Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Upton Responds to Air Bag Recalls, Warnings

2014/10/22

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today responded to the expanded recall of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata air bag inflators and warnings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week urging drivers to get their cars fixed over concerns that air bag rupture could lead to severe injuries. 

“The auto industry has made vast advancements in safety over the last decades – something to be commended – but as new safety features and technologies are developed, we are faced with new challenges. Airbags were designed to improve safety and help save lives, which is why it’s so disconcerting to hear reports of this life-saving tool posing a potential hazard to drivers. Recalls continue to mount across the country, and drivers are losing confidence. The first priority must be to ensure that all cars on the road are safe, and I urge drivers to heed NHTSA’s warnings and act immediately to get their vehicles fixed. We also need to take a close look at this airbag issue and the timeline and scope of the recalls to ensure that the appropriate steps are being taken to protect drivers and their families. I’ve long said that when it comes to vehicle safety, there can be no margin for error,” said Upton. 

Drivers can visit SaferCar.gov to determine if their vehicle is affected by the airbag recalls. Committee staff has requested a briefing with NHTSA on the status of the Takata air bag recalls and will also be meeting with auto manufacturers to discuss supplier issues.

Chairman Upton has been a leader on vehicle safety issues and was the author of the TREAD Act, which enhanced communication between auto manufacturers and regulators and increased NHTSA’s ability to collect and analyze information about safety defects. The committee this year has been conducting an extensive investigation into the General Motors ignition switch recall, and recently released a report detailing NHTSA’s failures in identifying the deadly problem. The investigation found NHTSA failed to act on evidence identifying the defect and lacked a technical understanding of advanced vehicle safety systems. 

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#Path2Cures in Virginia TODAY and Pennsylvania TOMORROW

2014/10/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over the past several months, Energy and Commerce Committee members have brought the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative across the country. These local roundtables have strengthened the initiative as members continue to gather ideas from patients, researchers, and health care experts from each of their home districts.

Committee member Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), joined by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), is hosting a roundtable in Blacksburg, Virginia, today. As Griffith noted, “This effort has been largely successful due to the opinions and ideas we've gathered from across the country. It is important that Virginia’s leading health officials have a seat at the table to help accelerate the cures process and improve cures in America."

Tomorrow, committee member Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) will take the conversation to Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, with a roundtable with patient advocates and families. Participants will include NCATS National Institute of Health Deputy Director Dr. Pamela McInnes and Mylan Institutional President Matt Erick. The event will be held at Mt. Lebanon Public Safety Center at 4:00 p.m. “I’m excited to bring this very important initiative to Pennsylvania,” Murphy said. “This effort is first and foremost about the patients, their valuable perspective, experiences, and input are a critical component to ensure the success of the 21st Century Cures effort.”  

Learn more about the Virginia roundtable here.

Learn more about the Pennsylvania roundtable here.

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

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Popular Mechanics Ranks Upton Among “15 Most Innovation-Friendly” in Congress for #Path2Cures

2014/10/21

Leading science magazine singles out Republicans and Democrats for “fighting for the advancement of science, technology, and the future of manufacturing in America”

WASHINGTON DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) was recognized as one of 15 Members of Congress fighting for the advancement of science, technology, and the future of manufacturing in America. Popular Mechanics recognized Upton for his leadership in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative that has been working to advance lifesaving medical treatments, research, and innovation in the United States. The magazine featured both Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has a proven #RecordofSuccess, particularly in its efforts to strengthen the public health. 21st Century Cures looks to build upon that momentum.

Learn more about the Cures effort here. You may also follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

The 15 Most Innovation-Friendly Members of Congress

Despite the deadlock in D.C., there are still legislators fighting for the advancement of science, technology, and the future of manufacturing in America

Fred UptonRepublican, Michigan

What He's Working For: Science Research, Technology

As chair of the Energy and Commerce committee, the longtime congressman is leading the 21st Century Cures initiative along with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., which seeks to overhaul how we approve and regulate new medical breakthroughs.

Bona Fides: Upton has made advancing healthcare a priority by putting his support behind a bill that seeks to revamp the regulations process of medical software.

Read the full article online here.

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Next Stop for the #Path2Cures: Blacksburg, VA

2014/10/20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee members have taken the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative around the country with roundtables in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina. The ongoing conversations have been instrumental in building support for the important effort. This week, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), along with Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), will take the conversation to Virginia. Health leaders, innovators, and academics will join Griffith at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, this Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

“I’m excited to bring the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative to Virginia,” said Griffith. “This effort has been largely successful due to the opinions and ideas we've gathered from across the country. It is important that Virginia’s leading health officials have a seat at the table to help accelerate the cures process and improve cures in America."

Participants will discuss many of the ideas the committee has heard over the past several months to accelerate the pace of cures in America, including improvements to drug and device approvals and clinical trials, as well as issues including telemedicine, mobile health apps, personalized medicine, medical research, funding, and more. Participants will include:

Dr. Bob MeyerUniversity of Virginia Health System

Dr. Karen RheubanUniversity of Virginia Health System

Dr. Maciek SasinowskiHealth Diagnostic Laboratory

Jeff GallagherVirginia BIO

Michael MatthewsHealtheway

Dr. Dixie Tooke-RawlinsEdward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Rob GourdieVirginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Dr. Stephen MorganCarilion

Dr. Josep Bassaganya-RieraBioTherapeutics Inc.

Karl StrohmeierTeva

Dr. John DavisDavis Medical

Learn more about the Virginia roundtable here.

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

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Study: EPA’s Power Plan Could Total At Least $366 Billion

2014/10/17

Whitfield: “This new study confirms what we already know: EPA’s power plan is unaffordable and unworkable…”

A new study by NERA Economic Consulting released this week calculates the costs and consequences of the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide regulations for existing power plants, referred to by the agency as the “Clean Power Plan.” Among NERA’s findings:

  • The costs of EPA’s plan could total $366 billion or more over a 15-year period.
  • Under EPA’s plan, consumers and businesses could face costs of $41 billion or more annually.
  • EPA’s proposal would cause electricity rates to increase an average of 12% to 17% nationwide, and some states could face price increases over 20%.
  • EPA’s plan could shutter 45,000 megawatts or more of coal-based electricity.

NERA’s new analysis quantifying the potential impacts of EPA’s proposal on the affordability and reliability of electricity in the United States underscores concerns being raised by states and other stakeholders regarding the proposed rule. The Energy and Power Subcommittee has been conducting oversight of EPA’s plan, including a June 19, 2014, hearing with EPA, a July 29, 2014, hearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and a September 9, 2014, hearing with state energy and environmental regulators. These hearings have highlighted that the administration’s Clean Power Plan proposal is unachievable for many states, and that nationwide, the rule would result in higher prices for consumers, reduced electric reliability, and would pose a serious threat to America’s economic competiveness.  

“This new study confirms what we already know: EPA’s power plan is unaffordable and unworkable, and will devastate local communities and households struggling to keep the lights on. American consumers will be forced to pay a high price tag for a plan that will have no real effect on the climate,” said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). “Instead of finding ways to make energy more expensive and less reliable, we should be working to improve energy affordability and access.”

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Committee Releases Dallas Ebola Timelines

2014/10/17

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released documents obtained in its investigation of the ongoing Ebola outbreak. The documents were submitted to the committee by Texas Health Resources. One outlines the preparedness timeline from August 1, 2014, through September 24, 2014, and the other document details the sequence of events at Thomas Duncan’s first visit to the Emergency Department on September 25, 2014.

PREPAREDNESS TIMELINE The preparedness timeline indicates that on August 1, 2014, one of the components of the response plan includes, “Electronic Health Record includes a travel history question that should be completed on every patient.” The preparedness timeline goes through September 24, 2014, just one day before Duncan first arrived at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department.

DUNCAN EMERGENCY ROOM TIMELINE The second document indicates that Duncan first arrived at the Emergency Department at 10:37 p.m. Triage began for Duncan at 11:36 p.m., at which point, “Obtaining the patient’s travel history was not part of the triage nurses’ process on September 25, 2014.” The timeline later showed that there was an RN assessment from 12:33 to 12:44 a.m. At that point, “The nurse documents that Mr. Duncan ‘came from Africa 9/20/2014’” and “RN states she recalls the discussion because of how long the plane flight was. (She had personal experience with very long plane flights). Attached no further significance to this travel history.”

The detailed timeline of events continues, “This information was not verbally communicated to the physician, as prompted by the EHR.” The Emergency Department physician performed his evaluation of Duncan from 12:52 to 1:10 a.m. The timeline recalls that the physician did access the EHR, but, “The record does not show which information the physician read, only which information was available.”

Watch the complete hearing online here.

Read the preparedness timeline online here and the sequence of events from Duncan’s first visit to Texas Presbyterian Hospital here.

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Committee Unveils New Resource Chronicling Bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess in the 113th Congress

2014/10/17

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today launched its #RecordOfSuccess webpage, highlighting its bipartisan accomplishments in the 113th Congress to create jobs and spur economic growth, modernize government for the innovation era, and protect families, communities, and civic initiatives. Under the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), 84 committee bills have cleared the House of Representatives, with 32 bills becoming law, and 52 bills awaiting Senate action.

Chairman Upton commented, “I’m very proud of our proven record of success and appreciate the continued bipartisan efforts made by our committee members. In a time of partisan politics, the Energy and Commerce Committee has been able to rise above and get the job done, working together to make a difference in the lives of countless Americans. But our results should be even better with over four-dozen bills awaiting action in the Senate. I am proud that every single one of our bills received Democratic votes in the House, and over two-dozen bills now on the Senate’s doorstep cleared the House with a veto-proof margin. Our work continues, and we welcome the Senate to swiftly approve our bipartisan bills.”

To view the committee’s #RecordOfSuccess and to track legislation that remains #StuckInTheSenate, click here.

An Accounting of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess for the 113th Congress Follows Below: (As of October 17, 2014)

Public Laws: Legislation Passed by the House and the Senate

(25 public laws containing 32 E&C bills)

H.R. 307, Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Approved by the Senate on February 27, 2013; Approved by the House on March 4, 2013; Signed into law on March 13, 2013)

H.R. 267, Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on February 13, 2013; Approved by the Senate on August 1, 2013; Signed into law August 9, 2013)

H.R. 2576To amend title 49, United States Code, to modify requirements relating to the availability of pipeline safety regulatory documents, and for other purposes (Approved by the House on July 16, 2013; Approved by the Senate on August 1, 2013; Signed into law on August 9, 2013)

S. 330 (H.R. 698), HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (Approved by the Senate on June 17, 2013; Approved by the House on November 12, 2013; Signed into law on November 12, 2013)

H.R. 2094, School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (Approved by the House on July 30, 2013; Approved by the Senate on October 31, 2013; Signed into law on November 13, 2013)

S. 252 (H.R. 541), PREEMIE Reauthorization Act (Approved by the Senate on September 25, 2013; Approved by the House on November 12, 2013; Signed into law on November 27, 2013) Includes:

H.R. 3204, Drug Quality and Security Act (Approved by the House on September 28, 2013; Approved by the Senate on November 18, 2013; Signed into law on November 27, 2013) H.R. 3204 combined the following two bills:

H.R. 3588, Community Fire Safety Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on December 2, 2013; Approved by the Senate on December 17, 2013; Signed into law on December 20, 2013)

H.J. Res. 59, Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013  (Approved by the House on December 12, 2013; Approved by the Senate on December 18, 2013 Signed into law on December 26, 2013)

H.R. 623Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act (Approved by the House on October 29, 2013; Approved by the Senate on December 20, 2013; Signed into law on December 26, 2013)

H.R. 3527, Poison Center Network Act (Approved by the House on ­­­­­­­­­­­January 8, 2014; Approved by the Senate on January 14, 2014; Signed into law on January 24, 2014)

H.R. 4302Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on March 27, 2014; Approved by the Senate on March 31, 2014; Signed into law on April 1, 2014) Includes:

H.R. 2019, Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act (Approved by the House on December 11, 2013; Approved by the Senate on March 11, 2014; Signed into law on April 3, 2014)

S. 1557 (H.R. 297), Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Approved by the Senate on November 12, 2013; Approved by the House on April 1, 2014; Signed into law on April 7, 2014)

H.R. 724, To amend the Clean Air Act to remove the requirement for dealer certification of new light-duty motor vehicles (Approved by the House on January 8, 2014; Approved by the Senate on May 22, 2014; Signed into law on June 9, 2014)

S. 622 (H.R. 1407), Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2013 (Approved by the Senate on May 8, 2013; Approved by the House on June 3, 2014; Signed into law on June 13, 2014) Includes:

S. 2086Reliable Home Heating Act (Approved by the Senate on May 21, 2014; Approved by the House on June 23, 2014; Signed into law on June 30, 2014)

H.R. 316, Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act (Approved by the Senate on June 23, 2014; Approved by the House on June 23, 2014; Signed into law on June 30, 2014)

H.R. 803Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Approved by the House on March 15, 2013; Approved Senate changes on July 9, 2014; Signed into law on July 22, 2014)

H.R 1528, Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on July 8, 2014; Approved by the Senate on July 16, 2014; Signed into law on August 1, 2014)

H.R. 4631, Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on June 24, 2014; Approved by the Senate on July 31, 2014; Signed into law on August 8, 2014)

H.R. 3548, Improving Trauma Care Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on ­­­­­­­­­­­June 24, 2014; Approved by the Senate on July 31, 2014; Signed into law on August 8, 2014)

S. 276a bill to reinstate and extend the deadlines for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving the American Falls Reservoir (Approved by the Senate on June 19, 2013; Approved by the House on September 11, 2014; Signed into law on September 26, 2014)

S. 2154 (H.R. 4290), Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 OR Wakefield Act (Approved by Senate on September 10, 2014; Approved by House on September 16, 2014; Signed into law on September 26, 2014)

H.R. 594Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance Research and Education Amendments of 2014 (Approved by the House on July 28, 2014, by voice vote; Signed into law on September 26, 2014)

Committee Legislation Passed by the House and Pending Senate Consideration or Resolution(52 E&C bills await Senate action)

H.R. 1580To affirm the policy of the United States regarding Internet governance (Approved by the House on May 14, 2012, by a vote of 413-0)

H.R. 235Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on February 12, 2013, by voice vote)

H.R. 45To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Approved by the house on May 16, 2013, by a vote of 229-195)

H.R. 271Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on May 22, 2013, by voice vote)

H.R. 3, Northern Route Approval Act (Approved by the House on May 22, 2013, by a vote of 241-175)

H.R. 2218, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on July 25, 2013, by a vote of 265-155)

H.R. 2754To amend the Hobby Protection Act to make unlawful the provision of assistance or support in violation of that Act, and for other purposes (Approved by the House on July 30, 2013, by voice vote)

H.R. 1582, Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on August 1, 2013, by a vote of 232-81)

H.R. 2052Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on September 9, 2013, by a vote of 379-32)

H.R. 2844Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on September 9, 2013, by a vote of 415-0)

H.R. 2775, No Subsidies Without Verification Act (Approved by the House on September 12, 2013, by a vote of 235-191)

H.R. 3350, Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on November 15, 2013, by a vote of 261-157)

H.R. 1900, Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (Approved by the House on November 21, 2013, by a vote of 252-165)

H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on January 9, 2014, by a vote of 225-188) Includes:

H.R. 3811Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on January 10, 2014, by a vote of 291-122)

H.R. 3362Exchange Information Disclosure Act (Approved by the House on January 16, 2014, by a vote of 259-154)

H.R. 7No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (Approved by the House on January 28, 2014, by a vote of 227-188)

H.R. 3590, Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act (Approved by the House on February 15, 2014, by a vote of 268-154)

H.R. 938United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on March 5, 2014, by a vote of 410-1). The Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 3683, which was incorporated into H.R. 938

H.R. 2126 (S. 1191)Better Buildings Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on March 5, 2014, by a vote of 375-36) Includes:

H.R. 3826, Electricity Security and Affordability Act  (Approved by the House on March 6, 2014, by a vote of 229-183)

H.R. 3675Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on March 11, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4015SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on March 14, 2014, by a vote of 238-181)

H.R. 4414, Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on April 29, 2014, by a vote of 268-150)

H.R. 4092Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on June 23, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4801to require the Secretary of Energy to prepare a report on the impact of thermal insulation on both energy and water use for potable hot water (Approved by the House on June 23, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 3301, North American Energy Infrastructure Act (Approved by the House on June 24, 2014, by a vote of 238-173)

H.R. 1098Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on June 24, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 1281Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on June 24, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4080Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act (Approved by the House on June 24, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 6, Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act Approved by the House on June 25, 2014, by a vote of 266-150)

H.R. 4007Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on July 8, 2014, by voice vote) 

H.R. 4572STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on July 22, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4450Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on July 23, 2014, by a vote of 347-57)

H.R. 3696National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on July 28, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4250 (S. 2141)Sunscreen Innovation Act (Approved by the House on July 28, 2014, by voice vote; S. 2141 was approved by the Senate as amended on September 18, 2014, by unanimous consent)

H.R. 4709Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (Approved by the House on July 29, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 669Sudden Unexpected Death and Data Enhancement and Awareness Act (Approved by the House on September 9, 2014 by voice vote)

H.R. 4067a bill to help ensure patients, including Medicare patients and those in rural communities, have access to health care they need (Approved by the House on September 9, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 4701Vector-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act  (Approved by the House on September 9, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 3670Anti-Spoofing Act of 2013 (Approved by the House on September 9, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 5057EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 (Approved by the House on September 11, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 5161 (S. 2583)E-LABEL Act (Approved by the House on September 11, 2014, by a vote of 402-29; S. 2583 was passed by the Senate on September 18, 2014, by unanimous consent)

H.R. 3522Employee Health Care Protection Act (Approved by the House on September 11, 2014, by a vote of 247-167)

H.R. 83, a bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to develop an action plan to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States (Approved by the House on September 15, 2014, by voice vote; Approved by the Senate, as amended, by unanimous consent on September 18, 2014)

H.R. 4771Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (Approved by the House on September 15, 2014, by voice vote)

H.R. 2American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (Approved by the House on September 18, 2014, by a vote of 226-191) H.R. 2 included previously House-passed H.R. 3, H.R. 1900. H.R. 3301, H.R. 1582, H.R. 3826, H.R. 4801, and H.R. 6)

Visit energycommerce.house.gov/recordofsuccess to keep track of committee bills

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Upton, Murphy Comment on President Obama Naming an Ebola Response Coordinator

2014/10/17

Upton: “What has been missing from this administration’s response to Ebola is not a new figurehead; what we need is a strategy to get ahead of this, and restore the public’s faith that they are safe.”

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) issued the following statements regarding the president’s naming of Ron Klain as the Ebola Response Coordinator, commonly referred to as “Ebola czar.”

“The United States’ handling of the Ebola virus here at home has left Americans across the country petrified about the preparedness and response efforts. The public is desperate to believe that we will be safe from Ebola’s spread. I was glad the president got off the campaign trail to finally focus on Ebola, but with this appointment of a 'czar' with no health background, he just got right back on,” said Upton. “What has been missing from this administration’s response to Ebola is not a new figurehead; what we need is a strategy to get ahead of this, and restore the public’s faith that they are safe. Yesterday, we held an urgent hearing on our response efforts, hoping to gain a better understanding of what officials are doing to train health care workers in emergency rooms and hospitals and stop the spread of the virus here at home and in Africa. The administration needs to immediately institute travel restrictions to get this situation under control, properly train health care workers to identify and treat Ebola patients, and remain focused on stopping the spread of Ebola at its source in Africa.”

Murphy added, “This appointment is both shocking and frankly tone deaf to what the American people are concerned about. Installing yet another political appointee who has no medical background or infectious disease control experience will do little to reassure Americans who are increasingly losing confidence with the Administration’s Ebola strategy. Not one of the medical experts who testified at our hearing yesterday said what is needed to stop the spread of the Ebola virus is a czar, spokesman, or campaign operative with no relevant experience telling them what to do. We need leadership from the president and changes to the current policies to end the scourge of Ebola here and in Western Africa. Changes we can advance right now to protect the public health include travel restrictions, stronger quarantine measures, and expedited review and approval of therapies and vaccines for Ebola. Keeping an open-door travel policy that relies on an honor system is deeply troubling to Americans because, as we’ve seen with the known U.S. cases of Ebola infection, the screening, self-monitoring and self-reporting at airports have been demonstrated failures and put Americans at risk.”

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Upton and Shimkus Welcome Release of Game-Changing Yucca Mountain Safety Report

2014/10/16

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today responded to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s release of Volume 3 of the Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation Repor (SER). The report is the most important, independent technical evaluation of whether the Department of Energy’s license application meets the long-term nuclear waste repository regulatory and safety requirements, including whether Yucca Mountain would remain safe for one million years, the federal threshold established to ensure the utmost safety of a permanent repository.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “The release of this game-changing report marks a critical milestone in restoring America’s nuclear leadership. Science, not politics, should determine Yucca’s course, and this report confirms that Yucca Mountain has met the safety requirements. After a four-year delay, the public now has the benefit of the first independent safety assessment of Yucca Mountain, and can now have confidence that the repository would be in fact ‘safe for a million years.’ This safety evaluation embodies the objective, technical conclusions of our nation’s independent nuclear safety regulator, and it represents the culmination of thirty years and $15 billion worth of scientific work by DOE and seven of our national scientific labs. I am pleased that this important work has finally come to light so we can move forward with a permanent repository and get our nation's nuclear future back on track.”

Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) said, “Yucca Mountain is one of the most studied geological formations on the planet and today’s report confirms what we’ve expected all along: nuclear waste stored under that mountain, in that desert, surrounded by federal land will be safe and secure for at least a million years. I want to commend the NRC technical staff for all their hard work in completing and publishing this milestone achievement. Their work to complete this national asset is a testament to their commitment to public service, one that I admire and greatly appreciate. The conclusions in this report should only add to the bipartisan support the repository has consistently received in both the House and Senate.”

The report was initially scheduled for release in November 2010, but NRC staff was ordered to close down its review prior to completion and release of the report. In August 2013, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the NRC must resume its review of the DOE’s license application. Upton and Shimkus wrote to NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane urging the commission to complete and release all the remaining volumes of the Safety Evaluation Report as its first order of businesses and have closely monitored the commission’s progress.  

For more information about the committee’s oversight of the Yucca Mountain project, visit: http://energycommerce.house.gov/yuccamountain.

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Upton, Murphy Comment on Ongoing Ebola Outbreak Ahead of Thursday’s Hearing

2014/10/16

CDC, NIH, and Texas Health Resources to Testify THURSDAY

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) released the following statements regarding the ongoing Ebola outbreak. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing, Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak, this Thursday, October 16, at 12:00 p.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“Ebola has been on the world's radar screen since March and yet the United States and the international community are still scrambling to stay ahead of and stop this outbreak. We remain gravely concerned about this ongoing threat and the committee will continue diligently investigating the response efforts and preparedness plans,” said Upton. “The stakes could not be any higher, and as I have said before, we cannot afford to look back at this point in history and say we could have done more.”

Murphy added, “Questions continue to emerge as this outbreak has continued, further heightening our concerns about the response and preparedness efforts both at home and abroad. Just a few weeks ago there was an urgent need to quickly stop the spread of Ebola in Africa, but now we also need to assure Americans that we are able to stop the spread here at home. There is no room for error when it comes to Ebola.”

A complete witness list for Thursday’s hearing is below.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Anthony Fauci Director National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health

Dr. Luciana Borio Assistant Commissioner Counterterrorism Policy U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Robin Robinson Director Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Mr. John P. Wagner Acting Assistant Commissioner Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Dr. Daniel Varga Chief Clinical Officer and Senior Vice President Texas Health Resources

More background for Thursday’s hearing is available online here. The committee first sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell seeking more information regarding the ongoing Ebola outbreak and preparedness and response efforts at home and abroad on September 12, 2014.

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Contact Information

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Fax 202-225-1919
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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