Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

#Cures2015 Remains a National Priority

2015/07/28

Reps. Allen, Meehan, and a Mom in Georgia Advocate for 21st Century Cures

H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, has stirred up plenty of interest and excitement across the country as the legislation makes its way to the Senate. This nonpartisan effort will help patients, families, and loved ones in every community by accelerating the pace of cures and treatments for those who need them most. The Augusta Chronicle profiles Melissa Solares and her severely autistic son Arturo. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) told the Solares’ story on the House floor ahead of the overwhelming vote in support of H.R. 6. Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) also took to the pages of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Daily Times urging the U.S. Senate to swiftly follow the House’s lead and pass Cures.

Evans Mother Hopes Congress Passes Medical Research Bill

Melissa Solares will do whatever it takes to find affordable, safe and effective treatment for her severely autistic child, Arturo. …

Citing Solares’ story, Allen said on the House floor before the Cures Act was passed that the legislation will improve access to treatments that help patients such as Arturo. …

“The 21st Century Cures Act will help the medical community in their efforts not only to develop but deliver lifesaving treatments,” Allen said in a statement. “By cutting red tape and modernizing health care, this legislation can help improve the lives of individuals and families while supporting jobs in the 12th District and nationwide.’…

The bill has yet to make it to the Senate, but Solares is hopeful it will speed up health care development in a safe and effective way, as her son still struggles with sleep-onset insomnia 3½ years after he was diagnosed as severely autistic on his fourth birthday. …

Solares said she found the legislation sensible.

“Why wouldn’t we want to make our health care industry as effective as possible?” she asked.

Read the full story online HERE.

Senate Should Pass 21st Century Cures Bill

By Rep. Pat Meehan

… The overwhelming support for 21st Century Cures proves an important point: Even today, in the midst of bitter partisanship and Washington dysfunction, Republicans and Democrats can still come together to find solutions to address the great challenges we face as a nation.

America has what it takes to tackle diseases like cancer. We’ve made great progress already. But we can no longer afford to let an outdated Washington bureaucracy slow down the effort. The 21st Century Cures legislation passed by the House sends an unmistakable message that curing these conditions is a nonpartisan, national priority for all of us. I urge the Senate to act quickly on its passage and the president to sign it into law.

Read the full column online HERE.

Learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #Cures2015 and #CuresIn4Words.

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21st Century Cures: Myth-Fact

2015/07/27

Woodcock said that drug-resistant infections have reached the level of a ‘societal crisis’ and that the bill would help spur the development of treatments for patients who might die of their infections otherwise. She said the standards of efficacy remain the same, although the tolerance for uncertainty about the risks and benefits of a treatment increases when there are no other options.” – The Washington Post, July 10, 2015

“The 21st Century Cures Act does not reduce safety standards. Nothing could be further from the truth: the FDA’s authority for maintaining the gold standard for safety and effectiveness remains unchanged. Rather, the bill will allow the FDA to utilize today’s rapidly evolving science to support the standard, while explicitly prohibiting the agency from approving a drug based on a lower standard of evidence.” – Former FDA Commissioner Mark McLellan, Katie Couric, and Founder and Chairperson of Friends of Cancer Research Dr. Ellen Sigal in The Huffington Post

“The 21st Century Cures legislation makes clear that Congress will continue to demand vigilance and rigor, in addition to efficiency and consistency, from the FDA. In return, a modernized regulatory process can assure every American that they will have access to the medical products they need as rapidly and safely as possible, using the best technology available.” – Former FDA Commissioner Andy von Eschenbach and Director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress Paul Howard in The Morning Consult

MYTH: 21st Century Cures threatens safety standards for patients

FACT: Some critics have raised unsubstantiated and misleading attacks on a variety of provisions included in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives in June. These critics have argued that some provisions of H.R. 6 will lower, diminish, or undermine the safety or efficacy standard used by the Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs and devices.

These attacks have been debunked by a number of experts inside and outside of government, including the more than 700 groups supporting the legislation, and also run counter to the initiative’s goal and process. Goal: to help patients live longer and healthier lives. Process: transparent and inclusive, including close work with FDA officials to ensure all policies included in the bill maintain the highest standards of safety and efficacy.

MYTH: H.R. 6 will lead to substandard data being used during the drug review process at FDA.

FACT: Some critics have raised this charge in relation to Section 2021 (Qualification of Drug Development Tools) and Section 2062 (Utilizing Evidence from Clinical Experience). These charges are completely false. 

Section 2021 would codify a structured framework for the submission, review, and qualification of biomarkers and other drug development tools for specific contexts of use that, if qualified, can be relied on by any person for such purposes. The legislation allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with outside experts and consider their recommendations throughout the review of a qualification package submitted under this framework.

In addition, section 2021 would require the Secretary to make public information related to each submission, all drug development tools qualified, and all surrogate endpoints that were the basis of approval or licensure of a drug or biological product, while maintaining the protections currently in place for confidential commercial or trade secret information contained in an application submitted outside the public qualification process. 

This provision does not in any way alter the safety and efficacy standard used by the FDA during the drug review process. Rather, this section codifies a structure to ensure that there are clear standards and a process in place regarding when data derived from a drug development tool can be used during the drug review process. 

It is important to note that this provision will expand and enhance FDA’s understanding of both the benefit and the risks of a drug by leveraging drug development tools, including taking advantage of 21st Century technological advancements to more precisely judge the benefits and risks of a drug.  Critics of this provision are effectively advocating against a framework that would advance the use of modern and scientifically valid measurements to help understand how drugs will work for patients.

Section 2062 would require the Secretary to establish a program to evaluate the potential use of evidence from clinical experience to help support the approval of a new indication and to help support or satisfy post-approval study requirements. In parallel, FDA would identify and execute pilot demonstrations to extend existing use of the Sentinel System to, among other things, support these efforts.

Again, this section does not in any way alter the standards of evidence required by law or alter the Secretary’s authority to require post-approval studies or clinical trials.

Instead, this provision will advance the inclusion of scientifically validated information on a drug’s label for different indications. It would also advance the collection of post-market safety information for the FDA so the agency has a better understanding of how a drug is working post-approval.  Critics of this provision are effectively advocating against improved labeling and safety information for patients. 

MYTH: The passage of the ADAPT Act within 21st Century Cures “would allow a drug to be tested on humans based on only limited evidence that it is safe and effective.” (Source: July 20, New York Times editorial)  

FACT: The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in humans is an ever-increasing public health threat. In 2014, the World Health Organization issued a report that began, “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) within a wide range of infectious agents is a growing public health threat of broad concern to countries and multiple sectors. Increasingly, governments around the world are beginning to pay attention to a problem so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine. A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.” (WHO: Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report on Surveillance, 2014)

Everyone from the President of the United States to global health organizations like the PEW Charitable Trusts have sounded the alarm bell on the issue of drug resistance and called for congressional passage of a pathway that helps support global researchers and developers in their efforts to speed up new drug development to address this public health crisis. The 21st Century Cures Act answers this call with the inclusion of the ADAPT Act. This policy would help support new drug development for new antibiotic drugs that treat unmet medical needs as determined by the FDA.

Arguments that this provision of law lowers the safety and efficacy standards at the FDA lack merit and threaten the wellbeing of patients. This provision clearly states that drugs approved under the pathway would have to meet the same safety and efficacy standards the FDA requires for any other drug under existing law. The FDA would, however, be able to consider the risks and benefits to patients with few, if any, treatment options available when determining candidates for a streamlined approval process. Such considerations shall ensure that patients who might otherwise lack a treatment option are able to now potentially find a treatment or cure. Such careful consideration by the FDA will also allow the FDA to restrict the use of such drugs to those with unmet medical needs. 

MYTH: “The bill reverses part of the transparency push about pharmaceutical companies paying doctors.” (Source: July 14, Vox piece)

FACT: American medical professionals are the best in the world because our medical societies and health care system expect that they remain up-to-date on the latest in new treatments and technologies. Much of the funding for these events come from third parties and others interested in educating providers on the latest in medicine. However, some have warned that the Sunshine Act, established in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, threatens such opportunities in the future because of its potential to dissuade public and private investments that support such educational opportunities for medical professionals.

The 21st Century Cures Act would ensure that our best and brightest can continue to receive the best in medical education.       

MYTH: “The bill would weaken the F.D.A.’s already flimsy regulation of medical devices, posing a threat to future patients who have devices implanted that cannot easily be removed if found defective.” (Source: July 20, New York Times editorial

FACT: Once the undisputed leader of global innovation in medicine, the U.S. has been losing ground to Asia and Europe and could lose its place in the coming years if we do not establish ways to improve the process. The 21st Century Cures Act recognizes this and puts in place a number of policies to modernize and improve the process and resources FDA is required to expend. Fundamental to patient care is access to new and life-saving treatments. With a finite number of resources, developer’s ability to invest in new products is in large part dependent upon the efficiency of Washington’s regulatory pathways. It is Congress’ job is to support the search and adoption of new and innovative ways to work with developers so that safe and effective products can be brought to market for effective patient care. 

21st Century Cures supports the ability of developers and the FDA to do their business in the most efficient means possible. New and emerging technologies have opened the door to new ways in which developers can gather and utilize information to support the FDA safety and effectiveness standard for approval. But some valid sources of data are not often recognized by the agency today. 

The 21st Century Cures Act also requires that the FDA conduct regular education of its employees about methods to conduct its review and approval work in the most efficient and least burdensome manner possible.  Such provisions can ensure that both the FDA and industry utilize their time and dollars as efficiently as possible while maintaining the very best in quality and safety standards. 

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#Cures2015 Chatter Continues

2015/07/27

Speaker Boehner and Rep. Markwayne Mullin Make the Case for Cures Back Home

Members from across the country continue to voice their support for the nonpartisan 21st Century Cures Act. Recently, Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shared their thoughts on how the effort will provide hope in their communities. 

Families in Oklahoma need 21st century cures

By Rep. Markwayne Mullin

We are on an exciting path — a path that leads to hope for patients and families across Oklahoma and our nation.

In the 21st Century, medical innovation is happening quickly. We have seen breakthroughs that completely change the way we treat diseases like cancer, advances in research that allow us to pinpoint the single cause of a genetic mutation, and discoveries that have profound impacts on patients’ quality of life.

Despite advances like these, our federal drug and device approval system lags behind. The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) is a bill that provides funding to further medical innovation and accelerate the approval pathway for drugs and medical devices. I was proud to support this bill on the House floor earlier this month when it passed by a bipartisan vote of 344-77.

Patients in Oklahoma need an approval pathway that keeps up with medical innovation. Patients in Oklahoma need 21st Century Cures.

The Richter family needs 21st Century Cures.

John and Liesa Richter and their children, Jack and Julia Kate, live in Norman. Julia Kate has cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects her lung function and requires extensive, daily breathing treatments. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis….

For the Richter family, 21st Century Cures means hope for treatments that will give Julia Kate more freedom. Or, maybe even a cure for cystic fibrosis…

The reality of having a loved one with a disease with no cure was a mountain the Novak family knew it had to climb when Nancy Novak was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—commonly known as ALS.

James Novak and his children, Bridget, Henry, Frances, and Charles, lost Nancy to the devastating disease in 2014.

The Novak family needs 21st Century Cures.…

For the Novak family, 21st Century Cures is a big step in the right direction for ALS and other incurable diseases. It means their advocacy in honor of Nancy and on behalf of other ALS patients is making a difference. And, it means that one day there may be treatment and a cure for the disease.

House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is just one more important step in our journey to bring hope to the Richter and Novak families and others like them. I know we need to get this important piece of legislation across the finish line, and I am going to work hard to bring 21st Century Cures to families across Oklahoma.

Read the full op-ed online HERE

21st Century Cures empowers doctors

By Speaker John Boehner

America has made amazing strides in medical research and innovation in the past 15 years. Scientists have completed mapping the sequence of the entire human genome, patients are recovering faster from minimally invasive surgeries, and babies are being treated for life-threatening conditions before they are even born.

These strides are remarkable, but for all of us who have lost loved ones to incurable diseases, we know we must do better.

Believe it or not, cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer may be right around the corner. But, as a number of Ohio doctors, patients, and families have told me, there are a lot of roadblocks—a long approval process, unnecessary paperwork and a tangled mess of bureaucracy—between advancing medical research and translating discoveries into treatments.

Recently, the House passed a solution called the 21st Century Cures Act to eliminate these roadblocks and advance treatments for the thousands of diseases with no known cures. Keeping our promise to focus on the people’s priorities, this initiative reflects the best ideas from listening sessions with doctors, patients, researchers, medical innovators, and advocates from across the country.

First, the 21st Century Cures Act aims to secure America’s standing as a leader in medical innovation. …

In addition, the 21st Century Cures Act opens the door for more targeted clinical trials and personalized medicine. …

Furthermore, by supporting more personalized medicine, researchers will be able to tailor trials to specific patient groups and zero in on the treatments that are working for those with certain characteristics.

In short, our solution keeps the focus on patients and brings American medical innovation into the 21st Century. To ensure we achieve this goal, the 21st Century Cures Act invests in medical research and prioritizes spending where it is needed most. And, it does so in a way that is fully paid for and saves taxpayer dollars in the long run.

As one Ohioan told me, this initiative is her “definition of hope.” For families like hers, who are holding out hope for new cures, they shouldn’t have to wait any longer. The next medical breakthrough and cure could be discovered right here in our state.

With the 21st Century Cures Act, our goal is to empower our innovators and doctors—not just for hope, but for real life-saving solutions.

Read the full op-ed online HERE.

Learn more about Cures HERE and join the conversation on social media using #Cures2015 and #CuresIn4Words.

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Look Ahead: Committee Announces Activity for the Week of July 27

2015/07/24

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today announced its schedule for the week of July 27.

On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will continue its review of the Federal Select Agent Program, looking specifically at the recent reports of the shipments of live anthrax from a Department of Defense laboratory. Members will hear from the Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and Government Accountability Office. The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony will be available here.

Also on Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will continue its oversight of the Federal Communications Commission, hearing from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Ajit Pai. The Majority Memorandum and witness testimony will be available here.

Also on Tuesday, the Energy and Power Subcommittee is hosting a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone rule on U.S. manufacturing and jobs. The public event will be held from 2-3 p.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. For additional information and a list of panelists, click here

On Tuesday afternoon members will deliver opening statements for a Full Committee Markup that will reconvene on Wednesday morning. The committee will consider:

  • H.R. 1344, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act,
  • H.R. 1462, the Protecting Our Infants Act,
  • H.R. 1725, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act,
  • H.R. 2820, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act,
  • H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015, and
  • H.R. 3154, the E-Warranty Act of 2015

Learn more about these bipartisan bills online here. A background memo and electronic copies of the bills can be found online here. Amendments and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.

Hearing, Vote, and Roundtable Details:

Tuesday, July 28, 201510 AM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Oversight and InvestigationsHearing on “Continuing Concerns with the Federal Select Agent Program: Department of Defense Shipments of Live Anthrax”

10:15 AM2322 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Communications and TechnologyHearing on “Continued Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission”

2:00 PM2123 Rayburn HOBSubcommittee on Energy and PowerRoundtable Discussion: “EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule: Potential Impacts on Manufacturing and Jobs”

5:00 PM2123 Rayburn HOBFull Committee Markup of H.R. 985, H.R. 3154, H.R. 1344, H.R. 1462, H.R. 1725, H.R. 2820Opening Statements Only

Wednesday, July 29, 201510 AM2123 Rayburn HOBReconvene Full Committee Markup of Full Committee Markup of H.R. 985, H.R. 3154, H.R. 1344, H.R. 1462, H.R. 1725, H.R. 2820

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ROUNDTABLE NEXT WEEK: Leading Stakeholders to Examine EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule On Jobs and the Economy

2015/07/24

WASHINGTON, DC – Continuing its work to protect jobs and the economy from the EPA’s looming ozone rule, the Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will host a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 from 2pm – 3pm in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The public roundtable will feature leading stakeholders including local officials.

The EPA has proposed what some experts predict could be the agency’s costliest rule ever. The EPA is proposing to revise the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground level ozone even though the 2008 standards have still yet to be fully implemented by states. The proposed rule could have a devastating effect on jobs and manufacturing, points that were reinforced by manufacturing witnesses during last month’s joint Energy and Power and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing.

“The EPA is pushing too far and too fast with their proposed rule and consumers, manufacturers and small businesses across the country bear the brunt of the compliance burdens,” said Chairman Whitfield. “The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that the proposed rule could cost $140 billion annually and cost my home state of Kentucky $347 million in total compliance costs. I’m looking forward to hearing our panelists’ perspectives on the EPA’s proposed ozone rule.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, “Further tightening the standard and penalizing hundreds of counties for being in noncompliance should not be the result of this new regulation. A designation of nonattainment will come with significant costs in the form of both dollars and jobs. We should seek compliance with the current standard first and help those areas of the country that are unable to comply before we penalize the rest of the country.”

For additional information, including a list of panelists, click here.

How will the proposed rule impact your state? Click here to find out.

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Recent Reports Underscore Importance of Committee’s Auto Cybersecurity Review

2015/07/24

Fiat Chrysler Proactively Announces Recall to Upgrade Software Designed to Protect Vehicles against Hackers

Bipartisan House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have been actively working to ensure potential cyber threats do not undermine auto safety. The committee in May launched a review of how automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are dealing with these threats and what they are doing to prepare for increasingly cyber-connected automobiles. The topic of motor vehicles and cybersecurity made headlines this week across the country. The Washington Post continued its “Net of Insecurity” series with a look at what can happen when an automobile is hacked. And on Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of 1.4 million vehicles to upgrade software designed to protect against hackers.

“Innovation is occurring at lighting speed, and the intersection of automobiles and technology offers tremendous opportunity to keep families safe on the road and improve the American driving experience. But as the underlying technologies seemingly evolve by the day, so too must our manufacturers and regulators keep pace to protect drivers from these growing threats,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr, (D-NJ). “We are working with leading automakers and NHTSA to ensure all stakeholders are prepared to meet these challenges of the 21st century. We have said that cars today are essentially computers on wheels, and the last thing drivers should have to worry about is some hacker along for the ride. Our work continues, as does our constant focus on keeping everyone on our roads safe.”

To learn more about the committee’s review of auto cyber security, click here

July 22, 2015

Hacks on the highway By Craig Timberg

… As the number of connected devices explodes — from roughly 2 billion in 2010, the year of the Texas Auto Center incident, to an estimated 25 billion by 2020 — security researchers have repeatedly shown that most online devices can be hacked. Some have begun calling the “Internet of Things,” known by the abbreviation IOT, the “Internet of Targets.”

Security experts detect disturbing echoes from previous eras of rapid innovation, notably the 1990s when the World Wide Web connected hundreds of millions of people to a thrilling new online universe. Warnings about looming dangers went unheeded until viruses and cyberattacks became commonplace a few years later.

Widespread hacks on cars and other connected devices are destined to come, experts say, as they already have to nearly everything else online. It’s just a question of when the right hacking skills end up in the hands of people with sufficient motives.

“If we’ve learned anything from the Internet, it’s that it’s clearly going to happen,” said Kathleen Fisher, a Tufts University computer science professor and security researcher. “Now that we know it’s going to happen, can’t we do something different?” …

Read the full article online HERE.

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VIDEO: #Cures2015 Is A Win-Win

2015/07/24

Chairman Upton Talks 21st Century Cures with Comcast Newsmakers

The House earlier this month overwhelmingly approved the 21st Century Cures Act to modernize the nation’s health care system and help get better, faster, safer, and more innovative cures and treatments to patients. The bill will help improve patients’ lives while boosting our economy. The fiscally responsible legislation will also help keep and create more jobs here at home and maintain America’s global leadership in health care innovation.

This week, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) joined Comcast Newsmakers to underscore the importance of this nonpartisan legislation.

“We’ve learned from venture capitalists… they’ve started to invest by 50% change just in the last five or six years, overseas, because that’s where they would get the approvals for these drugs and devices rather than here. So by bringing them back to this country not only are we going to keep the research here, and hopefully develop the faster cures for all these things, but, when they’re actually manufactured, we’ll have the jobs here too. So it’s a win-win.”

Click to watch the full interview.

Learn more about Cures HERE.

Share what Cures means to you on Twitter or Facebook using #Cures2015 or #CuresIn4Words.

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New Report Underscores Urgency of #SubOversight’s Upcoming Hearing on Federal Select Agent Program

2015/07/23

Hearing with DoD, CDC, HHS OIG Officials Set for TUESDAY

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Defense today released an internal report regarding its investigation of the shipments of live anthrax from the Department’s laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah to labs across the country and around the world. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations next Tuesday, July 28, will hold a hearing to discuss the Federal Select Agent Program, focusing particularly on Department of Defense shipments of live anthrax. Witnesses from DoD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and Government Accountability Office will testify.

Upon release of the DoD report, bipartisan leaders of the committee commented, “Today’s report underscores the urgency of next week’s hearing. Federal agencies have demonstrated repeated lapses in the handling of dangerous pathogens, with which there is zero room for error. And despite the heightened scrutiny, serious mistakes keep happening and the agencies still have yet to reveal a clear path forward to address the underlying causes behind these failures. Put simply: this is not acceptable.”

Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), and subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) continued, “We expect witnesses next week to have answers about how they will assure the American people that there will be no more unforced errors.” 

 

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#RecordOfSuccess: #SubHealth and #SubCMT Collectively Advance Seven Bills

2015/07/23

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on Commerce Manufacturing, and Trade today each held markups to consider a number of bipartisan bills to strengthen public health and promote American manufacturing.

Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI): “Our top responsibility in Congress is to help and protect families and local communities. Today we advanced seven bipartisan bills that protect the public health, jobs, children, and manufacturing. It is bills like these that have a real, positive impact on families back home in Michigan and across the country.”

Subcommittee on Health:

The subcommittee approved bipartisan bills to protect infants and children, support state prescription drug monitoring programs, provide federal support for cord blood donation, and strengthen public health.

Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA): “These bipartisan bills represent our ongoing effort to work together to strengthen public health and solve problems in our nation’s health care system.”

  • H.R. 1344, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act, authored by Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), will reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children.
  • H.R. 2820, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act, authored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), would reauthorize the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act, to provide federal support for cord blood donation, a national bone marrow registry, and research essential to increasing patient access to transplants.
  • All four bills advanced unanimously. More information HERE

Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade:

The subcommittee advanced bills to support American manufacturing jobs, protect children from accidental exposure to liquid nicotine, and make warranty information easier for consumers to access.

  • H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015, authored by Rep. Guthrie, would authorize the establishment of a federal “check-off” program for concrete masonry products. “Check-off” programs are financed by industry and overseen by the appropriate federal agency as a way to boost the economy, and also helps support jobs and promote economic benefit around a commodity or good without specifying a particular brand or producer.
  • H.R. ___, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, would ensure that liquid nicotine (a product used in open system e-cigarettes and other e-smoking applications) is sold in child-resistant packaging. Liquid nicotine can come in many colors and flavors and can appear attractive to children, leading to accidental poisoning. This legislation would simply require child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers.
  • H.R. 3154, the E-Warranty Act of 2015, authored by Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), would allow manufacturers to provide warranty information electronically instead of solely in paper form, thereby easing the regulatory burden facing job creators and giving customers easier and more convenient options to find warranty information.
  • All three bills advanced unanimously. More information HERE

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BILIRAKIS on the Architecture of Abundance

2015/07/23

“My colleagues and I are working to quickly transform the scarcity mindset into a surplus approach”

After months of bipartisan negotiations the Energy and Power Subcommittee on Wednesday unanimously approved a draft of the committee’s highly anticipated comprehensive energy package. Though much work remains to be done, this was a positive first step in putting together a broad bipartisan energy bill, the first in a decade, that takes advantage of America’s energy abundance. Energy and Commerce committee member Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) writes in Medium about the remarkable opportunity that lies in front of us because of our energy abundance. “We are in the middle of an American energy boom. Our future is bright if we can rein in overly burdensome government regulations,” said Bilirakis.

July 23, 2015

Harnessing the Boom: America’s Energy Revolution

By: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)

Many years ago, policymakers were concerned with managing a scarcity of energy resources following the energy crisis of the Carter administration.

In a remarkable turnaround, America now has a surplus of energy resources, most notably the shale gas, which has energized the industry.

We are in the middle of an American energy boom. Our future is bright if we can rein in overly-burdensome government regulations.

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, my colleagues and I are working to quickly transform the scarcity mindset into a surplus approach.

We must continue to take advantage of technology achievements in order to provide for a growing market that yields jobs at home and influence abroad.

This Committee, one I am honored to serve on, is doing big things. In addition to the 21st Century Cures Act, a holistic, bipartisan overhaul of the health care system to get cures and treatments more quickly to the marketplace (check out previous posts for more on that), the Committee has also been working on the Architecture of Abundance.

The Architecture of Abundance has four pillars:

  • Modernizing Infrastructure
  • 21st Century Energy Workforce
  • Energy Diplomacy for a Changing World
  • Efficiency and Accountability

On modernizing our infrastructure, Chairman Upton notes:

“The United States is now the world’s leading energy producer, but our electrical grid and pipeline distribution system hasn’t kept pace. Developers are eager to invest in new projects to put people to work, but there is simply too much red tape slowing down the permitting and siting process.”

In the coming months, I expect the Architecture of Abundance to work its way through Committee — this week the bill passed the Energy and Power Subcommittee unanimously — and I look forward to its eventual passage in the House of Representatives, where I believe it will remain a bipartisan bill throughout the legislative process.

Reducing the costs of everyday necessities, like power, will make a big difference for the vast majority of Americans. Too many people are still struggling. More affordable energy would help them. Working on common sense solutions to help my constituents by untangling government red tape is why I am in Washington. The goal of lower, more affordable energy is attainable. Through the Architecture of Abundance, I expect to take a substantive step towards achieving that goal.

Read the article online HERE.

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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

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Larry Bucshon

INDIANA's 8th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Chris Collins

NEW YORK's 27th DISTRICT

Kevin Cramer

NORTH DAKOTA

Renee Ellmers

NORTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

KENTUCKY's 2nd DISTRICT

Gregg Harper

MISSISSIPPI's 3rd DISTRICT

Richard Hudson

NORTH CAROLINA's 8th 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

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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