WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today released a comprehensive report to Energy and Commerce Committee members on the panel’s work in the first quarter of the second session of the 112th Congress. Similar reports were issued throughout 2011, with the updates provided to committee members and the House Republican leadership. Producing a record of job-focused accomplishments, the committee’s efforts through hearings, legislation, and oversight helped the committee concentrate on three overarching goals:
- Supporting job creation and economic growth
- Standing up for taxpayers by reducing the size and scope of the federal government
- Protecting individuals, families and communities
In the report, Upton noted “We produced legislation and advanced it through the full U.S. House of Representatives. We conducted oversight, poring over documents from the administration and listening to expert witnesses who warned about wasteful spending and an opaque executive branch.” Reporting on one of the top challenges facing American families and businesses today, Upton outlined the committee’s continued focus on energy solutions. “We began last year with launch of the American Energy Initiative, and we continue under that banner today, advancing bills and pursuing policies that will increase American energy production and create jobs.”
Upton added, “Above all else, we continued listening to our constituents and ensuring our work here in Washington promoted their best interests and reflected the principles they sent us here to uphold.”
The first quarter report includes summaries of the committee’s progress on key initiatives to achieve the above goals.
Supporting job creation and economic growth
Bills within the energy, health care, and telecommunications sectors remove bureaucratic red tape while protecting taxpayer dollars and promoting American innovation. For example, spectrum auctions developed in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will free up airwaves to support development of next-generation broadband networks. FDA reform, currently in progress, will support patients’ access to safe and innovative drugs and will help speed up approval of medical devices. And increased energy production will strengthen our nation’s energy security and produce high-paying jobs.
Standing Up for Taxpayers by Reducing the Size and Scope of the Federal Government
The committee approved a series of measures to dismantle the president’s controversial health law piece by piece, eliminating unaccountable spending and untenable programs in order to protect patients and their doctors. The committee continued its rigorous oversight over the Obama administration’s failed loan guarantee program and is looking at avenues to prevent such waste in the future. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations also opened a new front in its investigation into stimulus-funded energy spending with a review of the 1603 program, which provides cash payments in lieu of tax credits to renewable energy projects.
Protecting individuals, families and communities
The Energy and Commerce Committee has worked collaboratively, beginning last year and continuing in earnest in the first quarter of this year, to understand rapidly evolving technological advancements and to craft appropriate responses that will promote continued innovation while protecting individual liberty and our national security. Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee served on the House Cybersecurity Task Force, and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee formed a bipartisan Cybersecurity Working Group to examine the current landscape and lay the foundation for the efforts to address cybersecurity. Already, our committee is pursuing solutions to protect consumer data with Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack’s SAFE Data Act. Chairman Bono Mack has also taken a leading role in finding an effective private-sector solution to online privacy while preserving Internet innovation and growth.
To read a copy of the report, click here.