cooperate, we can exercise the power of the purse and ultimately cut their budgets and we're working very closely with the Appropriations Committee. “We must as the elected representatives of the people. “This is pretty fundamental: Article One, exercise the power of the purse and provide that oversight. “Many of these agencies are implementing their own political agenda, their political appointees, by the President, and they're implementing his agenda. “Right now, it’s pretty radical when it comes to shutting down American energy or shutting down projects, whether it's in Alaska or mining projects across the country. “We are bringing them in. We are going to hold them accountable and get them back to the task of what they're supposed to be doing within the law and for the American people.”

Feb 22, 2023
In the News

Don’t Miss from E&C in Midland: “The goal of the committee is to make lives better for the American people.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) led Subcommittee members in a field hearing in Midland, Texas. Local civil and energy officials celebrated the economic and public benefits of a strong oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin and the country as a whole, and warned of the dangers of President Biden shutting down American energy. Check out these stories from the hearings: Midland leaders were witnesses that spoke in front of the committee and gave testimony about the importance of West Texas in oil and gas production. […] “15 different representatives who have different constituencies but the thing that remains the same in those consistencies is a need for energy,” said Congressman August Pfluger. “What the community needs and what they need right now, what the American people need right now, what families need right now is low cost energy.” […] The goal of the committee is to make lives better for [the] American people. “Providing affordable energy is important is critical for the health of all of us,” said Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa. Midland Mayor Lori Blong, local business owner Adrian Carrasco, and I-P-A-A Chairman Steve Pruett all testified in front of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. This hearing centered around the benefits that the Permian Basin provides to America’s economic and national security. “You cannot understand US energy without visiting the Permian Basin,” said Congressman Pfluger. “As Representatives of the people’s house, we do the most important thing, which is getting the hell out of your way,” said Kat Cammack, Florida-District 3 It’s no secret to West Texans the vital role the Permian Basin plays in America’s economy and national security but not everyone in the country knows that. And that’s what today’s hearing was all about, showing how big of an impact West Texas has on the world and how members of Congress can help West Texas continue to grow. “Midland is doing it better than, cleaner, cheaper, safer than any place else on the planet. We need to learn from their experience and we need to get out of their way and allow them to do the job that they’ve done so well over the past 100 years” said Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas District 26. CHAIR RODGERS: “Our primary energy objective is to ensure reliable, secure, and affordable delivery of energy to Americans to their homes, to their businesses, the grocery stores, and everywhere in between. We must build upon our nation’s diverse and abundant natural resources, to create more secure supplies, more dependable power. We must work to develop a predictable regulatory landscape, one that unleashes America’s unmatched genius for innovation and technological leadership. “While we have examined solutions in our hearing room in Washington, D.C., to secure our energy future, we are here today in Texas to see where it all begins, in places like the Permian Basin. It begins with the workers, the families, all the people living and working in energy producing communities, like Midland, and so many others, large and small, throughout this country. We cannot achieve a more secure energy future, create more jobs, and increase affordability without the people who do this work and take the risks to produce American energy.” SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR DUNCAN: “Two years ago, America was energy dominant for the first time since 1952. In 2019, we became the number one oil and gas producer in the world. This drove down the cost for consumers at home and benefitted our allies abroad by providing supply as an alternative to Russia and OPEC. Much of this success is owed to the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the shale revolution, created by hydraulic fracturing in the production of both oil and natural gas. Something this community knows better than anyone. Energy and Commerce Republicans have solutions to build off the success of the shale revolution and get us back to energy dominance – we have a series of bills that aim to unleash innovation by creating regulatory certainty and encouraging long-term investment. This is in sharp contrast to the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats who want to make oil and gas production impossible.” At the field hearing, witnesses testified about the need for American energy production and the many benefits it provides to the community. Below are excerpts and highlights of prepared testimony: The Honorable Lori Blong, Mayor of Midland, Texas, and President of Octane Energy “The pipeline and infrastructure permitting headwinds, current SEC driven ESG movement, and the current administration’s vow to ‘put an end to fossil fuels’ are all creating growing market distortions and need to be reversed. These policies prevent individual Americans and American businesses from growing as we otherwise could, prevent us from creating jobs as we otherwise could, and most importantly prevents our country from being energy secure as it otherwise could. “Many members of this subcommittee have stated that energy security is national security. I could not agree more. Russian aggression toward a sovereign neighbor, the People’s Republic of China brutally repressing its own citizens and testing the resolve of the United States – these are not chapters in a history book. These are today’s newspaper headlines. History shows us that conflict is brought about by the desire of one or more sides to gain the resources of another. We have the energy we need right here in the Permian Basin, to keep American homes warm, to provide electricity to hospitals and schools, and to keep our country and allies safe. But we must have federal advocacy and support for the energy production we require. “If the Federal Government truly wants to work with energy companies to positively impact the environment, one tangible suggestion is to significantly invest in technologies for beneficial reuse of produced water from oil and natural gas extraction. The technology for beneficial reuse of produced water already exists; we simply need to find ways to make that technology economically scalable, to benefit the millions of Americans in everyday communities in the central and western states, where abundant clean water is a game-changer on so many levels. Federal efforts in this case could help to accelerate our beneficial reuse efforts, rather than the federal efforts we have seen to restrict our industry but which do not ultimately benefit our communities. “The messages, virtue signaling and rhetoric that have come from the federal level lately tell us oil and gas is evil or not on the side of average American or on the side of care for our environment. This could not be further from the truth. Responsible operators in the Permian are committed to paying excellent wages for the flourishing of our people and committed to ever-improving technology for the flourishing of our surrounding environment.” Full Testimony Mr. Adrian Carrasco, Chairman Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and President of Premier Energy Services “We all know that small businesses play a key role in increasing commerce, providing jobs, and bringing economic development within our community. It is crucial that we continue to provide business education, funding opportunities for business growth, and guidance for positive growth. As communities like Midland grow, we look to entrepreneurs to develop businesses that meet the need of the community and its growth.” […] “Due to the positive impact of the oil and gas industry on local communities, this has given aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to fulfill dreams of owning a business. We have seen home bakers open restaurants and bakery shops. Restaurants expand their businesses into second locations and catering services to the oil field drill sites. Licensed commercial electricians have expanded services into the oil and gas sector and cosmetologists and barbers have opened their own shops. I applaud the great work of the Midland Development Corporation and Kevin Dawson with Maybe Midland/Odessa on their successful efforts of bringing new brands of restaurants, family entertainment centers, aerospace and aviation related businesses to Midland. Midland is home to over 6,200 business establishments and it drives over 100,000 jobs. Oil and Gas in the Permian is an economic driver not only here but throughout this nation and the world. [The Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce] will continue to support our local minority and small business owners so they can provide economic growth and commerce in our community.” Full Testimony Mr. Steven Pruett, President and CEO, Elevation Resources, in Midland, and Chairman of the Board for Independent Petroleum Association of America “Negative messaging by the Biden administration discourages people from joining our industry. COVID relief reduced our workforce as workers stayed home, living on government handouts. My generation is approaching retirement, setting the oil and gas industry up for the ‘great crew change.’ However, there are not enough young people to replace my generation in the oil industry. Over the last 2 years, the oilfield has experienced 15% wage inflation if you can find qualified workers. We’ve also experienced months-long delays in completing or repairing wells and facilities due to manpower and equipment shortages. Drilling & completion costs for my company have risen from $8 million in 2021 to $11 million per well in 2022 due to escalating input costs including steel and labor, while weak natural gas and liquids prices have reduced our returns, thus limiting drilling activity. “To reduce uncertainty and improve the investment climate needed to grow U.S. oil and gas production, we need Congress to provide oversight of the EPA, DOI, FERC and SEC as it relates to regulations affecting the oil and natural gas industry broadly defined from the wellhead to the consumer.” Full Testimony

Feb 10, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: Chair Rodgers at Punchbowl Pop-Up: “Spectrum Policy is National Security Policy”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) joined Punchbowl News’ Anna Palmer on Wednesday to discuss the future of spectrum and telecommunications during a pop-up conversation Wednesday. Watch it here and check out excerpts and highlights of Chair Rodgers’ remarks below: BEATING CHINA “I believe in the need of American competitiveness. American leadership matters. “We see a growing threat from China. “China is making it very clear that they want to lead as an economic, a technological, as well as a military power. They want to be the dominant power. All of that is informing our efforts and only underscores the importance of an issue like spectrum. “It’s a national security issue. It’s a competitiveness issue. We must be leading in these emerging technologies. “If we’re going to lead in 5G, 6G, autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars, and quantum computing… we have to be smart in our spectrum allocation. “We need to restore the role of NTIA. That is the entity that should be making these spectrum decisions. “We worked on a bipartisan bill. Frank Pallone, the Ranking Member, [and I] worked on the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act... [which] passed the House. “The decision was made in the end of year omnibus package to extend the auction authority until March 9th. “It’s right around the corner and no one wants to see the auction authority expire, so we are going to work to reach an agreement as soon as possible to ensure that the FCC can open up new bands and that we continue to lead in the allocation of spectrum. “It’s important that we unleash commercial spectrum which is going to be the key to our leadership in beating China.” SPECTRUM POLICY IS NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY “Our lives are more connected than ever, and having spectrum is going to be the key to being able to unleash future technologies and innovation. […] “When you look at the United States of America, our advantage has always been our ingenuity, our creativity, our technology, and spectrum allocation is foundational to making sure that America continues to lead. “Our telecommunications, infrastructure, spectrum, all of this is foundational to us leading in competitiveness and it’s key to our national security." CCP STEALING OUR DATA “The spy balloon has certainly dominated the news... China just has very different values than we do. Surveilling the United States of America from a balloon certainly has caused a lot of concern. “I also would highlight the concerns with TikTok and other social media platforms and the data China is using to surveil Americans. “We need to be taking steps to make sure our data is secure, our infrastructure is secure, our telecommunication networks are secure... “One of the provisions in the Spectrum Innovation Act was $3 billion to replace and remove Chinese equipment from our telecommunications networks. “This is so important...China is advancing. They want to win the future by dominating in telecommunications, the roll out of 5G, 6G, spectrum.”

Feb 6, 2023

E&C Republicans Zero in on China in First Week of Hearings

It’s no secret the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants to replace the U.S. as a global economic and technological power. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans previewed their plans to strengthen American resolve against the CCP and ensure America, not China, wins the future. Last week, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) announced that TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify on March 23, 2023, before the committee on the platform’s consumer privacy and data security practices, its harm to kids, and its ties to the CCP. AMERICA’S DANGEROUS ENERGY DEPENDENCE ON CHINA During a full committee hearing last week, Republicans raised concerns about how President Biden is making America dangerously dependent on adversaries like China for our energy. “Every energy technology and source has a role to play but we need to be able to ensure that we are not becoming entirely dependent on unreliable, intermittent energy sources that rely on Chinese supply chains,” Chair Rodgers said . “It’s time to flip the switch and unleash American energy and this committee is at the very center of securing our global leadership and making people's lives better.” “There’s no doubt that China is adding wind and solar and other renewables to their energy matrix,” Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said . “They’re also building a heck of a lot of coal fired power plants, fossil fuel generation, mining rare Earth minerals that they need for all the technology, which is very detrimental to the environment.” “If we want viable, sustainable energy solutions that make all Americans secure, that appreciates the diversity of our landscapes, and doesn’t rely on premature, aspirational technologies or the availability of mineral supplies from foreign countries being available; then it’s time to turn the page on the current, national energy strategy, or lack thereof. Particularly since it’s one that makes us more dependent on nations that hate us,” Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) said . “To illustrate the point, I ask my colleagues to consider a recent article in the Washington Post. It suggested senior U.S. military officials are predicting, and preparing for, war within one to five years with China—the very country we depend on for the critical minerals required for many of the ‘rush to green’ solutions.” “China is striving to secure oil, gas, and critical minerals supply around the world while defending its dominance of renewable energy supply chains,” Robert McNally, the President of Rapidan Energy Group, LLC, testified to the Committee. BOOSTING AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS TO BEAT CHINA At an Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee hearing, members and witnesses discussed how America can compete against China and win the future. “Today’s hearing focuses on the greatest threat to our country right now—China. So, it is fitting that to begin the 118th Congress we focus on this threat and discuss how to recapture and maintain our global leadership. The CCP will stop at nothing to undermine our global leadership and weaken our economy,” Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis (R-FL) said . “They have bought up our farmlands, stolen our intellectual property, and embedded themselves deep within many of our supply chains. Now they are turning their attention towards establishing the global standards for emerging technologies. The CCP has invested heavily in Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies. Paired with this investment, China is creating favorable environments for their private sector companies and entrepreneurs to deploy and test these technologies.” “In 2020, the China Task Force found that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ‘has a record of using official government resources and companies with CCP affiliations to compromise the data of people around the world’ and that the United States and its allies need to join the ‘effort to secure data from the CCP’s surveillance state and other malign entities.’ These concerns are especially prevalent in China itself, where advanced technology is used to track and monitor their citizens with few protections,” Brandon Pugh, Policy Director and Resident Senior Fellow of the R Street Institute, told the Subcommittee . “Similar concerns are echoed by federal government leaders like Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, who previously said ‘if you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.’ He made even more pointed comments recently, saying that ‘China’s vast hacking program is the world’s largest, and they have stolen more Americans’ personal and business data than every other nation combined.’” CHINA'S DANGEROUS STONEWALLING During an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, Republican members noted how China has put the world in danger of future outbreaks because of that country’s refusal to cooperate with investigations into the origins of COVID-19. “Existing pandemic preparedness plans have mentioned the need for investigating the origins of pandemics but have neither spelled out the challenges nor the specifics for how to conduct an effective probe,” Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said . “One of the challenges laid out in the (GAO) report is the need for investigators to have more access to samples from early cases in order to be effective in determining the pandemic’s origin. We must address this issue since some government organizations, including the Government of the Chinese Communist Party, have a history of withholding this type of information.” BEATING CHINA IN NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGY Members of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee examined how China is seeking to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology. “We must also ensure continued American leadership in advanced communications services. In order to do that, our regulations must foster an environment of innovation and certainty,” Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) said . “As countries like China seek to dominate the technologies of the future, we must make the United States an attractive place to invest in cutting edge developments that align with American values and guarantee the availability of trusted satellite communications. “Countries like China seek to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology. We can’t afford to let this happen,” Chair Rodgers said . “The Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to embed their authoritarianism into next generation technologies like these. This is a country that spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy. They want to replace the U.S. as the economic and technological power so they can spread their values and vision of the future. We need to make sure these technologies are developed in an ecosystem that promotes America’s values, not China’s.” “China’s accelerating space prowess and reach presents both economic and national security challenges. China’s expanding space sector creates a competitive alternative in the global marketplace, oftentimes with attractive incentives and financing, that will steadily chip away at the market share enjoyed by U.S. companies,” Kari Bingen, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies said. “As highlighted in a 2021 European market assessment, ‘[W]hile the most advanced commercial space companies clearly remain Western companies, China is now leading the world in terms of number of commercial space companies being established.’ On the national security front, the U.S. military’s battlefield advantage has long rested on our superior technology. But that is at risk as Beijing seeks to close the gap in our technology advantage.”

Jan 25, 2023
In the News

On CNBC, Chair Rodgers Sets the Record Straight on H.R. 21

American energy security is fundamental House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Joe Kernan this morning to discuss how H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , will improve our energy security and affordability, while discouraging the abuse of the reserve as an election-year gimmick. Below are highlights and excerpts from Chair Rodgers’ interview: FACT-CHECKING BIDEN ON H.R. 21 “Unfortunately, the Secretary and the administration have been misrepresenting the bill. The bill only addresses non-emergency use [of the SPR]. “This bill goes back to the importance of American energy security. It's our economic security. It's our national security. “The legislation that we passed in the House already and this second bill are both related to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is a critical asset. It’s a national security asset and it's an economic asset for emergency uses.” […] “This bill requires the administration, when they deplete it, when they sell the reserves [for non-emergency sales], that they would have to develop a plan for domestic production to offset what they are selling from the reserve. It only applies to non-emergency situations.” BIDEN HAS ABUSED THE SPR FOR POLITICS “The administration, especially leading up to the election, depleted our reserve for political purposes and I believe it is important that they are transparent, and we are holding them accountable for that. “We passed the first bill (H.R. 22) that would prohibit any sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from going to China and we gained over 100 Democrats. “It was the largest bipartisan vote on an energy bill in years and I urge the Senate to take action on that.” […] “ The SPR is at the lowest levels in 40 years, we're down to 1983 levels. And now, what we're seeing since we're past the election, is that prices are going back up.” CHINA IS BENEFITING FROM BIDEN’S ACTIONS “What we're seeing is China has built up the largest [government-controlled] petroleum reserve in the world. They have been buying a lot of this oil on the open market. “We are requiring the administration to come up with a plan. So, if [the administration] reduces the SPR by 10%, they have to increase domestic production by 10%.” “We saw this administration go ask OPEC, go ask Venezuela, to produce more oil in order to help [with] the energy crisis that... their policies had brought us to. “What we're asking is for them to come up with a plan to increase domestic oil production. We have tremendous resources in the United States of America.” THE NEED FOR PERMITTING REFORM “The number one barrier to energy production in the United States is permitting in this regulatory climate. “Even at the end of last Congress, we heard Senator Manchin talking about the importance of permitting reform in the United States. “We need permitting reform and we're anxious to go to work on that.”

Jan 19, 2023
In the News

In the News: Republicans Host Roundtable to Discuss Open Border’s Impact on Fentanyl Crisis

Republicans are hard at work on solutions to slow the fentanyl crisis that is wreaking havoc on our communities. With more than 71,000 Americans dying from a fentanyl or fentanyl-related substance in 2021, most of which has been smuggled in from Mexico, President Biden cannot continue our porous southern border. In a roundtable last week , E&C Republicans heard powerful testimony from the parents of a child lost to the epidemic, a former drug enforcement agent, and an emergency medicine physician. House Energy and Commerce Republicans held a roundtable Wednesday on the fentanyl crisis in a potential preview of the committee’s focus on curbing the epidemic, Ben reports. The roundtable with a former DEA official and an emergency medicine doctor included emotional testimony from Ray and Deb Cullen, who lost their 22-year-old son, Zachary, to fentanyl poisoning last year. Deb Cullen called for the crisis to be handled like Covid-19. Paul Knierim, former assistant administrator at DEA, warned of the fake pills’ danger. Lawmakers also pointed to issues at the southern border as a contributing factor. […] The committee’s Republicans are expected to focus on addressing fentanyl’s role in the opioid crisis in the new Congress. That includes pushing tech companies like Snapchat and TikTok to crack down on fentanyl sales on their platform. Read more . Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would classify fentanyl as a Schedule I drug, which would designate it as an illicit drug with a high risk for abuse and would increase punishment for those who sell it illegally. Rep. Morgan Griffith, Virginia Republican, said he will reintroduce his signature bill, the HALT Fentanyl Act, which would permanently place fentanyl into the Schedule I category for drugs. Mr. Griffith said he also wants to end the stigma around fentanyl that stereotypes its victims as irresponsible addicts. Keep reading . OAN’s Daniel Baldwin: “The GOP hosted a roundtable, specifically the Energy and Commerce Committee, yesterday to discuss the worsening fentanyl crisis with a focus on illegal drug smuggling across our southern border. The president just had a visit down to the southern border last weekend... he didn't mention fentanyl.” Click here to watch full clip . Joyce, a physician, drew broad agreement from GOP leaders at the table that the Schedule I temporary designation of fentanyl-related substances should be made permanent. They felt greater penalties were needed when traffickers were caught to act as a deterrent to criminal activity. “It should be a priority,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Florida. “This is poison. It’s a weapon of mass destruction. […] Committee members agreed to investigate that issue further.   Rep. Mike Burgess, R-Texas, said Democrats in control of the federal government for the last two years had blocked GOP efforts to make Schedule I status permanent. He said Democrats appeared more concerned about creating more potential penalties for offenders than protecting youth and other vulnerable populations. “I don’t know why they step away from this instead of moving forward,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Kentucky. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, said it was virtually impossible to stop the movement of fentanyl without securing the southern border, something the Biden administration refused to do. Keep reading . “Congressman John Joyce led a roundtable discussion yesterday concerning the ongoing fentanyl crisis. For Americans between the ages of 18 and 48, the crisis has become the leading cause of death.” Watch here . “This problem touches every district in our country, and it’s critical that we on the Energy and Commerce Committee work to find a solution,” said Joyce. “For over a year, Republicans have been trying to permanently ban fentanyl related substances by labeling them as schedule one narcotics. This designation will help give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop the drug traffickers that are killing American citizens without remorse.” Keep reading . “This problem touches every district in our country, and it’s critical that we on the Energy and Commerce Committee work to find a solution,” Congressman Joyce said. “For over a year, Republicans have been trying to permanently ban fentanyl related substances by labeling them as schedule one narcotics. This designation will help give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop the drug traffickers that are killing American citizens without remorse.” The roundtable was the first step in the legislative process as lawmakers look to pass legislation to permanently label fentanyl analogs as Schedule 1 narcotics under the Controlled Substances Act. Keep reading . Joyce was joined by the parents of a man from Shippensburg, who died recently from ingesting fentanyl, as he chaired a roundtable discussion among Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about fentanyl. Keep reading .

Jan 17, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Turn Up the Heat and Demand Biden Stop Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves

President Biden wants to control every aspect of our lives—from what kind of cars we can drive, how we can heat our homes, and now how we’re allowed to cook food for our families. Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is looking to ban gas stoves from American homes across the country. This is just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical Left. It's not about public safety, but rather about telling the American people the federal government knows what’s best. Nearly 35% of homes in the U.S. – more than 40 million Americans – use a natural gas stove. That’s why Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 86 of her House Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden demanding the administration reverse any attempts to ban gas stoves. Chair Rodgers also sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) echoing these concerns.  Highlights and excerpts from the Fox Business exclusive coverage on the letter to President Biden : Furious lawmakers are calling on President Biden to cease any efforts by his administration to ban natural gas stoves inside Americans' homes. Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the president Friday writing in "strong opposition" to reported efforts by regulators to ban natural gas appliances. "This kind of intrusion into the homes of Americans by the federal government as a way of forcing rush-to-green, liberal policies is the ‘nanny state’ at its worst," the Republicans wrote. "Banning natural gas stoves is not about public safety – it is another example of government control; like other policies we have seen from your administration, to tell Americans what kinds of cars they can drive, how they heat their homes, and how to live their lives." The Biden administration caused an uproar over gas stoves earlier this week after a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested regulators were considering banning the appliance due to health and safety concerns. From E&E News : House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is already making plans to bring the issue before her committee. “I’m quite concerned,” Rodgers told E&E News. “I think we need to dig into this more and probably bring them in and ask some questions.” CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 11th statement on President Biden’s plan to ban gas stoves. CLICK HERE to read House Republicans’ January 13th letter to President Biden. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 13th letter to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.

Dec 14, 2022
In the News

Leader Rodgers: Telehealth Access has been a Game Changer for America’s Seniors

Telehealth Renaissance Reflects Benefit of Innovation that’s Needed in Traditional Medicare Fee-for-Service System Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined Axios for a discussion titled “ The Future of Telehealth ” as Congress considers extending telehealth flexibilities for seniors beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. CLICK HERE  to watch the interview. On How We Got Here:  “It’s an exciting telehealth Renaissance that we’re experiencing right now. I do think it’s important to reflect that telehealth had been around in a limited way for decades but most of that had been outside of Medicare’s fee-for-service system.  “Most of the innovation and patient benefit behind telehealth had been outside of traditional Medicare – in the employer sponsored insurance and Medicare Advantage program where there’s more flexibility, more personalization in those programs.  “Unfortunately, it took us a global pandemic to realize the larger benefits of telehealth and to introduce telehealth into traditional Medicare.”  On the Impact on Americans in Rural and Underserved Communities:  “Telehealth now – to your point – enjoys broad bipartisan support. I think of people in Eastern Washington – the patients I’ve talked to – as well as those my colleagues across the country – are telling us that patients have been happy with telehealth.  “They have appreciated being able to be connected to a doctor without having to go to in-person, especially during COVID.  “You think about the person who has a cold or a more minor health care issue being able to connect to the provider without having to get an appointment.  “In an area that I represent, that is rural, patients might have to travel further distances, being able to connect electronically would be a game changer and really make a difference in getting access to care quicker and addressing those health care needs that’s going to serve people better.”  On Priorities for an Extension:  “First and foremost, we want to delink the telehealth flexibilities from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. That’s step one.  “We want to make sure patients remain in control of their doctor visit decisions, and it’s the patient deciding whether or not to utilize telehealth services or if they prefer to see a provider in-person.  “We’re also having broader conversations about the guardrails on the program to make sure we are cutting down on potential waste, fraud, and abuse, which we’ll see in any program.  “We need to create a permanent structure around telehealth. Right now, we’re working on a short-term bridge policy to give us some time to consider what the guardrails would be and where the maximum efficiencies would be.”  On a Pathway Forward in Congress:  “I think it would be a big win for the American people for us to be able to come to an agreement on a bridge on telehealth.  “I would highlight that there was a bipartisan bill that passed the House – a two-year extension – that included a lot of flexibilities. Over 400 Representatives in the House voted for that legislation, and it provides certainty around Medicare paying for those services, and it also offset the cost.  “The House has done some important work on this. I’m going to be pushing to get as much of the House bill as possible into a year-end package if that should all come together.”  […]  “Whether it’s a bridge, or whether we get something attached to a year-end package, we will be doing more work around telehealth and making some long-term decisions.”