Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Look Ahead: Committee Announces Hearing Schedule for the Week of July 6

2015/07/02

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today announced its hearing schedule for the week of July 6.

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will continue its oversight of the administration’s work to transition key Internet functions from the United States to the multistakeholder community. Members will hear from NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers CEO Fadi Chehade following the recently concluded ICANN meeting, which included representatives from the international Internet community. The Majority Memorandum and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Also on Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Health will review the Medicaid program as it turns 50 this year and is now the world’s largest health insurance program. As part of the committee’s ongoing effort to strengthen the program, members will discuss Medicaid’s current and foreseeable challenges, including budget sustainability and meaningful access to care for patients. The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

On Thursday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a legislative hearing entitled “H.R. 702, Legislation to Prohibit Restrictions on the Export of Crude Oil.” The bill, which is authored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), would eliminate 40-year-old restrictions on the export of crude oil, which have been increasingly scrutinized in the wake of a changing energy landscape. The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

On Friday, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will review H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act, authored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY). Members will review the status of the concrete masonry products industry and what potential benefits could be realized from a “check-off” program authorized by the bipartisan legislation. The subcommittee will also examine how the Department of Commerce will fulfill its oversight role over such a program. The Majority Memorandum witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, July 8, 201510 AM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Communications and TechnologyHearing on “Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53”

10:15 AM2322 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on HealthHearing on “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program”

Thursday, July 9, 201510 AM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Energy and PowerHearing on “H.R.702, Legislation to Prohibit Restrictions on the Export of Crude Oil”

Friday, July 10, 20159 AM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and TradeHearing on “H.R. 985, Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015”

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Members to Review Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Jobs and Promote American Concrete

2015/07/02

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade has scheduled a hearing for Friday, July 10 at 9:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “H.R. 985, Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015.”

Members will review H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation authored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) that would authorize the establishment of a federal “check-off” program for concrete masonry products. “Check-off” programs, which are financed by industry and overseen by the appropriate federal agency, are used to boost the overall sales and production of a particular commodity or good without reference to a specific brand or producer.

Members will examine the status of the concrete masonry products industry and what potential benefits could be realized under the legislation. The subcommittee will also examine how the Department of Commerce will fulfill its oversight role over such a program.

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

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Young Scientists and #Cures2015

2015/07/02

One of the core provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act is encouraging young scientists. The nonpartisan bill encourages more innovation with steps such as resources and incentives for the next generation of researchers to help bring better, faster cures to patients, and it’s not hard to find inspiration among the aspiring medical innovators of the future. One example of an impressive young researcher is Shohini Banerjee, a 15-year-old student from Pennsylvania. Banjee is working on research to better understand and combat ALS.

ALS Podcast writes: “15 year old Shohini Banerjee, a Warwick High School sophomore from South Central, PA, was named grand champion at the North Museum Science & Engineering Fair for her ALS research project. She has even gone on to give a TedX talk on her research work and new understanding of ALS. This impressive young woman joins our podcast to talk about her research, why this cause is important to her, and her experience at the 2015 Hershey Walk to Defeat ALS.”

“ALS is a widespread issue, it effects hundreds of thousands of people around the world…it is very urgent…it’s calling for research and so are all the other diseases,” she explains. Benerjee is optimistic for the future and the potential of finding a cure for ALS. “I think with the right resources and the right drug delivery system it could really become a reality.”

Listen to the podcast HERE.

Learn more about Cures HERE and join the conversation on social media with #Cures2015.

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Aspen Ideas Festival – Accelerating #Cures2015

2015/07/02

Upton and DeGette Headline Discussion on 21st Century Cures Act

This past week, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) took a #Roadtrip4Cures to meet with health leaders in DeGette’s home state of Colorado. During their trip they participated in a panel discussion on the 21st Century Cures Act at the Aspen Ideas Festival: Spotlight Health.

Aspen Ideas writes: “This is a golden age for biomedical research, with novel technologies and groundbreaking science revealing new pathways to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease. Yet too many patients still lack lifesaving therapies. Last year, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce launched the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative to consider opportunities to transform biopharmaceutical research and development. Now under review in Congress, the 21st Century Cures Act, proposes new ways to streamline clinical trials, incorporate patient perspectives into decision making, and speed the science of cures to the bedside.”

Click to watch the full video

Highlights from the panel discussion included:

Chairman Fred Upton:"We started in December of 2013 and we said ‘what is it that we can do to expedite the approval of drugs and devices, be patient centered, and really set the stage for where we want to go.’ Ten thousand diseases, five hundred cures. … We need to listen. … One of the important elements in that legislation is an increase for the NIH of $10 billion over the next 5 years.”

Rep. Diana DeGette:“What we learned during all of these months of field hearings, roundtables, white papers, and hearings in the committee room, and everything else was that there was a remarkable degree of consensus among all of these communities about what the challenges and the opportunities that we have ahead of us are and why we need statutory changes. … We tried to find ways to break down barriers to doing exciting research in the 21st century. … In the end what we think this bill will do is expedite biomedical research in a safe way, in a way that protects patients, and also in a way that protects their privacy.”

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg:“21st Century Cures represents a very important moment in time, the coming together across parties and coming together across components of the health care delivery system and public health system to sort of focus on how can we better ensure that we advance biomedical product innovation and better deliver on the promise of science.”

Learn more about Cures HERE and join the conversation on social media with #Cures2015.

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Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program

2015/07/01

The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, July 8, at 10:15 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program.” Witnesses from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Government Accountability Office, and Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will testify.

The Medicaid program turns 50 this year and is now the world’s largest health insurance program. As part of the committee’s ongoing effort to strengthen the program, ensuring it is able to deliver on its core promise of providing care for the nation’s most vulnerable populations, members will discuss Medicaid’s current and foreseeable challenges, including budget sustainability and meaningful access to care for patients.

The Medicaid program has seen many changes in recent years—such as the growth of managed care, expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the move towards more home and community-based services, and continued growth in the provision of long-term care services. It is important for the committee to better understand how the growing role of Medicaid impacts federal and state budgets, delivery system reforms, and access to health care for millions of Americans. As the committee outlined in its views of the president’s FY 2016 budget proposals, by 2025, the Medicaid program will cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion each year. This hearing can also help inform the committee about possible actions which may be needed to help strengthen and sustain the Medicaid program so it is able to provide meaningful access to the most vulnerable patients for decades to come.

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

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Keep Your Family Safe on the Road by Checking For Recalls and Other Safety Issues

2015/07/01

Barbeques, town parades, and fireworks are welcome signs that Independence Day is finally here. Across the country this summer, Americans are hitting the roads in record numbers and as always, it is important to remember that safe driving and proper care of vehicles can save lives.

We can all take steps this summer, and always, to keep our families safe by using seatbelts and avoiding distracted and aggressive driving. On top of what we can all do behind the wheel, it is equally important to check and see if your automobile is currently covered by any safety-related recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for working with both automobile and parts manufacturers to determine the safety of vehicles on our roads. When an issue has been identified, either the manufacturer or NHTSA may issue a recall. If you are the owner of that particular vehicle, you may need to go back to your local dealer for repairs or replacement.

In May, NHTSA announced that the Takata airbag recall has now expanded to nearly 34 million automobiles here in America. This recall – the largest in U.S. history – is just one of a number of recalls currently in place. While the manufacturer should notify the public of any recall, it is easy for individuals to be proactive in determining if your automobile is affected.

There are a few simple ways to check if your automobile is covered by a recall.

1.)   Locate your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and check it at either www.safercar.gov or with your local dealer.

2.)   Should your car be covered by a recall, contact your dealer as soon as possible to figure out how and when to get the repairs or replacement parts.

As Americans continue hitting the road this July 4th and beyond, we all want to be sure that our loved ones are safe. Please pass this message along to anyone who may not have seen the recall announcements or may not be aware that there could be a recall affecting their vehicle. Working together and boosting awareness, we can help keep this summer safe, happy, and healthy for all Americans on the road.

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#Cures2015 Will Have a “Profound Effect”

2015/07/01

The 21st Century Cures Act will help improve millions of patients’ lives all across the country. Many of those patients, advocates, researchers and health care organizations have continued to show support for the legislation throughout the process. As the 21st Century Cures Act’s momentum continues, organizations urge more support and explain why the legislation will help further their efforts to save lives:

Project Innovation: “Congress is working on a nonpartisan issue that will have a profound effect on the lives of Americans. The 21st Century Cures Act will bring our health care innovation infrastructure into this century, helping to uncover and advance the next generation of treatments and cures.”

Epilepsy Foundation: #Cures2015 “would accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving medical treatments by bringing the nation’s health care innovation infrastructure into the 21st Century.”

Learn more about the legislation HERE and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #Cures2015.

Innovation Can Beat Cancer

Health care innovation is happening at a rapid pace. From the rise of personalized medicine and genome mapping to the release of Apple’s ResearchKit, we are experiencing breakthroughs that are changing the face of cancer diagnoses, treatments, and cures. While research is quickly advancing, our laws and regulatory approvals are not keeping pace.

Congress is working on a nonpartisan issue that will have a profound effect on the lives of Americans. The 21st Century Cures Act will bring our health care innovation infrastructure into this century, helping to uncover and advance the next generation of treatments and cures. …

The 21st Century Cures Act is all about patients. On May 21, 2015, the committee unanimously voted to advance the legislation. As it makes its way to the president’s desk, we encourage you to join the conversation by following @ProjectInno and using the hashtags #Cures2015 and #CuresIn4Words.

If we want to eliminate cancer and save more lives, we must ensure that there is no gap between the science of cures and the way we regulate these therapies. Join the movement to further cancer breakthroughs and treatments at projectinnovation.org.

Read the full post online HERE.

21st Century Cures Act Would Bring our Health Care Innovation Infrastructure into the 21st Century

Congress is considering bipartisan legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6), which would accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving medical treatments by bringing the nation’s health care innovation infrastructure into the 21st Century. …

The 21st Century Cures Act would strengthen the patient voice in the regulatory environment, increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration, modernize clinical trials; remove barriers to greater research coordination; and create incentives for developing therapies for rare conditions. H.R. 6 would also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to set up a surveillance system for neurological diseases that could include epilepsy…

Read the full post online HERE.

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Committee Leaders Question Administration’s Decision to Ease Fraud Reduction Targets in Medicaid Program

2015/07/01

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) today sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in their continued oversight of the Medicaid program. Upton and Murphy write, “Specifically, the committee is looking into why the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eased its improper payment rate target for 2015.”

Upton and Murphy continue, “For fiscal year 2014, CMS reported an estimated improper payment rate for the Medicaid program of 6.7 percent, or $17.5 billion. This was an increase over its 2013 estimate of 5.8 percent, or $14.4 billion. Rather than looking to improve its improper payment rate, CMS raised its target rate for the Medicaid program from 5.6 percent to 6.7 percent for 2015.”

The Subcommittee recently held a hearing, “Medicaid Program Integrity: Screening Out Errors, Fraud, and Abuse,” at which the CMS witness, Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, failed to provide clarity about the decision to increase this target rate.

Upton and Murphy explain, “Even a small percentage of improper payments represent billions of taxpayer dollars.”

The committee is seeking documents and information from CMS regarding this decision and the administration’s enforcement of this improper payment target.

Read the complete letter online HERE.  

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#SubCommTech to Exercise Oversight of Proposed Internet Transition; Members to Hear from ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade and NTIA’s Larry Strickling

2015/06/30

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, July 8, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53.”

Continuing their oversight of the administration’s work to transition key Internet functions from the United States to the multistakeholder community, members will hear from NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers CEO Fadi Chehade and discuss the status of transition efforts following the recently concluded ICANN meeting. The meeting – which included representatives from the international Internet community – continued efforts to reach agreement on the terms of the transition plan proposal and changes to ICANN’s bylaws that would be necessary to ensure ICANN is accountable to the Internet community at-large. ICANN is a non-profit corporation based in the United States.

Last week, the House overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to ensure congressional oversight over any proposed transition. Authored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), the DOTCOM Act requires that the administration certify that safeguards and accountability measures are in place prior to any transition of stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and provides 30 legislative days for Congress to review the plan. Companion legislation to the DOTCOM Act was also approved last week by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“Oversight and transparency are necessary parts of any proposed transition of IANA stewardship to the multi-stakeholder Internet community,” said Walden. “The House has spoken to ensure our oversight occurs before any transition is finalized. We will do our part to ensure this work stays on track and that any transition proposal preserves the open and robust internet ‎free from international government control.”

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

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E&C Through the Lens

2015/06/30

An Inside Look Through the Lens of the Energy and Commerce Committee from June 2015

Photographers wait for Dr. Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to give his testimony on the Takata airbag recall in front of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade on June 2, 2015.

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Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz appears before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power June 2, 2015 to discuss the Quadrennial Energy Review.

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Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) announces passage of H.R. 2576, The TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, during a full committee markup on June 3, 2015. The U.S. House of Representatives later advanced H.R. 2576 with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 398 to 1.

Flickr

Subcommittee on Health Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) meets with cancer-survivor Ian Lock, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network during the #Cures2015 Press Conference on June 16, 2015.

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Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) urges passage of H.R. 2042, The Ratepayer Protection Act, at a press conference on June 24, 2015. The U.S. House of Representatives later advanced H.R 2042 with a bipartisan vote of 247-180.

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Contact Information

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


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Joe Barton

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Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

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Bill Flores

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Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

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Gregg Harper

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Richard Hudson

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Bill Johnson

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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

Markwayne Mullin

OKLAHOMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Mike Pompeo

KANSAS' 4th DISTRICT

Steve Scalise

LOUISIANA's 1st DISTRICT

John Shimkus

ILLINOIS' 15th DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Greg Walden

OREGON's 2nd DISTRICT

Ed Whitfield

KENTUCKY's 1st DISTRICT

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