Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Walden Comments on President Trump’s Executive Action Addressing Burdens of Obamacare

2017/01/21

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today issued the following statement after President Trump took executive action to begin offering relief from the burdens of Obamacare to the American people. “It is heartening to see President Trump take immediate action to begin undoing the damage caused by Obamacare. The American people desperately need relief from this law that is crumbling before our eyes, and the Energy and Commerce Committee stands ready to work alongside the administration to deliver it. In the coming weeks, we will repeal Obamacare and begin rebuilding our broken health care system and cleaning up the mess left behind by the previous administration.” ###  Read More

NEW REPORT: Nonpartisan Government Watchdog Cautions CMS to Halt Phase-In of Encounter Data Program to Ensure Proper Medicare Advantage Payments

2017/01/19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report highlighting the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) insufficient progress implementing the encounter data system, a critical component of administering proper Medicare Advantage payments. The report reveals that, despite GAO’s 2014 recommendations, CMS has yet to take critical steps to ensure the encounter data system accurately acquires diagnostic information, making the Medicare Advantage program vulnerable to improper payments and wasted Medicare dollars. Based on the report’s findings, the GAO recommends that CMS validate the accuracy and completeness of the encounter data it receives before using it for Medicare payment purposes. Following the release of the report, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said: “This report raises more concerns about the encounter data system and whether it is ready to perform its duties. While some improvements have been made since GAO’s 2014 report, key recommendations from the government watchdog have yet to be implemented. I support the GAO’s urging that CMS should fully assess its data quality before implementing, so we can best serve beneficiaries in need of care.” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said: “This new GAO study proves once again that the encounter data system is not ready for full implementation. While the system was created to ensure proper payments for the millions of seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage, it will not work with incomplete and inaccurate data and could lead to higher premiums or reduced benefits down the road. CMS must ensure this important system is based on the right information so taxpayer dollars are going to Medicare recipients who need them most.”   Background: The encounter data system was created to ensure Medicare beneficiaries receive proper payments. On March 4, 2016, leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to CMS expressing concerns with the encounter data system. Then-Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), then-Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and then-Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) requested the GAO report on September 22, 2015. CLICK HERE to read the full GAO report. ### Read More

Walden, Pallone Applaud FDA’s Establishment of Oncology Center of Excellence

2017/01/19

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today welcomed the FDA’s establishment of an Oncology Center of Excellence. The announcement, part of Vice President Biden’s cancer moonshot initiative, is the culmination of the FDA’s June 2016 announcement to create the first-of-its-kind center. “The launch of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence is a key component of 21st Century Cures, a bipartisan law changing the way we treat disease,” said Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone. “As the first designated center with a coordinated review of treatments and care, patients battling cancer will have – and should have – a renewed sense of hope and optimism.” Last summer, then-Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Pallone introduced H.R. 5414, the FDA Cross-Center Collaboration Act of 2016. The bipartisan bill sought to modernize the agency to help streamline the review of drugs and devices for major disease areas across product centers. The establishment of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence is consistent with this previous legislation, which would help accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of new cures and treatments. ### Read More

Energy & Commerce to Hold Committee Organizational Meeting TUESDAY

2017/01/19

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today announced that the Energy and Commerce Committee’s formal organizational meeting for the 115th Congress will take place Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 1 p.m. in room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The meeting will include the adoption of Committee Rules, the formal appointment of subcommittee leadership and member rosters, and adoption of the resolution setting forth subcommittee jurisdiction. The committee will also markup the Committee Authorization and Oversight Plan. The agenda for Tuesday is as follows: Adoption of the Committee Rules; Adoption of Subcommittee Jurisdictions; Appointment of Republican Subcommittee Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, and Subcommittee Members; Appointment of Democratic Subcommittee Ranking Members and Subcommittee Members; and Adoption of the Committee’s Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 115th Congress. Additional information on the proceedings and a copy of the Committee Rules and Authorization and Oversight Plan will be posted here when available. ###  Read More

PAGING POTUS: Last Call to Answer E&C’s Oversight Questions

2017/01/19

WASHINGTON, DC – As Obamacare approaches its seventh birthday, Congress has more questions than answers about the president’s signature law. Last March, we highlighted some of our own birthday wishes for the failed law (spoiler alert: they haven’t come true). But the wishes highlight another element of Congress’ concerns about Obamacare – the administration’s disregard for transparency and communication. The lengths the Obama administration has gone to stonewall Congress about key programs under Obamacare is unprecedented. In doing so, they’ve sought to prop up the health care law as insurers flee the markets and Americans experience #RateShock. Obamacare’s “Bermuda Triangle,” composed of the unlawful reinsurance payments and unauthorized payments for the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) program and the basic health program (BHP), is just as mysterious as the real deal. The American people deserve answers. Here’s a look at some of the committee’s top questions that have yet to be answered by the administration. On reinsurance… Why did the administration reverse its regulations regarding the implementation of the reinsurance program? In 2015, CMS reversed its own regulations to divert funds intended for the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies instead. Because of this, CMS has illegally paid out $3.5 billion in payments to insurance companies through the program. Who conducted the legal analysis for this decision? Both the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service issued opinions finding that CMS did not have the authority to divert funds from the Treasury. Who was responsible for making the decision about the policy change? CMS has refused to provide documents regarding the decision-making behind the policy change, even after the committee issued a subpoena. Since earlier rules had already anticipated what to do in the event of a shortfall of collections, what was the legal basis for the policy change? CMS has been unable to give the committee any legitimate reason for the rule change.  On the CSR Program… Why did the administration request funding for the CSR program in the FY 2014 budget before quietly withdrawing the request? After requesting an annual appropriation for the CSR program the administration withdrew the request over the telephone instead of going through the formal amendment process. The administration argues that an annual appropriation was not required and has failed to explain why the budget request was made and then withdrawn. The administration spent an estimated $13 billion on the program, without a lawful appropriation.   How was the permanent appropriation identified as a source of funding for the CSR program? The administration has not informed the committee how the permanent appropriation was identified, or who first identified the account. Documents reviewed by the committee indicate that the account had been identified as a possible source of funding by the end of July 2013. Did sequestration play a role in the administration’s decision to fund the CSR program through the permanent appropriation for tax credits and refunds? Documents reviewed by the committee indicate that alleviating the stress of a potential sequestration cut on the CSR program may have played a role in the source of funding decision.  Who at the White House and the Department of Justice was involved in these decisions? Witnesses testified that individuals at the White House and the Department of Justice played a role in the source of funding decision, but the Obama administration did not allow witnesses to tell the committee which individuals were involved. On BHP… How did the administration decide to fund the BHP through the permanent appropriation for tax refunds and credits? The administration illegally spent $1.3 billion to fund the program from a permanent appropriation used for tax refunds. This is the same funding account that the administration also used to fund the CSR program. What was the legal basis for providing this funding? The committee has requested documents from HHS for years, but the agency has refused to produce the documents, even after the committee issued a subpoena. ### Read More

E&C Continues to Press for Accountability, Safety at Nation’s Labs

2017/01/18

On Tuesday, Energy and Commerce Committee leaders pressed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for copies of unredacted documents that recently made news for detailing previously unreported lab incidents with dangerous pathogens. “Those incidents, detailed in heavily-redacted records recently obtained by USA TODAY, include an apparently lost box of deadly influenza specimens, potential exposures to viruses and bacteria, and a purified air hose suddenly disconnecting from a scientist’s full-body spacesuit-like gear while working in a lab that handles the world’s most deadly pathogens,” explains USA Today. “‘It is vital for the safety of CDC lab scientists and for the public that the CDC has a full picture of all incidents involving dangerous germs such as anthrax, Ebola, plague, and possibly the reconstituted flu strain that caused 50 million deaths in the 1918 pandemic,’ Walden and Murphy said in a statement to USA TODAY.” [[{"fid":"2175","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"66","width":"288","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] January 17, 2017 Congress demands details of secret CDC lab incidents revealed by USA TODAY Congressional watchdogs are concerned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t told them about all of the agency’s laboratory accidents, and they want a full accounting in the wake of a USA TODAY report about mishaps the agency tried to keep secret. Those incidents, detailed in heavily-redacted records recently obtained by USA TODAY, include an apparently lost box of deadly influenza specimens, potential exposures to viruses and bacteria, and a purified air hose suddenly disconnecting from a scientist’s full-body spacesuit-like gear while working in a lab that handles the world’s most deadly pathogens. But after taking nearly two years to release the reports about incidents that occurred from 2013 to 2015, the CDC blacked out large swaths of information when accidents involved particularly dangerous pathogens, such as anthrax, Ebola and certain deadly strains of influenza. In a letter sent Tuesday, leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have given the CDC until the end of the month to give them a list of all lab safety incidents at the agency since 2012. The committee also wants an unredacted version of the 503 pages of lab incident reports the CDC released to USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act. In many of the records , the CDC cited a 2002 bioterrorism law and removed information including the types of pathogens involved and descriptions of what happened. “Because of the redactions, it is difficult to know whether the CDC has previously disclosed the incidents described in the USA Today article to the Committee. However the details in the article seem to indicate that most, if not all, of these incidents were not disclosed to the Committee,” said the letter to CDC director Tom Frieden. It was signed by committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pa. CDC officials were not immediately available for comment. If the incidents weren’t previously disclosed to the committee, it would be the second time in seven months that USA TODAY’s Freedom of Information Act requests have revealed that the CDC has not given members of Congress all of the information they’ve requested. The committee has held several hearings in recent years examining serious safety lapses at the CDC and other federal labs, as well as the adequacy of federal oversight programs. “It is vital for the safety of CDC lab scientists and for the public that the CDC has a full picture of all incidents involving dangerous germs such as anthrax, Ebola, plague, and possibly the reconstituted flu strain that caused 50 million deaths in the 1918 pandemic,” Walden and Murphy said in a statement to USA TODAY. … To read the full article online, click HERE. ### Read More

Blackburn Introduces Legislation to Address Onerous FCC Requirements

2017/01/17

WASHINGTON, DC – Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today introduced H.R.__, a bill to direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke certain changes to the ownership reporting requirements for noncommercial educational broadcast stations. The FCC last year voted to overhaul their ownership requirements to improve minority ownership of broadcast stations. While most of the changes were reasonable, the FCC imposed unnecessary and burdensome ownership rules on non-commercial educational (NCEs) broadcasters. Under these reporting requirements NCEs are required to include their board members as owners, raising privacy concerns, among other things. This legislation would repeal the new reporting requirements for NCE board members but will continue to require NCEs to report basic ownership information. “Public broadcasters from across the country have expressed their reasonable privacy concerns with these onerous FCC requirements,” said Chairman Blackburn. “This commonsense bill would remove a useless barrier that would prevent qualified and dedicated people from serving as board members to these vital local broadcast stations.” ###  Read More

Walden and Murphy Press CDC for Unredacted Documents Detailing Secret Lab Incidents With Dangerous Pathogens

2017/01/17

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting more information on a series of lab incidents involving select agents, as reported by USA Today. The letter was sent by full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). A recent USA Today article included redacted documents reporting laboratory incidents involving dangerous pathogens that can cause anthrax, Ebola, plague, or certain avian or flu virus strains. The committee has a history of conducting rigorous oversight of the Federal Select Agent Program and actively monitoring lab safety measures.  “…[T]he details in the article seem to indicate that most, if not all, of these incidents were not disclosed to the Committee. To fully understand the effectiveness of current CDC lab safety efforts, the Committee needs a complete picture of the lab safety record at the CDC in recent years,” wrote Walden and Murphy.” Committee leaders continued, “To assist the Committee’s oversight efforts, we request that the CDC provide a briefing to Committee staff about the lab safety incidents reported in the January 4, 2017 USA Today article and any additional incidents covered in the 503 pages of documents that the CDC provided in response to USA Today’s FOIA request. The briefing would also cover the CDC tracking systems for lab safety incidents.” The committee leaders requested the briefing and information by January 31, 2017. Click HERE to read a copy of the letter. ### Read More

Letter to CDC Requesting Unredacted Documents Regarding Lab Incidents with Dangerous Pathogens

2017/01/17

Excerpt: "…[T]he details in the article seem to indicate that most, if not all, of these incidents were not disclosed to the Committee. To fully understand the effectiveness of current CDC lab safety efforts, the Committee needs a complete picture of the lab safety record at the CDC in recent years." To read a copy of the letter, click HERE. Read More

Nonpartisan Watchdog: FDA Still Lacks Inspection Data on Almost 1,000 Foreign Drug Firms Shipping to U.S.

2017/01/17

WASHINGTON, DC – The non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued a new report acknowledging that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made some important improvements to its foreign drug inspection program, there are still serious data gaps on foreign drug firms shipping finished drug products and active drug ingredients to the United States. GAO also identified that additional work also needs to be done to better assess the effectiveness and staffing of FDA’s foreign offices, noting that 46 percent of the positions at the FDA foreign offices are vacant and that the vacancies have been a persistent problem. Among the areas of improvement, the GAO found that FDA has increased its foreign drug inspections and improved their mechanisms for doing so, including the accuracy of the catalog of drug facilities subject to inspection. GAO summarized their findings, saying, “It has also reduced its catalog of drug establishments with no inspection history to 33 percent of foreign establishments, compared to 64 percent in 2010. However, the number of such establishments remains large, at almost 1,000 of the approximately 3,000 foreign establishments.” These findings show that the FDA has not resolved the data gap deficiency found by GAO when the FDA inspection program was previously examined in 2010. With 80 percent of U.S. drug ingredients coming from abroad and nearly 40 percent of finished U.S. drugs made overseas, there is reason for concern. This data gap is also of significance because for the first time in FDA history, the agency conducted more foreign drug inspections than domestic inspections in FY 2015. “The FDA has made some significant improvements over the last 10 years to their handling of the foreign drug inspection program, but more work lies ahead,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). “The gap in foreign drug firms that the FDA has no information on is sizeable and very troubling. Critical work remains, and with these recent improvements, we’re encouraged that these milestones can be reached.” In 2008, GAO reported that the rate of foreign inspections was alarmingly low. For example, in a September 2008 report, GAO found that on average, the agency had only conducted about 247 inspections per year from 2002 through 2007. Today’s report, however, indicates that considerable progress has been made by the agency in increasing the number of foreign inspections, with 842 inspections conducted in 2015.    Eight years ago, FDA established foreign offices around the world that would have great potential to improve the quality and timeliness of foreign drug inspections. However, GAO found that FDA has not assessed its foreign offices’ contributions to drug safety, which is inconsistent with federal standards for internal controls. Accordingly, GAO recommended FDA assess their foreign offices to establish a goal on addressing the vacancy rates in those offices as well as their domestic international program office. To view a copy of the GAO report, click HERE. ### Read More

TODAY: New Memo Shows Outgoing HHS Officials Rammed Through Obamacare Changes in Final Days

2017/01/17

According to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), in the waning days of the Obama administration, regulators at HHS finalized actions to ram through Obamacare changes and ensure Obamacare’s critical procedures and programs are locked in to 2019. According to data from CRS, the move to finalize individual program years has been happening earlier and faster in recent years. [[{"fid":"2165","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"246","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] To view the infographic, click HERE. “Despite millions of Americans clearly expressing their displeasure with Obamacare, the Obama administration took action on their way out the door to lock in the law’s framework to 2019. The administration’s blatant disregard for the will of the people paired with the law’s broken promises and skyrocketing rates make it easy to see why so many folks are frustrated with business as usual and ready for real change,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR).  [[{"fid":"2164","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"98","width":"405","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] January 17, 2017 Obama issues Obamacare regs for 2018 Just days before President-elect Trump is sworn in, the Obama administration implemented on Tuesday a major regulation that will govern rates and payments to insurers under Obamacare. The rule, which sets the plans that can be sold on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges in 2018, is common and must be issued to give insurers an idea of what to expect for the coming coverage year. However, the Obama administration implemented the regulation much earlier than years past, and some in the GOP are worried it could complicate the incoming administration's efforts to provide regulatory relief to insurers. Normally a rule that has a major financial impact must be implemented 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. The rule was published on Dec. 22 and goes into effect Tuesday, less than a month after publication. The administration implemented it faster by invoking the "good cause" exemption, which lets major rules be implemented earlier than 60 days, according to a House Republican aide, who added that the Trump administration could use the same tool to make quick changes to the rule. … The rule is a normal part of regulating the marketplaces. However, every other rule has been implemented a few months later in the year. For instance, the rule was implemented in May 2014 for the 2015 coverage year. For the 2014 year, the first time the marketplaces went online, the rule went into effect in April 2013, according to a memo from the Congressional Research Service obtained by the Washington Examiner. The rule for the 2016 coverage year was even later. It was finalized in February 2015, but went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, the memo said. … To read the article online, click HERE. ###   Read More

BLAST FROM THE PAST: 50 States/50 Headlines Underscoring President’s Signature Law is “The Craziest Thing in the World”

2017/01/15

[[{"fid":"2162","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"303","width":"380","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Pick up any newspaper, and the news continues to get worse by the day for Obamacare. On today's "National Day of Action" to save the president's signature law, Americans are paying a hefty price. Americans continue to voice their concern and outrage with the failed promises of Obamacare. From more Americans losing coverage, to the CO-OP calamity that has crippled the nation and struggling state exchanges, the health law is getting worse—not better—as the years go by. Even more troubling is that as the law falters, the administration is resorting to extraordinary measures, even violating the law to sustain Obamacare. Last fall, the U.S. government’s nonpartisan watchdog issued a legal opinion sounding the alarm that the administration has been illegally diverting billions of dollars in reinsurance payments to insurance companies. The finding echoes other committee concerns about the administration making cost-sharing reduction and basic health program payments without a lawful Congressional appropriation. With limited choices (and five entire states having only one insurer option), skyrocketing premiums, and everything else, it’s no surprise that all 50 states are suffering the ill effects of Obamacare.   Alabamians foot the bill for ObamaCare’s failure as BCBS gears up for 40% rate hike Yellow Hammer News, Alabama Health care falters on the last frontier The Atlantic, Alaska Arizona consumers fret as ‘Obamacare’ insurance options dwindle Arizona Republic, Arizona Largest U.S. health insurer pulls out of health exchanges in Georgia, Arkansas Kaiser Health News, Arkansas California Obamacare rates to rise 13% in 2017, more than three times the increase of last two years LA Times, California Rate hikes proposed for 2017 individual Colorado health care plans Denver Post, Colorado Connecticut health premiums to rise sharply in 2017 The Westerly Sun, Connecticut Delaware insurers seek double-digit rate hikes The News Journal, Delaware State, feds offer conflicting spins on 2017 Obamacare rates St. Augustine Record, Florida Aetna to pull out of Georgia’s Obamacare insurance marketplace Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Hawaii abandons trouble state ObamaCare exchange Fox News, Hawaii Idaho reveals 2017 health insurance rates: 24 percent higher for individuals Boise Weekly, Idaho Harken to exit Illinois Obamacare exchange Chicago Tribune, Illinois IU Health Plans quits Obamacare exchange, citing ‘heightened financial uncertainty’ Indianapolis Business Journal, Indiana UnitedHealth quits Iowa Obamacare marketplace Des Moines Register, Iowa Kansas state employee health insurance costs to rise for thousands in 2017 The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas Baptist Health Plan withdraws from Kentucky’s individual insurance market The Lane Report, Kentucky Louisiana insurers among those seeking Obamacare rate hikes The Times-Picayune, Louisiana Health insurance co-op sues federal government, says it’s owed $22.9 million Portland Press Herald, Maine Health insurers seek rate increases in Maryland as United Healthcare quits market Baltimore Sun, Maryland Massachusetts insurer sues feds over Obamacare program Boston Business Journal, Massachusetts Grand Valley Health Plan getting out of managed care, blames Obamacare MLive, Michigan Individual health plan premiums to jump at least 50 percent in Minn. Star Tribune, Minnesota Health insurance coverage to thin out for 2017 Mississippi Business Journal, Mississippi Health insurers seek rate increases as Missouri readies for regulatory authority St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Montana health insurers ask for 20-62 percent price increases Montana Public Radio, Montana ‘This has to stop’: Premium costs climb higher because of high utilization of medical care, fees from Obamacare World-Herald, Nebraska Nevada Health CO-OP, now defunct, still causing headaches Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada Another ACA failure bad idea keeps getting worse Union Leader, New Hampshire Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey’s demise exposes flaws of Obamacare The Record, New Jersey Presbyterian Health Plan pulls out of ‘Obamacare’ market Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico ObamaCare rates set to skyrocket for most New Yorkers New York Post, New York Blue Cross projects $400M loss in NC on ACA in just two years The Courier-Tribune, North Carolina Sanford Health Plan posts $76.5 million loss for 2015 Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota Obamacare options to shrink for many in Ohio Chillicothe Gazette, Ohio Oklahoma Had Highest Price Increases On Federal Insurance Marketplace Last Year KGOU Public Radio, Oklahoma ‘Cover Oregon’ Cover-Up U.S. News & World Report, Oregon Capital BlueCross to offer fewer Obamacare plans next year LancasterOnline, Pennsylvania R.I.’s health insurance exchange struggles Providence Journal, Rhode Island Health care experts question future of Obamacare marketplace in South Carolina The Post and Courier, South Carolina Health Insurance rates could soar in South Dakota KELO Radio, South Dakota BCBST’s exit from 3 Obamacare markets sends shock waves The Tennessean, Tennessee Obamacare ripples through Texas as health insurers propose steep rate hikes San Antonio Express-News, Texas Humana exiting Utah ACA exchange KTVX TV, ABC, Utah Vermont health professionals opting out of state health care system VermontWatchdog.org, Vermont Why Anthem ObamaCare premiums will soar in Virginia as Humana bolts Investor’s Business Daily, Virginia Rate requests way up for 2017 individual health-care plans The Seattle Times, Washington Real Reform?: Obamacare shows more is not better in healthcare The Journal, West Virginia UnitedHealth confirms exit from Wisconsin Obamacare market Milwaukee Business Journal, Wisconsin Choices dwindling for Obamacare customers CNN, Wyoming ### Read More

Walden on House Passage of Budget Resolution

2017/01/13

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed the FY 2017 Budget Resolution, an initial step in the effort to repeal Obamacare and reform our health care system. “Today’s vote allows House committees to get to work on repealing Obamacare and rebuilding our health care system. Put simply, Obamacare is a mess. We’re ready to begin advancing solutions that will help families, lower costs, and restore fairness in the relationship between patients and their doctors. Critical work lies ahead, and we are up to the task of delivering badly needed relief for patients,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). ### Read More

Latta Comments on Takata Settlement

2017/01/13

WASHINGTON, DC – Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) today issued the following statement after Takata agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and reached a settlement with the Department of Justice following its defective airbag scandal.    “While today’s settlement is welcome news it doesn’t change the fact that eleven Americans lost their lives because of Takata’s failures. Unfortunately, defective airbags continue to remain on America’s roadways at the expense of drivers across the country,” said Chairman Latta. “We must work to ensure that NHTSA, Takata, and automakers continue to do everything in their power to get the remaining defective airbags off our roadways for the safety of drivers in Ohio and around the country.” To check if your car is subject to safety recalls please visit https://www.safercar.gov/. ###  Read More

Committee Leaders Comment on EPA’s Emissions Standards for Cars and Light Trucks

2017/01/13

WASHINGTON, DC – Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Mid-Term Evaluation of its greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks. EPA chose to leave the standards unchanged. “We are very disappointed that EPA has chosen to short-circuit the evaluation process for these rules, especially given the high stakes for consumers and for auto industry jobs. By the agency’s own estimates, these rules have already boosted sticker prices by nearly $1,000 and may add another $1,000 by 2025. Some analysts believe the impact will be considerably higher,” said Shimkus, Latta, and Upton. “For the sake of vehicle affordability and safety, as well as the health of the automotive sector, we need to make sure that the standards have been set at achievable levels, but EPA’s rushed analysis falls far short. If the EPA won’t do its job and take a careful look at these regulations, then Congress will.” ###  Read More

E&C Releases “The State of Obamacare”

2017/01/12

WASHINGTON, DC – Every day patients and middle-class families are facing higher premiums. The Energy and Commerce Committee today released 21 graphics showcasing states where premiums have gone up by the national average of 25 percent or more. All of the graphics can be found on the committee’s newly created Health Care Central, a go-to resource in the effort to deliver meaningful health care reforms. [[{"fid":"2156","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"387","width":"387","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] The State of Obamacare: Oregon. Additionally, the committee released a graphic showing the full picture of rate increases across every state. [[{"fid":"2157","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"337","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] A complete look at 2017 Obamacare premium increases across the country. Last week the committee released a chart pack featuring eight infographics showcasing the truth about Obamacare – one where fewer plan options exist in counties across the country, and costs continue to rise each year, leaving vulnerable patients looking for help with nowhere to turn. “Americans across the country are struggling as Obamacare continues to mount higher price tabs and fewer choices,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “While people in states like Arizona, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have come to see rate hikes of 60 percent or more, Obamacare’s painful effects are impacting hardworking families from coast to coast.” The American people deserve better, and House Republicans have a Better Way. To view the individual state infographics on Health Care Central, click HERE. To view the national map of premium increases, click HERE. ### Read More

Murphy and Shimkus on EPA’s Allegations Concerning Fiat Chrysler Clean Air Act Violations

2017/01/12

WASHINGTON, DC – Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation for certain Fiat Chrysler pickups and SUVs. “EPA’s announcement of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is cause for concern,” said Murphy & Shimkus. “There is much we do not know about the details of this investigation. It is important that we develop a better understanding about the facts of this case and monitor developments resulting from EPA’s ongoing investigation of these alleged violations.” ###  Read More

House Minority Leader Pelosi on Obamacare

2017/01/12

“We Have To Pass The Bill, So That You Can Find Out What Is In It.” (Nancy Pelosi, Remarks at the 2010 Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties, Washington DC, March 9, 2010) “The implementation of this is fabulous.” (Paige Winfield Cunningham and Jennifer Haberkorn, “Dems: Obamacare confuses seniors,” Politico, June 27, 2013) [[{"fid":"2120","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"107","width":"414","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] “The point is, is that the [employer] mandate was not delayed…It was not a delay of the mandate for the businesses, and there shouldn’t be a delay of the mandate for individuals.” (Glenn Kessler, “Nancy Pelosi’s claim that Obamacare’s employer mandate ‘was not delayed’,” Washington Post, July 12, 2013) [[{"fid":"2121","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"81","width":"180","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] “Everybody will have lower rates, better quality of care, and better access.” (Meet the Press, July 1, 2012) One Year Later… “I don’t remember saying everybody in the country would have a lower premium.” (House Minority Leader Pelosi’s Weekly Briefing, C-SPAN, June 6, 2013) “A Dream Come True.” (House Minority Leader Pelosi’s Weekly Briefing, C-SPAN, October 3, 2013) On Obamacare: “It captures the spirit of our founders – the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Affordable Care Act offers just that.” (House Minority Leader Pelosi’s Weekly Briefing, C-SPAN, June 23, 2013) Read More

Walden & Blackburn on FCC’s Zero-Rating Report

2017/01/12

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement after the FCC issued its staff report on zero-rating. "We are disappointed to see the FCC moving controversial items like the recent staff report on zero-rating in the waning hours of Chairman Wheeler’s tenure. Chairman Wheeler’s decision to move forward with this report is a rare trifecta of anti-consumer policy, inappropriate use of delegated authority, and directly contradicting a request of Congress,” said Walden and Blackburn. “Ultimately, if taken at face-value the findings in the report threaten to reduce consumer choice and drive up monthly bills. Our regulatory agencies should aim to foster innovation and competitive service offerings that benefit consumers, not squelch innovative business plans in their infancy. We remain hopeful that the agency will refrain from taking action on controversial items in the remaining days of this administration, and we’re looking forward to working with the next commission to encourage robust technological innovation for consumers across the country.” ###  Read More

Bicameral Leaders Request Details on Coverage of Optional State Medicaid Eligibility and Benefit Categories

2017/01/11

WASHINGTON, DC – Bicameral leaders today sent a letter to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) requesting they analyze the optional Medicaid eligibility and benefit categories that states have chosen to cover and spending for those categories. The letter was sent by full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The largest health insurance program, Medicaid, covered more than 77 million people last year. This year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the program will be used by as many as 98 million Americans. “…[We] believe it is important to better understand the optional eligibility groups and optional benefits States are covering. Clearly, some optional benefits – such as prescription drug coverage – are important for virtually all beneficiaries,” wrote Walden, Murphy, Burgess, and Hatch. “Yet other benefits may be more necessary as a covered benefit for a subset of beneficiaries. However, this information is not easily discernable in one source for each state. Instead, this information exists across multiple, disaggregated sources that make meaningful review a challenge. The information currently available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is limited to a list of mandatory and optional eligibility groups, as well as mandatory and optional benefits.” Committee leaders continued, “Congress in particular needs to have the most comprehensive and current information available, especially given that CBO warns that federal spending for mandatory programs and net interest will exceed total federal revenues by the 2027 – 2036 period. Without action, the unrestrained spending on Medicaid, which increases for each benefit and individual covered, could crowd out funding for other critical State and federal priorities like education, criminal justice enforcement, and transportation.” Click HERE to read a copy of the letter. ### Read More

Letter to MACPAC Regarding Coverage of Optional State Medicaid Eligibility and Benefit Categories

2017/01/11

Excerpt: “…[We] believe it is important to better understand the optional eligibility groups and optional benefits States are covering. Clearly, some optional benefits – such as prescription drug coverage – are important for virtually all beneficiaries. Yet other benefits may be more necessary as a covered benefit for a subset of beneficiaries. However, this information is not easily discernable in one source for each state. Instead, this information exists across multiple, disaggregated sources that make meaningful review a challenge. The information currently available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is limited to a list of mandatory and optional eligibility groups, as well as mandatory and optional benefits.” To read a copy of the letter, click here. Read More

ICYMI: First-of-its-kind Portal Released Issuing an #ObamacareRealityCheck

2017/01/11

Earlier today, the Energy and Commerce Committee launched “Health Care Central,” a portal designed to be your one stop shop for all things health care reform. The hub for fact sheets, infographics, blogs, and videos is the first-of-its-kind on Capitol Hill. Visit Health Care Central here, and keep an eye out for more materials as they become available. [[{"fid":"2118","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"52","width":"311","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] January 11, 2017 Exclusive: House Panel Launches Online Portal for Health Reform Info The House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to be a go-to reference for all things related to the Obamacare repeal-and-replacement process, and its launching an online portal Wednesday meant to serve as “health care central” for inquiring minds. The committee, led by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), is poised to play an important role in GOP efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health law. It’s one of four congressional committees that will receive instructions to draft reconciliation legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act if, as expected, both chambers approve a budget resolution later this week. The online portal — which committee aides say is the only one to be put forth from any of the relevant committees — will compile fact sheets, infographics, blog posts and videos for a one-stop shop about the health law and the process to repeal and replace it. The items being released today focus on what Republicans say are problems with Obamacare and the reasons it needs to be repealed. The portal will be housed on the committee’s website, and is meant to provide a resource for people working on health care reform issues, such as staffers on Capitol Hill or at other organizations. To read the article online, click HERE. ### Read More

E&C Unveils “Health Care Central” Web Portal

2017/01/11

WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee today unveiled “Health Care Central,” a portal dedicated to providing a one stop shop for all things related to health care reform. [[{"fid":"2117","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"361","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] E&C’s Health Care Central: Home for fact sheets, infographics, blogs, and videos telling the real story as we work to reform our health care system. Last week the committee released a chart pack featuring eight infographics showcasing the truth about Obamacare – one where fewer plan options exist in counties across the country, and costs continue to rise each year, leaving vulnerable patients looking for help with nowhere to turn. “The bottom line is that Obamacare has been pummeling the American people for years. They’ve seen the soaring premium increases and shocking deductibles, been kicked off their plans and left looking for an affordable way to keep the doctors they know and trust. Obamacare isn’t working and we have the facts to prove it,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “But the good news is that we’re hard at work to clean up this horrific mess and bring relief to families in Oregon and across the country.” To view Health Care Central, click HERE. ### Read More

House Advances Two Energy and Commerce Committee Bills

2017/01/10

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today advanced two Energy and Commerce Committee bills, each of which were unanimously approved by the House in the previous Congress. Passage of the two bills today comes a day after the House cleared four additional committee bills further demonstrating the committee’s dedication to advancing bipartisan, thoughtful solutions. “We’ve hit the ground running in the 115th Congress having seen six bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee bills pass the House,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “These two bills unanimously passed the House last Congress and I’m hopeful the Senate can act on these bills expeditiously.” The bills passed by the House today include: H.R. 288, Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, sponsored by Chairman Walden, would support small Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by protecting them from the onerous reporting requirements included in the FCC’s Open Internet Order. The bill would extend the small business ISP exemption for providers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers for five years, allowing small businesses to focus on building networks, deploying broadband, improving connectivity for rural consumers, and creating jobs. H.R. 288 passed the House unanimously by voice vote. H.R. 306, Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, authored by committee member Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), would require energy efficient and energy technologies in federal data centers, saving taxpayers and the federal government money while improving energy efficiency. H.R. 306 passed the House unanimously by voice vote. ###  Read More

CO-OP Catastrophe: Total Losses Near $1.9 Billion

2017/01/10

WASHINGTON, DC – Eighteen of the original 23 Obamacare CO-OPs have failed at a total cost to taxpayers of more than $1.8 billion. American taxpayers are seeing red throughout Obamacare, leaving vulnerable patients with fewer places to turn for help. The latest CO-OP to leave the marketplace is Maryland’s Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc., which announced in the fall that it was looking to become a for-profit provider. Last month, the decision was finalized, meaning only five CO-OPs remain open for business. “From coast to coast, Obamacare’s CO-OPs are collapsing, forcing more Americans out into the cold realities of Obamacare. My own state has experienced it firsthand – seeing not one but two CO-OPs fail, forcing Oregonians to find health care coverage elsewhere while wasting more than 100 million hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “House Republicans have a Better Way and we are dedicated to cleaning up the mess created by Obamacare.” [[{"fid":"2110","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"264","width":"396","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] CO-OPs that have failed and taxpayer dollars received (in order by closing announcement): CoOportunity Health - Iowa and Nebraska Cost: $145,312,100 Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc. Cost: $65,790,660 Nevada Health Cooperative Cost: $65,925,396 Health Republic Insurance of New York Cost: $265,133,000 Kentucky Health Care Cooperative - Kentucky and West Virginia Cost: $146,494,772 Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Company - Tennessee Cost: $73,306,700 Colorado HealthOp Cost: $72,335,129 Health Republic Insurance of Oregon Cost: $60,648,505 Consumers' Choice Health Insurance Company - South Carolina Cost: $87,578,208 Arches Mutual Insurance Company – Utah Cost: $89,650,303 Meritus Health Partners – Arizona Cost: $93,313,233 Consumers Mutual Insurance – Michigan Cost: $71,534,300 InHealth Mutual – Ohio Cost: $129,225,604 HealthyCT – Connecticut Cost: $127,980,768 Oregon Health’s CO-OP – Oregon Cost: $56,656,900 Land of Lincoln Health – Illinois Cost: $160,154,812 Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey Cost: $109,074,550 Evergreen Health Cooperative Inc. – Maryland Cost: $65,450,900 TOTAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS: $1,885,565,840 Note: This total does not include Vermont’s CO-OP, which was denied an insurance license by the state, and was dissolved before enrolling a single person.  ###   Read More

House Advances Four Energy & Commerce Public Health Bills

2017/01/10

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today advanced four Energy and Commerce Committee bills to improve public health. All four of the bills considered by the House of Representatives today previously passed the House in the 114th Congress by voice vote. “These bipartisan bills mark a strong start to the new year,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). By picking up where we left off on important measures to better coordinate care and clarify existing law, we’re one step closer to seeing these bills become law and making improvements to public health.” The bills passed by the House today include: H.R. 309, the National Clinical Care Commission Act, authored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), would establish a National Clinical Care Commission to evaluate and recommend solutions regarding better coordination and use of federal programs relating to supporting care for people with metabolic syndromes and related autoimmune disorders. H.R. 309 passed the House unanimously by voice vote.   H.R. 315, the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, introduced by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), increases data collection by HHS to help place maternal health professionals in more appropriate geographic regions through their existing participating in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). There is no new authorization of appropriations for this bill nor does it expand participation in the NHSC. H.R. 315 passed unanimously by a vote of 405-0.   H.R. 302, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), would ensure that sports medicine professionals are covered by their malpractice insurance when providing care to their athletes or teams in other states. H.R. 302 passed unanimously by voice vote.   H.R. 304, the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would improve the Drug Enforcement Administration registration process for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and clarify that EMS professionals are permitted to administer controlled substances pursuant to standing or verbal orders when certain conditions are met. H.R. 304 passed unanimously by a vote of 404-0. ### Read More

TAXPAYER SUCKER PUNCH: Obamacare Subsidies to Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion More This Year

2017/01/09

WASHINGTON, DC – Just before the holidays, we shared a new report sounding the alarm for taxpayers. According to the Associated Press, taxpayers will be footing a nearly $10 billion bill this year “to cover double-digit premium hikes for subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law…” The report by the Center for Health and Economy says that premium subsidies under Obamacare will rise from $32.8 billion to $42.6 billion. The average monthly subsidy will climb from $291 to $367. While these subsidies are designed to lessen the blow of premium increases, in reality, it is hardworking taxpayers who are stuck picking up the tab for the rising costs of health care. “Currently more than 8 in 10 consumers buying private health insurance through HealthCare.gov and state markets receive tax credits from the government to help pay their premiums,” explains the Associated Press. “Those subsidies are designed to rise along with premiums, shielding consumers from sudden increases. But the bill ultimately gets passed on to taxpayers.” It’s a one-two punch that taxpayers can’t afford. Energy and Commerce Committee leaders pressed the administration on rising subsidies at a fall hearing and after, in a letter. Citing skyrocketing premiums across the country, committee leaders requested more information about the increasingly rising taxpayer subsidies to cover the rising premiums. The committee is still awaiting a response. The American people deserve better, and House Republicans have a Better Way. ### Read More

Walden Announces Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Rosters

2017/01/09

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today released the full Republican rosters for all six subcommittees in the 115th Congress. Walden last week announced the committee’s leadership, naming the Vice Chairman for the full committee along with subcommittee chairmen and vice chairs. “The true heartbeat of the Energy and Commerce Committee is our six subcommittees, which craft vital legislation and conduct vigorous oversight through the hard work of our members and their staffs. I know that we will build upon the committee's long record of success and continue tackling the most pressing issues on behalf of the American people,” said Walden. “Our first priorities will be overhauling a broken health care system and unleashing the full force of the American economy by rolling back unnecessary regulations and downsizing a bloated federal bureaucracy. We are ready to get to work and deliver results for the folks who sent us here.” Below are the full Republican rosters of the Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittees for the 115th Congress. Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Marsha Blackburn (TN), Chairman Leonard Lance (NJ), Vice Chairman John Shimkus (IL) Steve Scalise (LA) Bob Latta (OH) Brett Guthrie (KY) Pete Olson (TX) Adam Kinzinger (IL) Gus Bilirakis (FL) Bill Johnson (OH) Billy Long (MO) Bill Flores (TX) Susan Brooks (IN) Chris Collins (NY) Kevin Cramer (ND) Mimi Walters (CA) Ryan Costello (PA) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio)   Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Bob Latta (OH), Chairman Gregg Harper (MS), Vice Chairman Fred Upton (MI) Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX) Leonard Lance (NJ) Brett Guthrie (KY) David McKinley (WV) Adam Kinzinger (IL) Gus Bilirakis (FL) Larry Bucshon (IN) Markwayne Mullin (OK) Mimi Walters (CA) Ryan Costello (PA) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio)   Subcommittee on Energy Fred Upton (MI), Chairman Pete Olson (TX), Vice Chairman Joe Barton (TX) John Shimkus (IL) Tim Murphy (PA) Bob Latta (OH) Gregg Harper (MS) David McKinley (WV) Adam Kinzinger (IL) Morgan Griffith (VA) Bill Johnson (OH) Billy Long (MO) Larry Bucshon (IN) Bill Flores (TX) Markwayne Mullin (OK) Richard Hudson (NC) Kevin Cramer (ND) Tim Walberg (MI) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio)   Subcommittee on Environment John Shimkus (IL), Chairman David McKinley (WV), Vice Chairman Joe Barton (TX) Tim Murphy (PA) Marsha Blackburn (TN) Gregg Harper (MS) Pete Olson (TX) Bill Johnson (OH) Bill Flores (TX) Richard Hudson (NC) Kevin Cramer (ND) Tim Walberg (MI) Buddy Carter (GA) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio) Subcommittee on Health Michael C. Burgess, M.D.(TX), Chairman Brett Guthrie (KY), Vice Chairman Joe Barton (TX) Fred Upton (MI) John Shimkus (IL) Tim Murphy (PA) Marsha Blackburn (TN) Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) Leonard Lance (NJ) Morgan Griffith (VA) Gus Bilirakis (FL) Billy Long (MO) Larry Bucshon (IN) Susan Brooks (IN) Markwayne Mullin (OK) Richard Hudson (NC) Chris Collins (NY) Buddy Carter (GA) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio)   Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tim Murphy (PA), Chairman Morgan Griffith (VA), Vice Chairman Joe Barton (TX) Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX) Susan Brooks (IN) Chris Collins (NY) Tim Walberg (MI) Mimi Walters (CA) Ryan Costello (PA) Buddy Carter (GA) Greg Walden (OR) - (Ex Officio) Read More

Obamacare: “It’s the Craziest Thing in the World”

2017/01/07

[[{"fid":"2094","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"284","width":"539","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] “So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world.” – Former President Bill Clinton (Naomi Lim, “Bill Clinton calls Obamacare 'the craziest thing in the world,' later tries to walk it back,” CNN, October 5, 2016) “Too many Americans still strain to pay for their physician visits and prescriptions, cover their deductibles or pay their monthly insurance bills; struggle to navigate a complex, sometimes bewildering system; and remain uninsured.” – President Barack Obama (Barack Obama, JD, “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2, 2016) “In my mind the [Affordable Care Act] has been a huge success, but it’s got real problems.” – President Barack Obama (Jonathan Chait, “Five Days That Shaped a Presidency,” New York Magazine, October 2, 2016) “The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people.” – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (“Democratic Minnesota governor says ObamaCare 'no longer affordable',” Associated Press, October 12, 2016) “While federal tax credits will help make monthly premiums more affordable for many Minnesotans, these rising insurance rates are both unsustainable and unfair. Middle-class Minnesotans in particular are being crushed by the heavy burden of these costs. There is a clear and urgent need for reform to protect Minnesota consumers who purchase their own health insurance.” – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman (“Dems Turn on ObamaCare Amid Premium Hikes, Bill Clinton Laments “Crazy System,” Fox News, October 4, 2016) “You know, I think the Affordable Care Act [ACA] from the very beginning has been a roller coaster. There are a lot more ups and downs.” – Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (Peter Sullivan, “Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare,” The Hill, September 22, 2016) “It's like building a starter home – or buying a starter home. It's a lot better than not having a home, but you hope that over time you make some improvements.” – President Barack Obama (Kimberly Leonard, “Obama on Obamacare: Once I’m Gone, Fix it,” U.S. News & World Report, October 20, 2016) Read More

E&C Releases Chart Pack Detailing Harsh Realities of Obamacare

2017/01/06

WASHINGTON, DC – The president’s health care law has come to be defined as full of #BrokenPromises and #RateShock. From skyrocketing premiums and fleeing insurers to collapsing CO-OPs, House Republicans are ready to rescue the American people from Obamacare. Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee released eight infographics as part of a chart pack giving an Obamacare reality check. Together, the materials tell the truth about Obamacare, one where fewer plan options exist in counties across the country, and costs continue to rise each year, leaving vulnerable patients looking for help with nowhere to turn. “Obamacare has failed and no amount of political spin can deny the reality that the American people are hurting. While Democrats continue to cling to these failed policies, the facts show just how bad Obamacare has been for tens of millions of families and the taxpayers who are stuck paying for a collapsing program. There’s a Better Way to bring costs down and improve care and we are determined to clean up the mess Obamacare made,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden. To view the chart pack, click HERE. [[{"fid":"2078","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"354","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] A look back at the law’s 2010 projections reveal that enrollment is far lower than expected, while costs are significantly higher than anticipated. [[{"fid":"2079","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"379","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] When examining the different tiers of health care plans, increases in plan cost can be found across the board. [[{"fid":"2080","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"481","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] The health care law was billed as providing more affordable coverage to families everywhere. In reality, Obamacare plans have dramatically higher deductibles than employer provided plans. [[{"fid":"2081","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"485","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Since the law was enacted, the average person’s out-of-pocket costs continue to rise. [[{"fid":"2082","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"473","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Out-of-pocket costs on families are on the rise too – seeing dramatic increases year after year. [[{"fid":"2083","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"465","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] A not-so-happy New Year for Obamacare. 2017 leaves Americans with fewer exchange carriers than past enrollment years. [[{"fid":"2084","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"411","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] 2016 saw insurers running – not walking – from the marketplaces. This year, five entire states will have only one insurer. [[{"fid":"2085","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"402","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Only five of the 23 CO-OPs remain in existence, meaning a net loss of $1,885,565,840 for the American people, in addition to being forced to find new coverage. To view the chart pack online, click HERE. ### Read More

Walden Announces E&C Committee Leadership

2017/01/05

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today issued the following statement after announcing committee leadership for the 115th Congress.  “We’ve got a lot of work to do this Congress when it comes to fixing our broken health care system, advancing solutions that empower consumers and small businesses, and valuing low-cost, transformative energy solutions,” said Chairman Walden. “It will be an all hands on deck effort, and I’m confident that the team we’ve assembled will put forth the hard work needed to get the job done.”           Vice Chairman of the Full Committee:  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology: Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) Vice Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS) Subcommittee on Energy: Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TX) Subcommittee on Environment: Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) Vice Chairman David McKinley (R-WV) Subcommittee on Health: Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) ###  Read More

SUBMITTED WITHOUT COMMENT: President Obama’s Health Care Promises

2017/01/04

[[{"fid":"2054","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"102","width":"222","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] “That means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” (“Remarks by the President at the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 15, 2009) “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” (Speech, “A Politics of Conscience,” PolitiFact, June 23, 2007) “You should know that once we have fully implemented, you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that if you’re an employee at a big company you can get right now -- which means your premiums will go down.” (“Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, July 16, 2012) “[W]hatever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government, those elements are in this bill.” (“Remarks by the President After Meeting with Senate Democrats,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, December 15, 2009) “So this law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.” (“Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act and the Government Shutdown,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, October 1, 2013) “In my mind the [Affordable Care Act] has been a huge success, but it’s got real problems.” (Jonathan Chait, “Five Days That Shaped a Presidency,” New York Magazine, October 2, 2016) “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs…” (“Remarks by the President in State of Union Address,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, January 25, 2011) [[{"fid":"2055","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"53","width":"535","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] In 2013, Politifact rated this the number one lie of the year. At publication, Politifact found at least 37 instances when President Obama made this vow to the American public. ### Read More

The Select Investigative Panel Releases Final Report

2017/01/04

The House Select Investigative Panel has concluded its yearlong investigation and released its Final Report which can be read in full here.   The report details many of the disturbing practices the Panel uncovered in the abortion industry with the selling of fetal tissue along with information regarding our public hearings, subpoenas, criminal and regulatory referrals.  Also included is the listing of recommendations for improving access to appropriate scientific models, including human fetal tissue when warranted, in order to promote the advancement of science and the development of novel therapies.   “It was an honor to Chair the Select Investigative Panel.  I want to thank my colleagues who are strong pro-life leaders and have worked tirelessly over the past year. It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research,” said Chairman Marsha Blackburn.     “Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children. I have never shied away from my own pro-life views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience,” said Congressman Diane Black.   “It has been a privilege to serve on this Panel alongside such dedicated members in pursuit of the truth. I applaud the diligent work the Select Panel did in investigating the callous practices of abortion providers, the nefarious dealings of the tissue procurement industry, and the atrocious disregard for the privacy and wellbeing of patients. The American people deserve to know these facts so responsible decisions can be made about research that respects women and protects life.  I truly wish this investigation hadn’t been necessary, but I am comforted and gratified knowing our work uncovered some truths I am hopeful will better inform Americans everywhere, lead to the preservation of life, and promote the safety and wellbeing of women,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.   “It has been an honor to serve on the Select Investigative Committee on Infant Lives.  The committee’s work uncovered aspects of the fetal tissue industry few people knew about, and I look forward to tracking the progress of the criminal referrals.  We must protect the unborn, and every citizen’s God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Congresswoman Mia Love.   “This select panel conducted a thorough and fact-based investigation to provide the American people answers and to hold those who facilitated these horrendous practices accountable,” said Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D.  “As a physician who has operated on babies as young as 22 weeks gestation, I am proud of our work on behalf of the most vulnerable among us – to protect the lives of the unborn from an industry that puts profits before the value and dignity of human life.”   “The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives succeeded in uncovering shameful practices, which undermined the very foundations of ethical American scientific research and have led to 15 criminal and regulatory referrals. Over the course of its year-long investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion businesses, the Select Panel found evidence that several tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics may have violated federal felony laws prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue.  As a physician and researcher, it is my sincere hope that our investigation and the subsequent referrals have put an end to these shady and unethical practices,” said Congressman Andy Harris, M.D.   "I’m honored to have served on the Select Panel on Infant Lives because it played a pivotal role in uncovering the big business that is the fetal tissue procurement industry. In the course of our investigation, our panel requested the banking and accounting records from many institutions to verify those businesses’ activities. Although many complied, StemExpress, a major procurement business, did not. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that they are held accountable in the 115th Congress," said Congressman Sean Duffy.   "The Select Investigative Panel has worked hard to uncover the illegal and highly repulsive activities of the organizations involved in the sale and trafficking of baby body parts. Now it is up to the judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable and up to Congress and the new Administration to see that these heinous acts are continued no longer. The way we treat our young, our weak, and our voiceless does matter. History will hold us accountable for these atrocities," said Congressman Joseph R. Pitts. ### Read More

Obamacare’s Bermuda Triangle: Disappearing Documents Help Administration Prop Up Health Law

2017/01/04

WASHINGTON, DC – The lengths the Obama administration has gone to stonewall Congress about key programs under Obamacare is unprecedented. In doing so, they’ve sought to prop up the health care law as insurers flee the markets and Americans experience #RateShock. Meet the Transitional Reinsurance Program, the Cost-Sharing Reduction Program (CSR), and the Basic Health Program (BHP). Both the CSR program and BHP require a Congressional appropriation, but neither ever received one. The Transitional Reinsurance Program requires Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to deposit certain funds it receives from the program into the U.S. Treasury, but the Obama administration has failed to pay taxpayers what they are owed. The three programs make up an administrative Bermuda Triangle, where information on the source of funding is scarce and crystal clear laws are thrown into the abyss. But a deeper dive of these programs identifies even greater concerns – the extralegal actions the administration has taken to prop up their failed law. Unlawful reinsurance payments Despite the clear language of the statute, for the second year in a row CMS diverted funds intended for the U.S. Treasury to insurers. Over the last two benefit years, CMS has illegally paid out $3.5 billion in reinsurance payments. Last fall, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a legal opinion concluding HHS did not have the authority to use these funds. The Congressional Research Service issued a nearly identical opinion earlier in the year. CMS has refused to answer Congress’ questions about this illegal diversion of funds to date, forcing the committee to issue a subpoena last year. At a spring hearing, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt testified under oath that the Treasury would be paid a fraction of the funds owed “this year” (2016) – a deadline that they missed. Unauthorized payments for Obamacare’s CSR Program The administration has been unlawfully paying insurance companies from a fund intended for tax refunds. More than an estimated $13 billion has been doled out, despite lacking a lawful appropriation from Congress to make such payments. Last year, the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees subpoenaed documents and information from HHS, Treasury, and OMB to understand the administration’s decision to pay for the program without a lawful appropriation. The committees recently broke through the administration’s stonewall, learning important new information surrounding the source of funding decision making. Several critical questions, however, remain unanswered. Unauthorized payments for BHP The administration has already spent $1.3 billion on the BHP, illegally spending from a permanent appropriation used for tax refunds. The Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees have been requesting documents from HHS for months, but the agency has refused to produce the documents, forcing the committees to issue subpoenas last year. What do these three programs have in common? A complete disregard for transparency and an inability to follow the very law the administration themselves pushed through Congress. The American people deserve better, and House Republicans have a Better Way. ### Read More

Walden Statement on President Obama’s Obamacare Pep Talk on Capitol Hill

2017/01/04

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s meeting with Congressional Democrats about preserving his failed health care law. “We are glad President Obama made the ‘long trek’ down Pennsylvania Avenue to address his failing health care law, but regret that even in his final days in office he still insists on a partisan approach when reaching out to Congress. Simply put, Obamacare has failed the American people and our first priority must be to provide relief to families facing even higher costs and fewer choices. We will fight for a Better Way to make health care more affordable for all Americans while taking power from Washington bureaucrats and putting it back in the hands of patients and their doctors where it belongs.” ### Read More

Walden Welcomes New Republican Members to Energy and Commerce Committee

2017/01/03

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today welcomed four incoming Republican members to the committee. "I am thrilled to welcome our newest members to an already stellar team at the Energy and Commerce Committee. Whether it is fixing our broken health care system or unleashing the full strength of the American economy, the committee is poised to tackle some of the most important issues facing our nation. From day one, we will work tirelessly to leverage the unique strengths of our new and returning members to ensure we continue the committee’s long record of bipartisan success,” said Chairman Walden. The new Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in alphabetical order, are: Buddy Carter (R-GA) Ryan Costello (R-PA) Tim Walberg (R-MI) Mimi Walters (R-CA) ### Read More

A Note from Chairman Greg Walden on the 115th Congress

2017/01/03

Today marks the beginning of the 115th Congress and a fresh start for those of us who have the honor of serving the American people in Washington, D.C. After an unpredictable and tumultuous 2016, it is time for us to come together and work towards finding solutions for our constituents in the New Year. I am hopeful that we are able to agree on many areas of common ground and quickly move legislation that has earned support from both sides of the aisle. While I know we won’t see eye to eye on everything, there are plenty of opportunities for both parties to work together for the good of the country. From fixing our broken health care system to jumpstarting our economy, we have to tackle some major issues this year. Energy and Commerce will be charged with developing solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our nation and I know we’ll be up to the task. Additionally, it is my hope that the committee serves not just as a resource for our members, but for everyone involved in the legislative process. Whether you’re an elected official, congressional staffer, or member of the press, we will do our best to be a first-class resource for issues under the committee’s jurisdiction. Now it’s time for us to get to work for the people who sent us to Washington. Here’s to a productive 2017. [[{"fid":"2051","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"74","width":"188","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Greg Walden Read More

Select Investigative Panel Final Report

2017/01/03

To read the Select Investigative Panel's Final Report, click here.   To read the exhibits from Chapter 2, click here. To read the exhibits from Chapter 5, click here. To read the exhibits from Chapter 6, click here. To read the exhibits from Chapter 7, click here. To read the exhibits from Chapter 8, click here. To read the exhibits from Chapter 9, click here. Read More

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton: A #LegacyOfSuccess

2017/01/03

[[{"fid":"2052","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"227","width":"432","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Six years with the gavel. It goes by pretty fast. But a brief glimpse in the rear view mirror reveals that we left nothing on the table. Our 562 hearings produced a lot. And historically, we excelled. While the committee averaged 162 hearings for the 104th - 111th Congresses, we averaged 187 hearings over the last three. Game-changing, transformational bills were passed and signed into law, making a difference for folks in Michigan and across America. After the administration having a free-pass from oversight the first two years in office, we tore back the curtain and shined a bright spotlight on everything from the stimulus, to Obamacare, and a runaway EPA. Officials like EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and DOE Secretary Steven Chu finally had to answer some tough questions. Our work made Solyndra, the Keystone Pipeline, and 21st Century Cures household names. We worked to advance policies that said yes to affordable energy and yes to jobs. We took a hard look at Ebola, Healthcare.gov, GM, Meningitis, VW, and Takata, and sounded the alarm on misguided federal spending on programs like "Breathe Easy" Jakarta. And even with all six years occurring with a divided government, we got the job done. Multi-year, multi-Congress efforts paid off in the form of landmark chemical safety updates and mental health reforms. Public health was a beacon of much of our success, with dozens of laws now on the books to help all Americans, including the capstone legislation to deliver #CuresNow. Because of the work and dedication of all of our members, we defied the wisdom that Washington was broken and passed 354 bills and provisions through the House with 202 bills and provisions being signed into law. Pretty impressive for a Congress that's not supposed to function. We had big ideas. And through hard work and determination, we had big results. Over the last six years, the committee has pursued thoughtful legislation to advance public health, provide affordable energy, deliver strong oversight of government agencies, protect consumers, and create jobs. Looking back, we amassed a proud, bipartisan record of success. Below is a brief snapshot of the three reports we did for the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congress. Some of our greatest hits, if you will. And looking forward, the future is bright. And the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue to lead and demonstrate we have a Better Way. - Fred Upton Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 112th, 113th, and 114th Congress Click HERE to read the full report     Energy and Commerce 112th Congress: By the Numbers 188 hearings 88 E&C bills and provisions considered on the House floor 40 E&C bills and provisions signed into law   Excerpt from report on the 112th Congress: Our record in the 112th  Congress is an impressive one. Bills signed into law. Many more advanced through the House. Investigations that uncovered waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayers’ dollars. And innovative new ways of interacting with the American people. … The Energy and Commerce Committee and its six subcommittees held 188 hearings during the 112th Congress, more than any previous Congress in nearly two decades. In addition, the committee held 69 markups; 35 were held at the full committee level, and another 34 were held among the subcommittees. To complete all those hearings and markups, members of the committee spent 569.81 hours hard at work in our hearing rooms. The committee’s busy hearing and markup schedule translated into major legislative production, with a total of 88 E&C bills receiving consideration on the House floor. During consideration of those bills, 165 amendments were offered and debated – a mark of the openness and transparency that characterizes current House leadership. 40 bills advanced by our committee were signed into law, including several key prescription drug and medical device measures incorporated into a broader package. The 31 Republican members of Energy and Commerce introduced a total of 208 bills that were referred to our committee in the 112th Congress. … (T)the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee left an indelible mark on the 112th  Congress with its investigations on behalf of American taxpayers. Their work made Solyndra a household name, and more importantly, set a foundation upon which we passed legislation to ensure such a scandal never happens again. But the panel’s oversight work included so much more, with investigations into the health care law, the NRC and its efforts to shut down Yucca Mountain, Medicare waste, fraud, and abuse, the LightSquared controversy, transparency within the executive branch, regulatory and budget policy, and the work of the Food and Drug Administration in responding to and working to prevent a series of food and drug contamination incidents. Oversight has been a priority of this Congress, and in turn this committee, and it plays an important role in supporting our legislative agenda. Read more about the #RecordOfSuccess for the 112th Congress, including a full accounting of committee bills passed by the House and signed into law, HERE.   Energy and Commerce 113th Congress: By the Numbers 189 Number of Hearings 91 E&C bills and provisions passed the House 51 E&C bills and provisions signed into law Excerpt from report on the 113th Congress: The Energy and Commerce Committee amassed an impressive record of 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. The issues on which the Energy and Commerce Committee has legislated are widespread. In the public health space alone, the panel has seen bipartisan solutions enacted related to pandemic preparedness, organ transplants, emergency epinephrine in schools, programs to support newborn screening and to prevent and treat premature birth and sudden infant death, research rare pediatric diseases, and support children’s hospital graduate medical education. It has passed bills into law to improve the safety of compounded drugs and the pharmaceutical supply chain, address gaps in the mental health system, reauthorize autism research and support, extend animal drug and generic drug user fee programs and improve flexibility for veterinary medicine, support trauma care and emergency medical services for children, and extend research into muscular dystrophy and traumatic brain injury. It has also taken steps to allow improved sunscreen ingredients, ensure Medicare patients and those in rural communities have access to care, support individuals with disabilities, promote early detection of breast cancer in young women, protect against dangerous steroid products, and add Ebola to FDA’s priority review voucher program. Related to energy, the committee’s legislative accomplishments include hydropower license extensions and regulatory efficiency, pipeline safety, home heating and propane availability, and policies addressing energy needs of U.S. territories and energy partnerships between the U.S. and Israel. The committee also delivered consumer protection legislation on issues as diverse as fire safety and poison control centers, as well as anti-doping authority and Medicare physician payment; it has eased regulatory burdens on vehicle dealerships, electronics manufacturers, and electronic power supply parts; it extended the satellite law to ensure continued programming availability for satellite customers; it reauthorized a travel promotion initiative that helps bring billions of dollars in tourism to the U.S.; and it extended the chemical plant security program. … A few of the notable investigations in the 113th Congress include the extensive review of the GM ignition switch recall and important findings about the effectiveness of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; continued oversight of the Affordable Care Act, including enrollment information the administration was unwilling to provide; the first-of-its-kind assessment of federal programs addressing severe mental illness; scrutiny of CDC and other labs following a series of safety lapses; and real-time oversight of the U.S. and global public health response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the U.S. cases, and overall emergency preparedness. Read more about the #RecordOfSuccess for the 113th Congress HERE. A full accounting of the committee bills passed by the House and signed into law is HERE.   Energy and Commerce 114th Congress: By the Numbers 185 Number of Hearings 175 E&C bills and provisions passed the House 111 E&C bills and provisions signed into law   Excerpt from report on the 114th Congress: Ideas factory. Bipartisan collaboration. Legislative workhorse. Remarkable achievement. Thoughtful tenacity. Thanks to everyone’s collective efforts, these are the traits that have come to define the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 114th Congress. In a polarized Washington where the public sadly expects very little from their representatives, we shattered the trend by working together and delivered an impressive bipartisan Record of Success. … We have a lot to be proud of. And it is not just the quantity of our legislative success, but the quality as well. Thoughtful legislating takes time, often years and longer in some cases. We have shepherded major new laws in landmark SGR and entitlement reforms to provide certainty for doctors and seniors – an accomplishment that was over a decade in the making. We’ve also been able to implement the most meaningful update to issues involving the environment and the economy in decades with the signing of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. We lifted the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, and improved our pipeline safety laws. Robust oversight led to the development and enactment of critical solutions to answer the nation’s opioid crisis, attacking the problem from every angle. And our thoughtful oversight led to the remarkable success we had this Congress in advancing landmark mental health reforms across the finish line after years of painstaking work. And last and certainly not least, the three-year effort to deliver 21st Century Cures paid off, big time.  Everyone on the committee – from both sides of the aisle – would agree that we can accomplish a lot more when we work together. And for the most part, we are a bipartisan committee. You’ll see that from Cures to pipeline safety to microbeads. What we accomplished here has a direct impact back home in Michigan and across all of our respective districts. Read more about the #RecordOfSuccess for the 114th Congress HERE. A full accounting of the committee bills passed by the House and signed into law is HERE. To read the full report, click HERE.   Read More

2016: #RecordOfSuccess in Pictures

2016/12/30

2016: #RecordOfSuccess in Pictures [[{"fid":"2017","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] From the Hearing Room to the White House, the Energy and Commerce Committee Had a Prodigious 2016 [[{"fid":"2019","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3024","width":"4146","style":"width: 450px; height: 328px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) congratulates Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) after the full committee unanimously passed Murphy’s H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, by a vote of 53-0. The long pursued landmark mental health reforms were included in the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law on December 13. [[{"fid":"2021","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] #CuresIn4Words: The job got done. The House passed this game-changing medical innovation bill by a vote of 392-26, and the Senate followed shortly after passing it 94 to 5. After being signed by Speaker Ryan at the enrollment ceremony, the bill headed to the White House. On December 13th, #CuresNow became law, marking the culmination of a 3-year journey. [[{"fid":"2022","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"776","width":"1123","style":"width: 450px; height: 311px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Chairman Upton receives congratulations from President Obama after signing the 21st Century Cures Act into law. [[{"fid":"2023","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"1000","width":"1500","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Updating our chemical safety laws was a top priority of Chairman Upton and #SubEnvEcon Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL). Upton and Shimkus joined Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as he signed this bicameral, bipartisan update to our dated chemical safety laws. On June 22nd, #TSCA became law, marking the most significant update in a quarter century to policies involving the environment and the economy. (Photo courtesy of the Caleb Smith/Speaker Ryan’s Office.) [[{"fid":"2024","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] The committee had over a dozen of its bills included in a sweeping opioid package to help fight the nation’s growing epidemic. Beginning with bipartisan oversight hearings in spring of 2015, the committee played a large role in crafting a sweeping opioid package to help fight the nation’s growing epidemic. Included in the final bill signed by Speaker Ryan, were more than a dozen bills that originated within the committee. Check out the legislative journey here. [[{"fid":"2025","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"193","width":"418","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] BONUS VIDEO: The committee was quite busy this year and has the #RecordOfSuccess to show for it. This 60-second video from a marathon markup in April offers a glimpse of just how hard the committee worked in 2016 to help all Americans. In a 3 day-span, the committee passed 22 bills, including important important #bipartisan pipeline safety legislation. Watch this 60-second video for a quick recap. [[{"fid":"2026","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"911","width":"749","style":"width: 500px; height: 608px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] BONUS PHOTO: All of us at the Energy and Commerce Committee wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year! Read More

Letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro Regarding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

2016/12/22

Excerpt: "Given the significant federal investment in the SPR, and the need for Congress to evaluate whether the SPR should be maintained in its current configuration, we request that GAO undertake an assessment of the SPR and identify options to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet U.S. energy security needs and comply with international obligations."  To read the letter to GAO, click here.  Read More

NEW INFO: Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Break Through Unprecedented Obstruction, Obtain Documents Confirming Administration Broke the Law to Fund Obamacare

2016/12/22

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), today released new information in an addendum to a joint report, “Joint Congressional Investigative Report into the Source of Funding for the ACA’s Cost Sharing Reduction Program,” released in July 2016.  The initial report chronicled the committees’ investigation into the Obama administration’s decision-making processes on the source of funding for the cost sharing reduction (CSR) program, a key Obamacare program. Despite unprecedented obstruction of the investigation and a refusal by the administration to comply with Congressional subpoenas, the report revealed the administration knowingly violated the Constitution to fund the CSR program without a Congressional appropriation.  Since the release of the initial report, the two committees have continued our investigation to obtain information withheld by the administration. After six more months of aggressive oversight, the Treasury Department, Health and Human Services Department (HHS), and Office and Management and Budget (OMB) complied with the subpoenas and released documents confirming the initial findings, as well as shedding more light on the administration’s decision-making process. The committees have learned: High-ranking officials at Treasury, HHS, and OMB discussed and deliberating using money appropriated for tax credits to fund the CSR program. Numerous federal employees raised concerns about using the tax credit account to make the CSR payments, but top Administration officials decided to use the unappropriated funds anyway. Administration officials based their decision to fund the CSR program on a flawed legal analysis. Upon the release of these new findings, Chairmen Upton and Braidy said: “These new findings are deeply troubling and further demonstrate just how far over the line this administration has gone to prop up its broken health care law. Because of our committees’ persistence, we have learned much more about the administration's decision to ignore the clear text of the ACA, disregard the separation of powers, and obstruct a Congressional investigation to further its own political agenda.”  CLICK HERE to read a copy of the addendum. CLICK HERE to learn more about the initial report, released in July. CLICK HERE to learn more about the investigation.  ### Read More

#CuresIn4Words: Wishes Do Come True

2016/12/22

[[{"fid":"2015","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"216","width":"325","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – In the three-year journey that is the #Path2Cures, we’ve introduced you to some special advocates. From the Michigan angels that helped inspire the effort to our resident artist, we’ve truly made some remarkable friends. And together, they’ve all had one wish – to see the 21st Century Cures Act become law. In a recent interview with Kentucky Education Television (22:24), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proclaimed 21st Century Cures “will be remembered as the single most important piece of legislation of the 114th Congress.” This #TBT, we mark the holidays by proving that wishes really do come true. [[{"fid":"2018","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"227","width":"405","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 17, 2015 Brooke and Brielle Kennedy, the inspiration behind #CuresNow, share their Christmas list – 21st Century Cures was #1. Watch their message HERE. [[{"fid":"2020","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"269","width":"405","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 8, 2016 Max Schill attended the Enrollment Ceremony of #CuresNow – days before his 8th birthday. Earlier this year, Max shared his birthday wish – to see 21st Century Cures become law. Watch the video from the House Republican Conference HERE. ### Read More

Select Panel Refers Numerous Entities for Further Investigation into Possible Violations of Law

2016/12/22

Washington, DC -- Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today released 15 criminal and regulatory referrals the Select Investigative Panel has made to federal, state, and local authorities over the course of its investigation. Evidence uncovered by the Panel shows that a number of middleman tissue procurement businesses and abortion clinics may have violated 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2, a federal statute that makes it a 10-year felony to profit from the sale of human fetal tissue. The Panel discovered that StemExpress may have destroyed documents that were the subject of congressional inquiries, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 and referred the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Panel also discovered that some entities may have violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rights of vulnerable women, as well as federal regulations governing Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. “Speaking as a woman, I am deeply troubled by what we have learned about the mistreatment of patients at a particularly difficult and vulnerable time in their lives. They are being treated with a disregard for their best interests and their rights as patients,” said Chairman Blackburn. “Women deserve better than this. They deserve better than to face any level of deception or pressure. We have seen instances in which profit-driven procurement businesses acting in conjunction with clinics violate women's privacy rights under HIPAA. We have seen consent forms misrepresenting to women that cures for still uncured diseases have resulted from fetal tissue. It is disturbing to see so many cases where there is barely the pretense of consent or no consent at all before the remains of a baby are taken by researchers.” Below is a summary of the 15 criminal and regulatory referrals released by the Panel. Click HERE to read the Referral Letters. ### Criminal and Regulatory Referrals Select Investigative Panel 1) The Panel learned that StemExpress and certain abortion clinics may have violated the HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2) The Panel uncovered evidence showing that StemExpress may have violated federal regulations governing Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 3) The Panel discovered that the University of New Mexico may have been violating its state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion clinic (Southwestern Women’s Options). Referred to the Attorney General of New Mexico. 4 & 5) The Panel conducted a forensic accounting analysis of StemExpress’ limited production and determined that it may have been profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Referral sent to El Dorado, California, District Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice. 6) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Arkansas may have violated the law when it sent tissue to StemExpress. Referred to the Attorney General of Arkansas. 7) The Panel discovered that DV Biologics, another tissue procurement company, may have been profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, and was not collecting California sales tax from purchasers of the baby body parts. The Orange County District Attorney has filed a lawsuit and the Panel sent a supplemental referral. 8) The Panel learned that Advanced Bioscience Resources appeared to have made a profit when it sold tissue to various universities. Referred to the District Attorney for Riverside County, California. 9) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Florida, at least in part through its relationship with StemExpress, may have violated various provisions of federal and state law by profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Referred to the Attorney General of Florida. 10) The Panel learned that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast may have violated both Texas Law and U.S. Law when it sold fetal tissue to the University of Texas. Referred to the Texas Attorney General. 11 & 12) The Panel has uncovered evidence from former employees and a patient of a late-term abortionist in Texas alleging numerous violations of federal and state law at one or more of the practitioner’s clinics. The allegations include eyewitness accounts of the doctor killing infants who show signs of life both when partially outside the birth canal, in violation of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, and after they are completely outside the birth canal, in violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and Texas murder statutes. Referred to the Texas Attorney General, and the U.S. Department of Justice. 13) The Panel has discovered information that StemExpress may have destroyed documents that were the subject of congressional inquiries, document request letters, and subpoenas, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. 14) The Panel made a supplemental referral to the Attorney General of New Mexico based on information produced in document productions by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO), and a complaint and affidavit with supporting documents submitted by a former patient at SWWO. It details the alleged failure of SWWO and UNM to provide informed consent to women prior to using tissue from abortions for research at the university. 15) Over the course of its investigation, the Panel has uncovered documents and received testimony from confidential informants indicating that several entities, including four Planned Parenthood clinics and Novogenix, may have violated federal law, specifically Title 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2, which forbids the transfer of fetal tissue for valuable consideration. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. Read More

Select Investigative Panel: Criminal and Regulatory Referrals

2016/12/21

Referral of StemExpress and abortion clinics to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for HIPAA Violations   Referral of StemExpress to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for violations of regulations governing IRB’s   Referral of University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options to Attorney General of New Mexico   Referral of StemExpress to District Attorney of El Dorado County, California, & the U.S. Department of Justice for violation 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2   Referral of abortion clinic in Arkansas to the Attorney General of Arkansas   Referral of DV Biologics to the District Attorney of Orange County, California Referral of Advanced Bioscience Resources to District Attorney of Riverside, California   Referral of Florida abortion clinic to Attorney General of Florida   Referral of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to the Attorney General of Texas   Referral of Late-Term Abortionist in Texas to Attorney General of Texas   Referral of Late-Term Abortionist in Texas to the U.S. Department of Justice   Referral of StemExpress to the U.S. Department of Justice for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519.   Referral of Southwestern Women’s Options and University of New Mexico to Attorney General of New Mexico for Informed Consent Violations   Referral of Planned Parenthood Clinics and Novogenix to U.S. Department of Justice Read More

Upton Chronicles E&C’s Sweeping Bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess in 114th Congress

2016/12/21

[[{"fid":"2032","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"203","width":"388","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"},"link_text":false}]]   WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today highlighted the committee’s sweeping #RecordOfSuccess for the 114th Congress. In the update to committee members, Chairman Upton writes, “Ideas factory. Bipartisan collaboration. Legislative workhorse. Remarkable achievement. Thoughtful tenacity. Thanks to everyone’s collective efforts, these are the traits that have come to define the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 114th Congress. In a polarized Washington where the public sadly expects very little from their representatives, we shattered the trend by working together and delivered an impressive bipartisan Record of Success. The proof is in the pudding. Just look at the numbers…” Energy and Commerce By the Numbers for the 114th Congress: 185 Hearings 175 E&C bills and provisions passed the House 111 E&C bills and provisions signed into law 6 E&C bills vetoed by the president Upton highlights the committee’s major accomplishments, writing, “We have a lot to be proud of. And it is not just the quantity of our legislative success, but the quality as well. Thoughtful legislating takes time, often years and longer in some cases. We shepherded major new laws in landmark SGR and entitlement reforms to provide certainty for doctors and seniors – an accomplishment that was over a decade in the making. We’ve been able to implement the most meaningful update to issues involving the environment and the economy in decades with the signing of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. We lifted the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, and improved our pipeline safety laws. Robust oversight led to the development and enactment of critical solutions to answer the nation’s opioid crisis, attacking the problem from every angle. And our thoughtful oversight led to the remarkable success we had this Congress in advancing landmark mental health reforms across the finish line after years of painstaking work. And last and certainly not least, the three-year effort to deliver 21st Century Cures paid off, big time.”  The committee’s major legislative priorities passed with overwhelming bipartisan votes in the House: SGR repeal (392-37) TSCA (403-12) 21st Century Cures (392-26) Sweeping opioid legislation (407-5) Oil exports (included in the 2015 omnibus which passed 316-113) Pipeline safety (voice vote) Mental health reform (422-2) Upton also highlights a hallmark of E&C is never let a legislative opportunity go to waste, always always looking for opportunities to advance the committee’s work: Opioid package – included 12 committee bills          Budget deal - included SPR, spectrum, and health reforms Highway bill – 9 provisions total – 5 to boost energy security (also included in HR 8) and several auto safety provisions Omnibus – included big wins with Oil exports, cures funding, health care for 911 first responders, and 5 public health wins 21st Century Cures – included Cures package, landmark mental health reform, and critical resources to fight the opioid epidemic The WIIN Act – included coal ash reforms, as well as improvements to ensure safe drinking water and resources for Flint, Michigan In the report, Upton breaks down the committee’s accomplishments into four distinct categories: Advancing Public Health Advancing Affordable Energy Modernizing Government for 21st Century Jobs Protecting and Empowering Consumers Upton concludes, “Across the board, we had great success. … We have a better way, and should all be proud of this #RecordOfSuccess.” Read the full report HERE. View the committee’s #RecordOfSuccess HERE. ###  Read More

Walden Continues Staff Announcements For Energy and Commerce Committee

2016/12/21

Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), incoming Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today continued staff announcements for the 115th Congress. Mr. Walden announced earlier this month that Mike Bloomquist, Karen Christian, Peter Kielty, and Paul Edattel will continue to serve the committee. “I couldn’t be happier with the team we are assembling going into the 115th Congress. The Energy and Commerce Committee will be staffed by hard working, qualified professionals dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing issues facing our nation,” said Chairman-elect Walden. Today’s staff announcements include: Jen Barblan, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Barblan will serve as Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations. She has served as a counsel to the subcommittee since October 2015.  Jen previously spent time as a Senior Counsel at the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and in private practice. Paul Edattel, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Health As previously announced, Edattel will continue to serve as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Health. Paul started with the committee in 2011 and has served as Chief Health Counsel since 2016, after serving Speaker John Boehner as his Health Policy Advisor. Paul also served as a Legislative Director in the House of Representatives before joining the committee. Tom Hassenboehler, Chief Counsel, Energy and Environment Hassenboehler will continue to serve as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power and will begin serving as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. Previously, he worked at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works under Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) as Counsel, with a focus on Clean Air Act issues. Hassenboehler also previously worked for the Energy and Commerce Committee under former Chairmen Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) from 2003-2008, as well as various roles in the private sector. Paul Nagle, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Nagle will continue to serve as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, a position he has held since 2014. Paul has also served in the Senate as the Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, along with several positions in the private sector and at the Federal Communications Commission. David Redl, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Redl will continue serving as Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. He has served in that role since 2013, previously serving the committee as Counsel from 2011 to 2013. Prior to joining the committee, David held several positions in the private sector. Jordan Davis, Director of Policy and External Affairs Davis will serve as Director of Policy and External Affairs. Jordan served as Policy Director and Communications Advisor for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for the past four years. Jordan’s previous experience includes serving at the NRCC during the 2010 election cycle, as Chief of Staff to former Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND), and as a Legislative Director and in other various legislative positions in the House of Representatives. Tim Pataki, Senior Advisor for Member Services, Coalitions, and Legislative Operations Pataki will serve as the Senior Advisor for Member Services, Coalitions, and Legislative Operations. Since joining the committee in August 2014, Pataki has held several different roles. Before joining the Energy & Commerce Committee, Pataki worked for former Majority Leader Eric Cantor and current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Adam Fromm, Director of Coalitions and Outreach Fromm will serve as Director of Coalitions and Outreach. He joins the committee from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) where he served as Senior Policy Advisor. He has previously served as the Director of Member Services and Committee Operations for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Further, Adam has spent time in the private sector, with Speaker Hastert's political staff, and at the NRCC under Chairmen Davis and Reynolds. Hamlin Wade, Special Advisor for External Affairs Wade will serve as Special Advisor for External Affairs. Most recently, he served as the Director of Advance, Travel, and Scheduling at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Wade has also worked in Chairman-elect Walden's personal office in various capacities. Zach Hunter, Director of Communications Hunter will serve as Director of Communications for the committee. Hunter was previously a Regional Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, covering the Midwest and West. Hunter has also served as Director of Communications for Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), as well as other roles on the Hill and in the private sector. Dan Schneider, Press Secretary Schneider will continue to serve as Press Secretary for the committee. Dan has served as the committee's primary spokesman for energy, environment, telecommunications, and auto safety issues since 2015. He previously served as Press Secretary for Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) before joining the committee. Jennifer Sherman, Press Secretary Sherman will continue to serve as a Press Secretary for the committee. Jennifer has been the primary spokesperson for health care issues before the Health and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees, since she started with the committee in 2015. Prior to joining the committee, Jennifer also served as a Director of Communications for Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY).  Blair Ellis, Press Secretary and Digital Coordinator  Ellis will continue serving as Press Secretary and Digital Coordinator for the committee, where she will serve as spokeswoman for the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade while overseeing the committee’s digital portfolio and media booking. Before joining the committee, she served as Director of Communications for Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC). Gary Andres, current Staff Director Andres will continue to serve the committee in an advisory role to facilitate the transition into the 115th Congress.  ### Read More

Encryption Working Group Releases Year-End Report

2016/12/20

Washington, D.C. –Members of the bipartisan encryption working group – established in March 2016 by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) – today released a year-end report laying out key observations and next steps. For nearly a year, the Encryption Working Group has held numerous meetings with a variety of federal, state, and local government entities, former government officials, private industry and trade associations, civil society organizations, consultants and legal experts, academia, and cryptographers. These meetings have produced critical information, culminating in a year-end report that lays out four key observations and identifies several areas for future discussion next Congress. The report concludes: “Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security. The widespread use of encryption technologies also complicates the missions of the law enforcement and intelligence communities. As described in this report, those complications cannot be ignored. This is the reality of modern society. We must strive to find common ground in our collective responsibility: to prevent crime, protect national security, and provide the best possible conditions for peace and prosperity. “That is why this can no longer be an isolated or binary debate. There is no ‘us versus them,’ or ‘pro-encryption versus law enforcement.’ This conversation implicates everyone and everything that depends on connected technologies—including our law enforcement and intelligence communities. This is a complex challenge that will take time, patience, and cooperation to resolve.  The potential consequences of inaction—or overreaction—are too important to allow historical or ideological perspectives to stand in the way of progress.” Below are key observations of the report. Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest. Encryption technology is a global technology that is widely and increasingly available around the world. The variety of stakeholders, technologies, and other factors create different and divergent challenges with respect to encryption and the “going dark” phenomenon, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the encryption challenge. Congress should foster cooperation between the law enforcement community and technology companies. Based on these observations, the report has identified several areas for future discussion by the committees next Congress, such as exploring opportunities to help law enforcement agencies navigate the process of accessing information from private companies; examining options to improve law enforcement’s ability to leverage metadata; reviewing the circumstances, resources and legal framework necessary to help law enforcement agencies exploit existing flaws in digital products; considering the implications of alternative legal strategies such as compelling individual consumers to decrypt their devices, and the role of encryption in fostering greater data security and privacy. The full report can be viewed here. The members of the working group issuing the report are House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY). Read More

#RecordOfSuccess: Three #SubCMT Bills Prioritizing Consumer Protection Now Law

2016/12/20

WASHINGTON, DC – Although the 114th Congress is winding down, the Energy and Commerce Committee continues to build on its bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess as President Obama recently signed three #SubCMT bills into law. The bipartisan bills signed into law were S. 3183, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, and H.R. 4665, the Outdoor REC Act of 2016. S. 3183, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, spearheaded by Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop scalpers from buying swaths of event tickets by going around defense measures put in place to prevent bulk purchases. The House-version of this legislation, H.R. 5104, passed the House by voice vote in September and again in December. "This is a win for all fans of live entertainment and sporting events, plus it brings an extra Christmas cheer from our touring artists in the Nashville area. It's about time we put an end to these anti-consumer tactics. I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for passing this legislation as well as President Obama for signing it into law," said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, authored by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ), prohibits gag clauses that prevent consumers from publishing truthful reviews and authorizes the FTC, and states, to enforce the Act with civil penalties. H.R. 5111 passed the House by voice vote in September and unanimously passed the Senate. “Two more great bills are now law - each protecting consumers.  In the 21st century economy consumers need to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights without concern that a business will take them to court over it.  The online rating and experience portal must be preserved for all consumers.  And I’m happy the President also signed the BOTS Act into law, which will crack down on the cyber bots that round up concert tickets, jack up the price and rip off fans.  These bills are a fitting capstone to a very productive Congress for the subcommittee,” said Vice Chairman for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Leonard Lance (R-NJ). Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, “It’s no secret that 21st century consumers have encountered new problems and challenges brought about by innovation, but because of Representatives Blackburn and Lance, consumers are now better protected and more empowered. Many have experienced difficulty purchasing tickets to a live event while others have faced retribution for simply going online to provide an honest review of a company, service or product but these laws put an end to these underhanded practices. These bills are smart policy, assuring online transparency and affordability for consumers.” Also signed by the president, was H.R. 4665, the Outdoor REC Act of 2016, authored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), which directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an assessment and analysis of the outdoor recreation economy to ensure that it is measured and accounted for by the federal government as part of the country’s GDP. “The outdoor recreation industry has greatly contributed to economic growth and success in Southwest Michigan,” commented Chairman Upton. “This bipartisan bill is important to maximizing business opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry, and I’m pleased to see it added to our proud bipartisan Record of Success.” Learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess HERE. Read More

#CuresIn4Words: Super Kaheem Saves DC!

2016/12/19

WASHINGTON, DC – It’s not every day a superhero comes to town. But that’s exactly what happened on Friday. Meet Kaheem – or Super Kaheem, as he’s known around town – a five-year-old boy from Owings Mills, Maryland. Kaheem has been battling leukemia, and is part of the Make-A-Wish program. [[{"fid":"2007","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"226","width":"405","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Super Kaheem received a special message from Speaker Ryan, while visiting his office on Friday. Watch a video from the Speaker’s Office HERE. On Friday, Kaheem’s wish was fulfilled – to become a superhero and help people in need of assistance. Among the many important duties Super Kaheem took on last Friday, he joined the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police and accepted a mission from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). “We’ve had presidents in this room, we’ve had even the Pope in this room, but never a superhero!,” said Speaker Ryan in his message, who then directed Super Kaheem to his next clue. [[{"fid":"2008","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"234","width":"417","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] The clue led Super Kaheem to the Speaker’s Balcony, where we’re proud to report he completed his mission – finding the flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor. [[{"fid":"2009","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"61","width":"147","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] KAHEEM SAVES DC: 5-year-old’s superhero wish comes true A Maryland 5-year-old who is battling leukemia had the time of his life on Friday, fighting on this day for good and reminding us all what really matters. Kaheem, who is now better known as 'Super Kaheem', spent a very special day battling the "bad guys" around the nation's capital in a wish day that he-- and the thousands of people who cheered him on along the way-- won't soon forget. Kaheem's wish was to be a superhero, and FOX 5 DC partnered with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic to make it happen. With the help of many law enforcement agencies and generous supporters around the DC area, Kaheem's wish came true-- and the smile on his face was absolutely everything. He started his day at the Bethesda Hyatt, where he was called upon by the Superhero Council to save DC from bad guys, a challenge he was happy to accept. Kaheem then hopped in a fire truck and hitched a ride to FOX 5, where he was transformed into a real superhero-- Super Kaheem! Then, he drank a special potion to give him the superhero powers he needed to save the day. … Click HERE to read the full story. ### Read More

Murphy, Pitts, and Hatch Press CMS for Details on Oversight of Medicaid Expansion

2016/12/19

WASHINGTON, DC – Bicameral leaders today sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt seeking answers to help Congressional leaders and state officials better understand how CMS has been approaching Medicaid expansion policies under Obamacare. The letter was signed by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Subcommittee on Health Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The House and Senate leaders want to be sure that federal dollars are not being wasted under such a vast expansion. Under current law, Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion allows states to expand their Medicaid eligibility to non-disabled, non-elderly adult individuals under the age of 65 making less than $16,394 (138 percent of the federal poverty level). The health law provided additional federal funding for the expansion population, with the federal government covering 100 percent of the expenditures for the new Medicaid recipients through 2016, and less each year until 2020 and beyond under current law. CBO recently estimated that about 7 million Medicaid enrollees receive coverage in the program due to the individual mandate, while additional analysis suggests that the previously uninsured newly eligible adults accounted for only one-fifth of the coverage increase through Medicaid in 2014. “This year, total federal-state Medicaid outlays are expected to be about $545 billion. Next year, enrollment and program expenditures are anticipated to increase and states will have to begin chipping in for the cost of Medicaid expansion,” wrote Murphy, Pitts, and Hatch. Committee leaders formally asked questions of the Acting Administrator of CMS that have remained largely unanswered by the Obama administration. Specifically, the leaders sought to ascertain whether or not CMS has been properly overseeing the integrity of federal expenditures for Medicaid expansion enrollees - raising questions about increased per capita spending for individuals enrolled in Medicaid expansions and the role of other federal programs. This is important because if CMS’s oversight of Medicaid expenditures is lax, incorrect categorization of enrollees could improperly increase outlays and inflate enrollment numbers. Click HERE to read a copy of the letter. ### Read More

Letter to CMS on Oversight of Medicaid Expansion

2016/12/19

Excerpt: “This year, total federal-state Medicaid outlays are expected to be about $545 billion. Next year, enrollment and program expenditures are anticipated to increase and states will have to begin chipping in for the cost of Medicaid expansion." To read a copy of the letter, click here. Read More

The #Path2Cures Takes One Cancer Fighter on an Unexpected Journey

2016/12/17

[[{"fid":"2005","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"234","width":"423","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – In a raw and powerful video, Stephanie Salinas reads the essay she submitted for a college scholarship – and won. Stephanie, a high school student in Virginia, tells the story of her cancer diagnosis. “My life had to be put on hold,” she explained. But it was in this diagnosis that she began to chart a new path forward. “Cancer has cost me physical pain, emotional turmoil, psychological breakdowns, and has ultimately saved my life,” Stephanie said. “I never would have dreamt a life-threatening disease would save – rather than destroy – my life.” Stephanie said it was during her diagnosis that she began to fully cherish and appreciate relationships with her family and friends, and that she was inspired by the dozens of nurses that helped care for her. So much so that Stephanie is planning to study to become a nurse practitioner when she attends the University of Virginia. “I want to help people, be with people, and make a difference in people’s lives,” Stephanie says. The #Path2Cures is all about hope – for new cures and treatments and for bettering those around us. ### Read More

Upton Statement on Administration’s Decision to Step Away From Part B Experiment

2016/12/16

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), issued the following statement regarding the administration’s decision not to move forward with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation's (CMMI) proposed changes to the Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model: "Yesterday's announcement is good news for seniors and the sickest Medicare patients that rely on critical care. After months of growing concerns, I’m glad the administration listened to America’s seniors and the Congress, and chose to withdraw this harmful Medicare experiment.” ### Read More

A Young Boy Grows Up on the #Path2Cures

2016/12/15

In reflecting on the three-year journey of #CuresNow becoming law, there was one young advocate who was there every step of the way – our friend Max. The tiniest of advocates first joined the #Path2Cures in the late spring of 2015 at the tender age of six. Max has been a critical voice and played an important role in helping us get this game-changing innovation package across the finish line. His story is a familiar one. Max has a RASopathy called Noonan syndrome, which is a rare genetic condition that prevents normal development in various parts of the body. Max has helped lead the charge for #CuresNow—visiting 83 Senate offices over the course of two days and taking over the House GOP blog to explain the importance of 21st Century Cures. [[{"fid":"1993","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"581","width":"611","style":"width: 450px; height: 428px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] On Monday of this week, Max celebrated his eighth birthday. He’s now a grizzled veteran of Capitol Hill. Earlier this year he proclaimed his birthday wish was to see #CuresNow become law. Max got his wish. Follow along for Max’s journey on the #Path2Cures below, and be sure to check out some bonus photos on our Facebook page too. [[{"fid":"1994","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"3347","width":"3617","style":"width: 450px; height: 416px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] May 2015: On the Way to the Big Committee Vote. Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) guides then 6-year-old Max down the committee hallway towards the #FullCmte markup on #CuresNow. [[{"fid":"1995","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"3158","width":"3671","style":"width: 450px; height: 387px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] May 2015: Max Grabs the Gavel! One of Max’s first committee appearances was May 20, 2015, when the #FullCmte convened to markup and unanimously pass #CuresNow by a vote of 53 to 0. [[{"fid":"1996","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"2843","width":"3062","style":"width: 450px; height: 418px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] July 2015: Six-Year-Old Steals the Show at the Capitol Press Conference. Max joined Chairman Upton and Rep. DeGette for a press conference outside of the U.S. Capitol on July 10, 2015, after the House passed 21st Century Cures (for the first time!) 344 to 77. [[{"fid":"1997","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"3830","style":"width: 450px; height: 429px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] April 2016: No Letting Up for the Then 7-Year-Old Advocate. To build momentum and urge support of #CuresNow, Max and his mom personally delivered some of his famous artwork to 83 different Senate offices on April 12, 2016. [[{"fid":"1998","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"4668","style":"width: 450px; height: 352px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 2016: Time to Celebrate! To celebrate the Senate passing #CuresNow, Max hosted an ice cream party on Capitol Hill last Wednesday. Ice cream toppings included sprinkles, Oreos, and chocolate syrup! Max and his mother, Lisa, were in the Senate Gallery for the 94-5 vote. [[{"fid":"1999","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"1334","width":"750","style":"width: 450px; height: 800px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 2016: Max Makes Sure Speaker Ryan is Wearing his #CuresNow Flair for the Enrollment Ceremony. Ahead of the December 8, 2016, enrollment ceremony for the bipartisan 21st Century Cures bill, Max met privately with House Speaker Paul Ryan in the Speaker’s office. [[{"fid":"2000","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"1725","width":"1536","style":"width: 450px; height: 505px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 2016: Max Takes the Podium. “Cheers to Cures!” Max delivered remarks about the importance of #CuresNow at the Enrollment Ceremony. With Speaker Ryan’s signature, the bill then moved to the White House for the president’s signature. [[{"fid":"2001","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"4032","width":"3024","style":"width: 450px; height: 600px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 2016: One Day After Turning 8-Years-Old, Max Watches History at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The three-year journey on the #Path2Cures culminated with a signing ceremony at the White House, where Max had the opportunity to meet President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. It’s been an incredible journey and we couldn’t have gotten here without our friend Max. *BONUS* [[{"fid":"2002","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"3264","width":"2448","style":"width: 450px; height: 600px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] The #Path2Cures has kept Max pretty busy, so he made sure that Vice President Biden signed his note for missing school. President Obama signed the note too! Read More

Walden on FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Resignation

2016/12/15

WASHINGTON, DC – Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman-elect Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) today issued the following statement after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his resignation. “Few FCC Chairs have served during a more dynamic and controversial time. While Tom and I have not agreed on every issue, we’ve shared a passion for expanding access to broadband communications to underserved areas of America. I wish him every success in the future.” ###  Read More

Americans Continue to be Haunted by Ghosts of Obamacare’s Past, Present, and Future

2016/12/15

WASHINGTON, DC – The news keeps getting worse by the day for Obamacare, and sadly Americans everywhere are paying the price. According to a new study, Obamacare’s #RateShock is going to add an additional $10 billion to taxpayers’ health costs in 2017. But the problems extend well beyond the skyrocketing costs. Humana CEO Bruce Broussard continues to question his company’s involvement in Obamacare. Citing the insurer’s departure from four of their 15 exchange markets, Broussard categorized Obamacare’s faults as “structural.” The sentiment isn’t unique to Broussard. A recent Gallup poll said that eight out of every 10 Americans wants to see significant changes to the law or have it replaced all together. Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have been sounding the alarm for years. From runaway premiums to collapsing CO-OPs and everything in between, it’s never been clearer that Obamacare is hurting the wallets of American families and pulling out the rug from patients looking for quality care from the doctors they know and trust. House Republicans have a Better Way that will provide Americans with relief, and help clean up this perpetual mess. What can you expect from House Republicans next year? Putting health care decisions back in the hands of patients and their doctors, making insurance more portable and affordable, eliminating barriers that restrict choices on plans, and ensuring everyone is eligible for coverage. ### Read More

“It’s Time to Close the Floodgates On Fraud” - Upton, Brady, and Hatch On New Watchdog Report

2016/12/15

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today highlighted a new report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing the significant gaps in verifying consumers accessing Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Obamacare requires all federal and state-based marketplaces verify application information to determine eligibility for a health care plan. SEPs are generally used by patients who may lose health insurance outside of the traditional Open Enrollment Period (OEP) or experience a life event – like moving, having or adopting a child, or getting married. In the past, SEPs have granted individuals presumptive eligibility instead of verified eligibility, leading to risk imbalance and potential misuse. The GAO’s report summarizes their findings, saying, “The federal and selected state-based marketplaces approved health-insurance coverage and subsidies for 9 of 12 of GAO’s fictitious applications made during a 2016 SEP.” While the GAO makes no new recommendations in their report, the Obama administration has taken incremental steps to help avoid misuse or abuse of SEPs. But Republican lawmakers have urged the administration through a series of congressional hearings and bills to require pre-enrollment verification for all individuals. “This report confirms what we’ve known all along: Bad actors are taking advantage of loose enforcement mechanisms to access highly-subsidized health care plans,” said chairmen Upton, Brady, and Hatch. “We’re encouraged that the administration has acknowledged the verification gaps, but their actions don’t go far enough to protect taxpayers and stabilize markets. It’s time to close the floodgates on fraud.” The GAO report was requested by Chairmen Upton, Brady, and Hatch. Earlier this week, the Obama administration took its latest steps to improve SEP safeguards, releasing the timeline for a pre-enrollment verification pilot program to begin Summer of 2017. Click HERE to read the GAO report. ### Read More

With Holiday Shopping in Full Swing, Burgess & Lance Continue #SubCMT's Work to Protect Consumers

2016/12/14

With the holiday season upon us, Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Vice Chairman Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) are encouraging consumers to take the necessary precautions in securing their personal information online in a piece yesterday in Forbes. As innovation continues to empower consumers, so do challenges to keep private information secure – particularly as online shopping grows in popularity and consumers prefer to purchase goods with the tap of a button. Burgess and Lance write, “Keeping consumers’ personal information safe online is the shared responsibility of the consumer, industry and the government.” [[{"fid":"2003","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"height":"278","width":"470","style":"width: 400px; height: 237px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] December 14, 2016 Secure Your Personal Information, And The Best Deals, This Holiday Season By #SubCMT Chairman Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Vice Chairman Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) Every holiday season, millions of Americans pick up their credit cards in search of the best deals or the perfect gift for a loved one. Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping has become a tradition as time-honored as pumpkin pie for many families and pumps billions of dollars back into the economy. Whether shopping at a brick-and-mortar store or from a tablet this year, the assumption is that retailers are doing everything they can to keep consumers’ personal information safe and secure. However, recent years have proven the risks for shoppers as several large companies have fallen victim to cybercrimes, and the personal information of millions of Americans has been compromised. The rapid evolution of technology has empowered consumers to purchase goods and services on demand, whenever and wherever they choose, but it has also empowered criminals to target businesses and steal a host of data. This criminal activity can lead to identity theft and financial fraud that impacts consumers and the economy as a whole. Technological advances will always outpace security measures. And the federal government will never have the manpower or resources needed to address the revolving door of cybersecurity challenges. While the onus is on the industry to take the steps to ensure secure transactions, consumers need to understand the risks that exist and how to protect themselves against threats. In government and in the private sector, there are basic practices that should be encouraged. This includes shopping on secured websites, indicated by the “https” found at the beginning of a URL address. Additionally, banks are trending toward virtual credit card numbers that are generated for one-time use while shopping online—a premise designed to keep consumers’ banking information secure. Two-factor authentication is another simple practice that provides a backstop to keeping personal data out of the hands of criminals. Keeping consumers’ personal information safe online is the shared responsibility of the consumer, industry and the government. With the increased prevalence of cybercrimes by the day, we have a responsibility to improve cyber safeguards. We believe a federal solution should include a single—but flexible—data security requirement. In the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT) have taken steps to address this underplayed threat to consumers in the bipartisan Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (HR 1770). While 47 states currently have security standards in place, this legislation would set a national data security standard to alert consumers when their information may have been compromised in a breach—a simple concept that is widely overlooked. The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade has explored cybersecurity over a number of hearings this Congress, including our Disrupter Series. We have heard from industry leaders on the exciting growth we are facing. However, we also need to see meaningful leadership from industry in addressing these challenges. Take the necessary precautions this holiday season to ensure the only thing you are sharing is cheer and not your personal information. Read the full column online HERE. Read More

NIH Leaders: “Congress has provided an enormous gift to science in the form of the Cures Act…”

2016/12/14

With the 21st Century Cures Act now law, two key officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) took to the New England Journal of Medicine to outline the game-changing legislation from their purview. [[{"fid":"1991","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"257","width":"328","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Director Collins (second from the left) attended the Senate’s cloture vote on the 21st Century Cures Act earlier this month with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Friends of Cancer Research co-founder Ellen Sigal, and Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., and Dr. Kathy Hudson, Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the NIH write, “As with any landmark piece of legislation, the complex negotiations leading up to its passage were challenging and intense. But the final provisions are well worth heralding, including increased support for state efforts to combat opioid abuse, new steps aimed at improving mental health services, and important changes affecting the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).” Their column walks through provisions in the bill that reduce red tape, increase data sharing while also protecting privacy, and provide support for early-stage researchers. Drs. Collins and Hudson conclude, “Congress has provided an enormous gift to science in the form of the Cures Act, a gift that reflects a deep confidence in the promise of biomedical research to make discoveries and develop cures in the 21st century. All those who made this gift possible — the President and Vice President, lawmakers, stakeholders, and most of all, patients — deserve our heartfelt thanks.” To learn more about 21st Century Cures, click here. [[{"fid":"1992","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"73","width":"359","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] December 13, 2016 The 21st Century Cures Act – A View from the NIH The Cures Act, formally known as H.R. 34 or the 21st Century Cures Act, passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in the waning days of the 114th Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 13, 2016. Weighing in at nearly 1000 pages, this bipartisan bill is the product of years of hard work by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, in collaboration with a broad array of diverse stakeholders. As with any landmark piece of legislation, the complex negotiations leading up to its passage were challenging and intense. But the final provisions are well worth heralding, including increased support for state efforts to combat opioid abuse, new steps aimed at improving mental health services, and important changes affecting the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Here, we focus on aspects of the Cures Act that are directly relevant to the NIH’s mission — measures that will provide the agency with critical tools and resources to advance biomedical research across the spectrum from basic, curiosity-driven studies to advanced clinical trials of promising new therapies. Affecting everyone from researchers to research participants to patients suffering from numerous conditions, these measures will cut bureaucratic red tape that slows the progress of science, enhance data sharing and privacy protections for research volunteers, improve support for the next generation of biomedical researchers, exhort the NIH to extend its efforts to ensure inclusion of diverse populations, and provide the NIH with a bolus of additional funding over 10 years for key biomedical research initiatives. … Some key measures reduce red tape. Policies generated with the best intentions sometimes have serious adverse consequences for research. Two needlessly obstructive policies have been undone by the Cures Act — one dealing with paperwork and the other with scientific meetings. … Other measures in the bill relate to data sharing and privacy protection. Sharing data is essential for progress in biomedical research. Rapid data sharing was key to the success of the Human Genome Project, and that same commitment has been spreading across biomedicine in the past two decades, as advances in technology and “big data” have enabled an entirely new level of data sharing and inquiry. Despite the clear value of sharing data, the NIH has been constrained from requiring in a straightforward way that NIH-funded investigators share their data. The Cures Act solves this problem by allowing the NIH director to require that data from NIH-supported research be shared, giving all scientists the opportunity to use these data as quickly as possible to advance biomedical research. This new era of rapid and facile exchange of data also requires redoubled efforts to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information about research participants. People who volunteer for research need to be confident that scientists will do everything in their power to protect their private information. The Cures Act contains what we believe are the most significant advances in research privacy protections in two decades. Certificates of confidentiality, previously available to researchers upon request, will now be provided to all NIH-funded scientists conducting research that involves the collection of identifiable, sensitive information. The certificates will provide stronger protections against the disclosure of the names of participants or any other identifiable data gathered during research. In addition, the Cures Act will allow the NIH to withhold biomedical information about individuals that could be used to reidentify them through requests for records filed under the Freedom of Information Act. Cures Act provisions also support early-stage researchers. Today, the average age of a researcher receiving his or her first independent research grant from the NIH is 42. The NIH has been working hard to create additional opportunities for younger researchers, including dedicated awards for new and early-stage investigators. Though such efforts have proven valuable for encouraging individual researchers, they have not resulted in a lowering of the average age of independent investigators within the full NIH research portfolio. Provisions in the Cures Act will establish an office at the NIH to promote policies aimed at improving coordination and analysis of opportunities for new and early-stage investigators, as well as at attracting, retaining, and developing emerging scientists in priority research areas. … The Cures Act provides multiyear funding for three highly innovative scientific initiatives launched by the Obama administration: the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), and the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. It also includes a promising new research initiative focused on regenerative medicine (see table Funding for NIH Innovative Research Initiatives under the Cures Act.). … Congress has made it clear that these focused investments are not intended as a substitute or offset for supporting NIH research through the regular appropriations process. Although the decision about the overall fiscal year 2017 funding level for the federal government to support all NIH research across disciplines and disease areas has been postponed until April 2017, the Cures Act funding is available now and will be used right away to support groundbreaking research. We remain optimistic that strong support for the NIH budget will be reflected in the ultimate decisions about the fiscal year 2017 budget and beyond. In the meantime, Congress has provided an enormous gift to science in the form of the Cures Act, a gift that reflects a deep confidence in the promise of biomedical research to make discoveries and develop cures in the 21st century. All those who made this gift possible — the President and Vice President, lawmakers, stakeholders, and most of all, patients — deserve our heartfelt thanks. Click HERE to read the entire column online. ### Read More

Remembering Sandy Hook

2016/12/14

WASHINGTON, DC – Four years after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, meaningful mental health reforms are now law. President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law yesterday, which included mental health reforms spearheaded by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). The reforms are based largely off Chairman Murphy’s bill, H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was introduced after the tragedy in Newtown. “Innocence was shattered on a cold day in Connecticut four years ago. But out of this darkest of tragedies has risen a glimmer of hope, as the landmark mental health reforms signed into law yesterday were spurred by the events of Sandy Hook,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Chairman Murphy. “Following Newtown, we started a national conversation on serious mental illness and began an in-depth investigation into how the federal government handles mental health disorders. Our multi-year, bipartisan, bicameral effort revealed a broken system and informed our legislative response to overhaul the antiquated patchwork of ineffective programs. Mental illness is no longer a subject for the shadows, and while more work remains, tremendous strides have been made to help families and individuals in mental health crisis. There is reason for hope, as we remember Sandy Hook and the children and teachers lost, we celebrate the step forward to deliver treatment before tragedy.” ### Read More

“Working together, we got the job done” - Medical Innovation Game-Changer Now Law

2016/12/13

[[{"fid":"1979","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2448","width":"3264","style":"width: 450px; height: 338px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – Marking the culmination of a three-year journey on the #Path2Cures, President Obama today signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The House passed the game-changing medical innovation bill 392 to 26 on November 30, and the Senate followed suit, voting  94 to 5 on December 7. Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) signed the bill at an enrollment ceremony before formally sending it to the president. “Working together, we got the job done,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), authors of the 21st Century Cures Act. “Patients needed a game-changer – and it is our hope that history will look back at the Cures effort as the moment in time when the tide finally turned against disease. Today’s milestone is not the end, it’s just the beginning for #CuresNow.” For more information on the 21st Century Cures Act, click HERE. ### Read More

TODAY: President Obama to Sign Bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act

2016/12/13

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama will be joined by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and other Congressional leaders for the signing ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act. Details: Signing ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act Tuesday, December 13, at 2:30 p.m. ET South Court Auditorium, Eisenhower Executive Office Building Note: The bill signing will be live-streamed HERE. Learn about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE. ### Read More

Headlines on the #Path2Cures

2016/12/12

  ABC 33: Birmingham boy with terminal disease hopes President Obama signs treatment bill into law ALBANY DEMOCRAT-HERALD: A welcome compromise on research BREITBART: GOP Rep. Upton: 21st Century Cures Act ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform’ treatments THE DETROIT NEWS: Rep. Upton delivers GOP weekly address THE HERALD PALLADIUM: Talking cures THE HILL: GOP celebrates medical research bill THE HILL: Why it’s important to make the ‘21st Century Cures Act’ a law IMPERIAL VALLEY NEWS: Mayo Clinic applauds the U.S. Senate for their approval of the 21st Century Cures Act MEDPAGE TODAY: D.C. Week: 'Cures' Act goes to president's desk NEWSMAX: Upton: Bipartisan ‘21st Century Cures’ legislation groundbreaking THE TENNESSAN: 21st Century Cures 'a Christmas miracle' WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Upton: Congress leaves on a high note after passing Cures Act WBFO: Congressmen, advocates hail passage of 21st Century Cures Act ### Read More

#RECORDOFSUCCESS: E&C’s Efforts to Save Jobs Pays Off, Long-Sought Coal Ash Solution Clears Final Hurdle

2016/12/12

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate last week approved and sent to the president the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, a comprehensive water resources infrastructure bill. Several Energy and Commerce Committee provisions were part of the WIIN Act including language that addresses control of coal combustion residuals (coal ash), an effort long championed by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) and committee member Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). Coal ash is the byproduct of coal-fired generators and is oftentimes recycled in concrete and other products. West Virginia’s The Intelligencer. Wheeling News-Register highlights Rep. McKinley’s hard work in protecting coal ash recycling jobs and developing a plan for state regulations on coal ash, writing, “What it represents is a backlash in Congress against the Obama administration’s assault on coal and affordable electricity. McKinley deserves high commendation for taking a stand on the issue and crafting a reasonable solution.” For more information on the WIIN Act, click here.   [[{"fid":"1976","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"100","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] McKinley Deserves Credit on Coal Ash During nearly eight years in which President Barack Obama used the Environmental Protection Agency as a hammer to pound away at the coal industry and affordable electricity, precious few victories were recorded on behalf of common sense. But there was one big one, and U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., deserves the lion’s share of credit for it. One front on which the EPA went after coal and affordable power was the issue of a primary waste product from coal-fired generating stations. Burning coal produces large quantities of coal ash. A few years ago, EPA officials revealed a plan to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste. That would have been another nail in the coffin Obama was building for both the coal industry and affordable electricity. It would have made the cost of operating a coal-fired power plant go up substantially. McKinley fought back decisively. He pointed out coal ash is used in a variety of products, ranging from concrete to drywall. It is not a hazardous material as most reasonable people would define the term. The EPA plan could have cost as many as 316,000 jobs, McKinley warned. It also would have driven electric bills up for tens of millions of Americans. McKinley won EPA agreement to delay implementation of its new rules. In the meantime, he suggested a reasonable plan of state regulations on coal ash. That plan is contained in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which has been approved by the House of Representatives. U.S. Senate leaders have signaled agreement with the bill. What it represents is a backlash in Congress against the Obama administration’s assault on coal and affordable electricity. McKinley deserves high commendation for taking a stand on the issue and crafting a reasonable solution. Read the full article online HERE. ### Read More

Upton, Murphy, Pitts, and Hatch Press CMS for Answers on EpiPen Rebates

2016/12/12

WASHINGTON, DC – Bicameral leaders sent a letter on Friday to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt asking questions about the misclassification of the EpiPen Auto-Injector and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector by Mylan Pharmaceuticals for purposes of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. The letter was signed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Subcommittee on Health Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In September, Energy and Commerce Committee leaders and Senate Finance Republicans separately requested that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General examine CMS’ oversight of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. In responses to the Energy and Commerce Committee and Finance Committee this month, the HHS OIG informed the committees that they will audit and evaluate CMS’s apparently lax oversight of the program. “The Energy and Commerce Committee first raised concerns with EpiPen’s classification under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program in July 2015,” wrote Upton, Murphy, and Hatch. “In February 2016, CMS…reported the agency was ‘currently looking into the issue’, but did not answer the Committee’s specific questions or provide a timeframe for resolving concerns. It is notable that CMS failed at that time to provide any specific details regarding its general oversight of manufacturers’ self-reported classification of drugs for purposes of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.” The leaders continued, “Both Committees are concerned that CMS knew that EpiPen was misclassified for years and failed to take remedial action. As a result, on September 12, 2016, the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) to request an investigation into CMS’ oversight of the Medicaid Rebate Program. This request was echoed by the Senate Committee on Finance in a September 20, 2016, letter to the OIG. Given the seriousness of this violation and its bearing on the integrity of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the Committee also requests that CMS address these issues immediately by providing the following additional information and documents to the Committees by December 20, 2016.” Click HERE to read a copy of the letter. ### Read More

Letter to CMS on EpiPen Misclassification

2016/12/12

Excerpt: “Both Committees are concerned that CMS knew that EpiPen was misclassified for years and failed to take remedial action. As a result, on September 12, 2016, the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) to request an investigation into CMS’ oversight of the Medicaid Rebate Program. This request was echoed by the Senate Committee on Finance in a September 20, 2016, letter to the OIG. Given the seriousness of this violation and its bearing on the integrity of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the Committee also requests that CMS address these issues immediately by providing the following additional information and documents to the Committees by December 20, 2016.” To read a copy of the letter, click here. Read More

Weekly Republican Address: With 21st Century Cures, We Will Do Better

2016/12/10

[[{"fid":"1973","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"238","width":"423","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch Chairman Upton’s address HERE. WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s Republican address, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) discusses #CuresNow—legislation signed by Speaker Ryan this week to bring medical research and innovation into the 21st century. “The House and Senate have passed this bipartisan legislation which will ensure our health system can keep pace with incredible advances in science and technology,” said Chairman Upton. He continued, “A new day for medical research is on the horizon. A new day of hope for patients and their loved ones. We needed to do better. And with 21st Century Cures, we will.”

 Remarks of Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan
 Weekly Republican Address
 Washington, DC
 December 10, 2016 Hey there, I’m Fred Upton, Republican Congressman from Southwest Michigan who helped lead the successful, bipartisan effort to find faster cures for families and patients suffering from tragic illness. The holiday season is one of joy. But, it’s often a time for families to come together and reflect on loved ones lost—taken much too soon by disease. We’ve all said too many early good-byes to folks that we hold dear. Families robbed of a parent that will never get to see their kids’ milestones. A child born without the gift of a future. Every day, countless folks living vibrant lives are delivered unexpected diagnoses. It’s a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over. Life changes in an instant—and hope seems just out of reach. Whether it be Alzheimer’s, Lupus, MS, cancer… you name it. So, three years ago, we had an idea. That we could do better. That we needed to do something and transform our health and research system to effectively fight disease in the 21st century. But we knew the first step had to be doing something that Congress doesn’t do enough of: We had to first listen. And then we engaged. We solicited input. We drafted. We listened some more. It was an inclusive, unique, transparent process that criss-crossed the country, engaging experts in every related field, from pioneering research institutions like the University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic to government to private industry and everything in between. And most importantly, we listened to patients. What we learned was staggering. The gap between biomedical innovation and our regulatory process was widening. Of the 10,000 known diseases—7,000 of which are rare—there are treatments for only 500. We needed to change the conversation and restore urgency to boosting research and innovation. And working together, we have with 21st Century Cures. Science and biomedical innovation have made incredible strides over the last two decades. Mapping the human genome, new biomarkers, and personal health care apps have all offered opportunities to find new treatments and cures. But the way the FDA and the NIH apply these new innovations to our regulatory process has lagged behind. These agencies—and the rules and regs that they produce affecting the discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving drugs and devices—also desperately need modernization and innovation. They need a game-changer. And now we have it. The House and Senate have passed this bipartisan legislation which will ensure our health system can keep pace with incredible advances in science and technology. We break down regulatory barriers and expedite the approvals for safe drugs and devices coupled with billions for more research, including the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. We also provide critical funding to the FDA so that they have all the tools they need to ensure the safety of these news drugs and devices. A former head of The National Cancer Institute and FDA has called this “the most transformational biomedical legislation in the past 40 years.” He’s right. But this package is not just about cures. It also includes valuable resources to fight the opioid epidemic that’s impacting every single community, and delivers landmark mental health reforms that will make a real difference, helping families in crisis and treating mental illness rather than incarceration. Treatment, not tragedy was the overriding theme of mental health reform. Yes, this is one of the most important and impactful bills we will enact this Congress. Patients aren’t interested in debating the timelines, the failure rates, the size and costs of conducting clinical trials. They just know that despite the promise of scientific breakthroughs, they can’t get the therapy that might save their lives one day. That is why we need 21st Century Cures. We are on the cusp of something special. A once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform how we treat disease. President Obama will sign this legislation into law next week and his help was critical in getting this new law enacted—so we say thank you Mr. President. A new day for medical research is on the horizon. A new day of hope for patients and their loved ones. We needed to do better. And with 21st Century Cures, we will. Thank you and have a blessed holiday season. Watch Chairman Upton’s address HERE. ### Read More

Walden Names Senior Staff for Energy and Commerce Committee

2016/12/09

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman-elect of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, today announced that Mike Bloomquist, Karen Christian, Peter Kielty, and Paul Edattel will continue to serve the committee. All are longtime veterans of Capitol Hill. Bloomquist will serve as Deputy Staff Director for the Committee.  He has served in this position since August 2015. In addition, he previously served as the Committee General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, as well as General Counsel to the 2011 Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Further, Mike has spent time in private practice, at the Committee on Science, and in the Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Christian will continue as Committee General Counsel, a position she has held since October 2014. Previously, she served as Chief Counsel for the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee from 2012-2014, and was a member of the O&I staff since 2006. Karen spearheaded the Committee’s oversight of the Healthcare.gov failure and the federal loan guarantee to Solyndra. Her previous experience includes serving as counsel to the Committee on House Administration, a clerkship with a U.S. District judge and time spent in private practice.  Kielty will serve as Deputy General Counsel of the Committee. Kielty is a 15-year veteran of the Committee, and has served as Deputy General Counsel since 2012. Peter has advised on the parliamentary and jurisdictional matters before the Committee. Edattel will continue to serve as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Health. Paul started with the Committee in 2011 and has served as Chief Health Counsel since 2016, after serving Speaker John Boehner as his health policy advisor. Paul also served as a Legislative Director in the House of Representatives before joining the Committee. "I am excited that Mike, Karen, Peter, and Paul are joining my team. They bring over 40 years of experience serving the Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I look forward to working closely with them and incoming-Staff Director Ray Baum to bring commonsense solutions to American families," said Chairman-elect Greg Walden. ###  Read More

Letter to OMB Director Shaun Donovan

2016/12/09

Excerpt: "We believe it is importatn that there be transparency and accountability with regard to the climate change related expenditures across the Federal government, and that Congress and the public should know how much is spent by Federal agenices, and for what purpose." To read the letter, click here.  Read More

Upton to Deliver Weekly Republican Address on #CuresNow

2016/12/09

WASHINGTON, DC –Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that this week’s Republican address will be delivered by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). In the address, Chairman Upton will discuss the 21st Century Cures Act, groundbreaking medical innovation legislation signed by Speaker Ryan earlier this week. [[{"fid":"1969","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"240","width":"360","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Chairman Upton speaks during Thursday’s enrollment ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act. “We had an idea three years ago that patients deserved better—that medicine wasn't keeping pace with incredible advancements in science,” said Chairman Upton. “Patients needed an innovation game-changer, and we have it with 21st Century Cures. The landmark legislation will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of safe new cures and treatments. For families across the country, this legislation to help deliver #CuresNow marks a renewed dawn of hope.” “Fred Upton is one of the main reasons Americans will start to see improved medical care and healthier lives,” said Speaker Ryan. “The Cures Act will help researchers and doctors unlock the next generation of cures and treatments for their patients.” As he said at yesterday’s bill signing, “I could not think of a better way to end the year than by signing this bill.” Chairman Fred Upton represents the commonsense values of southwest Michigan with a district that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan and includes key industries that range from automobile parts manufacturing to high-tech biomedical innovation centers. In 2010, Chairman Upton was selected by his House colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In 2014, Chairman Upton unveiled the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative, a multi-year effort that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States. Learn about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE. NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, December 10, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov. ### Read More

Thank you, Emily.

2016/12/09

Over the last three years, we’ve shared some remarkable stories and encountered some amazing people, defying the odds in their personal battles with disease. One of those individuals is Emily Muller of Chicago, Illinois. Emily and her friend, Shira Strongin have been vocal advocates on the #Path2Cures. What makes them unique is their age. Just a few months ago, Emily and Shira spent their summer vacation on social media, urging passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. From attention-grabbing graphics for their Cyber Rallies to making the rounds on Capitol Hill, everyone knew these teens meant business. And it is because of their efforts, and the help of energized patients like them, that 21st Century Cures is about to be signed into law. The #Path2Cures has been paved by people like Emily. Thank YOU for all your help. Together, we will deliver #CuresNow. [[{"fid":"1966","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"30","width":"154","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] December 7, 2016 #CuresNow By Emily Muller We passed #CuresNow. In less than three years I've had the opportunity to write numerous articles, host two cyber-rallies, engage with countless Congressmen, and make two trips to DC.  It has all been out of passion for this legislation.  I can't begin to put into words exactly what this means, so I'll start by saying thanks. Shira, thank you for spending Washington nights with me, dancing to synth pop in an old funeral parlor for the irony and allowing me to be with you while you grieved the loss of a dear friend in a hotel room.  Thank you mom for being the ultimate travel partner and allowing me to explore city streets and take cabs to the Rayburn Foyer.  Thank you dad for taking care of my precious pups when I'm away and always encouraging me to work for causes I care about. Thank you Stephanie and Max for the sugary breakfasts, late night emails and for giving a girl originally no more than 15 the chance to influence a movement.  Thank you Sean and Jennifer for making me comfortable enough to share my own ideas and being two of the most driven people I've ever been in contact with. Thank you Dr. Stone for getting me in Forbes with the best Californian friend a girl could have.  Thank you to all my advocate friends, especially Jamie, Tracy, and Ashanti, for being the most incredible lobbyists to learn from. Thank you Lisa Schill for providing me with endless inspiration even though I've never met your beautiful Max. Thank you to the skeptics that pushed me to stay educated and allowed me to prove myself as more than a misguided kid.  Thank you to the Congressmen that told me stories through the years and allowed me to see what history looks like.  Finally, Representative Upton, although we've never met you made this possible.  I could write for days about just how much your efforts mean to me but no words could ever be kind enough to capture the full extent of my feelings.  Thank you for Cures. Let us think of the friends we lost before they had the chance to see this day.  We'll continue to fight for them - to make it clear that no one else should have to suffer the way that they did in this life.  Treatment should be a right afforded to every American and with this legislation we're one step closer to having a regulatory process that works for individuals with rare disease.  I hope that if I have children they will never hear the words "there is no treatment," and I hope that they won't know the pain of burying friends. Let's celebrate but never forget that we've still got work to do.  OPEN Act is next.  Just you wait. [[{"fid":"1967","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"203","width":"271","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Photo from my first trip to DC. Carnegie Institution for Science. Age 15. Click HERE to read the blog post online. ### Read More

#SubCMT Examines the Mixed Martial Arts Industry

2016/12/08

[[{"fid":"1964","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"1753","width":"3888","style":"width: 450px; height: 203px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), today held a hearing to examine the economic potential and issues at play within the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry. The hearing provided an opportunity to learn more about this popular and quickly-growing sport. During the hearing, members discussed the health and safety of fighters, the economic potential of this industry, and reviewed the current rules and regulations guiding the sport.  Providing members with a brief overview of the athleticism and training required of fighters, Randy Couture, President of Xtreme Couture, testified, “(I)t is a sport that involves world-class and Olympic athletes involved in all disciplines of martial arts, including wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu, muay-thai, karate and boxing.” Drawing distinct differences between boxing and MMA, Mr. Couture outlined some of the challenges fighters face with regard to promotional titles, long-term contracts, and merchandising. A reoccurring theme echoed by witnesses and members alike throughout the hearing is the broad success and popularity of MMA across the country. While each state has legalized MMA, regulations vary from state to state. Chairman Burgess noted “State athletic commissions have generally promulgated rules that prohibit certain maneuvers in the ring, require certain equipment, and provide for athlete drug testing.” He goes on, commenting that “[s]ome states are stricter than others, depending on the state’s resources and how popular the state is as a venue for MMA.” [[{"fid":"1965","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2444","width":"2504","style":"width: 450px; height: 439px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Chairman Burgess speaks with Randy Couture at the conclusion of the #SubCMT hearing. Jeff Novitzky, the Vice President of Athlete and Health Performance at the UFC, relayed that much emphasis is placed on educating athletes and coaches on “relevant health and safety issues” so they can train and fight in a safer manner. He continues, “Our goal is to make them [fighters] more informed, and thus practice safer weight management to mitigate any health consequences and help maximize their performance.” Offering similar sentiments on the importance of fighter safety was Lydia Robertson, the Treasurer of the Association of Boxing Commissions. Recalling the important theme of training to ensure safety she said, “The ABC’s interest is [always] focused on fighter health and safety.  How do we protect fighters, sometimes from themselves, and yet still allow the mixed martial arts to be a competition?  What medical minimum standards should be in place? Our interest is [always] on the fighter, fair treatment of the athletes, and their future.” For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE. Read More

Delivering #CuresNow: Speaker Ryan Signs Bipartisan Game-Changing Medical Innovation Bill

2016/12/08

[[{"fid":"1961","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Senate’s passage of the 21st Century Cures Act on Wednesday by a vote of 94 to 5, the bill was sent today to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) before moving to the White House for the president’s signature. The House passed the game-changing medical innovation bill on November 30, by a vote of 392 to 26. Both Speaker Ryan and Senate Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) officially signed the bill at this morning’s Enrollment Ceremony. [[{"fid":"1962","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] With Speaker Ryan’s signature, the bill now heads to the president’s desk. “This effort has always been about the patients, and I’m so glad that we could have our friend, all-star Cures advocate Max with us today. Not letting rare disease hold him back, this pint-sized dynamo has been with us every step of the way on the #Path2Cures,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “We look forward to seeing President Obama make #CuresNow law next week. As Max said today, ‘Cures is more than hope, it’s action.’ Next stop, the White House!” For more information on the 21st Century Cures Act, click HERE.   Read More

#RECORDOFSUCCESS: House Clears Water Infrastructure Improvements Act

2016/12/08

[[{"fid":"1963","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"415","width":"831","style":"width: 450px; height: 225px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, a comprehensive water resources infrastructure bill, in a bipartisan vote of 360-61. The bill is the culmination of work between multiple committees and authorizes port, waterway, and flood protection, and other water resources’ infrastructure across the country. A number of Energy and Commerce Committee priorities are part of the comprehensive bill. The WIIN Act includes authorizing funds addressing the situation in Flint, Michigan including: Authorizing funds to address the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. $100 million in Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Capitalization Grants, $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, $17.5 million for lead registry, $2.5 million for the Lead Advisory Council, $15 million for the childhood lead prevention program at the CDC, and; $15 million for the Healthy Start Initiative. It also addresses control of coal combustion residuals, long championed by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) and committee member Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). This section: Provides for the establishment of state and EPA permit programs for coal combustion residuals (coal ash), and; Provides flexibility for states to incorporate the EPA final rule for coal combustion residuals or develop other criteria that are at least as protective as the final rule. The WIIN Act also contains public notification similar to provisions in H.R. 4470, which passed the House this passed February with 412 votes and kicked-off our bipartisan legislative response to the drinking water crisis in Flint. For more information on the WIIN Act, click HERE. “Folks in Flint are tired of the partisan blame game. They want answers and they want results. That is why we worked to hard to have language included in this bipartisan bill that authorizes funding to help improve the health of the people in Flint, and other communities who have had federal emergencies declared due to unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water,” concluded Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “This important legislation also includes a thoughtful solution to coal ash that we have been working on for years. This bill provides for the establishment of state and EPA permit programs and provides states the flexibility needed, all the while maintaining EPA protections.”   ###  Read More

Mixed Martial Arts: Issues and Perspectives

2016/12/08

[[{"fid":"1958","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full"}},"attributes":{"alt":"Mixed Martial Arts: Issues And Perspectives","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Read More

TODAY: Speaker Ryan, Members of House & Senate to Sign Bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act

2016/12/08

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and members of the House and Senate will hold an enrollment ceremony for the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act at 11:15 a.m. ET in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol. [[{"fid":"1957","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"239","width":"306","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Max proudly wearing his #CuresNOW button. Today’s ceremony will include Max Schill, and his mother, Lisa. Max, who was born with a rare disease called Noonan Syndrome, has been a leading advocate for this bipartisan legislation. Max turns 8 next week, and as he wrote on GOP.gov, “My birthday wish is that 21st Century Cures will pass and become a law.” Details: Enrollment ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act Thursday, December 8, at 11:15 a.m. ET Rayburn Room, United States Capitol Participants: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) Members of Congress Media coverage: All TV crews must contact the House Radio-TV Gallery to sign up for coverage at 202-225-5214. Media may access the Rayburn Room at 9:00 a.m. ET. All crews with equipment must be set by 10:15 a.m. ET for the security sweep. Note: This event is open to members of Congress and credentialed press. The bill signing will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live. Learn about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE. ### Read More

#RecordOfSuccess: Blackburn Bill Protecting Consumers With Better Online Ticket Sales Heads to President

2016/12/07

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday evening, the House passed S. 3183, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016. The legislation has been spearheaded by Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The bipartisan bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop scalpers from buying swaths of event tickets by going around defense measures put in place to prevent such bulk purchases. The House-version of this legislation, H.R. 5104, passed the House by voice vote in September. “Having the BOTS bill signed into law is a victory for consumers, sports fans and live concert goers,” said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “It is time to end these anti-consumer tactics and level the online ticket playing field for fans of live entertainment. Thank you to my colleagues who have worked with me on a bipartisan bicameral basis to support my legislation, achieve passage and witness its being signed into law.” Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, “For too long scalping software has taken advantage of the online ticket sales’ process, cheating thousands of fans from enjoying live events and other one-of-a-kind experiences. But this underhanded practice ends today, with passage of the BOTS Act, as it helps sustain a fair and transparent online-purchasing experience. With Rep. Blackburn’s bill, consumers are back on a level playing field when it comes to securing tickets to big time concerts like Bruce Springsteen, or seeing the World Champion Chicago Cubs. This commonsense bill builds upon our proud record of success and I look forward to the president swiftly signing it into law.” Over the past year, the committee has worked to modernize government policies for the innovation era through the ongoing Disrupter Series. Specifically, the committee examined the type of reforms the FTC must undergo in order to keep pace with 21st century innovation. The BOTS Act is just one example of legislation that resulted from this series’ effort to modernize the FTC and promote innovation. Learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess HERE. Read More

#SubHealth Reeling in Government Waste in Catfish Inspection Program

2016/12/07

WASHINGTON, DC – The Health Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), today held a hearing examining the waste and duplication in the USDA’s Catfish Inspection Program. The FDA is already responsible for overseeing the safety and inspection of seafood. “What is it about catfish? Interestingly enough – nothing! Catfish is an extremely low risk food product,” stated Chairman Pitts. “Explicitly creating a program exclusively for catfish is unnecessary and directs resources away from high risk foods to focus on a food that is one of the safest.” Kimberly Gorton, President and CEO of Slade Gorton & Co., Inc, stated, “As someone with decades of first-hand experience in the American seafood industry, I can honestly say that both the regulator and the regulated industry are doing a better job than ever before.” Gorton also shared the story of their third-generation family business, adding, “The USDA program is a complete waste of tax dollars. Our government is already squeezing job-creating small businesses, and this program is a needless, costly and duplicative regulation that burdens my company and all other seafood companies.” Justin Conrad, President of Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants, Inc. testified saying, “The Government Accountability Office has 10 times called the USDA program a waste of tax dollars and at high risk for abuse. GAO even put out a report stating catfish regulation should not be assigned to USDA.” Today’s hearing, the last for #SubHealth this Congress, was also the last for Chairman Pitts. [[{"fid":"1955","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"206","width":"278","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] #SubHealth committee members applaud Chairman Pitts’ leadership and work. “Joe Pitts has been a leader for some of the committee’s greatest accomplishments: reforming how Medicare pays America’s physicians, improving the safety of our nation’s drug supply chain, advancing dozens of bills to improve our nation’s public health, and helping shepherd through the 21st Century Cures Act that will land shortly on President Obama’s desk,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “I wish nothing but the best to you and Ginny in this next chapter.” For more information on today’s hearing including a background memo, witness testimony, and an archived webcast click here. ### Read More

Walden and Yarmuth Introduce Bill Eliminating Disco Era Media Ownership Rules

2016/12/07

WASHINGTON, DC – Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and committee member Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) today introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the newspaper broadcast cross-ownership ban. Enacted in 1975, the cross-ownership rule prohibits ownership of both a broadcast station (AM, FM, TV) and a daily newspaper in the same market. Despite the fact that the FCC, in 2003, found the ban to no longer be in the public interest, the rule remains largely unchanged and hinders potential investment in struggling newspapers across the country. The bipartisan bill would eliminate the 1970s era cross-ownership ban to reflect today’s competitive media marketplace, providing greater flexibility to newspapers and broadcasters. “This bipartisan effort finally acknowledges that our current media landscape is far different than it was nearly 50 years ago,” said Rep. Yarmuth. “As we’ve seen the rise in fake news and its consequences, it is increasingly important that we do all we can to protect legitimate sources of news. This legislation would give media entities the flexibility they need to compete and grow in this challenging marketplace.” “Times have changed, and it’s critical our media ownership rules keep pace with the innovation era. This bipartisan bill is just the latest in our continued efforts to modernize outdated rules and promote investment in the communications sector,” said Chairman Walden. “Broadcasters and newspapers face intense competition from cable and the Internet. Eliminating this relic of the disco era will provide much needed flexibility to the many newspapers and broadcasters throughout the country that provide important local news coverage and encourage greater investment in original journalism. We want what’s best for consumers and this bill provides a thoughtful solution that puts the public’s interest first.” To view the text of the bill, click HERE. ###  Read More

BREAKING: “21st Century Cures Is Ready for the President”

2016/12/07

[[{"fid":"1953","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"246","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), sponsors of the 21st Century Cures Act, issued the following statement after the Senate passed the medical innovation bill by a vote of 94-5. “After three years, our legislative work is finally complete. 21st Century Cures is ready for the president,” said Upton and DeGette. “With this innovation game-changer, a new day for medical research is on the horizon. Today’s vote is for patients and their loved ones. We all have more reason for hope.”  Learn about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE. ### Read More

Waste and Duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program

2016/12/07

[[{"fid":"1950","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Waste and Duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

#CuresIn4Words: Game-Changing, Innovative Breakthrough

2016/12/07

Ahead of the Senate’s vote to pass the 21st Century Cures Act this afternoon, The Wall Street Journal is labeling the effort a “breakthrough” in Congress. The Editorial Board writes, “Medicine moves faster than government, thank goodness, but every now and again government tries to catch up. After years of thoughtful bipartisan work, Congress is now poised to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill designed to accelerate the development of new medicines and modernize a malfunctioning corner of the regulatory state.” To learn more about 21st Century Cures, click here. [[{"fid":"1949","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"47","width":"396","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] December 6, 2016 EDITORIAL: Congress’s Cures Breakthrough Medicine moves faster than government, thank goodness, but every now and again government tries to catch up. After years of thoughtful bipartisan work, Congress is now poised to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill designed to accelerate the development of new medicines and modernize a malfunctioning corner of the regulatory state. The sweeping measure cleared a Senate procedural vote 85-13 on Monday night and passed the House 392-96. These margins are testimony to renewed self-confidence in U.S. innovation and health-care progress, not much expressed in Washington until recently. A few dead-enders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are denouncing Cures for its lack of pharmaceutical price controls, which might have become a reality had Hillary Clinton won on Nov. 8. Cures includes a $4.8 billion infusion for the National Institutes of Health for basic research. The bill funds the NIH’s neurological program on diseases like Alzheimer’s, Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot” and rare diseases, while one encouraging earmark is for “high risk, high reward” studies that might not be financed by the private economy. By the way, these new dollars are roughly offset with budget cuts elsewhere, which exposes the liberal claims of crisis if every program doesn’t last forever. Congress is supposed to set priorities. … Read the full editorial online HERE. ###   Read More

#RecordOfSuccess: Seven More Clear the Floor

2016/12/06

[[{"fid":"1945","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"208","width":"396","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today advanced seven Energy and Commerce Committee bills, building on the committee’s bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess. To date, over 130 bipartisan Energy and Commerce bills and provisions have cleared the House. “With seven more clearing the floor, we continue to build upon the committee’s proud #RecordOfSuccess. From fighting childhood cancer to helping our vets, these bipartisan bills taken together are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our members to make a difference. Our work continues,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). The bills passed by the House today were: H.R. 756, Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2015, authored by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), would make it easier for schools to take advantage of federal programs to help them cut down on energy use. H.R. 756 passed unanimously by voice vote. H.R. 6375, Power And Security Systems (PASS) Act, authored by committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), would provide an exemption from energy use restrictions for equipment that needs to be on at all times, such as security systems or heart monitors. H.R. 6375 passed unanimously by voice vote. H.R. 3381, Childhood Cancer STAR Act, authored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), would allow the National Institutes of Health to provide support in collecting information from children, teens, and young adults with cancer, to gain a better understanding of the effects of various treatments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would award grants to states to help improve tracking of childhood cancers. H.R. 3381 passed unanimously by voice vote. H.Res 939, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all students should have access to the digital tools necessary to further their education and compete in the 21st century economy. The measure is authored by committee member Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT). H. Res 939 passed by a vote of 414-1. H.R. 6394, Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016, authored by committee member Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), would require the Federal Communications Commission to study and report to Congress on the availability of broadband for America’s veterans. H.R. 6394 passed by a vote of 411-4. H.Res. 932, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that protections against unwanted third-party charges on consumer telephone bills should be improved to empower consumers. The measure is authored by committee member Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). H.Res. 932 passed unanimously by voice vote. S. 2873, Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) would require the Department of Health and Human Services to study technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models to improve patient care and provider education. S. 2873 passed unanimously by voice vote. ### Read More

Murphy On Superbug Threat: “People Better Start Paying Attention.”

2016/12/06

In the midst of a critical two week stretch on the #Path2Cures, the battle to deliver cures and cutting-edge treatments is being fought on all fronts. On last Sunday’s edition of Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, called attention to a growing public health threat – superbugs. “Superbugs, which are antibiotic resistant bacteria, are the greatest infection threat in our country right now,” said Chairman Murphy. “Far more people die of infections that can’t be treated than people die of AIDS. The other thing about this is that it’s getting worse. We don’t have cures for this and people better start paying attention.” For more information on the subcommittee’s work on superbugs, click here. To learn more about 21st Century Cures, click here. [[{"fid":"1947","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"206","width":"376","style":"width: 300px; height: 164px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] December 4, 2016 Superbugs [[{"fid":"1948","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"451","width":"804","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch the story HERE. Read More

#SubOversight Reviews EPA’s Role in Implementation of VW Settlement

2016/12/06

WASHINGTON, DC – The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing examining the investment commitments attached to the recently approved Partial Consent Decree in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” settlement as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role in implementing the settlement’s terms. Specifically, members questioned EPA officials regarding the $2 billion investment Volkswagen is required to make in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, as well as the $2.7 billion to be paid into the NOx Mitigation Trust. The hearing builds upon letters sent by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Chairman Murphy in early November requesting information from EPA on the settlement implementation.  [[{"fid":"1942","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"212","width":"287","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] In his questioning, committee member Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) asked EPA if any analysis has been done regarding the ZEV investment commitment, and what detailed analysis the agency did “to take a market that’s just starting and then to jam” a couple billion into it? Flores also inquired, “What detailed analysis did the EPA do to see what impact that would have on the market?” To which, Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator at the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA said, “We did not do a detailed analysis.” Rep. Flores then asked Assistant Administrator Giles, “My question is this. Doesn’t it make sense to rigorously study this important question before requiring a defendant accused of cheating customers and the U.S. government to flood a growing market with $2 billion of capital?” [[{"fid":"1944","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"209","width":"279","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch Murphy Press EPA’s Giles here. Subcommittee Chairman Murphy questioned Assistant Administrator Giles regarding competitiveness in the ZEV infrastructure, stating, “Some have suggested that this could have a negative or anti-competitive effect on the existing ZEV infrastructure. Do you agree?” “We are not here today to ask EPA to renegotiate the agreement, but now that it’s final, we need to understand how it will work, how it will affect businesses already in the zero-emission-vehicle marketplace and what EPA’s role is in administering this huge financial commitment,” concluded Chairman Murphy. “VW betrayed the public trust with its cheating scandal. We are here today to ensure the agencies responsible for developing and agreeing to this deal will ensure the public interest is protected.” For more information on today’s hearing including a background memo, witness testimony, and an archived webcast click here. ###  Read More

Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Settlement: Questions Concerning ZEV Program Implementation

2016/12/06

[[{"fid":"1940","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full"}},"attributes":{"alt":"Volkswagen's Emissions Cheating Settlement: Questions Concerning ZEV Program Implementation?","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Read More

Upton & DeGette: “#CuresNow, it’s going to happen.”

2016/12/05

[[{"fid":"1936","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"199","width":"521","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Chairman Fred Upton, Rep. Diana DeGette, and Rep. Tim Murphy heading to the Senate floor ahead of the cloture vote with some special guests – Friends of Cancer Research founder and chairperson Ellen Sigal, and NIH Director Francis Collins. WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), sponsors of the 21st Century Cures Act, issued the following statement following the Senate’s cloture vote this evening, clearing the way for a swift vote on passage. “With today’s resounding vote, we’re excited the decks have been cleared for 21st Century Cures,” said Upton and DeGette. “This effort represents the very best of Congress, coming together and working toward a greater cause, a cause for hope. We were particularly delighted to share in the moment with Vice President Biden, NIH’s Dr. Collins, and Ellen Sigal. This is a big deal. After three years on the #Path2Cures, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s called the White House. We can say with certainty - #CuresNow, it’s going to happen.” Learn about the 21st Century Cures Act HERE. ### Read More

House-Senate Committee Leaders’ Statement on Water Resources Infrastructure Legislation

2016/12/05

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today announced an agreement on comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation. The legislation, the “Water Infrastructure Improvements Act for the Nation (WIIN) Act,” includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which authorizes port, waterway, and flood protection improvements for the country. The WIIN Act also includes the Water and Waste Act of 2016 to help communities meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and authorize state regulation of coal ash. In addition, the legislation addresses significant tribal and natural resources issues. The House and Senate both overwhelmingly passed WRDA bills earlier this year, and the WIIN Act is the product of the resulting bicameral negotiations. The Committee Chairmen released the following joint statement: “The WIIN Act invests in American competitiveness by addressing our port, waterway, flood protection, and other water resources’ infrastructure across the country. It addresses public health by tackling lead contamination and helping communities, like Flint, provide safe drinking water, and encouraging cost-saving innovative drinking water technologies. It also provides infrastructure assistance for Indian country and certainty for several water rights settlements. “The WIIN Act is the result of hard work and collaboration among our committees and will strengthen the nation’s transportation and water infrastructure and our economic competiveness. We look forward to moving this legislation and sending it to the president before the end of the year.” Click here for the legislative text of the WIIN Act. Click here for a summary of the WIIN Act. ###  Read More

#CuresNow: “It shows what we can do when we work together.”

2016/12/05

WASHINGTON, DC – Following Wednesday’s monumental House vote on the 21st Century Cures Act, the bill’s original sponsors recorded a special video message. Highlighting her daughter’s battle with type I diabetes, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) reinforced that every family has a connection to disease. “It’s personal for everyone here. We're going to really impact millions of lives, and it's a great bipartisan win. It shows what we can do when we work together,” added Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). Watch their message below. [[{"fid":"1933","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"261","width":"467","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch Chairman Upton and Rep. DeGette deliver a special message HERE. To learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act, click HERE. ###  Read More

#CuresIn4Words: All About the Patients

2016/12/05

[[{"fid":"1931","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"151","width":"288","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Ever wonder why the effort to deliver #CuresNow is so important to patients? Medical expert and cancer survivor Elaine Schattner explained why in a recent column in Forbes. 21st Century Cures is the product of three years of work. At every step of the way, patients and regulators like the NIH and FDA have offered their guidance on what would help accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments. Patients need a game-changer. [[{"fid":"1930","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"53","width":"148","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] November 30, 2016 Why Patients Support the 21st Century Cures Act By Elaine Schattner … I’ve seen stories suggesting that “Cures” is all about perks for pharmaceutical companies, and that industry-funded advocacy groups are parading patients, like puppets, before legislators to promote the bill. Earlier this year, I attended a small meeting where healthcare journalists didn’t just question, but scoffed at the prospect of speeding the FDA’s approval process, which is part of the package. “Why would anyone support this bill?” a journalist asked. The fact is, every patient with whom I have discussed the 21st Century Cures Act hopes it will move forward. Doctors too, tend to favor this bill, because it supports more government-funded research. I support most of the “Cures” provisions, for three big-picture reasons. First, the legislation includes significant investment for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the real Cancer Moonshot. I agree with oncologists who observe that we’re at a pivotal moment in cancer research, ready to turn in-hand progress in science and information technology into survival and quality-of-life advantages. Second, because this legislation will enable the FDA to modernize its ways of evaluating new treatments, including more input from patients. In this age of open information and Facebook groups with patients trading stories of medication toxicity, I’m less afraid of bad drugs getting approved than of having a bureaucracy block their availability to people who want to try those. Third, because this legislation has the potential to keep the U.S. at the forefront of medical progress, a draw for scientists and doctors around the world, a source of pride. Janet Freeman-Daily is one of many patients with whom I’ve discussed the 21st Century Cures Act. At age 60, she’s an MIT and CIT-educated engineer who lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s been alive with advanced lung cancer for five years, and counting several beyond what she expected. The only thing she’s ever smoked is salmon, she said. Her 2011 diagnosis came as a surprise, at age 55. After standard treatments with radiation and chemotherapy for stage 3 disease, metastatic disease became evident in bones and elsewhere. Fortunately, Freeman-Daily has family in Denver and sought consultation at the University of Colorado. An oncologist there advised sequencing of her tumor. Molecular studies revealed an altered ROS1 gene in her lung cancer cells. This mutation renders the tumor sensitive to crizotinib. This drug, sold by Pfizer as Xalkori, was FDA-approved for advanced lung cancer with ALK1 mutations in 2011. Its on-label use has since been extended to ROS1-mutated cases. Freeman-Daily supports the 21st Century Cures Act because it will promote research and patients’ access to new drugs. “I like the focus on precision medicine, infectious diseases and pediatrics, with global studies,” she told me by phone. “The plan to include more patients’ voices is great,” she added. “Mainly it’s good for research. We’ve got to let our scientists do science and stop worrying about paperwork.” “They’re talking about accelerating approval of drugs for patients with rare diseases and oncogene-driven cancers like mine.” Many of these are conditions are infrequent; it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to collect sufficient numbers of patients for separate clinical trials of each drug in each condition. “The nearest trial for me is one thousand miles away, in Denver.” Freeman-Daily travels to check in for her clinical trial. “Many patients can’t travel.” That’s why greater flexibility in trial design for evaluating precision medicine drugs is needed, she considered. “I understand the concerns for rigor and safety,” she considered. “But if we wait until the results of phase 3 trials are available, how many of us are going to die in the meantime? If you’re out of other options, you’re willing to take a bit of a risk if you want to stay alive.” Peter Pitts is a former associate FDA commissioner and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. His experiences as a person with congestive heart failure influence but don’t define his views on medical care, he told me in a phone interview. “Like many people in the health policy field, I have a health condition,” he said. “I care deeply about these issues.” “I’m a big supporter of the bill” Pitts said, referring to the 21st Century Cures legislation. “What it says for patients is that their voices will be heard more regularly and taken seriously,” Pitts said. “That is a good thing for public health.” “There are no white hats and black hats in this,” he said. Health are is like an ecosystem, he suggested. It will only work if all the people involved, all the players–including physicians, payers, industry, regulators and patients themselves–take a role in helping patients to achieve better health. Pitts takes a positive view of proposed changes for the FDA. “The agency is at center of innovation,” he said. “It does much more than expedite approvals and bring drugs to market. The agency is responsible for distributing truthful, accurate and non-misleading information, beyond what’s on the labels,” he said. “That is crucial for physicians and for patients.” “The most important shift that is embodied in the 21st Century Cures act is that it goes beyond pure regulatory science, for the FDA, to understanding and incorporating what patients feel is appropriate,” Pitts said. I asked Pitts about some concerns for the FDA lowering standards for drug approval. “The FDA is at a crossroads now,” he considered. “If some people think the FDA is moving too quickly, and some people think it’s too slowly, then it’s probably doing things just about right,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think patients want the FDA to be innovative, aggressive and prudent. That’s a nice public health triple play.” To read the full column online, click HERE. ### Read More

Upton on #CuresNow: “We’re going to save lives.”

2016/12/04

Three years ago, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) had an idea, that patients needed an innovation game-changer in how we fight disease. From there, the journey on the #Path2Cures was soon underway. We’ve made a lot of friends along the way, and every single voice in support of #CuresNow has made a difference, building incredible momentum. From patient advocacy groups, leading researchers, and beyond, an overwhelming 392-26 vote in the House, and a new show of strong support from President Obama, the finish line is in sight. 21st Century Cures has always been about the patients. From dozens of roundtables and hearings across the country and in Washington, Congress listened to the patients who have always remained the singular focus of this unprecedented effort. Every single American has been touched by disease, making this effort so important and personal. This new video from the House Republican Conference captures the essence of #CuresNow. As Chairman Upton said shortly after the House vote, “We’re going to save lives.” [[{"fid":"1929","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"406","width":"737","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch the video from the House Republican Conference HERE. To learn more about 21st Century Cures, click here. ### Read More

THROUGH THE LENS: #CuresNow

2016/12/04

[[{"fid":"1922","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"3648","width":"5472","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] An Inside Look Through the Lens of the Energy and Commerce Committee During the Week of #CuresNow [[{"fid":"1923","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"240","width":"716","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) joins Majority Leader McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) at the GOP leadership stakeout Wednesday morning. [[{"fid":"1925","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"366","width":"550","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] House Speaker Paul D. Ryan sporting a #CuresNow button minutes before the historic vote. [[{"fid":"1926","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2592","width":"3888","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Chairman Upton meet in Statuary Hall immediately following the #CuresNow vote. [[{"fid":"1924","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2592","width":"3888","style":"width: 450px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Chairman Upton joins other GOP members after passage of #CuresNow to thank everyone for their support.  [[{"fid":"1927","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"693","width":"1032","style":"width: 450px; height: 302px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] 392-26. [[{"fid":"1928","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2448","width":"3264","style":"width: 450px; height: 338px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] House Majority Whip Scalise had a special message for Energy and Commerce Committee members following the House’s passage of #CuresNow. View additional photos in our Facebook album HERE.   Read More

TRENDING: #CuresNow

2016/12/03

[[{"fid":"1883","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"674","width":"496","style":"width: 300px; height: 408px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]]   E&C members dominated social media this week to feature their support of #CuresNow. The momentum on the #Path2Cures continued to grow leading up to the historic vote, when #CuresNow reached the number one trending spot on Twitter. All week long, members eagerly highlighted their enthusiastic support through floor speeches, graphics, and even a few #CuresNow buttons. With a final vote of 392-26, this medical innovation package now heads to the Senate. Check out what members had to say about the #Path2Cures below. [[{"fid":"1920","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"89","width":"559","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1884","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"445","width":"579","style":"width: 450px; height: 346px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1919","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"100","width":"576","style":"width: 550px; height: 95px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1887","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"386","width":"415","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1888","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"130","width":"582","style":"width: 450px; height: 101px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1890","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"70","width":"579","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1891","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"334","width":"575","style":"width: 475px; height: 276px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1892","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"545","width":"443","style":"width: 443px; height: 545px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1893","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"460","width":"574","style":"width: 475px; 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height: 488px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1901","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"456","width":"412","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1902","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"101","width":"576","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1903","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"291","width":"419","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1904","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"297","width":"614","style":"width: 500px; height: 242px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1905","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"277","width":"444","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1906","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"525","width":"420","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1907","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"128","width":"580","style":"width: 500px; height: 110px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1908","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"404","width":"576","style":"width: 475px; height: 333px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1909","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"404","width":"583","style":"width: 475px; height: 329px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1910","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"105","width":"579","style":"width: 500px; height: 91px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1911","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"371","width":"583","style":"width: 475px; height: 302px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1912","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"440","width":"440","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1913","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"452","width":"418","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1914","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"443","width":"578","style":"width: 475px; height: 364px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1915","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"393","width":"581","style":"width: 475px; height: 321px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1916","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"82","width":"497","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1917","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"495","width":"420","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] [[{"fid":"1918","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"361","width":"583","class":"media-element file-full"}}]]   Read More

BREAKING: Tim Kaine Is On the #Path2Cures

2016/12/02

Support for #CuresNow continues to grow stronger on the heels of this week’s overwhelming bipartisan 392-26 vote in the U.S. House. The latest to join the #Path2Cures is former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. A Kaine spokesperson told the Loudoun-Times Mirror, “Sen. Kaine will support the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation which includes critically important funding for the National Institutes of Health, including the Cancer Moonshot Initiative.” The U.S. Senate is expected to vote to deliver #CuresNow early next week. [[{"fid":"1921","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"68","width":"307","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.-10th) is hailing the House of Representatives' passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a sweeping piece of legislation Comstock frequently touted on the campaign trail this election season.

 The Cures bill, which passed Congress' lower chamber 392-26 on Wednesday, aims to speed up the Food and Drug Administration's review process for drugs and treatments, increase funding for cancer and other research at the National Institutes of Health and help fight the national opioid epidemic. The Senate will take up the proposal next week. 

 “The 21st Century Cures Act is a game changer in medical innovation in the fight for cures of chronic diseases,” Comstock, who won re-election in November, said in statement. “This legislation will help the United States lead the way in medical research and brings hope to patients with cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions as we fight to find new cures.”

 The bill also includes intended enhancements to mental health care by creating new positions within Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

 While popular, the Cures Act isn't without opposition, including from leaders of the Senate's liberal wing, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). …

 Despite those objections, the Cures Act is expected to pass in the upper chamber.

 A spokesperson for Sen. Tim Kaine (D) of Virginia said the senator will support the measure.

 "Sen. Kaine will support the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation which includes critically important funding for the National Institutes of Health, including the Cancer Moonshot Initiative," Kaine spokesperson Sarah Peck said. "The bill also includes $1 billion in funding to combat the opioid abuse crisis and improve access to mental health care, which will have a tangible impact on the daily lives of Virginians in need."

 In Comstock's remarks, the congresswoman specifically pointed to two Leesburg families who lost children to cancer in recent years.

 “The Miller family, who lost their daughter Gabriella, and the Giordano family, who lost their son Mathias, have made it their mission to bring awareness and research dollars to the types of cancers that took their own children and this legislation is a big step forward for more resources to stamp out childhood cancers," she said.

 Comstock said the Cures bill includes $1.8 billion for cancer research over the next few years. That money will still have to doled out during appropriations.

 Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia has not yet taken a public position on the latest Cures bill. Read the entire article online HERE. ### Read More

Look Ahead: Committee Announces Hearing Schedule for the Week of December 5

2016/12/02

[[{"fid":"1896","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"220","width":"339","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today announced its hearing schedule for the week of December 5. On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to examine the investment commitments attached to the recently approved Partial Consent Decree in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” settlement. Members will examine the $2 billion investment Volkswagen is required to make in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, as well as the $2.7 billion to be paid into the NOx Mitigation Trust. The Majority Memorandum and witness list are available here and witness testimony will be available at the same link as posted. On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to examine waste and duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program. Members will examine the potential transfer of jurisdiction over catfish from a duplicative program at the USDA back to the FDA. The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted. On Thursday, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing to examine the fast-growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The hearing will give members an opportunity to examine the potential growth of the industry, the state regulations guiding it, and the health and safety of fans and participants. The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted. Hearing Details Tuesday, December 6, 2016 10 AM 2322 Rayburn HOB Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing on “Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Settlement: Questions Concerning ZEV Program Implementation” Wednesday, December 7, 2016 10 AM 2322 Rayburn HOB Subcommittee on Health Hearing on “Waste and Duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program” Thursday, December 8, 2016 10 AM 2322 Rayburn HOB Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Hearing on “Mixed Martial Arts: Issues and Perspectives” Read More

Upton & Bishop: EPA Releases Burdensome and Duplicative CERCLA Financial Assurance Rules

2016/12/02

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released proposed requirements for risk management and financial assurance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released the following statement: “The latest EPA proposed regulation is the result of sue-and-settle litigation that perpetuates more of the same special interest handouts from this administration. It’s a burdensome, duplicative, and completely unnecessary pile-on to the tune of billions of dollars on the backs of the mining industry. State financial assurance programs and numerous other federal regulations are already in place to ensure environmental stewardship, but the EPA ignored input from those models and stakeholders. This rule – drafted by EPA with very little input from states, the mining industry, and the financial sector - inevitably creates massive uncertainty and blocks access to our vast natural resources.” In August, Bishop and Upton sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy detailing their concerns about the increased costs, duplicative regulations, and lack of stakeholder input during the development of the rule. The Natural Resources Committee holds jurisdiction over laws that impact the hard rock mining industry and the Energy and Commerce Committee holds jurisdiction over CERCLA. ###  Read More

#ScottysStory: Calling for #CuresNow

2016/12/02

WASHINGTON, DC – As we’ve seen this week during the House’s consideration of the 21st Century Cures Act, the fight for #CuresNow is personal for many. That includes Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and his friend Scotty Whitecotton. Scotty has Hunter syndrome and has been incredibly active on the #Path2Cures. The Mayo Clinic describes hunter syndrome as “a very rare, inherited genetic disorder caused by a missing or malfunctioning enzyme. Because the body doesn’t have enough of the enzyme to break down certain complex molecules, the molecules build up in harmful amounts.” Over time, the build up causes permanent changes to one’s physical appearance, mental development, organ function, and physical abilities. Rep. Denham has helped raise awareness of Hunter syndrome, Scotty’s own story, and 21st Century Cures – most noticeably on Scotty’s birthday each year. [[{"fid":"1880","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"233","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] From left to right: Scotty gets special birthday messages. In 2015, the birthday message came from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). This year, the birthday message came from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI). Today, those efforts continue with a Facebook Live event discussing how 21st Century Cures will help the rare disease community. Scotty’s uncle had Hunter syndrome and passed away at the age of 12. Today at 19, Scotty is hoping #CuresNow will help find more treatments – or even a cure – to extend his life. [[{"fid":"1882","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"394","width":"470","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Tune in to Rep. Denham’s Facebook Live event HERE. To learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act, click HERE. ###  Read More

INSTA-GRAB: #BehindTheScenes with Fred Upton

2016/12/02

On Wednesday, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) (@repfredupton) became the most recent member to take over the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Instagram account. His day started with bright lights and a microphone, joining House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership as well as Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) for a press conference on #CuresNow. The day ended with another press conference following the overwhelming 392-26 vote in support of the innovation game-changer. Scroll down for a digital recap of Chairman Upton’s day, and be sure to follow @energyandcommerce for more photos. [[{"fid":"1873","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"447","width":"596","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Joined @housegop leaders here in the House to discuss #CuresNow and why it’s so important to patients across the country. We will be voting on this legislation later today! Learn more: energycommerce.house.gov/cures Instagram [[{"fid":"1874","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"386","width":"591","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Making a few press calls ahead of today’s big #CuresNow vote! #BehindTheScenes Instagram [[{"fid":"1875","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"444","width":"596","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] BREAKING: #CuresNow just passed the House 392-26! Instagram [[{"fid":"1876","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"399","width":"593","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] This moment was 3 years in the making #CuresNow #GameChanger. Thanks for following along today during my Instagram and the #Path2Cures. We will deliver #CuresNow. 392-26!! Instagram *BONUS* [[{"fid":"1877","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"591","width":"593","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Be sure to check out these four fast facts from Chairman Upton. Instagram Thank you to Chairman Upton for sharing his #DayInTheLife with E&C followers! Stayed tuned for who our next special guest will be and follow @energyandcommerce on Instagram for more #behindthescenes photos. Read More

#CuresIn4Words: Faster Treatments for Patients

2016/12/02

Fresh off the heels of the House’s overwhelmingly bipartisan vote on the 21st Century Cures Act, The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal profiled the game-changing legislation. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Paul Howard said of the bill, “it’s a big win for patients…it moves the drug development process into the 21st century, gives the FDA, innovators, researchers, a lot of new tools for delivering customized cures for patients based on their genetics or other information that can get drugs to patients at a fraction of the time…” To learn more about 21st Century Cures, click here. [[{"fid":"1867","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"52","width":"156","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] December 1, 2016 Opinion Journal: Speeding Up Drug Discovery [[{"fid":"1868","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"264","width":"468","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Watch the video HERE. ### Read More

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