In the News Updates

Feb 6, 2023

E&C Republicans Zero in on China in First Week of Hearings

It’s no secret the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants to replace the U.S. as a global economic and technological power. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans previewed their plans to strengthen American resolve against the CCP and ensure America, not China, wins the future. Last week, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) announced that TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify on March 23, 2023, before the committee on the platform’s consumer privacy and data security practices, its harm to kids, and its ties to the CCP. AMERICA’S DANGEROUS ENERGY DEPENDENCE ON CHINA During a full committee hearing last week, Republicans raised concerns about how President Biden is making America dangerously dependent on adversaries like China for our energy. “Every energy technology and source has a role to play but we need to be able to ensure that we are not becoming entirely dependent on unreliable, intermittent energy sources that rely on Chinese supply chains,” Chair Rodgers said . “It’s time to flip the switch and unleash American energy and this committee is at the very center of securing our global leadership and making people's lives better.” “There’s no doubt that China is adding wind and solar and other renewables to their energy matrix,” Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said . “They’re also building a heck of a lot of coal fired power plants, fossil fuel generation, mining rare Earth minerals that they need for all the technology, which is very detrimental to the environment.” “If we want viable, sustainable energy solutions that make all Americans secure, that appreciates the diversity of our landscapes, and doesn’t rely on premature, aspirational technologies or the availability of mineral supplies from foreign countries being available; then it’s time to turn the page on the current, national energy strategy, or lack thereof. Particularly since it’s one that makes us more dependent on nations that hate us,” Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) said . “To illustrate the point, I ask my colleagues to consider a recent article in the Washington Post. It suggested senior U.S. military officials are predicting, and preparing for, war within one to five years with China—the very country we depend on for the critical minerals required for many of the ‘rush to green’ solutions.” “China is striving to secure oil, gas, and critical minerals supply around the world while defending its dominance of renewable energy supply chains,” Robert McNally, the President of Rapidan Energy Group, LLC, testified to the Committee. BOOSTING AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS TO BEAT CHINA At an Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee hearing, members and witnesses discussed how America can compete against China and win the future. “Today’s hearing focuses on the greatest threat to our country right now—China. So, it is fitting that to begin the 118th Congress we focus on this threat and discuss how to recapture and maintain our global leadership. The CCP will stop at nothing to undermine our global leadership and weaken our economy,” Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis (R-FL) said . “They have bought up our farmlands, stolen our intellectual property, and embedded themselves deep within many of our supply chains. Now they are turning their attention towards establishing the global standards for emerging technologies. The CCP has invested heavily in Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies. Paired with this investment, China is creating favorable environments for their private sector companies and entrepreneurs to deploy and test these technologies.” “In 2020, the China Task Force found that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ‘has a record of using official government resources and companies with CCP affiliations to compromise the data of people around the world’ and that the United States and its allies need to join the ‘effort to secure data from the CCP’s surveillance state and other malign entities.’ These concerns are especially prevalent in China itself, where advanced technology is used to track and monitor their citizens with few protections,” Brandon Pugh, Policy Director and Resident Senior Fellow of the R Street Institute, told the Subcommittee . “Similar concerns are echoed by federal government leaders like Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, who previously said ‘if you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.’ He made even more pointed comments recently, saying that ‘China’s vast hacking program is the world’s largest, and they have stolen more Americans’ personal and business data than every other nation combined.’” CHINA'S DANGEROUS STONEWALLING During an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, Republican members noted how China has put the world in danger of future outbreaks because of that country’s refusal to cooperate with investigations into the origins of COVID-19. “Existing pandemic preparedness plans have mentioned the need for investigating the origins of pandemics but have neither spelled out the challenges nor the specifics for how to conduct an effective probe,” Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said . “One of the challenges laid out in the (GAO) report is the need for investigators to have more access to samples from early cases in order to be effective in determining the pandemic’s origin. We must address this issue since some government organizations, including the Government of the Chinese Communist Party, have a history of withholding this type of information.” BEATING CHINA IN NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGY Members of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee examined how China is seeking to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology. “We must also ensure continued American leadership in advanced communications services. In order to do that, our regulations must foster an environment of innovation and certainty,” Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) said . “As countries like China seek to dominate the technologies of the future, we must make the United States an attractive place to invest in cutting edge developments that align with American values and guarantee the availability of trusted satellite communications. “Countries like China seek to undermine us in a range of advanced communications technologies, including next-gen satellite technology. We can’t afford to let this happen,” Chair Rodgers said . “The Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to embed their authoritarianism into next generation technologies like these. This is a country that spies on its citizens and asserts strict government control over businesses and the economy. They want to replace the U.S. as the economic and technological power so they can spread their values and vision of the future. We need to make sure these technologies are developed in an ecosystem that promotes America’s values, not China’s.” “China’s accelerating space prowess and reach presents both economic and national security challenges. China’s expanding space sector creates a competitive alternative in the global marketplace, oftentimes with attractive incentives and financing, that will steadily chip away at the market share enjoyed by U.S. companies,” Kari Bingen, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies said. “As highlighted in a 2021 European market assessment, ‘[W]hile the most advanced commercial space companies clearly remain Western companies, China is now leading the world in terms of number of commercial space companies being established.’ On the national security front, the U.S. military’s battlefield advantage has long rested on our superior technology. But that is at risk as Beijing seeks to close the gap in our technology advantage.”

Jan 25, 2023
In the News

On CNBC, Chair Rodgers Sets the Record Straight on H.R. 21

American energy security is fundamental House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Joe Kernan this morning to discuss how H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , will improve our energy security and affordability, while discouraging the abuse of the reserve as an election-year gimmick. Below are highlights and excerpts from Chair Rodgers’ interview: FACT-CHECKING BIDEN ON H.R. 21 “Unfortunately, the Secretary and the administration have been misrepresenting the bill. The bill only addresses non-emergency use [of the SPR]. “This bill goes back to the importance of American energy security. It's our economic security. It's our national security. “The legislation that we passed in the House already and this second bill are both related to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is a critical asset. It’s a national security asset and it's an economic asset for emergency uses.” […] “This bill requires the administration, when they deplete it, when they sell the reserves [for non-emergency sales], that they would have to develop a plan for domestic production to offset what they are selling from the reserve. It only applies to non-emergency situations.” BIDEN HAS ABUSED THE SPR FOR POLITICS “The administration, especially leading up to the election, depleted our reserve for political purposes and I believe it is important that they are transparent, and we are holding them accountable for that. “We passed the first bill (H.R. 22) that would prohibit any sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from going to China and we gained over 100 Democrats. “It was the largest bipartisan vote on an energy bill in years and I urge the Senate to take action on that.” […] “ The SPR is at the lowest levels in 40 years, we're down to 1983 levels. And now, what we're seeing since we're past the election, is that prices are going back up.” CHINA IS BENEFITING FROM BIDEN’S ACTIONS “What we're seeing is China has built up the largest [government-controlled] petroleum reserve in the world. They have been buying a lot of this oil on the open market. “We are requiring the administration to come up with a plan. So, if [the administration] reduces the SPR by 10%, they have to increase domestic production by 10%.” “We saw this administration go ask OPEC, go ask Venezuela, to produce more oil in order to help [with] the energy crisis that... their policies had brought us to. “What we're asking is for them to come up with a plan to increase domestic oil production. We have tremendous resources in the United States of America.” THE NEED FOR PERMITTING REFORM “The number one barrier to energy production in the United States is permitting in this regulatory climate. “Even at the end of last Congress, we heard Senator Manchin talking about the importance of permitting reform in the United States. “We need permitting reform and we're anxious to go to work on that.”

Jan 19, 2023
In the News

In the News: Republicans Host Roundtable to Discuss Open Border’s Impact on Fentanyl Crisis

Republicans are hard at work on solutions to slow the fentanyl crisis that is wreaking havoc on our communities. With more than 71,000 Americans dying from a fentanyl or fentanyl-related substance in 2021, most of which has been smuggled in from Mexico, President Biden cannot continue our porous southern border. In a roundtable last week , E&C Republicans heard powerful testimony from the parents of a child lost to the epidemic, a former drug enforcement agent, and an emergency medicine physician. House Energy and Commerce Republicans held a roundtable Wednesday on the fentanyl crisis in a potential preview of the committee’s focus on curbing the epidemic, Ben reports. The roundtable with a former DEA official and an emergency medicine doctor included emotional testimony from Ray and Deb Cullen, who lost their 22-year-old son, Zachary, to fentanyl poisoning last year. Deb Cullen called for the crisis to be handled like Covid-19. Paul Knierim, former assistant administrator at DEA, warned of the fake pills’ danger. Lawmakers also pointed to issues at the southern border as a contributing factor. […] The committee’s Republicans are expected to focus on addressing fentanyl’s role in the opioid crisis in the new Congress. That includes pushing tech companies like Snapchat and TikTok to crack down on fentanyl sales on their platform. Read more . Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would classify fentanyl as a Schedule I drug, which would designate it as an illicit drug with a high risk for abuse and would increase punishment for those who sell it illegally. Rep. Morgan Griffith, Virginia Republican, said he will reintroduce his signature bill, the HALT Fentanyl Act, which would permanently place fentanyl into the Schedule I category for drugs. Mr. Griffith said he also wants to end the stigma around fentanyl that stereotypes its victims as irresponsible addicts. Keep reading . OAN’s Daniel Baldwin: “The GOP hosted a roundtable, specifically the Energy and Commerce Committee, yesterday to discuss the worsening fentanyl crisis with a focus on illegal drug smuggling across our southern border. The president just had a visit down to the southern border last weekend... he didn't mention fentanyl.” Click here to watch full clip . Joyce, a physician, drew broad agreement from GOP leaders at the table that the Schedule I temporary designation of fentanyl-related substances should be made permanent. They felt greater penalties were needed when traffickers were caught to act as a deterrent to criminal activity. “It should be a priority,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Florida. “This is poison. It’s a weapon of mass destruction. […] Committee members agreed to investigate that issue further.   Rep. Mike Burgess, R-Texas, said Democrats in control of the federal government for the last two years had blocked GOP efforts to make Schedule I status permanent. He said Democrats appeared more concerned about creating more potential penalties for offenders than protecting youth and other vulnerable populations. “I don’t know why they step away from this instead of moving forward,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Kentucky. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, said it was virtually impossible to stop the movement of fentanyl without securing the southern border, something the Biden administration refused to do. Keep reading . “Congressman John Joyce led a roundtable discussion yesterday concerning the ongoing fentanyl crisis. For Americans between the ages of 18 and 48, the crisis has become the leading cause of death.” Watch here . “This problem touches every district in our country, and it’s critical that we on the Energy and Commerce Committee work to find a solution,” said Joyce. “For over a year, Republicans have been trying to permanently ban fentanyl related substances by labeling them as schedule one narcotics. This designation will help give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop the drug traffickers that are killing American citizens without remorse.” Keep reading . “This problem touches every district in our country, and it’s critical that we on the Energy and Commerce Committee work to find a solution,” Congressman Joyce said. “For over a year, Republicans have been trying to permanently ban fentanyl related substances by labeling them as schedule one narcotics. This designation will help give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop the drug traffickers that are killing American citizens without remorse.” The roundtable was the first step in the legislative process as lawmakers look to pass legislation to permanently label fentanyl analogs as Schedule 1 narcotics under the Controlled Substances Act. Keep reading . Joyce was joined by the parents of a man from Shippensburg, who died recently from ingesting fentanyl, as he chaired a roundtable discussion among Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about fentanyl. Keep reading .

Jan 17, 2023
In the News

ICYMI: E&C Republicans Turn Up the Heat and Demand Biden Stop Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves

President Biden wants to control every aspect of our lives—from what kind of cars we can drive, how we can heat our homes, and now how we’re allowed to cook food for our families. Last week, it was reported that the Biden administration is looking to ban gas stoves from American homes across the country. This is just the latest in a long line of power grabs by the radical Left. It's not about public safety, but rather about telling the American people the federal government knows what’s best. Nearly 35% of homes in the U.S. – more than 40 million Americans – use a natural gas stove. That’s why Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and 86 of her House Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Biden demanding the administration reverse any attempts to ban gas stoves. Chair Rodgers also sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) echoing these concerns.  Highlights and excerpts from the Fox Business exclusive coverage on the letter to President Biden : Furious lawmakers are calling on President Biden to cease any efforts by his administration to ban natural gas stoves inside Americans' homes. Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the president Friday writing in "strong opposition" to reported efforts by regulators to ban natural gas appliances. "This kind of intrusion into the homes of Americans by the federal government as a way of forcing rush-to-green, liberal policies is the ‘nanny state’ at its worst," the Republicans wrote. "Banning natural gas stoves is not about public safety – it is another example of government control; like other policies we have seen from your administration, to tell Americans what kinds of cars they can drive, how they heat their homes, and how to live their lives." The Biden administration caused an uproar over gas stoves earlier this week after a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested regulators were considering banning the appliance due to health and safety concerns. From E&E News : House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is already making plans to bring the issue before her committee. “I’m quite concerned,” Rodgers told E&E News. “I think we need to dig into this more and probably bring them in and ask some questions.” CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 11th statement on President Biden’s plan to ban gas stoves. CLICK HERE to read House Republicans’ January 13th letter to President Biden. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’ January 13th letter to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.

Dec 14, 2022
In the News

Leader Rodgers: Telehealth Access has been a Game Changer for America’s Seniors

Telehealth Renaissance Reflects Benefit of Innovation that’s Needed in Traditional Medicare Fee-for-Service System Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined Axios for a discussion titled “ The Future of Telehealth ” as Congress considers extending telehealth flexibilities for seniors beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. CLICK HERE  to watch the interview. On How We Got Here:  “It’s an exciting telehealth Renaissance that we’re experiencing right now. I do think it’s important to reflect that telehealth had been around in a limited way for decades but most of that had been outside of Medicare’s fee-for-service system.  “Most of the innovation and patient benefit behind telehealth had been outside of traditional Medicare – in the employer sponsored insurance and Medicare Advantage program where there’s more flexibility, more personalization in those programs.  “Unfortunately, it took us a global pandemic to realize the larger benefits of telehealth and to introduce telehealth into traditional Medicare.”  On the Impact on Americans in Rural and Underserved Communities:  “Telehealth now – to your point – enjoys broad bipartisan support. I think of people in Eastern Washington – the patients I’ve talked to – as well as those my colleagues across the country – are telling us that patients have been happy with telehealth.  “They have appreciated being able to be connected to a doctor without having to go to in-person, especially during COVID.  “You think about the person who has a cold or a more minor health care issue being able to connect to the provider without having to get an appointment.  “In an area that I represent, that is rural, patients might have to travel further distances, being able to connect electronically would be a game changer and really make a difference in getting access to care quicker and addressing those health care needs that’s going to serve people better.”  On Priorities for an Extension:  “First and foremost, we want to delink the telehealth flexibilities from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. That’s step one.  “We want to make sure patients remain in control of their doctor visit decisions, and it’s the patient deciding whether or not to utilize telehealth services or if they prefer to see a provider in-person.  “We’re also having broader conversations about the guardrails on the program to make sure we are cutting down on potential waste, fraud, and abuse, which we’ll see in any program.  “We need to create a permanent structure around telehealth. Right now, we’re working on a short-term bridge policy to give us some time to consider what the guardrails would be and where the maximum efficiencies would be.”  On a Pathway Forward in Congress:  “I think it would be a big win for the American people for us to be able to come to an agreement on a bridge on telehealth.  “I would highlight that there was a bipartisan bill that passed the House – a two-year extension – that included a lot of flexibilities. Over 400 Representatives in the House voted for that legislation, and it provides certainty around Medicare paying for those services, and it also offset the cost.  “The House has done some important work on this. I’m going to be pushing to get as much of the House bill as possible into a year-end package if that should all come together.”  […]  “Whether it’s a bridge, or whether we get something attached to a year-end package, we will be doing more work around telehealth and making some long-term decisions.”

Dec 8, 2022
In the News

ICYMI: Rodgers and Pallone on ABC to Discuss Online Privacy Legislation

Washington, D.C. –  Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sat down for an interview with ABC News to discuss the importance of passing the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. “The American Data Privacy and Protection Act puts people back in control of their online data and includes the strongest privacy protections to date for children online,”  Rodgers and Pallone said.  “We remain 100 percent committed to passing ADPPA this Congress.” Watch the full story below: The ADPPA was first released by bipartisan House and Senate Committee leaders earlier this year. The comprehensive online privacy legislation then passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in July with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Dec 1, 2022

E&C Republicans to Biden: Stop Pandering to Dictators When We Can Produce Energy Here

President Biden continues to turn to foreign dictators and adversaries for energy, rather than encouraging more oil and gas production here at home. Over the weekend, President Biden  issued permits  to drill oil in Venezuela. Earlier this month, he vowed “ no more drilling ” in the United States. Instead of reversing course on his rush-to-green agenda and war on American energy, President Biden is ceding our global leadership by making it easier for foreign dictators to profit off American consumers and use energy as a weapon. Energy and Commerce Republicans are calling President Biden and his administration out. If they were serious about reducing emissions and helping lower prices for Americans, they would flip the switch and unleash clean, reliable energy production here at home. READ: Key quotes from the  Fox Business  article: Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA):  “Instead of getting serious about flipping the switch for more energy production here in the U.S.—which would help lower energy costs and reduce emissions—the Biden administration continues to cede our global energy leadership to corrupt regimes.  Easing sanctions on Venezuela—a dictatorship allied with Iran—is just the latest example and harkens back to President Biden’s decision to waive sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline , which strengthened Putin and invited the attack on Ukraine. Rather than going hat in hand to our adversaries,  President Biden needs to abandon his war on American energy and join Republican efforts to unleash the abundant energy resources we have right here at home.” Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI):  “Our nation needs to center on North American energy resources,  not depend on dictators elsewhere in the world.” Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND):  “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. When you do everything you can to stop domestic production, it’s a real problem…  Why would you reward the bad actors and hinder the good actors?” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH):  “I wasn’t surprised to learn the Biden Administration is turning to Venezuela for oil. The President and his team have repeatedly demonstrated they will beg any nation for oil while consistently restricting energy production here at home. Now is the time for choosing. The world needs energy — American energy. This is a historic opportunity for our leaders to come back to reality and realize that  if we ruin our economy by pursuing these arbitrary ‘rush to green’ goals to achieve this ‘energy transition’ by shutting down our affordable and reliable energy resources, resource-rich rogue nations like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela will fill the void.” Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH):  “Since President Biden’s first day in office, he has made a concerted effort to crush domestic energy production. This effort now includes lifting sanctions on Venezuela’s authoritarian regime and reopening U.S. markets to import oil from Venezuela.  Instead of turning to authoritarian nations to supply our oil and gas, we should be investing in efforts to boost energy sources right here in the U.S.” More from Energy and Commerce Republicans: CLICK HERE  for Energy and Commerce Republicans’ solutions to unleash American energy and help lower prices, reduce emissions, and create more jobs.

Nov 29, 2022
Big Tech

Leader Rodgers in Fox News: E&C Republicans Will Prioritize Parents Next Congress

Big Tech refuses to be transparent about how their platforms are putting our children’s lives and mental health at risk. They aren’t doing enough to stop the illegal sale of fentanyl on their platforms. They refuse to acknowledge the dangerous algorithms that direct and amplify harmful content to kids and teens — especially teen girls. They refuse to end the exploitative practices that take advantage of children and teens for profit. Parents have called on Congress to act. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans will be ready next year with real, workable solutions to enable parents to take on Big Tech companies that are harming their kids. In a recent  Fox News  profile, Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) laid out the E&C Republican agenda to remove liability protections from Big Tech companies that knowingly promote, solicit, or facilitate illegal activity, including the sale of illegal drugs, and equip parents with the tools they need to ensure their kids are safe online. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the incoming chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News Digital that the nation’s biggest technology companies are in for a rude awakening when the GOP-led Congress takes office in January. BIG TECH MUST DO MORE TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL DRUGS “I have heard too many stories, personal stories of parents who have tragically lost their children to fentanyl because of drugs purchased online,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I believe that Big Tech needs to be doing more to crack down on this illegal activity and prevent criminals from exploiting these platforms.” The Washington Republican said her committee would hold oversight hearings into how drug traffickers and dealers have subverted social media sites like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat to sell illicit substances. McMorris Rodgers said those hearings would look into drug dealers and how Big Tech is not doing enough to stop them. BIDEN NEEDS TO ENFORCE THE LAW McMorris Rodgers said that while the Communications Decency Act of 1996 already requires technology companies to moderate content that is illegal, such as the sale of certain drugs, the federal government is not enforcing the law. “They are not being held accountable for these harms,” said the congresswoman. “We need to hold Big Tech accountable, hold the Biden administration accountable.” CHILDREN SUFFER MOST FROM BIG TECH HARMS Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are also planning to probe whether Big Tech companies have downplayed or hid studies showing that social media platforms have a negative impact on children. Big Tech CEOs “have testified before the Energy and Commerce [Committee] in the past, but [we believe] they have not been transparent about the impact their platforms have on our children,” said McMorris Rodgers. The congresswoman said she hopes that further transparency will help parents ensure their children are safe online. “It’s just not a fair fight right now,” said McMorris Rodgers. “We need to make sure parents have the tools necessary to monitor their kids’ use of social media, so they can put time limits on usage and be notified if their kids might be involved in suspicious activity.”

Nov 17, 2022
In the News

Media Wrap-Up: Leader Rodgers’ E&C Health Priorities

Energy and Commerce Republicans are ready to hit the ground running next Congress. Don’t miss the below key coverage outlining top priorities for 2023, including combatting the fentanyl crisis, returning to pre-pandemic life, investigating the origins of COVID-19, and holding the Biden administration accountable for its many failures. Combatting the Fentanyl Crisis Republicans are aiming to conduct investigations into the Biden administration’s pandemic spending, the origins of the coronavirus, and the tech industry’s role in the fentanyl crisis if they take control of the House and Senate next week. […] GOP leaders slotted to succeed their Democratic colleagues on key health committees have indicated they plan to scrutinize Big Tech to do more to crack down on illegal fentanyl sales on their platforms and oversee how the Department of Health and Human Services will implement new drug pricing policies under Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, among other items. CLICK HERE  to read the full article in the  Washington Examiner . Illicit fentanyl is surging across our southern border and killing more people than ever. This drug is so dangerous and potent that just a few milligrams, which can fit in the ear of Lincoln on a penny, can be lethal. […] First and foremost, we need to secure the border. A Biden administration official with the Office of National Drug Control Policy confirmed to the Energy and Commerce Committee that the southern border is primarily how these substances are getting into America. With help from Chinese chemical companies, Mexican drug cartels are trafficking enough illicit fentanyl into the United States to kill every American many times over. A secure border is our strongest defense to crack down on Chinese illicit fentanyl, stop the cartels, and keep these weapon-grade poisons off our streets. In addition, we need to make sure law enforcement have permanent tools to seize fentanyl-related substances, which are analogues of fentanyl that can be even more dangerous and deadly. […] To make sure fentanyl-related substances don’t become street legal, Republicans are leading on the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act. This will give law enforcement the permanent tools they need to seize these poisons and keep our communities safe. CLICK HERE  to watch the full interview. Returning to Normal President Biden  declared in September  that the COVID-19 pandemic was “over.” If Republicans win control of Congress, they’ll demand U.S. policy reflects that conclusion. Why it matters:  The pandemic ushered in revolutionary changes to U.S. health and economic policy. While many pandemic-era restrictions have already been rolled back, a full reversion to pre-COVID governance would have profound consequences for American life. In particular, the ongoing public health emergency and the national emergency declaration give the executive branch sweeping powers in critical areas of public policy, including health care, student loans and border security. […] Energy & Commerce:  A GOP committee aide told Axios that returning to “normal” is a priority, namely by ending the public health emergency, stopping unnecessary pandemic spending, and reversing any worker COVID mandates. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the top Republican on the committee, has repeatedly called for the Biden administration to provide a plan to unwind the public health emergency. The aide also said the panel’s COVID top oversight targets are the virus’ origins, policies around school shutdowns, and Democrats’ pandemic spending. CLICK HERE  to read more from  Axios . Health Care Cybersecurity Republican victories in Tuesday’s elections could benefit patients, businesses and health care providers who’ve liked pandemic-era rules that have made telehealth easier to use. Although telehealth is broadly bipartisan, Republicans are more fervent in their telehealth enthusiasm than their Democratic counterparts, Ben reports. […] Here are some other GOP priorities:  Cybersecurity:  The GOP is signaling that it will focus on legislation to stop hackers who’ve besieged U.S. health care organizations. Republicans introduced several cybersecurity bills just ahead of the elections, including one from House Energy and Commerce ranking member Brett Guthrie of Kentucky aimed at bolstering the Department of Health and Human Services’ defenses. The goal is bipartisan. This month, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) released a cybersecurity report calling for stronger leadership from HHS. AI/Innovation:  House Republicans’ Healthy Future Task Force has targeted expanding Medicare breakthrough-device coverage as a priority, as well as modernizing clinical trials and using artificial intelligence to root out fraud. Tech oversight:  Republicans have pushed tech companies, including Snapchat and TikTok, to take more action to prevent fentanyl sales on their platforms. CLICK HERE  to read more from  Politico Pulse . Uncovering the Origins of COVID-19 Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who is poised to ascend to the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship, said over the summer: ‘There are so many questions that need to be answered about the government’s response to Covid-19.  ‘How the pandemic started, that’s probably the most important public health question that needs to be answered,’ she said.  Gaining that subpoena power would give Republicans the green light to compel testimony and obtain documents, likely sparking fierce political showdowns in Congressional hearings and partisan bickering behind the scenes.  CLICK HERE  to read more from Daily Mail. Holding the Biden Administration Accountable Congressional Republicans are floating sweeping investigations into the Biden administration’s COVID-19 spending and are looking to tighten the purse strings on agency funding should they hold majorities after next week’s midterms.   Republicans are frustrated with what they see as the administration’s unaccountable coronavirus spending and are looking to shine a spotlight on where the trillions of dollars doled out by the White House have gone.  CLICK HERE  to read more from The Hill. The  House Energy and Commerce Committee,  which has sweeping jurisdiction over health-related issues and could be led next year by Rep.  Cathy McMorris Rodgers  (R-Wash.). The panel’s GOP lawmakers will also continue probing the origins of the coronavirus, and have opened inquiries into biosafety practices overseen by federal agencies. Here’s what else the panel is planning to focus on, per a committee GOP aide: Biden administration covid policies, such as the impact of school-related policies on children. The increasing rate of deaths from fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Hearings regarding federal health agencies potentially related to the pandemic response and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Oversight into how the federal health department decides to  implement Democrats ’ new drug pricing policies. Transparency into how much hospitals are charging, an effort which has been bipartisan. CLICK HERE  to read more from the  Washington Post . Republican leaders of a House health panel are pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for answers on flaws in the agency’s initial response to the spread of monkeypox in the US. […] Republicans are focusing their oversight less on the White House’s relationship with scientific agencies like the CDC and more on public safety issues. Rodgers, Guthrie, and Griffith this week  wrote  to the National Institutes of Health asking about research into monkeypox that potentially involved making a version of the virus that was more lethal to mice. CLICK HERE  to read more from  Bloomberg Government .