Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Committee Leaders Respond to EPA’s RFS Announcement

2014/11/21

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) issued the following statement in response to the EPA’s announcement today that it would not issue a rule setting Renewable Fuel Standard targets for 2014:

“Businesses and consumers have been waiting a year now for clarity and guidance from EPA, but this decision to completely abandon the 2014 targets only adds to the growing uncertainty and frustration. EPA cannot just choose to arbitrarily ignore the law and the deadlines established by Congress. This unexpected announcement highlights that there are still significant challenges facing the RFS and underscores the need to come together and find a practical, bipartisan solution.”

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Upton Applauds Swift Senate Action to Ensure Satellite TV Service for Over a Million Subscribers

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today applauded the United States Senate’s swift action to approve bipartisan legislation that ensures 1.5 million satellite television subscribers continue to receive broadcast programming and makes a number of changes to improve the video marketplace for consumers. H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act is a bipartisan product of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The House approved H.R. 5728 by voice vote on Wednesday.

“When Americans flip on their TV, they aren’t thinking about legislative deadlines and complex policy negotiations – they just want it to work, with the programming they want. This bill makes sure satellite customers can keep accessing broadcast content, and it also starts the important process of modernizing our laws as consumers continue to change how and what they watch” said Upton. “I’m pleased with this bipartisan legislation that reflects the input and insight of both houses of Congress and look forward to that ongoing cooperation as we approach the dynamic issues of our innovation economy.”

H.R. 5728 has received the support of groups including 21st Century Fox, ABC / Disney, the American Cable Association, the American Television Alliance, CBS, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV & Dish Network, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and US Telecom.

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#TBT: President Busted on False Keystone Claims

2014/11/20

Last summer fact checkers caught President Obama attempting to belittle the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline, busting him for using false and deflated jobs numbers. But it appears he didn’t learn his lesson. Yet again, the president is being called out for skewing the facts to fit his narrative so he can avoid making a decision on the project. The Washington Post’s fact checker today gave President Obama “Three Pinocchios” for his recent comments suggesting that most of the North American oil transported by the Keystone XL pipeline would be exported overseas. The Post pointed to the findings from the president’s own State Department to undercut his claims. Perhaps if the president could get his facts straight he would realize Keystone XL is clearly in the national interest and finally approve the landmark jobs and energy project. 

November 20, 2014

Fact Checker: Obama’s claim that Keystone XL crude would go ‘everywhere else’ but the United States

…Twice during his recent overseas trip, President Obama asserted that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was designed to take Canadian crude oil to the world markets. The implication of the president’s words is that the United States would be simply a conveyor belt for the oil.

The pipeline would allow the Canadians “to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else,” the president said in Burma. The question he faced, he said in Australia, is whether “we should approve a pipeline shipping Canadian oil to world markets, not to the United States.” Is this really the case?

The Facts

First of all, the president leaves out a very important step. The crude oil would travel to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined into products such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel (known as a distillate fuel in the trade). As our colleague Steven Mufson reported more than two years ago, the refineries on the Gulf Coast are “eagerly waiting” for the Canadian crude, since there isn’t enough oil in the area anymore to feed the refineries. …

Indeed, the State Department’s final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL project specifically disputed claims that the oil “would pass through the United States and be loaded onto vessels for ultimate sale in markets such as Asia,” saying it was not economically justified. The State Department noted that the traditional sources of crude for the Gulf Coast, such as Mexico and Venezuela, are declining, and so refineries would have “significant incentive to obtain heavy crude from the oil sands.”

So then the question turns on what happens to that oil after it leaves the refinery. Oil is a global commodity, of course, and where it travels often depends on market conditions. In Obama’s telling, however, the refined Canadian oil goes “everywhere else” and “not to the United States.”

But that’s not right either, according to the State Department report. U.S. exports are not affected by various pipeline scenarios but instead by market conditions, such as “domestic demand versus domestic refining capacity, the cost of natural gas, and refining capacity abroad, including in foreign markets currently importing U.S. refined products such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Europe,” the report said. The demand for exports, in other words, is completely unrelated to building the Keystone XL pipeline. …

The Pinocchio Test

The president seriously overstates the percentage of Canadian crude that might be exported if the Keystone XL pipeline is built. He suggests all of it would be exported, without mentioning that it first would stop on the Gulf Coast to be refined into products. On top of that, current trends suggest that about one-third of that refined product would be exported. That is not insubstantial, but it is certainly much smaller than 100 percent.

 

All of this is laid out in the extensive report issued by the State Department earlier this year. The president might want to study it before he addresses the Keystone question again. In the meantime, he earns Three Pinocchios. We nearly made it Four Pinocchios, but it is correct that at least some of the product would be exported, based on current market conditions.

Three Pinocchios

 

Read the full fact check online here

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Upton Welcomes New Republicans to Energy and Commerce

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today welcomed seven incoming Republican members to the committee.

Upton commented, “We have a great team in place and I am excited to welcome all the new and returning members to the Energy and Commerce Committee. Each and every one of our members brings unique strengths and backgrounds that will help further our bipartisan record of success in the new Congress. We are going to hit the ground running next year as we continue our efforts to create jobs, promote life-saving cures, unleash America’s energy abundance, protect families, and foster growth in this new era of innovation.”

The new Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in alphabetical order, are:

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY)Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)Rep. Rich Hudson (R-NC)Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)

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Latta Introduces Bill to Help Protect Drinking Water

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced legislation to help protect drinking water from harmful algae blooms known as cyanotoxins. Latta authored the legislation in response to Toledo, Ohio’s August water emergency caused by the increased presence of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. H.R. 5753, the Drinking Water Protection Act, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and submit a strategic plan to Congress for assessing and managing the risk associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water.

“My legislation will ensure a robust approach when addressing the health of our drinking water,” said Latta. “In addition, by requiring the EPA to develop a strategic plan that outlines how it will assess and manage the risks associated with cyanotoxins in our water, the bill will foster close, ongoing coordination between all agencies involved and set timelines to ensure the health of our drinking water is addressed in a timely manner. I would like to thank Chairman Upton and Chairman Shimkus for bringing Congressional attention to this issue and look forward to working with them on this important issue.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) gave his support to the legislation, stating, “This is an important issue facing millions of Americans that live in the communities surrounding our Great Lakes. The water supply scare in Ohio this summer brought this issue to the forefront, and I thank Representative Latta for his leadership in responding to this critical threat and working toward a solution that helps keep our drinking water and our families safe.”

The Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), held a hearing Wednesday to examine cyanotoxins in drinking water and solutions to address the problem. During the hearing, Rep. Latta stressed the need for federal, state, and local officials to work together to better understand this threat to human health and the environment and find ways to increase protections. Watch Latta’s questioning with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Craig Butler regarding the need for EPA to provide research and guidance to states:

Watch Latta’s questioning with Ohio EPA Director Butler HERE.

Latta’s bill directs the EPA to formulate a plan, including the necessary steps and timelines to fully evaluate the risk of cyanotoxins, publish a comprehensive list of potentially harmful cyanotoxins, and provide additional guidance and technical assistance to states to help mitigate risks to drinking water systems. To view a copy of the bill, click HERE.

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House Votes to Promote Manufacturing Renaissance, Create U.S. Jobs

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to strengthen American manufacturing and create jobs by passing H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act. This commonsense solution, authored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), will help make America’s manufacturing renaissance a reality by creating a more transparent and efficient preconstruction permitting process for new factories and expansion projects. It provides the public with more information on permit applications and gives applicants the timely guidance they need to implement new or revised air quality standards.

“Perhaps most important of all to manufacturing states like Michigan, we can use our energy advantage to reverse the gradual decline in American manufacturing that has been going on for decades and create a real resurgence in the years ahead. The Promoting New Manufacturing Act will help us achieve that goal and continues our efforts to build the Architecture of Abundance,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “We want to be a world leader in manufacturing, not in red tape. I am glad the president identified the potential of new American manufacturing in his State of the Union address, and acknowledged that there is red tape that needs to be cleared away. H.R. 4795 will help make this goal a reality.”

“This bipartisan jobs bill serves as a check and balance against job-killing radical EPA regulations by increasing transparency, cutting through unnecessary red tape, and forcing unelected bureaucrats to use real science to prove that their regulatory proposals can actually be achieved in the real world,” Rep. Scalise said. "By bringing transparency to the convoluted permitting process and cutting red tape at the EPA, we can jumpstart our nation’s economy and get our country back on track. I would like to thank my colleagues in the House for passing this much-needed legislation that will help revive our country’s manufacturing base and create thousands of high-paying jobs for hard-working Americans.”

“Our manufacturing renaissance is far from a done deal, especially given the cumbersome permitting process that these projects must go through. It would be a great disservice to the American people if our nation’s natural gas advantage is squandered through an unnecessarily lengthy bureaucratic process that delays or even prevents these job-creating modern new facilities from being built,” said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). “This bill includes reasonable steps to streamline the permitting process, something that the administration agrees needs to be addressed. It is a commonsense solution to ensure America’s manufacturing renaissance can commence as soon as possible.”

To learn more about H.R. 4795, click HERE. To see what people are saying about H.R. 4795, click HERE.

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VIDEO: “Team Work” and the #Path2Cures

2014/11/20

Upton: “(With) disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or Independent… We want to solve these issues.”

Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) joined medical thought leaders in New York City this week at the 2014 Partnering for Cures event to discuss how they are working together to speed up the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of cures in America. Upton and DeGette launched the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative earlier this year to do just that, speeding up the cures process by bringing our laws up to speed with medical technology.

Fox News reports, “Medical breakthroughs… have caught the attention of policy makers who recognize the need to revamp the notoriously slow process of bringing medical innovations to the market.” Chairman Upton told Dr. Manny Alvarez, “[With] disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or Independent… We want to solve these issues.”

Fox News adds, “Upton and DeGette plan to move their bill through Congress in 2015. Not only will ‘21st Century Cures’ speed the process of curing some of the world’s most devastating diseases, Upton said it will also create jobs and keep venture capitalists stateside.”

Learn more about the Partnering for Cures event here.

Learn more about the 21st Century Cures initiative here and follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

Click to watch

'Partnering for Cures': Medical innovators team up to treat deadly diseases

November 20, 2014

Team work.

That was the theme when medical thought leaders converged on New York City recently for the Faster Cures Center of the Milken Institute’s “Partnering for Cures” conference where Fox News’ own Dr. Manny Alvarez was a panel moderator.

The event brings together medical experts, policy makers, industry leaders, and philanthropists to share ideas on how they can work together to speed the research and development of cures for the world’s most devastating diseases. …

Over two days, presentations given by health care professionals, patient advocates and government agencies highlighted the need for more scientists leading medical research in America. …

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, a professor and director of the laboratory for multiscale regenerative technologies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who spoke at the meeting, said combining medicine and technology has paved the way for important discoveries in her own work.

“One of the key breakthroughs was using engineering technologies, the microfabrication tools that were developed for making computer chips, to instead make little liver tissues,” Bhatia told FoxNews.com. “And that combination of fields has really accelerated progress, so now we can make little human microlivers. They're as big as the head of a pin, and we can use them to predict how patients would respond to drugs, to make them safer, and also to make medicines to kill infections of the liver like hepatitis and malaria.”

Medical breakthroughs like Bhatia’s microlivers have caught the attention of policy makers who recognize the need to revamp the notoriously slow process of bringing medical innovations to the market.

“Most of our institutions, the [National Institutes of Health], the [Food and Drug Administration] — they were founded back before we did the kind of research that we do now so quickly,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “Right now, it costs up to a billion dollars, [and takes] 10 years to get a new drug approved, so our challenge is to figure out how to restructure these agencies, so we can move these drugs more quickly through so they can get to the patients.”

DeGette teamed up with Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to create the “21st Century Cures” initiative – a bipartisan piece of legislation that aims to bridge the gap between the pace of medical research and governmental agencies which oversee its development into life-saving drugs and devices.

“[With] disease, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or Independent … We want to solve these issues,” said Upton. “[There are] 7,000 diseases; we have cures for only about 500, and why can't we work together to try and help every family across the country in speeding up the approval of drugs and devices?”

Upton and DeGette plan to move their bill through Congress in 2015. Not only will “21st Century Cures” speed the process of curing some of the world’s most devastating diseases, Upton said, it will also create jobs and keep venture capitalists stateside. …

Read the full article online here.

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Support for Scalise Manufacturing Bill Grows Ahead of House Vote To Bolster Job Creation

2014/11/20

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on important legislation that will boost our country’s manufacturing base and create jobs. H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act, authored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), is a commonsense bill that works to bring jobs and investment back to America. It provides a roadmap to help businesses comply with new or revised air quality standards from the EPA and works to reduce delays in the preconstruction permitting process for new U.S. factories and expansion projects. It’s time to give Americans the job opportunities they deserve, and this bill helps to ensure the American manufacturing renaissance becomes a reality.

The Promoting New Manufacturing Act has received strong support from a broad array of manufacturers and other job-creators. Below is a sampling of the support for H.R. 4795:

American Chemistry Council“The business of American chemistry is in the midst of an historic expansion made possible by plentiful and affordable natural gas from shale formations. To date, 211 chemical industry projects representing $135 billion in potential U.S. investment have been announced, 61 percent of it by companies based abroad. The new factories and expansions will create hundreds of thousands of well-paying new jobs, strengthen communities, and put money in the pockets of families. Unfortunately, all of these projects must undergo a lengthy and complex regulatory permitting process containing challenges that can delay and even derail the investment. … H.R. 4795 represents common-sense legislation that will expedite shale-related manufacturing in the United States.”

Americans for Tax Reform“American manufacturing will be needed to rejuvenate the dismal state of the American economy. Unfortunately for Americans, overregulation stymies economic growth by requiring too many permits that take too long to acquire. H.R. 4795 would provide transparency and regulatory fairness which allows new manufacturers to enter the market and for existing businesses to thrive.”

Chamber of Commerce“H.R. 4795 would be an important step in improving the federal environmental permitting process and reinforcing this country’s commitment to developing and building infrastructure projects and creating jobs.”

Industrial Energy Consumers of America“The permitting process is antiquated, time consuming, expensive, and fails to meet the challenges faced today by U.S. industry who are in fierce competition with global competitors. H.R. 4795 will make EPA accountable to improve the permitting process.”

National Manufacturers Association“This oft-overlooked aspect of the regulatory process can provide a great deal of headaches—and at times great cost and delays—for a manufacturer looking to build a new facility, expand an existing one, or even modify an already-operational plant so it can run better. … The Promoting New Manufacturing Act would take positive steps toward addressing several of the preconstruction permitting issues raised by manufacturers. It diagnoses the problem on GHG permitting (if one exists) and provides the best available information so that the EPA and Congress can then decide if steps are needed to improve the process.”

To view a full list of letters and statements in support of H.R. 4795, click HERE.

To learn more about H.R. 4795, click HERE.

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Time for a Reality Check

2014/11/20

Last week, President Obama announced he had cut a carbon deal with China that would require the U.S. to take drastic action to reduce emissions while asking little of China in return. While the U.S. would commit to new reductions by 2025, China’s President Xi Jinping did not commit to any emissions reductions and only pledged to try and cap emissions by 2030.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board quickly criticized the president’s unfair, one-sided deal, writing, “So using the Sino-American deal as cover, Mr. Obama will now say he is obliged to impose a new burst of aggressive carbon regulations, no matter the harm to U.S. growth. The difference is that American governance, unlike China’s, is supposed to follow the rule of law; companies can’t refuse to obey regulations because the CEO’s brother-in-law belongs to the Party. Yet most of the rule-makings to enforce Mr. Obama’s promises to China will emerge from his administrative-state tunnels like the Environmental Protection Agency without a vote in Congress.”

Central to the president’s climate agenda is EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan – a proposal to impose new carbon dioxide mandates on the nation’s electricity sector. The Obama administration intends for this regulation to result in coal-fired power plant closures and higher energy costs – a top and well-known objective for President Obama since he was in the U.S. Senate. But perhaps the administration forgot to fully consider how the proposal would impact electric reliability. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the organization tasked with ensuring the reliability of the nation’s electric grid, recently warned EPA's proposal would threaten reliability and called for further detailed analysis, including of EPA's assumptions and proposed timeframes for compliance. And just last week, NERC put out an additional report outlining concerns over the plan’s reliability impacts – warning the consequences for our grid could be much more severe than any previous environmental regulation, especially when coupled with other EPA rules.

In its 2014 Long-Term Reliability Assessment, NERC concluded, “[T]he proposed Clean Power Plan impacts a larger amount of capacity (over 700,000 MW) in a relatively short time frame, potentially posing greater grid reliability impacts compared to prior environmental compliance programs. Changes in generation resources, dispatch, and delivery require comprehensive local and regional reliability assessment. … Although the Clean Power Plan may not become enforceable until 2020, its effect may overshadow and change large retrofit capital decisions needed to comply with earlier EPA regulations—primarily the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). EPA’s base case projections, with existing regulations, indicate that total coal-fired capacity will decline rapidly from approximately 310 GW in 2012 to just 245 GW by 2016 and 243 GW by 2025.”

It’s clear Americans will get the short end of this deal. If the president’s climate agenda is successfully implemented, we will face higher energy prices, layoffs, and potential blackouts while China continues to increase emissions and grow its economy. The president’s green dreams simply do not serve the interests of the American public. Other countries with ambitious climate agendas have since come to similar conclusions. Australia repealed its expensive carbon tax earlier this year and Germany is said to be considering abandoning its climate goals, admitting, “We cannot exit from coal power overnight.” The president needs to have his own reality check.

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House Acts to Ensure Service for Over a Million Satellite Television Subscribers

2014/11/19

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today again resoundingly approved bipartisan legislation that ensures 1.5 million satellite television subscribers continue to receive service and makes a number of changes to improve the video marketplace for consumers. H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act is a bipartisan product of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The House approved H.R. 5728 by voice vote.

“The clock is ticking, and this bill will ensure when folks flip on their TVs, their favorite show will be available, when they want to watch it. For many months, we have reached across party lines and across the two houses of Congress to craft a thoughtful compromise for this must-pass legislation that makes targeted reforms and improves the video marketplace for TV viewers across the country,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “These reforms are prime examples of the kind of deregulatory changes we are looking at as we work to update the 80-year-old Communications Act. They will spur investment in communications networks, promote competition, and create needed American jobs.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) commented: “The vast majority of Americans have relied upon satellite and cable services for access to a wide variety of video content, ranging from nighttime entertainment for their families; educational shows for their children; local and national news and emergency information; and public access channels that empower Americans to see their local, state, and federal representatives in action. The House has once again passed legislation which ensures that our constituents have full access to this network programming no matter where they live. It’s time for the Senate to pass the STELA Reauthorization Act.”

“By coming together to produce legislation with strong bipartisan, bicameral support we have demonstrated our clear commitment to the continued availability of broadcast programming to millions of subscribers and to some targeted and, in some cases, much needed reforms to our communications laws,” added Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “This type of collaboration has long been the hallmark of our committee, and I’m pleased to see this legislative result.”

“The legislative process isn’t always pretty but it does a good job incorporating all points and perspectives. This new STELA reauthorization is an example of the process working –it protects the interests of consumers and intellectual property owners, while addressing some pretty controversial issues,” said Judiciary Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-NC).

The House previously approved legislation reauthorizing the nation’s satellite television law in July. H.R. 5728 has received the support of groups including 21st Century Fox, ABC / Disney, the American Cable Association, the American Television Alliance, CBS, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV & Dish Network, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and US Telecom.

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Contact Information

2125 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2927
Fax 202-225-1919
energycommerce.house.gov


Membership

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Bill Cassidy

LOUISIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Renee Ellmers

NORTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Cory Gardner

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Phil Gingrey

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

KENTUCKY's 2nd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Gregg Harper

MISSISSIPPI's 3rd DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger

ILLINOIS' 16th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

David McKinley

WEST VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

WASHINGTON's 5th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Mike Pompeo

KANSAS' 4th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Steve Scalise

LOUISIANA's 1st DISTRICT

John Shimkus

ILLINOIS' 15th DISTRICT

Lee Terry

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Greg Walden

OREGON's 2nd DISTRICT

Ed Whitfield

KENTUCKY's 1st DISTRICT