Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee legislative hearing on proposals to improve people’s lives, increase safety, and encourage business practices that promote transparency.
“Welcome to today’s legislative hearing on proposals that represent the bread and butter of our jurisdiction on the safety of consumer products and services our constituents rely on. I want to thank all the bill sponsors with legislation on our agenda today, and we’ve got quite a few.
“I appreciate all of their work aimed to help save lives and protect consumers from dangerous products, provide transparency regarding event tickets and lodging accommodations, disclose important information to consumers related to product claims, and raise awareness about the information and tools needed to get their vehicles repaired.”
TRANSPARENCY IN TICKET PRICES
“I am particularly excited to be moving forward with the TICKET Act, a bill that I have sponsored along with my colleague and friend, Ranking Member Schakowsky, that will bring upfront price transparency to consumers as it relates to event tickets.Live event tickets have long been plagued by hidden fees at the end of the checkout transaction, but I’m glad that the industry has recognized the need to change the process to bring ticket price transparency to the market.
“In the other Chamber in the Senate Commerce Committee, bipartisan companion legislation sponsored by my friends Senator Cruz, and the Chair, Senator Cantwell, has moved out of committee. We’re going to get this done.
“I’m certainly mindful of a broader discussion on other consumer harms to address, which is why we have included a discussion draft on the docket today that addresses the issue of speculative ticketing. I look forward to diving into these proposals further and to continuing my partnership with Ranking Member Schakowsky on this particular initiative.”
SAFETY AND CLARITY FOR AMERICANS
“A few additional bills that I want to give a special acknowledgment to is Rep. Wasserman Schultz and Dr. Burgess’ pool safety reauthorization; Dr. Bucshon’s draft on cleaning product labeling; and Rep. Curtis’s Reinforcing American-Made Products Act.
“Rep. Wasserman Schultz and Dr. Burgess’ Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act will provide state and local governments with assistance for education, training, and enforcement of pool safety requirements. This program, which is named in memory of Virginia, who drowned while entrapped by a hot tub drain in 2002 and was enacted into law in 2008, has been well administered by the CPSC. I look forward to reauthorizing this program again.
“I am also pleased we will be able to discuss Rep. Bucshon’s proposal on ingredient labeling for cleaning products. This draft will ensure that we have one consistent and clear standard on cleaning product ingredient labels throughout the country. Consumers should know exactly what to expect when they purchase their favorite disinfectant, scrubbing spray, or other supplies needed to clean their homes. That shouldn’t change if they cross state lines.
“We also cannot overlook Rep. Curtis’s bill, H.R. 5556 the Reinforcing American-Made Products Act, which will ensure that we have one national standard for 'Made in America' labels on American products. This commonsense measure provides certainty for businesses, manufacturers, and consumers alike, to ultimately ensure we keep our incentives to companies to make their products here at home. I know this has historically been a bipartisan initiative and I’m very hopeful it will remain that way moving forward.
“As anyone who remembers the old School House Rock video on how a bill becomes a law, there are a lot that don’t ultimately make it to the finish line. Some of these proposals are surely ready for prime time while others are not, but this hearing represents an important step to review these bills, find areas for improvement and consensus, and move forward through regular order.”