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In the News Updates


Jun 14, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Unveils Framework for NIH Reform, Requests Stakeholder Input

Effort to begin conversation to revamp the public health agency, restore public trust Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today unveiled a framework that lays out the current challenges facing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and contains recommendations for reform. CLICK HERE to view the full framework. In a joint opinion piece with House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair Rodgers makes the case for why reform is needed and asks for stakeholders to engage thoughtfully in the effort: "Let us be clear: We support the NIH and the critical role it plays in serving Americans, furthering scientific discovery, and ensuring the U.S. remains the world's leading pioneer in basic science and biomedical research innovation. But historical support for what an agency should or could be cannot prevent us from seeking to build upon past lessons or correct areas that have fallen short. "Our message to scientists, researchers, patient advocates, colleagues, and the American people is simple: Our door is open. Work with us. Be a partner. A deliberative, engaging process will lead to better outcomes for all. The framework being released today is just the start of a robust conversation, not a finished product. "The U.S. became a world leader in biomedical innovation because Americans are resourceful, resilient, and entrepreneurial. Let us continue to build on that legacy and work to ensure the NIH continues to deliver on the promises of hope for those in need." CLICK HERE to read the full opinion piece. CLICK HERE for a one-pager on the framework.  Stakeholders who wish to submit any feedback on the framework or provide additional thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for reform can do so by emailing NIHReform@mail.house.gov by August 16, 2024. The framework comes following the release of an interim staff report regarding the Committee’s ongoing investigation into a proposed MPXV project at the NIH, which uncovered a lack of oversight and transparency from the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. KEY REPORT EXCERPT :  Ultimately, this investigation and interim report underscore the importance of restoring public trust in our government health agencies as well as Congress reasserting its Article I authority. Transparency and accountability are the most pressing remedies.  It also comes amid the Committee’s ongoing investigation into sexual harassment at the NIH and at NIH grantee institutions.  READ : August 10, 2021 : E&C Republican Leaders Question NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints     August 11, 2022 : E&C Republican Leaders follow up with NIH on Insufficient Response to its Letter on the NIH’s handling of Sexual Harassment     November 30, 2022 : E&C Republicans to NIH: Turn Over Previously Requested Information Ahead of New Congress     March 14, 2023 : E&C Republicans Press NIH for Information on Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints     October 6, 2023 : E&C Republicans Signal Intent to Issue Subpoena to Obtain Information on NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment if Questions Go Unanswered     January 26, 2024 : Chair Rogers notifies NIH of Imminent Subpoena     February 5, 2024 : Chair Rodgers Subpoenas NIH for Documents Related to Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH and NIH Grantee Institutions    February 20, 2024 : HHS responds on behalf of NIH to offer a rolling in camera document review to the Committee. Documents produced in the review have been highly redacted, including the redaction of the names of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, public news articles about individuals who have been found guilty of harassment, and redaction of the names of the institutions where the abuse occurred—effectively preventing the Committee from understanding if NIH continues to fund work performed by substantiated abusers at other institutions—a practice known as “pass the harasser.”    April 16, 2024 : E&C Republicans Expand Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH to now Include Review of HHS Office of Civil Rights Compliance Role   May 9, 2024 : E&C Republicans ask Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide the Committee with the legal basis requiring HHS to redact or hide the names of researchers determined to have committed sexual misconduct.  May 30, 2024 : Evidence Uncovered by E&C Republicans Refutes Secretary Becerra’s Assertion that HHS Takes Action to Prevent Sexual Abusers from Receiving Taxpayer Funding



Chair Rodgers Joins CNBC’s Last Call to Discuss E&C Hearing on Powering AI

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Last Call to discuss the Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing on meeting the energy needs of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, while maintaining an affordable, reliable electric grid. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: On Meeting the Energy Needs of Our Digital Future:    “The hearing today highlighted how important reliable baseload energy is to new technologies, whether it is AI or other technologies . Today we were focusing on the massive data centers that are being built, massive amounts of data that’s being collected and stored, and that all requires reliable energy.    “You think about advanced manufacturing and bringing those technologies to the United States. Again, it is dependent upon energy, and it is foundational to our lives.  “ We need more energy, not less , but we continue to see policies from the administration that are shutting down energy ... their policies are making it harder.  “If we are going to embrace artificial intelligence and everything it offers to us as a nation, it is going to require a lot more energy. That is why we have been continuing to focus on the importance of this baseload reliable energy.”  On the Importance of Reliable Energy:   “Baseload means twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It means that we have to have reliable energy, and that’s so foundational to our lives. We all are dependent upon it.   “What we heard today is that we are going to need at least double, some are predicting even more baseload.   “Down in the Georgia region, where they finally did permit a new nuclear plant, the new Vogtle plant, they said they’re going to need at least the electricity generation equal to five of those Vogtle plants moving forward.   “That’s why the Energy and Commerce Committee has been leading on streamlining the permitting process through a major nuclear package, hydropower, also dealing with natural gas pipelines .    "Permitting is probably the number one barrier to doing anything in the United States of America, including building these energy projects that are so foundational to our lives, our future, and these new technologies.” Don’t miss what E&C Republicans said about the hearing:  Don’t miss in E&E Daily: Energy, Climate and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) set the tone by focusing on competition with U.S. adversaries, namely China. AI, cryptocurrencies and data centers make up about 2 percent of global energy demand, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s only expected to increase in the coming years.   “Communication, new frameworks and long-term planning are vital to meeting the technology and energy needs of this decade and decades to come,” said Duncan.   CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers opening remarks.  CLICK HERE to read Subcommittee Chair Duncan’s opening remarks.



May 23, 2024
In the News

NBC News: Republicans and Democrats in Congress See Critical Window to Shield Online Data

Today, the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee is holding a markup of the American Privacy Rights Act to establish one national standard for data privacy and security for people of all ages— including kids —in all 50 states. The bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation gives Americans control over where their information goes and who can sell it, empowers individuals to enforce their data privacy rights, and reins in Big Tech. Don’t miss key excerpts from NBC’s article highlighting the bill below: “The presidential election is a little more than five months away, but key Republicans and Democrats in Congress see a critical window to pass sweeping legislation to shield the online data of both children and adults from Big Tech companies. “‘I believe that there’s a moment here where, on behalf of the American people, Congress needs to act,’ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said in an interview on the steps of the Capitol. “‘There’s a recognition, on behalf of protecting our kids online, in protecting all Americans, that we need to ensure that there are privacy rights in place … and that our identity is being protected online and that we’re in control of our data,’ she said. “The Energy and Commerce subcommittee that oversees online data will take the first step in trying to advance the privacy legislation, holding a markup Thursday on the American Privacy Rights Act, broad legislation that includes privacy protections for kids and adults, as well as the Kids Online Safety Act.” [...] “A revised draft bill was announced this week to address critics’ concerns. “The American Privacy Rights Act would create national consumer data privacy rights and set federal standards for securing people’s data rather than have a patchwork of state laws. Among other things, the legislation would require companies to be clear about how they use people’s data and ‘give consumers the right to access, correct, delete, and export their data,’ according to a bill summary. The bill would also limit how companies collect and use data and ban transferring certain data to third parties without consent. “The measure includes the bipartisan bill to protect kids' and teens' online data, known as COPPA 2.0. “‘I see the American Privacy Rights Act as foundational to protecting kids online, foundational to protecting our individual identity online,’ McMorris Rodgers said. “The bipartisan privacy bill is gathering momentum just weeks after McMorris Rodgers and Cantwell reached a compromise on legislation that forces TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the popular video-sharing app or face a ban in the U.S. President Joe Biden signed the TikTok bill into law as part of a larger national security package.” CLICK HERE to read the full article. CLICK HERE to learn more about how APRA is foundational to protecting kids online. CLICK HERE for how APRA will help small businesses grow and thrive.



May 22, 2024
In the News

Chair Rodgers Joins “Scrolling 2 Death” Podcast to Discuss the American Privacy Rights Act and Protecting Kids Online

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined host Nicki Reisberg on the Scrolling 2 Death podcast . Chair Rodgers shared how the American Privacy Rights Act will give people the right to control their data and is foundational to protecting kids online . Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: On the Importance of Protecting Kids Online: “First and foremost, I am a mom. We have three kids. Our oldest is 17, Cole, and then we have girls that are 10 and 13.   “Really, these Big Tech platforms have become my biggest fear. When you think about digital data, it’s deeply personal.    “It's central to a person's identity, and right now these algorithms that have been developed by these companies are specifically designed, not just to get our kids addicted to the platforms and keep them on these platforms as long as possible, but it also leads to harms against our children.   “A third of our teens right now say that they're almost constantly scrolling on some form of social media. “I think that's why the name of your podcast is spot on, because, really, our kids are scrolling to death, and these platforms are intentionally targeting our children with addictive content that leads to dangerous, and too often, life-threatening behaviors.   “Just recently, the Surgeon General of the United States of America talked about us having a loneliness epidemic.”  [...]   “What we're seeing is that this crisis is being driven because kids are spending more time online.   “Whether it's you, Nikki, or for my husband and I, or millions of parents across the nation, it really is a battle for our kids' development, their mental health, and ultimately their safety. That's why we must build a better future for our children.   “Our children are our future, and reining in Big Tech is a big part of what needs to happen to people, but especially our children, back in control of who they are, what they think, and how they live their lives.”  On Demanding Accountability from Big Tech: “Currently, Big Tech lacks accountability, and it's because they are immune from most civil liability because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.   “This is a law that was passed back in 1996. So, it was well before most of these companies even existed.   “But, under Section 230, they were to moderate content that was illegal or illicit, and they were to be held accountable for that.   “Unfortunately, the way that the courts have interpreted Section 230, they have become almost immune from any accountability and immune from liability because of illegal or illicit activity.   “If you look in our society, other companies, other industries don't receive this kind of protection.   “And Big Tech is using this law to shield them from any responsibility and accountability, as their platforms are involved in [causing] immense harm to people and especially our children.  “The story that you just shared, unfortunately, is repeated over and over and over, and what is happening today is that these platforms and companies are profiting from children.   “They're developing algorithms that are pushing harmful content to our kids.   “They're refusing to strengthen their protections against bad actors, and we see more predators, more drug dealers, sex traffickers, extortionists, or cyber bullies, and it's our kids that are paying the price at the expense of their mental health.   “So, what we need is a reset, and that's what the package of bills that we are moving forward right now is focused on.   “We have the American Privacy Rights Act focused on creating a national standard [for] privacy [and] data security.  “We also have legislation around Section 230 that would sunset Section 230 and give Big Tech a choice either to work with Congress to ensure the internet is a safe and healthy place or lose those liability protections.   “This would ensure that the social media companies are being held accountable for failing to protect our kids online. We also have bills that are focused specifically on kids, KOSA and COPPA, which is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.   “All of these bills are really focused on ushering in a new era on the internet, one that would be defined by individual control and free expression, prosperity, innovation, but most importantly, accountability and safety.”  On the Path to Reform Section 230: “We are continuing to move forward. The Section 230 bill is important, because, as you as you said, this is where the social media platforms are gaining this shield of immunity.   “Right now, even though the law says that they are to be moderating content that is illegal or illicit, I have a constituent, Molly Cain, who lost her son when he bought a pill online. This was Snapchat. But it was an anti anxiety pill he thought he was buying. Instead, it was laced in fentanyl, and he died.   “This type of a story where the tech company or the platform is not held accountable is repeated because of the way the courts have interpreted Section 230. So, what we're doing this week is moving forward on the legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been at the forefront of these issues for decades."   [...]  “The goal here is to force Congress to reform this bill by certain date or the tech companies will just lose their immunity. So, we're going to be moving these bills through subcommittee, and that's the first step.  “Then they'll go to the Full Committee but [we’re] continuing to build support. It's really important that people that care about these issues are reaching out to Members on both sides of the aisle, right now, to voice their support for these bills.   “We're taking on some of the largest companies in America right now. They have a lot of resources, and my hope is that it will be moms and parents and kids that have been harmed that really rise up all across this country to voice support.”  On Limiting the Amount of Data Big Tech Can Collect: “We're going to continue to take steps. These are very complicated issues.   “As I mentioned, the Committee has been working on them for decades, but I really believe that now is the time that we have some solutions that have bipartisan support that we can get onto the President's desk. Congress needs to act.  “We have the American Privacy Rights Act. That's foundational to protecting our kids online, as well as protecting all Americans online. This would set up a national privacy standard, as well as protecting data online in all 50 states for all ages. Fundamentally, it is built upon data minimization.   “It just limits, from the very beginning, the amount of data that companies can collect, and this will restrict a company's ability to track, predict, and manipulate people for profit without their knowledge and consent.   “In addition, it will strengthen protections for children when Big Tech is using this data to track and target our kids online by creating dangerous algorithms.”  [...] “The bill also gives individuals an ability to turn off targeted advertising. That is another way that companies track every aspect of our lives, like our location data, our clicks, our search history, and it would require companies to review their algorithms to ensure that they're not endangering children through malicious content, which we all see is leading to these downward spirals.   “So, that's the American Privacy Rights Act. That's foundational, and then the kids bills complement this effort.   “We have the [Kids] Online Safety Act (KOSA), and then COPPA. [...] We had one lady young lady who testified her name was Ava, and she shared her personal story.  “It was really powerful to hear her talk about how they were collecting massive amounts of data on her. They were able to exploit her vulnerabilities. They understood her vulnerabilities, and then they targeted her through the ads, and they led her down this path that led to ads around bikinis and then it was exercise videos and then it was dieting tips.   “Then, finally, she found herself with an eating disorder, and she was so grateful that she was able to break out of that, but she just shared that because of the amount of data they collected, they weaponized that data against her and really exploited her vulnerabilities.”   On Working with the Senate and the White House to Pass Comprehensive Data Privacy: “Senator Maria Cantwell is the Chairwoman in the Senate of the Commerce Committee. We're working together on the privacy bill.   “There's been a lot of hearings, we've received a lot of feedback, and we continue to get input from Members and stakeholders, but I'm really encouraged by the support that we're hearing from, from Members and stakeholders on Capitol Hill, but also people all across the country. “This really is the time for people to make their voices heard, and demand that Congress take action to protect our kids online.” 



Chair Rodgers Joins Chuck Todd to Discuss Section 230 Reform, Data Privacy, and TikTok

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined NBC News’s The Chuck ToddCast with host Chuck Todd. Chair Rodgers reflected on her time in Congress as well as her top priorities to rein in Big Tech, including Section 230 reform and the American Privacy Rights Act. On Section 230 Reform: “This is the moment. It's been an is sue before Congress for years, ever since Section 230 was put into place in 1996 in the Telecommunications Act. “The agreement for Big Tech—they weren't big at that time, because it was even before Google and Twitter and Facebook—was they were to moderate content, illegal, illicit in exchange for these liability protections. “It's just very different. They have broken trust. They are not doing what they are [supposed] to be doing under Section 230. “The courts have ruled in such a way that they have basically given them unlimited liability protections. “I believe that this is a time when we—Congress—must act to protect individuals online, to protect our personal privacy rights online. The Energy and Commerce Committee has been working on this for decades, and we have a bill. “We have the Section 230 bill, we have the American Privacy Rights Act that Senator Cantwell as the Chair of [Senate] Commerce has hammered out with me, and I believe that there is a sense among Members on both sides of the aisle that the American people know this needs to happen, and this is our moment.” On Protecting Americans Data from Big Tech: "Americans have no real understanding as to how much data is being collected. “Right now, there is no limit. So, tech companies, other companies, businesses are collecting unlimited amounts of data.” [...] “I think there's a growing concern among Americans that they are concerned about the amount of data, especially with AI, and this new world where there's going to be even larger data sets and computations. The individual is just going to get lost in that whole new world. That only increases the cry that we need to protect our identity online. “We need to have individual privacy rights online, and I can tell you that this is an issue at home. When I talk about it, it's one that gets the heads nodding.” [...] “[The American Privacy Rights Act] is protecting individuals, but especially our kids. Parents are very concerned about the amount of time that kids are spending online [...] The way that [the algorithms] are structured right now is to get your kids online, pull them in, and take them down destructive paths.” On Tech Companies Avoiding Responsibility: “That's where Section 230 comes into play, because they got the liability protections in exchange for this commitment that they would be moderating this content. “Now we know that they have established algorithms that have become really about keeping us online for profit. “There's this sense that they're putting their own profit ahead of what is best for us as a people, best for our children. “We passed the TikTok bill earlier this year, and the President signed it into law, forcing the divestiture of TikTok. “When we passed that bill, we weren't sure what the outcry was going to be, because people said, 'Oh, it's so popular...all these kids...177 million Americans', and yet there hasn't been this overwhelming outcry from the users. “I think it is because, in our heart of hearts, a lot of people know that something needed to take place.” On Protecting Americans from Applications Controlled by Foreign Adversaries, like TikTok: “The bill targeted TikTok, but it also targets other apps that would be controlled by foreign adversaries.” [...] “We defined [foreign adversary] as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.” [...] “You remember the previous administration had attempted to force TikTok to divest because of the national security concerns, and the courts had ruled that they didn't have the authority to do that. “So, there was a sense that Congress needed to act to clarify that there are laws on the books for foreign ownership, yet the CFIUS laws and the other laws were not covering these apps. They're relatively new. “So, I believe that a targeted approach was important, but Members on both sides of the aisle were saying we need to address the [conduct of] technology companies that are headquartered in the United States of America. “We need a privacy standard in the United States of America. We need to protect our kids online. “There was this drumbeat that was certainly a part of that debate.”  On Who Should Control Americans Data: “Well, ultimately, you should have control over your data.” [...] “The approach that I've taken in this proposal [the American Privacy Rights Act ] is to put into law a privacy right. I know there's this debate around ownership and if they should have to pay the individual. “We're putting into law a privacy right, so that a company, or any kind of a business entity that's collecting data, can collect only [data] for their business, for their service. “You would have a right to know what that profile is. “This is called data minimization. “So, we minimize the amount of data that they can collect, and then anything beyond that, you would have to opt-in.” On Minimizing the Data Companies can Collect on Individuals: “We need a reset. We need to reset the internet to empower the individual. “So now what this would do is reset where the individual will have a right to know what the profile is and make sure it's actually an accurate profile. “Then, if your data is being sold, you're notified of that. So, it puts the burden on the business, the tech company, to actually notify you, and if you don't want your data to be sold, if you don't want it to be transferred, if you don't want them to know your location, then you can opt-out of that. “Right now, it's notice and consent, and that is the way it currently operates. “We're doing a reset to data minimization, and it puts the individual in charge of their data.” On Stopping the Collection of Children’s Data: “There's other laws that compliment this privacy law that you hear about: KOSA, the Kids Online Safety Act, COPPA, Children Online Privacy Protection Act , Section 230. I see them all as different pieces of what needs to happen to really do a reset to protect our identity online.” On Protecting Small Businesses: “Europe did pass a privacy law and I believe 80% of the world live in a country that has a privacy law in place. We don't. “[Europe’s data privacy bill] was put into place and it's very bureaucratic, it's very regulatory and it has is raised costs, especially the small businesses and the startups. “We want to make sure that [we support our small businesses]. “Part of Section 230 was to encourage liability protections for the small businesses and the startups, so that they can grow, and we have more competition.” [...] "We include a right to cure for businesses that, you know, so they would have a right to get it right. “If you're under 40 million, you're not included. If you're not selling data, you're not included in this. "It's only if you're actually in the business of collecting data and selling it to another entity that you would be [subject to the provisions of the American Privacy Rights Act]. CLICK HERE to listen to the full podcast. CLICK HERE to learn more about the American Privacy Rights Act.



May 1, 2024
Blog

Chair Rodgers Joins CNBC’s Squawk Box to Discuss E&C Hearing on Change Healthcare Cyberattack

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about today’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the Change Healthcare cyberattack. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below:  On What to Expect at This Afternoon’s Hearing:   “This is an important Oversight Subcommittee hearing for the Energy and Commerce Committee. We expect to get a comprehensive report from Mr. Witty from UnitedHealth as to what happened, why Americans have had their personal health information made available on the dark web, what they're doing to fix this problem, and then also what we and what UnitedHealth must do to ensure that this never happens again.  “UnitedHealth is very large, and millions of families and taxpayers pay billions of dollars to UnitedHealth in premiums, and we need to make sure that their personal health information is protected from these kinds of cyberattacks.”  On Attempts to Catch the Cyber Criminals:   “UnitedHealth decided to pay the ransom. We're going to ask questions as to why they decided to pay the ransom, in this case, because we know that when you pay the ransom, that only incentivizes more of the harmful behavior by those that are perpetrating these kinds of cyber attacks.   “We have been spending a lot of time and had numerous hearings around cybersecurity. Just two weeks ago, we had a hearing on cybersecurity as it relates to health care, on what steps we need to be taking to protect personal, sensitive health information that has been made available on the dark web, in this case, which is very harmful to millions of Americans.  “This is a very serious issue, and that's part of the purpose of the hearing today.”   On the Role of Congress Intervening to Protect Patients’ Data:   “This hearing is part of us getting answers. We need to better understand what happened, why it happened, and then we will look at what steps we need to be taking. Certainly cybersecurity, whether it's in healthcare or other sectors, is top of mind for Americans as we see more and more of our information online. “The Committee is working on protecting American privacy rights online. We've also worked on the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act to give Americans more ownership over their data, but also to understand what the prices are.   “In this case, United has become very large, and the individual, unfortunately doesn't always have a lot of power and control in this, so I believe it's very important that we get legislation that's going to help patients understand what the prices are. We have United as a very large health insurance company that maybe doesn't want to pay the prices, only the doctors that are providing the care and that can be problematic.”  [...]  “We have looked at the consolidation, and we passed legislation with overwhelming support— the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act —to address this consolidation to provide more competition in the marketplace, which ultimately brings down costs and gives consumers more choices.   “We're working with the Senate to get them to take action on this, because we're overall concerned about these larger and larger health care systems.”



Apr 22, 2024
Hearings

Media Recap: E&C Leads to Strengthen Data Privacy Protections for All Americans

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is leading to advance the American Privacy Rights Act , which establishes strong data privacy protections for people of every age in every state. Last week, the Committee held a legislative hearing to consider data privacy and security proposals that eliminate the existing patchwork of state laws, protect children online, set clear national data privacy rights, and give Americans the ability to enforce their privacy rights.  Kara Frederick, Director of the Tech Policy Center at the Heritage Foundation, said this on Fox & Friends about the American Privacy Rights Act : “This is the moment. This is the first time the United States could actually pass a national data protection framework which protects us, young and old. [The American Privacy Rights Act] is the thing we should be training our focus on because it underpins everything that kids can do on social media and every predation that Big Tech can train on young children.” Politico Pro – Morning Technology: “ On the same page: One area of consensus was APRA’s data minimization standard [...] which requires a company to only collect the information that’s necessary to provide its services to users.  “Five out of the six witnesses Wednesday said data minimization is the most essential provision in APRA.  “This provision would be a shift from the current data collection model of 'notice and consent,' where companies can collect and use data for purposes disclosed in their privacy policies unless a person opts out.”  [...]  “APRA even came up when the discussion switched to bills about children’s safety online, including the Kids Online Safety Act and the Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0). Companions to both bills have advanced out of the Senate Commerce Committee and are awaiting a Senate floor vote.” Washington Post: “House lawmakers pledged to take swift action on data privacy and children’s online safety at a key legislative hearing Wednesday.” [...] “Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee touted the breakthrough deal struck by Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) as a significant step forward in the debate over privacy protections. Several expressed confidence that Congress will finally get a national law on the books after years of false starts. “'I’m fired up. We’ve got to get this done,’ said Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), whose subcommittee held the hearing. ‘I’m fired up, too. […] We do need to get this done,’ echoed Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).” The Verge: “Legislators are ‘fired up’ about what they see as an actual chance at passing comprehensive privacy reform.  “ We might really do it this time. “That was the takeaway that House lawmakers were eager to impart at a hearing in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on innovation, data, and commerce (IDC). Comprehensive data privacy legislation is on the table yet again—but this time, it’s different.” [...] “Comprehensive privacy protection has been a shared bipartisan goal for years but has failed to become law due to disagreements on the finer points: Should they preempt state legislation that’s provided some baseline protections in the absence of federal ones? Should individual consumers have a private right of action to sue for violations of their data rights? “This is the closest that Congress has gotten to advancing comprehensive privacy legislation in some time.”  Read more coverage from Yahoo News , The National Desk , and Inside Radio . CLICK HERE to watch Chair Rodgers on NewsNation discussing the American Privacy Rights Act .



Apr 18, 2024
In the News

Chair Rodgers Joins NewsNation: “APRA puts people back in control of their data.”

Next Steps for the American Privacy Rights Act House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined NewsNation’s Markie Martin on Wake Up America this morning to discuss the Committee’s legislative hearing on the American Privacy Rights Act as well as next steps for the draft legislation. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: PUTTING AMERICANS IN CONTROL OF THEIR DATA “[This bill] would mean that you would be able to know what profile [companies] have collected on you. “There would be a limited amount of data that would be collected to begin with, sensitive data, like your location data and your search engine history—personal information that identifies you. [...] “It puts individuals back in control. This is important to all Americans. “Parents are calling upon Congress to act because we know that too many people are being targeted, especially our kids, and manipulated for dangerous purposes.” DANGERS OF UNCHECKED DATA COLLECTION "Ultimately it is Big Tech that is manipulating how you think and how you act. “We heard testimony yesterday at the hearing from a young lady, Ava, who talked about the troves of data, really an arsenal of data, that had been collected on her by her search history, but also just staying on a post for too long. “They were able to identify her vulnerabilities and ultimately take her down this path that led to an eating disorder. “And unfortunately, these are the kinds of stories that are repeated over and over where they're able to predict how we think and how we act and, too many times, bad actors are using it for purposes that are very destructive.” NEXT STEPS FOR THE AMERICAN PRIVACY RIGHTS ACT “Members on both sides of the aisle know that we need to act. “I'm really excited that we've been able to hammer out an agreed upon proposal that is bipartisan and also bicameral. House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats coming together. “We've been working on this for years, but now is the time to act. “At yesterday's hearing in the House, members on both sides of the aisle expressed so much encouragement for a draft proposal, a national privacy standard, that we will be able to put into place to protect all Americans online, but especially our children. “Many members have been involved in efforts through the years but the time to act is now and we've reached an agreement on a draft bill that we plan to keep moving through this process. “As the Chair of the Committee, we had the hearing, now we're going to start working through actually introducing the bill, as well as the kids’ online safety bills, and moving them through the legislative process to get them onto the Floor and ultimately the President's desk.”  



Chair Rodgers in Fox News: “It is past time for us to put people in control of their data”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) spoke with Fox News Digital about the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 . The bipartisan, bicameral draft legislation will establish a national data privacy and security standard and give people the right to control their personal information online. Highlights and excerpts from the article : “Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said it is her ‘biggest fear’ as a parent for her children’s sensitive data to be exploited online, and she is aiming to quell those fears for herself and millions of Americans with a new federal data privacy standard .  “ ‘ There’s very dangerous activity online, and data collection is foundationally how these algorithms are developed and then ultimately used to target children, but also people in general,' Rodgers told Fox News Digital in an interview.   “‘This is really my biggest fear as a parent, having three school-aged children, other friends who have had kids that have been targeted online. We know that these algorithms have been targeting children with dangerous content, targeted advertising that leads to dangerous life-threatening behaviors.’” [...] “The Washington Republican teamed up with Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to unveil a bipartisan framework aimed at giving Americans more control over personal data they share online and empowering them to take action when that sensitive information falls prey to bad actors." […] “It also gives people the right to sue if a company [...] continues to harvest and sell their data without their permission, and if a data breach or hack caused ‘clear harm,’ Rodgers explained. “Rodgers told Fox News Digital to expect a hearing this week as the legislation begins to make its way through Congress. “The ambitious proposal would set the first-ever federal data privacy standard if passed. However, the issue of data privacy has been around for a long time – almost as long as the internet itself. “‘It is imperative that we move this bill. It's been decades that Congress has been grappling with a privacy data security law, and it is past time for us to put people in control of their data,’ she said.” CLICK HERE to read the full article. CLICK HERE to watch our legislative hearing on Wednesday to discuss the draft legislation and other solutions to protect people online.