Innovation, Data, & Commerce Updates

Mar 23, 2023
Big Tech

Top 10 E&C TikTok Hearing Highlights

Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Chew to expose the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. Americans deserve to know how much their privacy is jeopardized, and their data is manipulated by ByteDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China. As Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said this morning:  “Banning your platform will address the immediate threats. Make no mistake, this Committee is looking to the future too. America needs to be prepared to stop the next technological tool or weapon China will use for its own strategic gain.   “We must prevent any app, website, and platform like TikTok from ever spying on Americans again, and we must provide the strongest protections possible for our children. That is why this Committee is leading on a national privacy and data security standard.”  Don’t miss these top moments: CLICK HERE to watch the full hearing.   CLICK HERE for more tweets from Energy and Commerce Republicans. 

Mar 23, 2023

Chair Rodgers to TikTok CEO: “Your Platform Should be Banned”

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at today’s full committee hearing titled “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms.” Excerpts and highlights below: TIKTOK'S SURVEILLANCE STATE “Mr. Chew, you are here because the American people need the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. “TikTok collects nearly every data point imaginable, from people’s location, to what they type and copy, who they talk to, biometric data, and more. “Even if they’ve never been on TikTok, your trackers are embedded in sites across the web. “TikTok surveils us all and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is able to use this as a tool to manipulate America as a whole.” TIKTOK DOESN’T SHARE AMERICA’S VALUES “We do not trust TikTok will ever embrace American values—values for freedom, human rights, and innovation. “TikTok has repeatedly chosen the path for more control, more surveillance, and more manipulation. “Your platform should be banned. “I expect today you’ll say anything to avoid this outcome. “Like that you are 100 percent responsible for what TikTok does, that you suddenly endorse a national data privacy standard, that Project Texas is more than just a marketing scheme, that TikTok doesn’t harm our innocent children, or that your ties to the Chinese Communist Party through ByteDance is just a myth. “We aren’t buying it. “In fact, when you celebrate the 150 million American users on TikTok it emphasizes the urgency for Congress to act. “That is 150 million Americans that CCP can collect sensitive information on and control what we ultimately see, hear, and believe.” TIKTOK’S PRIVACY RECORD “TikTok has repeatedly been caught in the lie that it does not answer to the CCP through ByteDance. “Today, the CCP’s laws require Chinese companies like ByteDance to spy on their behalf. “That means any Chinese company must grant the CCP access and manipulation capabilities as a design feature. “Right now, ByteDance is under investigation by the DOJ for surveilling American journalists—both digital activity and physical movements through TikTok. “We also know that many of your employees still report directly to Beijing. “Internal recordings reveal there is a backdoor for China to access user data across the platform. “Your employees said quote, ‘everything is seen in China.’ “A gateway to spy is not the only way TikTok and ByteDance can do the bidding of the CCP. “TikTok has helped erase events and people China wants the world to forget. “It has even censored an American teenager, who exposed the CCP’s genocide and torture of Uyghur Muslims. “The facts show that ByteDance is beholden to the CCP and ByteDance and TiKTok are one in the same.” PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN “TikTok also targets our children. “The ‘For You’ algorithm is a tool for TikTok to own their attention and prey on their innocence. “Within minutes of creating an account, your algorithm can promote suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders to children. “It encourages challenges for them to put their lives in danger and allows adults to prey on our beautiful, beloved daughters. “It’s also a portal for drug dealers to sell illicit fentanyl that China has banned, yet, is helping Mexican cartels produce, send across our border, and poison our children. “In China, the CCP proactively prohibits this type of TikTok content that promotes death and despair to kids.” STOPPING CHINESE SPYING ON AMERICANS “From the data it collects to the content it controls, TikTok is a grave threat of foreign influence in American life. “It's been said it is like allowing the Soviet Union the power to produce Saturday morning cartoons during the Cold War but much more powerful and much more dangerous. “Banning your platform will address the immediate threats. “Make no mistake, this Committee is also looking to the future too. “America needs to be prepared to stop the next technological tool or weapon China will use for its own strategic gain. “We must prevent any app, website, and platform like TikTok from ever spying on Americans again and we must provide the strongest protections possible for our children. “That is why this Committee is leading on a national privacy and data security standard. “It restricts sensitive American data from reaching our adversaries to begin with and what Big Tech and data brokers collect, process, store, and sell. “It makes it illegal for any platform to track and target children under 17.” THE WORLD IS WATCHING “Mr. Chew, the Committee has requested that TikTok appear before us for a long time. “For those we serve, we are glad this day has finally come. “Today, the world is watching. “ByteDance is watching. “The Chinese Communist Party is watching. “But the answers you owe are to the American people, a free people who cherish their God-given unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. “They deserve the truth. “Complete honesty and the law is the standard you are being held to before this Committee as we seek to get answers and a full understanding of what happens at TikTok under your watch.”

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 20, 2023
Press Release

E&C Republicans Lead on Legislation to Prevent Biden from Banning Gas Stoves Nationwide

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chair Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) introduced several bills to protect Americans’ rights and prevent the Biden administration bureaucrats from banning natural gas stoves nationwide:  “President Biden and the radical left want to use the federal government’s power to dictate what kind of car you can drive, how you can heat your home and business, and now how you’re allowed to cook food for your family. Forcing people to switch to expensive alternatives will only further increase costs on hardworking families and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable communities. Natural gas is a safe, reliable and affordable energy source for millions of Americans. I commend the efforts of my colleagues Reps. Armstrong and Lesko to end President Biden’s efforts to ban gas stoves in American households and ensure people have access to affordable and reliable energy," said Chair Rodgers   “Inflation is hurting everyone. We have a crisis at our Southern Border. North Dakotans are worried about being able to provide for their families. What is the Biden administration focused on? Controlling the kind of stove Americans use. This is further incompetence from an administration that seems more interested in dictating every aspect of our lives than solving real problems. Our bill makes it clear that Americans should decide if a gas stove is right for their families, not the federal government,” said Congressman Armstrong.   “The Biden Administration’s extreme proposed regulation that will ban nearly every gas stove on the market is just another example of out-of-touch bureaucrats trying to control Americans’ everyday lives,” said Congresswoman Lesko. “I am proud to join Congressman Armstrong in introducing these important bills to protect Americans’ consumer choice and stop this egregious power-grab.”  CLICK HERE to read H.R. 1640, the Save Our Gas Stoves Act.  CLICK HERE to read H.R. 1615, the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act. 

Chairs Rodgers, Bilirakis Announce Hearing on Protecting NIL Rights for College Athletes

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 subcommittee hearing  on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) titled “Taking the Buzzer Beater to the Bank: Protecting College Athletes’ NIL Dealmaking Rights.”  “Athletes and students should have every opportunity to succeed in life and in the sport they’re passionate about,” said Rodgers and Bilirakis . “E&C is working to ensure a clear set of rules for male and female athletes of every sport to benefit from their name, image, and likeness—at both large and small schools in every state—to preserve the future of college athletics. Given that March Madness is upon us, we look forward to holding this timely hearing and reigniting discussions on how we can protect the rights of young athletes across the country.”  Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce hearing title: “ Taking the Buzzer Beater to the Bank: Protecting College Athletes’ NIL Dealmaking Rights .”  WHAT: Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on protecting the name, image, and likeness rights of college athletes.   DATE: Wednesday, March 29, 2023  TIME: 10:30 AM ET  LOCATION: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building  This announcement 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 Jessica Herron at . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at

Mar 9, 2023

Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Bilirakis Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup

Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered opening remarks at today’s Full Committee markup of 20 bills. Excerpts and highlights below: CEMENTING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IN TECHNOLOGY “I want to thank my good friend, Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, for her inclusion of five Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee bills on today’s markup, some of which have been introduced and circulated for years and finally are getting a vote out of committee. “The bills we’re considering today are essential to cementing American leadership in technology and providing Americans with greater transparency regarding the websites and applications they use. “Americans are the most innovative people in the world, and we must eliminate government barriers to ensure American innovators are empowered to push the frontiers of innovation. “One way to do this is to encourage foreign direct investment from responsible and trusted countries. “Another way is to increase transparency by providing consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions. “I want to thank Mr. Pence and for his leadership on the Global Investment in American Jobs Act. “This bill will help us understand the barriers to increasing investment from friendly nations and ultimately lead the globe in emerging technologies. “I also want to thank my friend Ms. Cammack for her bipartisan work with Mr. Soto on the CAUTION Act, which requires app stores to clearly disclose if an app has been banned on federal devices. “Americans should know when they are downloading an application deemed a security threat by the federal government. “Mr. Fulcher’s Internet App ID Act would require apps to disclose if they are owned by the CCP or a business domiciled in the People’s Republic of China. “Failure to disclose Chinese ownership would be subject to penalties enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. “The TELL Act, introduced by Mr. Duncan, would require tech companies to notify their users if their platform stores data in the People’s Republic of China. “If an app or website is sending or storing data in China–Americans should know it. “As we continue to advance legislation to improve American competitiveness on the world stage, I want to reemphasize this Committee’s priority to pass a national privacy and data security law. “We are committed to getting that legislation across the finish line.”

Mar 9, 2023

Chair Rodgers Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup of 20 Bills to Secure our Energy Future and Competitive Edge

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Full Committee markup of 20 bills. Excerpts and highlights below: PROSPERITY OVER ENERGY POVERTY “We will consider twenty bills from three of our subcommittees—to help secure our energy future and global competitive edge. “In 15 of the bills, we are leading to ensure reliable, secure, clean, and affordable delivery of energy. “Energy is foundational to everything. “For centuries it has driven human progress and development and it is why America has done more to lift people out of poverty and raise the standard of living than anywhere else. “According to data from 2017, 3.7 billion people are living in energy poverty. That is half the world. “They have a 10-year lower life expectancy—35 percent fewer years of education—and many don’t have electricity at all. “Our goal today is to celebrate how our abundant energy resources have unleashed prosperity and invited people from across the globe to come to America to achieve their hopes and dreams. “We’ve accomplished this as a leader in reducing emissions and with the highest environmental and labor standards in the world. “We cannot afford to move backwards with a reckless command-and-control so-called climate agenda that forces people to pay more and go without reliable energy.” HIGH ENERGY COSTS HURT AMERICANS “Unfortunately, that is what we see right now and what President Biden has pursued since his first day in office. “From the gas station to the grocery store, his war on American energy is making life harder and more expensive for the hardworking people of this country. “Families on average have been forced to pay $10,000 more over the last two years for everyda y goods and services. “More than a third of households say they have forgone food and medicine in order to pay their energy bills. “It shouldn’t be this way.” BECOMING DANGEROUSLY RELIANT ON CHINA “President Biden is also weakening our security and making us dangerously reliant on China’s supply chains that are more harmful to the environment and use slave labor. “China’s overall share of energy minerals processing surpasses OPEC’s share of oil markets in many key areas—from 40% to 100% of key materials and processing. “DOE has noted, that China’s control of key materials in renewable energy is quote ‘across the board.’ “To win the future, we cannot allow our energy security to be surrendered the CCP.” REPUBLICAN SOLUTIONS TO AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE AND SECURE ENERGY “Our energy and climate solutions before us today are just the beginning of our work to unleash American energy, lower costs, and secure our supply chains. “We want to lift barriers to expanding our energy supplies, remove red tape over exportation and importation of LNG, and build more pipelines with our North American allies and across the states. “We also want to repeal taxes that will harm communities, shut down production, and raise prices across the entire economy. “We are leading to prevent bans on key energy technologies and stop the administration from closing off markets that would increase prices even more. “All of this will help open critical markets for energy to boost production and help drive down costs.” STRENGTHENING CRITICAL MATERIAL SUPPLY CHAINS “Other bills focus on securing the critical energy materials to be less reliant on Chinese supply chains. “That includes bolstering the Department of Energy’s responsibilities to assess, identify, and address supply chain vulnerabilities. “Further, several bills today reduce regulatory red tape for onshoring critical minerals processing and refining facilities without compromising environmental protections. “That’s how we beat China and advance prosperity for America.” PROMOTING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AND BEATING CHINA “In addition to these energy and environment bills, we are also taking action today on several solutions from our Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittee. “We know the CCP wants to replace us as a global economic and technological leader. “We must protect American data from CCP's malicious behaviors and make sure the technologies of tomorrow are developed with our values. “That is why we are leading on five solutions that will bolster our competitive edge and help secure people’s personal information from the CCP. “Overall, I look forward to our mark up today and I thank all my colleagues for their hard work. “We have a long list of bills to work through that I know will improve the lives of those we serve and secure a better future here at home.”

Chair Rodgers Announces Full Committee Markup of 20 Pieces of Legislation to Secure our Energy Future and Competitive Edge

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today announced a Full Committee markup on 20 pieces of legislation.  “The Energy and Commerce Committee plays a vital role in advancing American competitiveness and global technological leadership. In order to do this, it’s critical that the technologies of tomorrow are developed in an ecosystem that promotes our values and protects our data from adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party. We’re leading on five solutions that will help secure people’s personal information, strengthen our supply chains, and encourage investment here at home.  “Additionally, to win the future, we need to ensure reliable, secure, and affordable energy to all Americans—in their homes, their businesses, at the gas pump, and everywhere in between. President Biden’s war on American energy has made life unaffordable for people and left us more reliant on the CCP for critical energy materials. Energy and Commerce is taking action on 15 pieces of legislation to reverse the damage done by President Biden’s agenda. This is just the beginning of our work to advance solutions that lower prices, remove regulatory barriers, and strengthen our energy security, all while ensuring we continue to be good stewards of the environment and reduce emissions.”  WHAT: Full Committee markup of 20 pieces of legislation.   DATE: Thursday, March 9, 2023      TIME: 10:00 AM ET    LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building     This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The markup will be open to the public and press, and will be livestreamed online at . If you have any questions concerning the markup, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson ( ) and Jessica Herron ( ) with the Committee staff.  Legislation to be considered:    H.R. 750 , the “Chinese-owned Applications Using the Information of Our Nation Act of 2023” or the “CAUTION Act of 2023” (Reps. Kat Cammack (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL)).   H.R. 784 , the “Internet Application Integrity and Disclosure Act” or the “Internet Application I.D. Act” (Reps. Russ Fulcher (R-ID) and Chris Pappas (D-NH)).   H.R. 742 , the “Telling Everyone the Location of data Leaving the U.S. Act” or the “TELL Act” (Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Scott Perry (R-PA)).   H.R. 813 , the “Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2023” (Reps. Greg Pence (R-IN) and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA)).  H.R. 752 , the “Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2023” (Reps. Eshoo (D-CA) and Pence (R-IN)).  H.R. 1068 , the Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act (Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)).  H.R. 1121 , the Protecting American Energy Production Act (Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)).  H.R. 1085 , the Researching Efficient Federal Improvements for Necessary Energy Refining (REFINER) Act (Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)).  H.R. 1058 , the Promoting Cross-border Energy Infrastructure Act (Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)).  H. Con. Res. 14 , a resolution disapproving of President Biden canceling Keystone XL (Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)).  H. Con. Res. 17 , a resolution to Support America’s Energy Expansion (Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)).  H.R. 1130 , the Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)). H.R. 1115 , the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act (Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)).  H.R. 1070 , a bill to streamline permitting for refining critical materials (Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA)).  H.R. 1131 , a bill to cut red tape for critical energy resource facilities (Rep. John Joyce (R-PA)).   H.R. 1140 , a bill to unlock critical energy materials (Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN)).  H.R. 1158 , the Elimination of Future Technology Delays Act (Rep. John Curtis (R-UT)).  H.R. 1141 , the Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act (Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX)).  H.R. 1023 , a bill to repeal section 134 of the Clean Air Act, relating to the greenhouse gas reduction fund (Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL)).  H.R. 1155 , the Keeping America’s Refineries Act (Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)). 

Mar 1, 2023

Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis: Americans Need and Deserve More Transparency Over Their Privacy

Washington, D.C. —  Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered opening remarks at today’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Promoting U.S. Innovation and Individual Liberty through a National Standard for Data Privacy.” Excerpts and highlights below: PASSING BIPARTISAN SOLUTIONS FOR AMERICANS “We made great strides last Congress with the leadership of this Committee demonstrating that we can come together in a bipartisan fashion for the American people. “I look forward to continuing and completing that important work this Congress. “Earlier this week, the House passed H.R. 538, the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act from Representatives Curtis and Moulton, with broad bipartisan support. “I want to recognize Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Cruz in the Senate for sponsoring the Senate companion bill, which I take as a strong sign that the Senate cares about Americans’ privacy. “I thank these Members for working on legislation that compliments this Committee’s broader privacy goals and provides greater transparency to Americans about the ability for devices to secretly record them. “This is just one of many examples why Congressional action on broader comprehensive privacy and data security is desperately needed and why we are holding this hearing today, the second in a series of three.” WHY WE NEED A NATIONAL STANDARD FOR DATA PRIVACY “With that I want to express my gratitude to our panelists not only for bearing with us for the early start time, but also for sharing your expertise today. “Each of you bring important insights that will help our committee advance comprehensive privacy and data security legislation this Congress. “Americans need and deserve more transparency over how their information is collected, processed, and transferred. “In the past several years, our constituents have likely noticed the internet becoming more personalized for them—whether they are seeing more targeted advertisements showing items that they’ve recently viewed on another website, or experiencing content on social media that matches what they’ve interacted with elsewhere. “To some, these practices may be viewed as more convenient for their shopping or useful for how they digest information. “But others may find this practice invasive and unsolicited. “So, let’s give Americans the right to choose if they want this or not. “Mr. Mudd, thank you for being here to walk us through how legislation can work for businesses operating in the digital ecosystem and to share your expertise about how we can both protect innovation in our economy and still give Americans freedoms to choose what to do with their personal and sensitive data. “We also need to ensure legislation works for everyone and doesn’t adversely impact our constituents or impede on the basic liberties that every American deserves. “Miss Givens, I want to thank you for your expertise on these matters, as well as for your support over the last year in advancing comprehensive legislation.” ENSURING A RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT APPROACH “Lastly, we need to ensure responsible government approach to enforcing clear rules for businesses to comply. “Companies, especially small startups, shouldn’t be subject to random or punitive letters in the mail notifying them that certain practices could be unfair or deceptive. “It is essential that the FTC enforce the laws that we as a Congress enact and specifically authorize, but not go rogue beyond the rules of the road we provide. “This type of regulatory certainty is needed for businesses to come into compliance. “Ms. Rich, thank you for testifying. You have great insights regarding the role of the FTC in enforcing laws but doing so in a way that doesn’t unduly burden legitimate business activity. “I look forward to continuing to work with you on achieving the right balance for the FTC to enforce a national privacy and data security law to protect Americans of all ages, while at the same time ensure that businesses that follow the rules aren’t subject to government overreach and frivolous litigation. “The Committee appreciates your deep institutional knowledge and insight.”