Innovation, Data, & Commerce Updates

Jan 25, 2024

Advocates Agree: Congress Needs to Act to Protect Student Athletes' NIL Rights

Stakeholders across the college sports community agree, the pillars of the FAIR College Sports Act will help preserve the rights of student athletes, protect them from bad actors, and ensure they can benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). We’ve heard from student athletes themselves, as well as universities, conferences, and others, all of whom are emphasizing the need for clearer NIL guidelines, protection of amateur status, and increased transparency requirements for agents, boosters, and collectives. Lead Bill Sponsor and Chair of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Rep. Gus Bilirakis: “The goal of this bill is to establish a clear set of rules, so that young people are protected, opportunities for them promoted, and amateur sports of all kinds are preserved, and does so without expanding government.” Meredith Page of Radford University testifies before the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Here is what advocates are saying: President Charlie Baker, National Collegiate Athletic Association “I am grateful to Chairman Bilirakis for his support of college sports and for introducing draft legislation designed to protect this enterprise we all love. The Association applauds his efforts to support student-athletes and create a level-playing field by preempting state NIL laws and proposing important protections for college athletes. Importantly, this proposal addresses the critical issues of student-athlete employment and ongoing, unsustainable litigation by our conferences and schools.” Meredith Page, Student Athlete, Radford University Volleyball “A cohesive set of rules ensures that every student-athlete, regardless of their program or location, can benefit from their NIL without unnecessary complications. Guardrails help maintain the integrity of collegiate sports while offering student-athletes the chance to capitalize on their personal brand. It’s not just about the present, but also about creating a sustainable and fair system for future generations of student-athletes." Keke Tholl, Student Athlete, University of Michigan Softball “My biggest concern, though, is what employment status would mean for supporting all sports. If student-athletes are made into employees, budget impacts would mean that many universities likely cannot, and will not, support all sports. We then face yet another Title IX issue with the major revenue generators being male student-athletes, leaving women’s sports to again face an uncertain reality.” The Four Historically Black Athletic Conferences (4HBAC) “To protect all that we have accomplished on our HBCU campuses, we ask for your support in passing laws that, when necessary, pre-empt state law, to create clear and fair playing fields for HBCU student-athletes. Such legislation will allow for consistent and nimble national governance with consumer protections. Most importantly, we seek special status for student-athletes to ensure they are not designated as employees of their institutions.” The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (ULC) “Athletes in states without NIL laws have been able to engage in a wide variety of NIL activities that are prohibited under the laws of other states. This patchwork of state laws has thus led to disparate NIL benefits and opportunities for college athletes dictated almost entirely by the state law, if any, that governs their institution. These differences have become even more magnified as varying NIL laws have impacted the recruiting cycle and influenced the enrollment decisions of prospective college athletes and the transfer decisions of current college athletes.”  […]  “Without uniform regulation of NIL, it appears increasingly likely that the NCAA and other athletic organizations will be unable to prevent illegitimate NIL activity that threatens to upend the collegiate model of sports.” Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) “Codifying federal law over state law in the NIL space is essential to establish uniformity, clarity, fairness, and national oversight. It would promote equal opportunities for college athletes, avoid compliance burdens, and ensure a consistent framework for navigating the complexities of NIL. By taking a comprehensive and unified approach, Congress can provide a stable and predictable environment for student-athletes to exercise their NIL rights while preserving the integrity and competitiveness of college sports.”  […] “We implore you to take decisive action in support of federal legislation addressing NIL and student-athlete employment-status in college sports. By enhancing safeguards, affirming the unique university-student-athlete relationship, providing safe harbor for the NCAA, and establishing federal preemption in certain areas, we can bring stability, fairness, and consistency to the evolving NIL landscape.” Commissioner Jeff Jackson, The Missouri Valley Conference “The FAIR Act represents a critical bipartisan effort that goes a long way and is an important step forward in bringing clarity to the NIL process and protections for our student athletes. It recognizes the historic relationship between an academic institution and a student-athlete and protects against recent attempts to reclassify these students as employees, a move that would negatively impact the ability of most universities to offer the scholarship-level competition that has become so much a fabric of their campuses.”

Jan 18, 2024
Press Release

Chair Bilirakis Opening Remarks on Protecting Student Athletes’ Dealmaking Rights

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee legislative hearing to discuss establishing a national framework to protect the rights of student athletes to earn compensation and sign agents to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).    CURRENT WILD-WEST NIL LANDSCAPE “Last year, our Subcommittee held an educational hearing on this topic of Name, Image, and Likeness in collegiate athletics where we heard from student athletes, university presidents, athletic directors, and others involved in this rapidly growing field. “On the heels of this season’s College Football National Championship game, where the University of Michigan Wolverines defeated the University of Washington Huskies, there has never been a better time to address this topic. And I do want to say congratulations to the Wolverines and Michigan fans nationwide, including my friends Debbie Dingell and Tim Walberg, for their victory. “I want to be clear today—NIL is great for players, and the change was long overdue. At the same time, the sudden transition to NIL has enabled a ‘wild-west’ environment where pay-for-play is rampant. “The purchasing of players has set college athletics on an unsustainable path. To ensure a long-term future for college athletics, we must promote safe guardrails and a level playing field. “There is no doubt that Congress needs to act. Unfortunately, the NIL landscape is complicated because the NCAA created many of the problems to begin with and has since struggled to get a handle on this evolving landscape. “I am certainly among those who have been concerned with some of the Association’s recent activities while supportive of others, and I look forward to hearing President Baker’s testimony.” PROTECTING SMALLER ATHLETIC PROGRAMS “As money has poured in from boosters, collectives, and corporate entities to purchase players for their favorite team, small schools and non-revenue generating sports are often forgotten. “Meanwhile, I believe we are losing sight of the educational opportunities and values that defines the student experience in universities across our nation. “Some have further advocated for students as employees or for forced revenue-sharing schemes, both of which have the potential to end many women’s sports programs and significantly reduce our Olympic pipeline. In the 2020 Tokyo games, almost 82 percent of American medalists had direct ties to a collegiate program. “So, while the courts have settled the debate on NIL compensation broadly, it has become necessary for Congress to step in and provide some common-sense rules of the road." FAIR COLLEGE SPORTS ACT “Today we are considering my discussion draft proposal the FAIR College Sports Act. The goal of this bill is to establish a clear set of rules, so that young people are protected, opportunities for them promoted, and amateur sports of all kinds are preserved, and does so without expanding government. “The FAIR College Sports Act has received an open and robust stakeholder feedback process over the past 8 months. I don’t believe this should be a partisan issue, and I’m excited to formally begin a public discussion on NIL legislation and know that we can come together to build consensus. “I’m grateful to our former colleague Senator Ben Ray Lujan for his efforts to move the ball forward on this issue with me. “I also particularly want to thank Rep. Dingell, who has committed to working with me to find a path forward. I know she has some concerns with the current draft, and I’m sure there are issues that we won’t fully agree on. But this is why we have legislative hearings and run a regular order process to discuss these matters and work on them together . “It is important to remember that Energy & Commerce is where bipartisan proposals flourish and become law. NIL should be one of those examples. “I also want to call out the three student athletes represented on the panel today: Meredith Page Keke Tholl, and Chase Griffin. You are the reason why we do this. “With a thoughtful and balanced framework, I’m confident we can provide stability to collegiate athletics while ensuring to protect athletes, promote fair play, and preserve the sports we know and love.”

Jan 18, 2024

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on Protecting Student Athletes’ Dealmaking Rights

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee legislative hearing to discuss establishing a national framework to protect the rights of student athletes to earn compensation and sign agents to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).  “Thank you to our witnesses for joining us today.  “I want to take a moment to thank Chair Bilirakis for his exhaustive process over the past year to bring parties together and recognize my colleagues, Representative Dingell and Senator Lujan—an alum of this committee—for their work with him to find a path forward on this important issue.   “Every one of us takes great pride in the universities and colleges in our home states. We all want our student athletes to be successful, both on and off the field.  “Today’s hearing is the next step in our regular order process.   “This is an opportunity to continue the dialogue, address outstanding concerns, and hear from the student athletes who will benefit most from a clear set of uniform rules and protections.”  NIL PATCHWORK BURDENS STUDENTS   “To ensure that amateur athletes have every chance to succeed in life and in sports, we must give them clear guidance.  “Today, we have the opportunity to hear from several of these athletes, Ms. Meredith Page, a Division I volleyball player at Radford University, Ms. Keke Tholl, a member of the University of Michigan softball team, and Mr. Chase Griffin, a football player at UCLA.  “We appreciate you sharing your stories with us.   “Your experience navigating this complex topic is critical as members work to refine the discussion draft under consideration.   “The current patchwork of state laws is confusing for athletes, schools, and conferences alike.  “It is unreasonable to expect student athletes to balance their studies while navigating a maze of complex and conflicting laws.  “They are put in an unwinnable position of running afoul of rules they would need a law firm to provide counsel on.  “This can be detrimental to their educational experience, as well as their savings and future career.   “I recently heard about a draft NIL agreement with a collective which agreed to pay an athlete $1.5 million over two years.  “Hidden in the fine print was a provision which allowed the collective 'from time to time' to ask for repayment of that money plus a 10 percent interest for commission and expenses.   “These provisions applied even if that agreement were to be terminated.  “This behavior is abhorrent, predatory and is exactly what we are trying to prevent with this legislation.  “With one national standard, we can shield student athletes from such bad actors, provide transparency into the evolving NIL marketplace, and allow athletes to focus on succeeding on the field and in the classroom.  “We need to get this right in order to protect the rights for millions of young Americans to continue receiving an education and competing in the sports they love.”  PROTECTING PROGRAMS OF ALL SIZES   “Furthermore, while some sports at the highest level are profitable, most student athletes are competing in sports that are non-revenue generating.  “Yet many of these programs continue to be paths for students pursuing higher education and for some to even represent our country to the world.  “For instance, in the 2020 Tokyo games, over 80 percent of U.S. Medalists had ties to a collegiate program, with more than 170 U.S. institutions of higher learning being a training ground for Olympians.  “Some proposals currently being discussed, along with the uncertainty created by a patchwork of state laws, jeopardize these opportunities for young people and could prevent them from accessing a college degree program.     “It would mean that many small schools, including historically black colleges and universities, and others could be forced to eliminate their sports programs altogether.  “Our proposal would ensure these programs are preserved for student athletes across the country.  “These collegiate athletes are more than just athletes—they are students, small business owners, podcasters, entrepreneurs, and more.  “They deserve clear guidelines and transparency.  “NIL is a long-overdue means of compensation for student athletes across our country.  “Every student athlete deserves the opportunity to succeed in their sport and in their life.   “There are many other important conversations currently happening in collegiate sports that aren’t necessarily specific to the issue of NIL—for instance, Title IX—which other committees are actively engaging on.  “As we continue this discussion, I encourage all my colleagues—in the House and Senate—as well as stakeholders, to work with us in providing the best protections and opportunities possible for student athletes.” 

Jan 17, 2024
Press Release

E&C, China Select Committees Launch Inquiry into Taxpayer Funding Streams Funneled to CCP-Backed Researcher

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), E&C Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-OH), E&C Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), E&C Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, launched an investigation into grants made to an AI scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  The Chairs made requests for documents to UCLA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).  BACKGROUND :  On November 1, 2023, a Newsweek investigation found that the federal government awarded at least $30 million in federal research grants led by Mr. Song-Chun Zhu, who is now “at the forefront of China's race to develop the most advanced artificial intelligence.”  The investigation further revealed the NSF and DOD continued funding Mr. Zhu even as he “set up a parallel institute near Wuhan, took a position at a Beijing university whose primary goal is to support Chinese military research, and joined a CCP ‘talent plan’ whose members are tasked with transferring knowledge and technology to China.”  In particular, Newsweek found that the project once led by Mr. Zhu received $1.2 million in two grants from the Office of Naval Research in 2021, the year following his departure to China.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT:   “Mr. Zhu has openly discussed how if China takes the lead in developing a ‘truly universal intelligence,’ then it will ‘become the winner of the international technology competition.’ He has also referred to the AI race as being equivalent in military importance to the race for the atomic bomb. In a period of intensifying geopolitical competition with the CCP, ceasing federal government support for Chinese AI development is a critical national security imperative.”  CLICK HERE to read the letter to UCLA Chancellor Gener Block.  CLICK HERE to read the letter to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.  CLICK HERE to read the letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. 

Jan 11, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Bilirakis Announce Subcommittee Legislative Hearing on Establishing NIL Protections for College Athletes

NCAA President set to testify on name, image, and likeness landscape 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 legislative hearing titled “NIL Playbook: Proposal to Protect Student Athletes' Dealmaking Rights.” “College athletes of every sport who can now benefit from their name, image, and likeness—at both large and small schools in every state—should be empowered to succeed and protected from bad actors. Our top priority is to preserve the future of college athletics with a national standard that sets clear rules of the road for players, agents, and collectives alike,” said Chairs Rodgers and Bilirakis. “Every member on this committee takes great pride in the colleges and universities in our home states. We all want our student athletes to flourish—both on and off the field. We look forward to hearing from witnesses, including NCAA President Charlie Baker, and other representatives from the collegiate sports community as we continue our work to protect the rights of all student athletes.” Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce hearing titled “NIL Playbook: Proposal to Protect Student Athletes' Dealmaking Rights.” WHAT: A legislative hearing to discuss a name, image, and likeness (NIL) proposal led by Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis. DATE: Thursday, January 18, 2024 TIME: 10:30 AM ET LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building The following draft legislation will be discussed: H.R. ___ , the FAIR College Sports Act CLICK HERE to read a joint statement from Chair Bilirakis, Rep. Dingell (D-MI), and Senator Lujan (D-NM). This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Jessica Herron at . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at .  

Dec 20, 2023
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Bilirakis Press China-Based Online Marketplaces on Potential Data Privacy and Human Rights Violations

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), on behalf of subcommittee Republicans, sent a letter to China-based e-commerce companies raising concerns over data privacy and security risks for American users, the counterfeit products flourishing on these platforms, and reports of horrific human rights abuses.   BACKGROUND:   China-based e-commerce marketplaces, like TikTok, TaoBao, Pinduoduo, Temu, Alibaba, AliExpress, and Shein, have recently increased in popularity in the U.S.  The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) requires that all Chinese tech companies allow the CCP to access all user information, raising serious data privacy and security concerns for Americans using these platforms .  These marketplaces commonly offer “knock off” versions of products, which often undermine intellectual property laws.  Furthermore, reports have alleged that some of the sellers on these platforms may have committed egregious human rights violations, including the use of forced labor and the selling of products, like wigs, that use hair from Uyghur women forced to shave their heads.  KEY LETTER EXCERPTS:   “The rise in popularity of apps and marketplaces like, TikTok, TaoBao, Pinduoduo, Temu, Alibaba, AliExpress, and Shein, has resulted in sharp public scrutiny regarding the business practices of these companies.”  […]  “Lax policies and practices are leaving American’s data at risk of theft, leading consumers to unknowingly purchase counterfeit goods. In addition to these lax policies and practices, it is important to ensure that supply chains are free of forced labor.”  The Chairs asked companies to respond to the following questions by January 12, 2024:   Please outline the steps taken to delete personal data when requested or ordered by a user, the parent of a user who is a minor, or others authorized to make such a request.  What protections do you have in place to prevent children from spending large amounts of money on your platform?  What data practices do you require of your third-parties?  What data practices do you require of your service providers?  Please individually confirm you are not collecting or compiling the following information:  Religious beliefs;  Political opinions;  Genetic data;  Biometric data;  Data concerning health;  Data concerning racial or ethnic origin;  Data about minors.  Similar to ByteDance, does your company have an internal CCP Committee?  Please document all meetings, communication, or interactions you—or any other senior company executives—have had with members of the Chinese government or the CCP while serving as officers.   Can you provide a complete software bill of materials for all components and components of the components in the mobile app? Please include the developer information and country of origin for all listed components.  Where does your company store the signing key for iOS and Android applications? How is access to the signing keys managed, and who are the developers with access to the signing keys for the mobile application?  Please detail the data security and protections you have to prevent unauthorized access to such signing key.  How frequently is your mobile app or backend security tested? Are they tested by US personnel? To what security standard are they tested?  How frequently is user location data transmitted? Within how many feet is this location data measured?  What compliance procedures do you have in place to ensure compliance with the INFORM Consumers Act ?  We have heard employees of companies associated with the Chinese government, such as TikTok, disagree with notion that Uyghur people are facing a genocide in the Xinjian region of China. Do you agree that there is a genocide occurring in the Xinjiang region of China?  Are you aware of the PRC’s persecution of the Uyghur people, including the reports that Uyghur women’s heads have been shaved to be used for products that are shipped into the U.S.?  Are there products using natural hair that originate in the Xinjiang region available on your e-commerce marketplace?  Are there any other products that have originated from, or contain components or material that originated from the Xinjiang region?  Given the human rights abuses occurring in the Xinjiang region, do you require any additional steps or increased scrutiny for products coming from such region?   If yes, please explain.   Can you unequivocally state that your supply chain is free of forced labor?  What steps are you taking to ensure that your supply chain does not include forced labor?   CLICK HERE to read the full letter to TikTok.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Whaleco Inc.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Alibaba.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Shein. 

Dec 14, 2023

Consumer Groups, Venues, and Artists Join to Support the TICKET Act

Consumer advocates and stakeholders agree H.R. 3950, the Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing (TICKET) Act will restore fairness and transparency to the ticketing marketplace. The bill, which advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee last week with a unanimous vote, sends a clear message that Congress needs to act quickly to enact this important legislation, which will significantly enhance the customer experience of buying event tickets online.  International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) “We applaud the Committee for recognizing that significant problems exist in ticketing and working with IAVM to help fix them,” stated Brad Mayne, CVE, IAVM President and CEO. “Venues are on the front line of the ticketing debate and deal directly with consumers harmed by a reckless secondary ticketing system driven solely by profits. Addressing these problems would get at the root cause of escalating ticket prices and allow more consumers to experience the joy of live entertainment at a fair price point per the artist’s request.” “I’m so happy to see that the items that I proposed during my testimony on behalf of IAVM and Fix the Tix Coalition to protect our fans in the ticket purchasing process were incorporated into the bill approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” said David Touhey, CVE and International Association of Venue Managers Board Member. “During my testimony, I emphasized the need for a ban on speculative tickets and deceptive websites. It’s incredible to see the Energy and Commerce committee add those items to The Ticket Act . This will help protect our fans and ticket buyers.”  “IAVM congratulates the Committee for this accomplishment and pledges to work tirelessly for its members and member venues until The Ticket Act , H.R. 3950, is enacted into law,” emphasized Mayne.   National Consumers League (NCL) “Live event fans achieved an important victory with today’s vote,” said NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud John Breyault. “Add-on junk fees for concerts and sporting events have been the bane of consumers’ existence for decades. These reforms are long overdue and promise to make the ticket-buying experience a fairer, easier process for millions of fans.”  Sports Fans Coalition "The unanimous vote to pass the TICKET Act out of committee represents the single largest step to reforming a deeply broken market since 2016's BOTS Act." said Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. "Chairman Bilirakis, Ranking Member Schakowsky, and Representative Armstrong have been stalwart champions for consumers of live event tickets, even against tremendous industry pressures. The TICKET Act has been expanded from its original version and is now the most comprehensive, bipartisan solution to be voted on in Congress. Sports Fans Coalition urges leadership to pass this bill expeditiously." Fix the Tix Coalition “Artists, fans, and venues deserve a TICKET Act with meaningful protections in addition to transparency. Predatory resellers sell speculative, or fake, tickets to American consumers every day. They use deceptive websites and marketing tactics to trick fans into thinking they are buying tickets from an artist's venue. These practices are blatantly fraudulent, and the TICKET Act advanced out of Committee today bans them. “The House Energy & Commerce Committee took bold action today to move forward the most comprehensive protections for artists and fans in ticketing that we have seen in years. We look forward to working with the House to ensure the final version of the TICKET Act delivered to the President’s desk continues to provide the highest level of protection for fans, artists, and venues.”  Protect Ticket Rights   “The ticket reform package passed out of Committee represents the most comprehensive and bipartisan progress in Congress to repair ticketing and protect fans since the passage of the BOTS Act in 2026. It will help to make the ticket buying process more transparent so that consumers are better informed when they search for tickets while also affording fans with new protections including the guarantee of a refund for cancelled events. Best of all, despite efforts to the contrary, this bill doesn’t include handouts to any of the special interests in the live events industry. It should be passed immediately,” said Brian Berry, advocacy director for Protect Ticket Rights. Artist Rights Alliance “…[T]he House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the ‘Ticket In Charges for Key Events Ticketing (TICKET) Act,’ which would curb some of the most predatory ticketing practices that harm musicians and their fans. Marshaled by the Committee and Subcomittee leaders Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) – along with key sponsor Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) – the bill would ban the sale of speculative tickets, stop the use of deceptive ticketing websites, and require sellers to disclose the full price of tickets they list, including fees.” Coalition for Ticket Fairness “The Coalition for Ticket Fairness (CTF) is proud to have worked with Members of the Committee on the legislation and believe this is an important step in prioritizing the protection of fans. In addition to the TICKET Act’s focus on price transparency, the updated language addresses important consumer protections that include refund requirements for cancelled events and the banning of deceptive website marketing,” said Jason Berger of the Coalition for Ticket Fairness. “The CTF looks forward to working with Congress to advance this legislation, empower consumers, and preserve choice in the marketplace for tickets.” Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights Coalition “The live event ticketing system needs to be cured of deep flaws that result in consumers being abused before tickets go on sale, while they are for sale, and through the moment they are scanned for entry. We are pleased the Committee today expanded the scope of the bipartisan TICKET Act beyond its original focus on price transparency to now include other important consumer protections, specifically refund requirements for cancelled events and the banning of deceptive website marketing and speculative ticket sales where the seller is selling the promise of a ticket that he or she doesn’t yet possess.   “As a combined package, this legislation will take important steps toward improving the broken ticketing system. We hope this bill advances and ultimately becomes law, and that its passage out of committee today is a first step toward enacting broader ticketing market reform that is needed. We look forward to working with lawmakers to accomplish this in the future.” CLICK HERE to read more about the TICKET Act.

Dec 13, 2023
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at Full Committee Hearing on AI

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Full Committee hearing titled "Leveraging Agency Expertise to Foster American AI Leadership and Innovation." “To win the future, America—not China—must remain the global leader in artificial intelligence. “The reality is there is no better place in the world than here to ensure this technology is used responsibly to raise our standard of living, protect data privacy, and create more opportunities for the hardworking people of this country.” CEMENTING AMERICAN AI LEADERSHIP   “This Committee has been leading on policies to promote innovation in AI for everything from our supply chains, energy, health care, emerging technologies, and more.   “Today’s hearing is the culmination of those efforts.  “It’s clear that AI will have a significant impact on every aspect of the economy, as well as how the federal government engages with stakeholders and oversees industries.   “It’s also clear that unilateral, one-size-fits-all regulations do a poor job addressing varying use cases and may ultimately hamper innovation.”   LEVERAGING SECTOR-SPECIFIC EXPERTISE   “To foster American leadership, we need a complete understanding of how each agency can apply its unique, sector-specific expertise, and ensure agencies are equipped to foster—not hamper—innovation and address the disruptive impact of AI across the entire economy. “AI can help doctors better detect diseases and develop new drugs and treatments. “It can help better deliver affordable, reliable energy to Americans and improve broadband services and cybersecurity. “Across the board, federal agencies must understand and be equipped to address the unique benefits and risks associated with these new technologies and know when or whether it’s appropriate to take action to address them." A CALL FOR AMERICAN LEADERSHIP   “What we are seeing around the world is a call for American leadership.  “China is abusing emerging technologies and data to suppress and control its own citizens with mass surveillance.  “Europe is over-regulating and halting innovation in its tracks.  “We can chart a new and better course to improve people’s lives—of leveraging AI and upholding our values for human rights, individual liberty, the free market and limited government.   “That means the administration and Congress must work together.”  NATIONAL DATA PRIVACY STANDARD   “We should start with one key action, and that’s to lay the groundwork to protect people’s information with a national data privacy standard.  “It’s time that we provide people with greater transparency and put them back in control over the collection and use of their personal information.  “We also need to strengthen data security protections to safeguard people’s information against threats.   “The theft and exploitation of sensitive information, especially biometric data, poses significant risks.  “Establishing foundational protections early will ensure greater public trust in AI, which will help ensure future innovations are made in the U.S.”  BIDEN’S AI EXECUTIVE ORDER   “In October, the Biden administration released a sweeping Executive Order on the development and use of AI along with a proposed OMB Memo on how agencies should manage their own use of AI that includes the Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Energy.  “I have concerns that some aspects of the Executive Order start us down the path of the European Union, where they have over regulated technological innovation out of existence.   “We cannot let over-bearing regulations hinder American AI advancements and, in turn, limit U.S. global competitiveness.    “Your agencies have a lot of work ahead, and today we hope to hear more about how you plan to carry out these responsibilities and coordinate with public and private partners, as well as Congress.  “These technologies, and the risks they pose, will continue to evolve, and agencies must be prepared to adapt and remain vigilant.  “As we explore the best path forward, I’m hopeful that the administration will work with Congress to address the risks and take full advantage of the benefits of AI and not just act unilaterally through executive fiat.  “I am optimistic about the promise of AI and believe that this Committee can lead the way in supporting AI innovation in the public and private sectors.    “It’s crucial that we strike the right balance with AI, one that gives businesses the flexibility to remain agile as they develop these cutting-edge technologies while also ensuring the responsible use of this new technology.   “I look forward to discussing how we can achieve that balance.”

E&C Leaders Hail Unanimous 45-0 Bipartisan Committee Passage of the TICKET Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) made the following statement on the passage of H.R. 3950 , the “Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act” or “TICKET Act” out of the Committee by a vote of 45-0:  “The bipartisan TICKET Act that unanimously passed 45-0 out of committee yesterday, as amended with the ‘STOP Act’ led by Rep. Kelly Armstrong, will transform the experience of buying event tickets online. It ends practices that frustrate people who simply want to enjoy a concert, show, or sporting event and will restore fairness and transparency to the ticketing marketplace.  “We would like to thank our colleagues, both on and off committee, for their collaboration. This bipartisan achievement is the result of months and years of hard work by Members on both sides of the aisle. Our committee will continue to lead the way on this effort as we further our work to bring this solution to the House floor.”  The bill passed out of committee combines H.R. 3950, the “TICKET Act,” and H.R. 6568 , the “Speculative Ticketing Oversight and Prohibition Act” or the “STOP Act.” The combined bill:  Requires the total price of an event ticket be displayed upfront, inclusive of all fees  Bans the sale of a ticket that a seller does not have (“speculative ticketing”)  Guarantees refunds for event cancellations and postponements  Requires clear disclosures and bans deceptive URLS to protect consumers from fraudulent ticketing websites  Requires the Federal Trade Commission study and report on enforcement of the BOTS Act (Pub.L. 114-274)