Chair Rodgers Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup of 19 Bills
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 19 bills.
Excerpts and highlights below:
UPDATING SATELLITE LAWS AND BOLSTERING CYBERSECURITY
“From the Communications and Technology Subcommittee we are considering 13 bills that will update our laws governing the satellite industry and promote the cybersecurity of our communications networks.
“We must make sure our laws keep pace with advancements in technology and allow innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish.
“The Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act, and our other satellite legislation, will give regulators the tools they need to ensure our rules don’t hold back American ingenuity.
“We must also make sure the United States and our allies enhance their participation in international standards setting bodies to lead on the development of new international standards, rather than have them dictated by the Chinese Communist Party.
“As technologies advance, so too do the attempts by bad actors seeking to hack our networks.
“Improving cybersecurity literacy will help protect our data and make our networks more secure.
“Overall, I’m grateful for and applaud all the bipartisan work on these Communications and Technology solutions as Energy and Commerce leads the way to improve our nation’s connectivity, network security, and maintain U.S. leadership in wireless technology.”
ADDRESSING THE FENTANYL CRISIS
“From the Health Subcommittee, we are taking action to address the illicit fentanyl crisis, protect the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis lifeline, and stop discrimination against people with disabilities.
“More people than ever are dying of illicit fentanyl poisonings.
“As many parents have appealed to us, this requires urgent action.
“Moms like Molly Cain deserve justice.
“We must secure the border and make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to seize fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances.
“That is why we are advancing Representative Griffith and Latta’s HALT Fentanyl Act and Representative Lesko and Miller-Meeks's bill, the Securing the Border for Public Health Act.
“The DEA testified just last month that permanently scheduling fentanyl related substances in Schedule I is their number-one legislative priority and in our field hearing in McAllen, we all heard and saw why.
“The Securing the Border for Public Health Act would expand current Title 42 authority to be used to stop the import of certain controlled substances, including fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances.
“I want to be very clear: President Biden cannot let the emergency scheduling expire and it should not lift Title 42.
“I also want to recognize Representative Harshbarger for leading on the Block, Report, And Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act.
“The opioid epidemic was fueled, in part, by suspiciously large shipments of controlled substances being delivered across the country—particularly in the Appalachian region.
“This bill would help stop this practice and save lives by requiring drug manufacturers and distributors that discover a suspicious package to stop the order and report the information to the DEA.”
PROTECTING THE 9-8-8 LIFELINE
“Additionally, the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline suffered a cyberattack and was shut down for several hours late last year.
“This lifeline is a critical tool that provides support and hope to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
“Thank you, Representative Obernolte, for your work on the 9-8-8 Lifeline Cybersecurity Responsibility Act.
“It requires coordination and reporting to improve cybersecurity protections for the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.”
BANNING DESCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
“We are also taking action today to ban the use of Quality Adjusted Life Years—or QALYs—and other similar measures by state and federal government health care programs.
“More than 70 disability and patient organizations agree that QALYs are discriminatory and have no place in our decision making.
“The federal government can evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and cures without devaluing the lives of seniors and people with disabilities.
“We’ve worked tirelessly with the minority and with CMS to get this bill right.
“We’ve resolved every outstanding comment from the agency and worked to address the concerns by the minority.
“I hope we will come together with a strong vote to affirm the dignity of every person to receive lifesaving and quality care.”
HOMEOWNER ENERGY FREEDOM ACT
“Finally, we’ll consider H.R. 1603, the Homeowner Energy Freedom Act which will repeal harmful policies from the IRA intended to incentivize states to impose natural gas bans through building codes.
“It will stop the administration’s forced electrification agenda that will mean fewer choices and higher energy costs for all Americans.
“As you can see, we have a robust agenda this afternoon. Thank you to all my colleagues for their work.
“It proves that E&C is plowing the hardground to deliver results.”