Washington, D.C —Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today in a Health Subcommittee markup.
As prepared for delivery:
TAX AND SPENDING SPREE
“Before us today we have several public health bills pertaining to critical prevention and early detection efforts for children and families, including my bill on early hearing detection and my Kentucky colleague, Andy Barr’s CAROL Act. I’m pleased today’s markup continues our committee’s bipartisan tradition.
“However, I’m growing increasingly frustrated with the Democrats’ socialist reconciliation package. Democrats are trying to fit their entire legislative agenda in one bill. Yesterday Democrats dropped over 2,000 pages that will get the government more involved in our lives from the cradle to the grave.
“I am afraid we are hastily going down a path where no one will actually understand what is in this legislation.
“We still do not know the full cost of this massive bill or how all of the parts are supposed to fit together, yet it could be up for a vote as soon as this week.
SOCIALIST PRICE CONTROLS
“Additionally, Democrats have resurrected a version of Speaker Pelosi’s partisan H.R. 3 drug pricing plan. This committee voted to NOT advance this policy when it was before us in September.
“I was encouraged that even some of our Democrat colleagues recognized the devastating impact this legislation would have on the next generation of cures and medicines and how it would politicize the price of and access to life-saving drugs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and numerous other independent analyses have concluded that H.R. 3 would stifle innovation and result in significantly fewer new cures and treatments.
“Democrats are not going to give this version of H.R. 3 a chance to be scored by the CBO or to be analyzed by the CMS Office of the Actuary this time -like they insisted on during the original Medicare Part D debate. Consequently, we won’t know how many new cures we would lose, how much new drug launch prices would go up, or how much seniors’ premiums might rise.
“I strongly believe that we must invest in biomedical research to discover innovative solutions to prevent, detect, and treat disease.
“It’s a shame we won’t allow for more time to better understand how these policies would hinder the development of cures, impact a vast interconnected biomedical system, and affect patients who benefit from innovative treatments.
“While I am disappointed in the actions taken by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle this week, I am glad we are here today to discuss several good-faith bipartisan bills.
“One of these bills is the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Reauthorization Act, or EHDI, which I have been proud to lead since 2015 along with my colleague, Representative Doris Matsui. This bipartisan bill would reauthorize the EHDI program which provides early detection, diagnosis, and intervention for newborns, infants, and young children identified as deaf or hard-of-hearing.
“Additionally, I am grateful that H.R. 1193, the Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act or CAROL Act is included in today’s markup.
“Rep. Andy Barr tragically lost his wife Carol to sudden cardiac arrest in June 2020. She was only 39 years old. At a young age, Carol had been diagnosed with an underlying conditioned called mitral valve prolapse or MVP.
“To honor her legacy, he introduced the CAROL Act. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this legacy bill that would address the research and awareness gap for MVP. This bill would instruct the CDC to carry out projects in order “to increase education, awareness or diagnosis of valvular heart disease.”
“The CAROL Act would help many families avoid the tragedy that has so profoundly impacted Andy’s family and others throughout the country.
“In closing, I want to stress the dangerous path my Democrat colleagues are on with the socialist reconciliation package.
“We cannot continue to throw money blindly out the door without an oversight plan. We must be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.
“Without oversight or carefully examining where Congress is authorizing these funds, I’m predicting we’ll be sitting here again with the American people frustrated when they find out egregious waste and abuse examples of their taxpayer dollars being misused.”