Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., delivers this week's address on the devastating effects of Obamacare. Labeled a "train wreck" by one of its authors, this legi...
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This week's Conference One-Minute of the Week comes from Rep. Tom McClintock of California, who showcased the difficulties posed to hardworking Americans by ...
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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced its hearing schedule for the week of May 20, 2013. Following this week's release of a new committee report, "The Looming Premium Rate Shock," the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will kick off its hearing schedule with an examination of health insurance premium increases under the president's health care law. On Tuesday, both the full committee and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold hearings examining cybsersecurity. On Wednesday, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will look into access to treatments for those with serious mental illnesses, while the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee will reconvene its legislative hearing exploring measures to modernize federal environmental law and increase state authority. Finally, on Thursday, the Health Subcommittee will examine the current state of drug compounding in America.
On Monday, May 20, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on "Health Insurance Premiums Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Earlier this week, the Energy and Commerce Committee released a report, "The Looming Premium Rate Shock." The report, citing internal documents obtained from the nation's largest health insurance companies, reveals the health care law's policies, mandates, taxes, and fees will cause major premium increases for consumers in the individual, small group, and large group markets. Next Monday's hearing will continue this examination of the law's impact on insurance premiums and the ramifications these increases will have on consumers, job creators, and providers. The Majority Memorandum and witness list are posted here. Witness testimony will be available at the same link as it is posted.
On Tuesday, May 21, the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on "Cyber Threats and Security Solutions." The hearing will focus on steps the federal government and the private sector are taking to bolster the security of our nation's critical infrastructure and mitigate exposure to cyber attacks. Members will hear perspectives on the president's Executive Order to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity, including the latest on the order's implementation and the administration's development of a voluntary cybersecurity framework. Additionally, members will examine best practices to better protect our nation's critical infrastructure from cyber threats, including enhanced information sharing, public-private partnerships, and greater industry collaboration. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony for the full committee hearing will be available here as they are posted.
Additionally, on Tuesday, May 21, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing on "Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Communications Supply Chain." The subcommittee will examine challenges in securing the communications supply chain, what steps industry is taking, and what role standards organizations, public-private partnerships, and the government might play. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony for the subcommittee hearing will be available here as they are posted.
On Wednesday, May 22, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on "Examining SAMHSA's Role in Delivering Services to the Severely Mentally Ill." This hearing continues the committee's post-Newtown examination of mental health programs and federal resources available to individuals with serious mental illnesses. In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated that about 11 million U.S. adults (4.8 percent) had "serious mental illness" (SMI) and that 40 percent of adults with SMI (an estimated 4.3 million people) reported not receiving any treatment. This hearing will focus on the role of the SAMHSA, and specifically the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), in addressing the challenges posed by severe mental illness. Members will hear from SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde, as well as psychiatrists and a family that have had first-hand experiences with SAMHSA's patient advocacy programs. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.
Also on Wednesday, May 22, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will reconvene its legislative hearing on the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act, the Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act, and the Federal Facility Accountability Act. The Majority Memorandum, an updated witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.
On Thursday, May 23, the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on "Examining Drug Compounding." The subcommittee will examine the current state of drug compounding in America. The Food and Drug Administration and health care experts will discuss the importance of traditional compounding to patients and evaluate the current regulation of compounding at both the federal and state levels. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.
Monday, May 204 p.m.2123 Rayburn House Office BuildingSubcommittee on Oversight and InvestigationsHearing on "Health Insurance Premiums Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"
Tuesday, May 2110 a.m.2123 Rayburn House Office BuildingCommittee on Energy and CommerceHearing on "Cyber Threats and Security Solutions"
Tuesday, May 212 p.m.2123 Rayburn House Office BuildingSubcommittee on Communications and TechnologyHearing on "Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Communications Supply Chain"
Wednesday, May 2210 a.m.2123 Rayburn House Office BuildingSubcommittee on Oversight and InvestigationsHearing on "Examining SAMHSA's Role in Delivering Services to the Severely Mentally Ill"
Wednesday, May 22 10:15 a.m. 2322 Rayburn House Office Building Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy Reconvening of hearing on the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act, the Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act, and the Federal Facility Accountability Act
Thursday, May 2310 a.m.2123 Rayburn House Office BuildingSubcommittee on HealthHearing on "Examining Drug Compounding"
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) read and commented on an article from The Daily Caller on the House floor. The article notes, "The Department of Homeland Security...
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Congressman John Culberson (TX-7) speaks out against Obamacare on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 16th, 2013.
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WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement today in response to the Department of Energy's announcement that it has conditionally authorized the Freeport LNG Expansion and FLNG Liquefaction to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement.
"I welcome DOE's long-awaited decision to approve this license application for the Freeport facility for the export of liquefied natural gas. The committee recently heard testimony from a number of experts who explained the export of domestically produced natural gas supplies could help create jobs and reduce our trade deficit as well as improve America's global standing and strengthen our ties with key allies. This is now the second license application DOE has approved, but there remain many more applications in the pipeline still awaiting a decision from DOE and it remains unclear when these decisions will be made. Given the obvious benefits America stands to gain from these export opportunities, I hope DOE will move forward with the review process and provide greater clarity on the schedule to make these determinations."
Subcommittee Examines Legislation to Modernize Federal Environmental Law and Increase State AuthorityThe House Energy and Commerce Committee (R) posted a Press Release on May 17, 2013 | 12:51 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today held a hearing examining three legislative proposals: the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act, the Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act, and the Federal Facility Accountability Act. These three bills seek to modernize existing federal law and increase state authority under CERCLA. The legislative proposals incorporate ideas learned from past subcommittee hearings, including the February 15, 2013, hearing on "The Role of the States in Protecting the Environment."
"Our goal is to modernize some of these environmental laws that we oversee and make sure the states are playing a significant role in implementing them. To do that, we began this Congress with a hearing on the role of the states in protecting the environment," said Subcommittee Chairman Shimkus. "State environmental protection officials shared their experience and expertise with us and helped us better understand the complex partnership between the states and the federal government as states implement federal laws, such as the Solid Waste Disposal Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the interaction with state environmental protection laws. Today we consider three bills that are a logical outgrowth of that discussion."
"We are pleased that the committee has taken an interest in addressing CERCLA and
RCRA in a manner that focuses on implementation issues that states and EPA regularly face," explained Carol Hanson, Deputy Director for the Environmental Council of the States. "We are in an era where funds to implement our nation's environmental statutes are tight, but the sites needing remediation these days are more complex than when the program started. We are in need of flexibility and efficiency more than ever, both at the state and federal level. Overall, we support the changes that these bills seek, and we believe they will improve the implementation of CERCLA and RCRA and help achieve the goals of those statutes more quickly, with more input to the EPA, and with an improved partnership with the states."
Jeffery Steers, President of the Association of State and Territorial Waste Management Officials, lent his organization's support to this group of commonsense legislation, telling lawmakers, "ASTSWMO supports the proposed bills, as we believe these provisions help to modernize an often archaic process aimed at cleaning up some of this country's most contaminated sites while ensuring that States' authorities are not usurped."
The Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013 would remove two outmoded deadlines, one under RCRA and one under the CERCLA. The legislation would eliminate an arbitrary statutory deadline for EPA to review and, if necessary, revise regulations under the RCRA and similarly removes an expired deadline from CERCLA. Current law requires EPA to review or promulgate regulations within timeframes that have proven unworkable and only led to increased litigation. The Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act would authorize EPA to act on these regulations as the agency deems necessary, and in the case of financial assurance regulations under CERCLA 108(b), the bill would preserve existing state financial assurance laws from preemption.
In written testimony, EPA acknowledged, "The current statutory provision requiring review every three years can pose a significant resource burden on EPA given the complexity and volume of EPA's RCRA regulations."
The Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act of 2013 would provide states a greater role in the CERCLA process. The bill requires consultation with the affected state regarding removal or remedial actions and provides credit to states toward the state cost-share for in-kind contributions that are provided for the removal or remedial action. The Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protection Act would also allow states a greater voice in placing sites on the National Priorities List and would allow for judicial review of the selection of a remedy that is made over the written objection of the affected state.
The Federal Facility Accountability Act of 2013 would require currently or formerly owned federal facilities to comply with relevant state and local laws, as would any non-governmental entity, in doing a CERCLA cleanup. The legislation would also provide for a process by which EPA can review, or a state can request a review by EPA, of actions taken pursuant to delegated CERCLA authority.
The panel will reconvene the hearing next Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at 10:15 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.