House Approves Bills to Protect the Public Health, Modernize Government
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today approved two pieces of bipartisan legislation as part of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s ongoing efforts to protect the public health and streamline government to better function in the 21st century.
The House approved H.R. 212, the Drinking Water Protection Act, authored by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), by a vote of 375 to 37. The legislation was authored in response to the water emergency caused by algal blooms in Toledo, Ohio, last summer. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and submit a strategic plan for assessing and managing risks associated with harmful algal blooms in drinking water.
“I am proud to have sponsored the Drinking Water Protection Act – the House’s bipartisan legislative solution to address the health of our drinking water,” added Latta. “This thoughtful, robust approach adequately assesses and manages the risks of algal toxins in our drinking water, and I am pleased that we could come together to pass this critical legislation in the House today. I also look forward to working with the U.S. Senate, so the Drinking Water Protection Act may become law.”
“Great Lakes drinking water is essential for millions of folks, and this thoughtful bill will give the EPA the tools they need to prevent future occurrences like the one that happened last summer in Ohio. I urge the Senate to take this bill up promptly, and for the president to sign it into law,” added Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
The House also approved, H.R. 734, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act by a vote of 411 to 0. Authored by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the legislation aims to reduce the reporting workload and increase efficiency at the FCC. The legislation would consolidate a number of existing reports required by law into a single, comprehensive report on the state of the communications marketplace. The House has passed similar legislation with broad bipartisan support in both the 112th and 113th Congresses.
“This FCC Consolidated Reporting Act actually reduces the workload at the FCC and streamlines the reporting process that for years and years has been outdated,” said Scalise. “This is an important, bipartisan reform that shows that Congress can work together to get the kinds of things done that actually make things simpler in the real world and make an agency like the FCC operate more efficiently and in a manner consistent with the innovative era in which we live.”