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On the House Floor Updates


Jan 30, 2023
On the House Floor

E&C Republicans Commend Passing of H.R. 21 in the House

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans advocated for strengthening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) last week on the House Floor and successfully passed H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , out of the House Friday by a bipartisan vote of 221-205.  H.R. 21 would prevent the SPR from being abused by the President through politically motivated, “non-emergency” sales, which will strengthen America’s energy security and ensure this strategic asset is available during true supply emergencies. Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and other committee members applauded bipartisan passage of H.R. 21 on Friday.  “President Biden has turned a longtime bipartisan strategic asset, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, into a political tool to cover up the consequences of his expensive rush-to-green agenda,” Chair Rodgers said. “H.R. 21 provides a path towards making energy more affordable and reliable for Americans by preserving the SPR’s vital and central purpose—to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies, not drain them away for non-emergency, political purposes. I am honored to join my Republican colleagues in passing this important bill to strengthen American energy security and leadership.”   “The Biden administration abused the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a political ploy in an attempt to hide the damage of its failed energy polices. The SPR was drained to a near 40 year low, leaving us vulnerable in the event of an emergency,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) said . “The Strategic Production Response Act will rein in the abuse of our reserves and set us on a path to empower energy producing states like North Dakota to provide reliable and needed energy,” said Congressman Armstrong.  “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is intended for emergency use only. Evidently, the president’s idea of ‘strategy’ means using the SPR to evade the consequences of his own disastrous policies. This White House has issued no plan to restock the millions of barrels they have drained from our reserves, leaving the United States extremely vulnerable in the event of an actual emergency such as a natural disaster,” Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) said . “American families are currently struggling through the worst energy crisis in decades. Instead of playing politics with the SPR, President Biden must flip the switch on domestic production and unleash American energy dominance. The Strategic Production Act will go a long way toward replenishing the fuel which this president has so thoughtlessly withdrawn, putting our national security at risk.”  Energy and Commerce Republican members joined Chair Rodgers on the House Floor to urge members to support H.R. 21 and end President Biden’s politicization of the SPR.   Check out these highlights from Energy and Commerce Republicans: 



Jan 27, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Applauds Passage of H.R. 21 to Protect the SPR

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) applauded the House passing H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, which would help ensure the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is available during a true energy emergency and not abused for non-emergency, political purposes. “President Biden has turned a longtime bipartisan strategic asset, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, into a political tool to cover up the consequences of his expensive rush-to-green agenda. H.R. 21 provides a path towards making energy more affordable and reliable for Americans by preserving the SPR’s vital and central purpose—to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies, not drain them away for non-emergency, political purposes. I am honored to join my Republican colleagues in passing this important bill to strengthen American energy security and leadership.”



Jan 26, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Leads Floor Debate on H.R. 21

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led debate on the House Floor today to promote H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act . Below are highlights and excerpts from her remarks: PLACING AMERICA OVER CHINA “Two weeks ago, this body sent a strong message that we must ensure our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) will not advance the energy interests of China over the energy security interests of Americans. “The bill today will help ensure this vital American energy asset – and American security interests — will not be drained away for non-emergency, political purposes. “This bill is about restoring America’s energy security. “It provides a path towards making energy more affordable for Americans, who are looking to us to help ease the pain at the pump. “H.R. 21 does this by preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for its vital and central purpose — to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies: emergencies like supply disruptions that threaten the nation’s economy, or the loss of oil production due to hurricanes and other disasters. “Put simply, under this bill, if an administration chooses to use the reserve for non-emergency political purposes, it will first have to plan that an equal amount would be reinstated from American energy resources. “The SPR should be used as a tool of ‘last resort.’ This is sensible energy policy.” BIDEN JEOPARDIZING AMERICA’S ENERGY SECURITY “It is also urgent policy.  At present, the SPR’s ability to protect Americans has been put at risk by this administration. "More than 250 million barrels of oil, approximately 40% of the reserve, has been drawn down in less than two years - more than all former presidents in history, combined, all to cover up historically high gas prices in an election year. That's irresponsible. "The Biden administration has undermined our nation's ability to respond to true energy emergencies by mismanaging our nation's strategic energy stockpile. "At the same time, the Administration has taken every action to suppress America's mighty energy-production abilities. "Unbelievably, the Biden administration has turned to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil instead of working to lift their regulatory restraints on American energy producers. "America's oil production and refining capacity remains one million barrels below peak levels under the prior administration. We have the world's most abundant resources and the capacity to product millions more barrels per day. “America should never be at the mercy of OPEC or Russia. “Energy security is economic security, it’s national security, it’s all connected. It’s foundational to everything.” UNLEASHING AMERICAN ENERGY AGENDA “We should be unleashing American energy on all fronts. “Don’t forget, the U.S. has some of highest environmental and labor standards in the world and we’ve been a leader in bringing down carbon emissions, we did this by embracing innovation and our abundant natural resources, not by shutting down entire industries. “Right now, America is suffering through the worst energy crisis in decades, and gas prices are still surging upwards. “President Biden and the Democrats’ radical ‘rush to green’ agenda has made life unaffordable for people across the country. “It has driven up inflation, strained household budgets, and weakened our electric grid and gas prices have risen to the highest levels in history. “Some were forced to pay more than $6 dollars per gallon. Gas prices are still 40% higher today and diesel prices are up almost $2 a gallon more than when President Biden took office. “It is time to flip the switch. It’s time to end the politically motivated abuse of the SPR and focus on American energy and American security. “Let’s send a strong signal this Congress that we stand for energy security, preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, restoring America’s energy dominance, and providing for the prosperity of all Americans.”



Jan 13, 2023
On the House Floor

E&C Republicans Lead Bipartisan Bill to Stop Biden Admin from Sending SPR to China

Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans spoke on the House Floor yesterday in support of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act , which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support 331-97. Led by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the members condemned the Biden administration’s reckless depletion of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)—which helped China build the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile—and demanded the administration work to unleash American energy. Chair Rodgers released the following statement following passage of H.R. 22: “To cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. America’s SPR – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983. To date, President Biden has released more from the SPR than all U.S. presidents in history combined. Millions of barrels of that oil have gone to China, which now has the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil. Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling it to China is a significant threat to our national and energy security. This must be stopped, which is why I’m proud to join my Republican colleagues in passing H.R. 22, one of the most bipartisan votes on an energy bill in many years and multiple Congresses. There’s more to come. This is just the beginning.” Below are highlights from E&C Members who spoke on the House floor in favor of H.R. 22: Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX): “The Republican majority is wasting no time in making good on our Commitment to the American People to reverse this reckless agenda that the Biden administration has followed. Republicans understand that energy policy is foundational to a thriving and dynamic national economy.” Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) : “For the first two years of the Biden administration, we have seen an unprecedented level of hostility toward America’s energy producers. The administration has made every effort to undermine, avoid, and restrict oil and gas production in North America while at the same time moving to drain our strategic reserves in an attempt to offset the price increases caused by the President’s own policies.” Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY): “The problem we’re facing today is because of President Biden and the Democrats in Congress’ war on American oil. That’s the problem we’re here to address. The price of gasoline hit over $5 a gallon in the height of this war on oil. $4.80 a gallon in Kentucky when it was just over $2.20 when President Biden took office. American families are hurting because of this. Small business owners are hurting because of this, and they continue to struggle.” Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) : “Drawing down these reserves to cover up failed policies is wrong. But doing it and then selling that oil to China, our chief adversary, is un-American.” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) : “This administration, who has put a stranglehold on domestic production by canceling pipelines, reducing drilling, halting leases, and proposing burdensome regulations, they’re now telling the American taxpayers, ‘sorry, we depleted your national reserves, sold some of it to China, and now we won’t refill it because it’s too expensive.’ Aren’t they the ones making oil more expensive? It’s as if President Biden thinks the SPR is his ‘Strategic Political Reserve’ to be used as a band aid for his failed energy policies.” Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) : “In an attempt to lower energy prices, the administration has sold millions of barrels of petroleum from our strategic reserve, depleting our own supply, and helping China to build the world’s largest crude oil reserve. This must stop.” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) : “President Biden has sold our valuable Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China while Americans face the highest energy prices in a generation and a federal government that has failed to adequately address it by unleashing our own energy potential. And every barrel sold to China makes that decision even more damaging.” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) : “For political purposes President Biden sold off a strategic asset of this nation. He started dumping oil out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, put it out there so that China could buy it, and China did buy it.” Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) : “Instead of utilizing the vast American resources we cleanly produce, including in Utah, the President chose to use this country’s strategic reserve to try to lower prices. On the other hand, in fact, the President did this while attacking energy jobs in Utah by suspending energy development on federal lands and raising the royalty to produce oil.” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) : “While this administration has continued to shift blame for the rising prices, President Biden is draining our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, meant for emergencies, by selling off some of these reserves in a band aid solution for his policy failures.” Rep. John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA) : “Instead of incentivizing companies to use the resources that we have in Pennsylvania, Biden targeted American energy producers with new regulations that made natural gas and oil more expensive for American families.” Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) : “60 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is housed in my district.” “SPR was not intended to be used as a political tool to bring down gasoline prices in an election year.” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) : “Instead of supporting American energy producers and reversing their disastrous energy policies, the Biden administration decided to drain our energy reserves to the lowest levels since 1983. So who benefitted from this decision to drain these reserves? The Chinese Communist Party, now the largest government-controlled petroleum reserve in the world.”



Jan 12, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Speaks on House Floor to Protect America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) spoke on the House floor in favor of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. Below are highlights and excerpts from her remarks: AMERICA’S ENERGY CRISIS “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. “America is suffering through the worst energy crisis in decades. “President Biden and the Democrats’ radical ‘rush to green’ agenda is making life unaffordable for people across the country. “It is driving record inflation, straining household budgets, and weakening our electric grid. “Under President Biden and the Democrats' control of Congress, gas prices rose to the highest levels in history. “Some were forced to pay more than $6 dollars per gallon. Gas prices are still 40% higher today and diesel prices are up almost $2 a gallon more than when President Biden took office. “The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, especially when it makes us dangerously dependent on China for critical minerals, solar panels, and batteries to produce our own energy and electricity, and strengthens Russia and OPEC’s grip on world oil and gas markets.” POLITICALLY MOTIVATED SPR RELEASES BENEFIT CHINA “Now, to cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. “America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983. “President Biden released an unprecedented 250 million barrels of oil in less than two years, more than all former U.S. presidents in history combined. “And we know much of that oil went to China because our refineries and pipelines are full. It has nowhere to go here. “In April, the Biden administration sold a million barrels directly to a state-owned Chinese company. “Millions more barrels went to overseas traders who eventually sent it to China. “We also know that China is ramping up its purchases of crude oil from Russia and the U.S. to boost its own reserves. “China now likely controls the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil, with almost a billion barrels, at the expense of American taxpayers and our energy security. “America’s SPR is meant for true energy supply disruptions, like those caused by hurricanes and natural disasters, not to help China. “Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling portions of it to China is a significant threat to our national security. “The administration is not just hurting our own ability to respond to emergencies and national security events, they are actively bolstering the oil reserves of our most dangerous geopolitical adversary, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “This is unacceptable and it must stop. “I urge my colleagues to support this bill and prohibit the sale and export of SPR crude oil to China. “H.R. 22 prevents the Secretary of Energy from selling any products from the SPR to any entity owned, under the control or influence of the CCP or selling to any other entity that intends to export to China.” FLIP THE SWITCH ON AMERICAN ENERGY “Enacting H.R. 22 and preventing the Biden administration from wasting our strategic reserves is the first step towards flipping the switch and unleashing American energy production. “America has led the world in reducing carbon emissions and promoting innovation by utilizing our abundant, clean, affordable, and reliable energy. “We can restore this leadership without sacrificing our energy security or making everyday life unaffordable for people. “That starts by enacting smart, workable, all of the above strategies that build on this legacy by lowering costs and emissions across the country. “It includes making our infrastructure and electricity grid more resilient, unleashing innovation for cleaner natural gas, emissions-free hydropower and nuclear power, and carbon capture technologies. “Republicans support a level playing field with a balance of energy sources, but without handing the keys to our energy future over to the Chinese Communist Party. “It’s time to cut the red tape and expand energy production here at home, modernize our infrastructure, invest in new technologies, and create new opportunities for jobs and economic development here at home. “I look forward to passage of this bill today and I am eager to get to work with my colleagues on additional solutions to make energy cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable for all Americans.”



Sep 22, 2022
On the House Floor

Rep. Armstrong: H.R. 8542 Will Endanger People’s Lives & Make America Less Safe

Washington, D.C. —  Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), a Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led floor debate in opposition to H.R. 8542, Mental Health Justice Act of 2022, which would make our communities less safe. As he said today, this bill will “endanger the mental health professional, the suspect, the person experiencing a mental health crisis, and the person who called 911.” Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks: “IN LIEU OF LAW ENFORCEMENT” “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 8452, the Justice in Mental Health Act. “‘In lieu of law enforcement officers in emergencies. Let me say it again because that is the exact language used repeatedly in this bill: ‘In lieu of law enforcement officers in emergencies.’ “Mr. Speaker, this bill is dangerous.  This legislation gives federal grants to states, tribes, and localities to hire mental health providers to respond to certain emergencies involving: an individual with an intellectual disability or developmental disability, an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, or an individual under the influence. “There is nothing wrong with mental health professionals assisting law enforcement in appropriate circumstances. “Communities around the country are adopting these models with law enforcement, mental health providers, and prosecutors. I would be open to supporting legislation limited to training mental health providers to assist law enforcement in appropriate situations. “But that is not what this bill does.” ENDANGERING LIVES “A sentence in the bill begins by stating that ‘mental health providers may coordinate with law enforcement.’ Sounds acceptable. But it continues to read, ‘which may include operating independently’ from law enforcement. “Let’s be clear, the purpose of this legislation is to provide financial incentives to deploy mental health providers to inherently dangerous situations: ‘in lieu of law enforcement,’ and ‘operating independently’ of law enforcement. “That is a policy that will endanger the mental health professional, the suspect, the person experiencing a mental health crisis, and the person who called 911. “A crime scene or a home experiencing a domestic dispute is not the setting to provide mental health care. “In the first half of 2022, the leading circumstance of law enforcement officers killed with firearms was in response to domestic violence calls. “Nobody can confidently tell us they know in advance which domestic violence call should get a mental health response instead of a law enforcement response. Mental health professionals are not trained for the inevitable physical confrontations that occur in these situations. “The priority in emergency situations is to secure the scene and all individuals involved, which is a law enforcement function. “Once the scene is secure, I will be the first person calling for mental health services, whether it is addiction related, trauma, or mental illness. “There is a time and a place for mental health care, but it is not rolling up to a scene without the training and tools to defend yourself and at-risk civilians. “A first responder typically does not have the time and information to know when it is appropriate to provide mental health services. “Who do you expect to make the call to send a mental health provider instead of law enforcement? The 911 dispatcher? An elected official inserted into the emergency dispatch process? “Every additional second and layer of bureaucracy will cost lives. “The risks are even greater in rural parts of the country like North Dakota where backup is often measured in hours, not minutes. Ask a mental health provider if they want to be deployed, without law enforcement, at 1 AM on Highway 85 between Dickinson and Watford City, North Dakota.” LOCAL DECISION MAKING “As if the public safety concerns aren’t enough, the bill provides additional financial incentives for actions that may not be in the best interest of the individual, community, or comply with the established laws of the jurisdiction. “The bill provides additional awards for referrals to community-based, voluntary support services without consideration of the specific needs and circumstances. “Community based care could be the appropriate setting, but there are circumstances where inpatient care or incarceration are more appropriate. “The bill also provides incentives for decarceration rates of certain groups of individuals. Again, decarceration may make sense at times. I’ve advocated for it in lots of circumstances. But it is case-specific. “I have seen it before. Police arrest on a domestic violence charge. Release. And respond to a murder two hours later. These decisions should be made at the local level, based on specific circumstances with state and local input.” MAKING DANGEROUS SITUATIONS WORSE “This bill attempts to treat the subject of the 911 call with fairness and dignity, and that is something we should strive toward. “The flip side is that this bill does not account for the person who made the 911 call. “These policies will not work in the real world. It will only make dangerous situations worse. The unintended consequences of this bill are extensive and emergency situations will become more dangerous than they already are. “This is why we need committee process to work through these challenging issues. “Criminal justice reform is hard. There are lots and lots of unintended consequences. I’ve legitimately worked on it my entire adult life. “But my Democratic colleagues skipped that process because their focus is on frontline elections in the House, not frontline communities battling rising crime rates. “We should never offer a federal grant that makes communities less safe based on a progressive ideology that will not work in the real world.” […] “The only time you know a traffic stop is routine is when it’s over. “The only time you know it’s only a mental health service call is after the scene is secure. “Far too often and more complicated, are addiction related issues, mental health related issues, but none of those preclude the fact that a weapon is there or domestic violence has occurred. “And when you continue to coordinate this stuff for cash-strapped departments across the country with decarceration, you will have real consequences.”



Aug 12, 2022
Health

E&C Republicans Lead the Fight Against Democrats’ Tax and Spending Spree

Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans delivered the following remarks on the House Floor today on H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ plan for more inflation, higher taxes, unreliable & unaffordable energy, fewer but more expensive lifesaving cures, and an emboldened China. Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) led debate. Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Guthrie: “This legislation not only crushes hope for patients and their families living with devastating diseases that currently lack a treatment or cure, but also significantly undermines our economic and national security. “I cannot vote for the more appropriately named Inflation Expansion Act, and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing.” Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA): “I rise in strong opposition to this bill that will absolutely increase the deficit, it will absolutely increase inflation, and this bill will absolutely increase energy costs.” […] “But just a few hours ago, we got this, and it was a confirmation that the IRS agents will be getting about $20 billion in new taxes from people making less than $400,000. That’s right, the CBO just confirmed it a few hours ago. “President Biden, who made that promise multiple times, ‘If you make under 400,000. Don't worry, your taxes don't go up.’ This bill breaks President Biden's promise.” Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI): “The Energy sector has seen the brunt of this increase, with gas prices climbing more than $2.30 per gallon over where they were at the beginning of last year.” […] “On Wednesday, I offered an amendment that would direct this bill not to go into effect until the Secretary of Energy can certify that energy prices are below the prices in January of 2021. That amendment was unsurprisingly not made in order by the Rules Committee.”  […] “It does nothing to lower Energy prices, but rather picks winners and losers by pumping billions of dollars into expensive green energy as opposed to an all-of-the above approach.” Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH): “It is concerning that this bill promotes anti-American energy policies. It will put aside $250 billion [in loan authority] at the Department of Energy to subsidize the rush to green energy. This is picking winners and losers in the energy market and will scare away investments in baseload power sources. “American small businesses need access to more reliable energy, not less. If the grid becomes too reliant on intermittent green energy sources, we will begin to see manufacturers shutter their operations.” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX): “This legislation will do the exact opposite of what the Democrats intend by killing research and development, reducing quality of care, and threatening patient access to life saving drugs. “As the most senior doctor in Congress and someone who deeply cares for the well-being of American patients, this bill is anti-doctor and anti-patient. We will see the consequences after final passage. I promise you that.” Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL): “As the American people struggle to put food on their tables and gas in their cars, Democrats bring us here today to raise Americans’ taxes, and destabilize our prescription drug market. “Sadly, it seems more thought was put into targeting average Americans with an IRS army, and over 1 million new audits than in helping them find cures for their life-threatening ailments. “Floridians deserve better and the American people deserve better than this bogus piece of legislation that will raise taxes and reduce the number of cures and treatments coming to market.” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH): “I want to be clear that this isn’t a quote, ‘ methane reduction program.’ It’s a massive tax on American producers, American businesses, and American workers. “It’s a tax on job creators in Ohio. It’s a tax on hardworking Americans trying to heat and cool our homes, a tax on feeding our families, and a tax on the American way of life.” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA): “Pharmaceutical companies are the drivers of innovation that delivers lifesaving cures to patients. However, this legislation will result in dozens, possibly hundreds, of fewer cures over the next decade.” […] “Medical professionals are sworn to ‘do no harm.’ It is time Congress took the same oath and quit our assault on patients and taxpayers.”



Aug 12, 2022
Health

Guthrie’s Floor Remarks on the Democrats’ Tax and Spending Spree Bill

Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) led Republicans in debate on the House floor against H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ Inflation Expansion Act that will raise health care costs and energy prices for Americans and their families across the country. Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks: MORE BIDEN INFLATION “I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 5376, the mislabeled, ‘Inflation Reduction Act.’ “The is another reckless tax-and-spending spree that is not being accurately portrayed to the American people by Democrats. “My Democratic colleagues previously said the goal of the so-called American Rescue Plan Act was to beat-back the COVID-19 virus, despite only 9% of funding going to defeating COVID-19. “The result? Inflation is still near a record 40-year high at 8.5% and specifically costing Kentucky households $7,309 a year.” FUNDING AN ARMY OF IRS AGENTS “Now, Washington Democrats are trying to convince Americans that adding more reckless government spending, and raising taxes during a recession will ‘combat’ inflation. “Even nonpartisan organizations say this bill will have virtually no impact on inflation. And at least half of the expected tax revenue for next year is estimated to come from Americans making less than $400,000 a year. “And Americans will see more IRS audits because this bill gives the IRS the ability to hire an army of new IRS agents. “People should absolutely pay the taxes they owe, but instead of an army of IRS agents to potentially shake down middle-to-low-income Americans for money, we need to put our resources into hiring more border patrol officers – to protect the border and stop the flow of drugs, such as illicit fentanyl.” OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES FOR THE WEALTHY “More troubling parts of this bill are the health provisions – I strongly disagree with using Medicare to pay for Obamacare subsidies for the wealthy. “I introduced an amendment to keep Medicare savings in Medicare, which is already at risk of insolvency in the very near future. But unfortunately, House Democrats didn’t even give this amendment the chance to be considered.” PRICE CONTROLS FOR FEWER CURES “While Democrats praise government price setting, or as they call it, ‘negotiation,’ they fail to mention that such policies would lead to at least 15 fewer drugs coming to market, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. “Is this the cure to Alzheimer’s or diabetes? It could be. “They also won’t mention that the nonpartisan CBO stated this bill will lead to higher prices on new drugs. “Finally, Democrats are voting to give Secretary Becerra a $3 billion slush fund to set drug prices, despite HHS botching their response to both COVID-19, including politicizing guidance that kept schools closed and young children masked in Head Start programs. “How can anyone support giving billions of dollars and more unrestricted authority to HHS that we know will lead to less cures for brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other loved ones? “Let me be clear: We absolutely need to address the costs of prescription medications. Republicans have a bipartisan bill ready to go – H.R. 19, that could achieve this. But Democrats have repeatedly refused to bring to the floor for a vote.” DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON AMERICAN ENERGY “Our country is also facing an energy crisis created by President Biden and Washington Democrats’ war on American oil and gas. “Despite this, Democrats’ solution is to double down on nearly $400 billion on far-left Green New Deal policies and impose billions of dollars of tax increases on energy that will be passed to consumers. “Unbelievably, even as energy prices are at historically high levels, they have included a new tax on natural gas and revived a tax on petroleum products that will cost consumer tens of billions of dollars. “I filed an amendment to exempt our defense bases from this natural gas tax, but again Democrats refused to even consider it. “Democrats want to create a $27 billion slush fund at the EPA for a ‘national climate bank’, subsidize the solar energy industry that is heavily dominated by the Chinese Communist Party, and even spend $9 billion in rebates for wealthy Americans to ‘green up’ their homes with new appliances and electric vehicles. “To conclude, this legislation not only crushes hope for patients and their families living with devastating diseases that currently lack a treatment or cure, but also significantly undermines our economic and national security. “I cannot vote for the more appropriately named Inflation Expansion Act, and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing.”



Aug 10, 2022
Health

Leader Rodgers Rules Committee Remarks on the Democrats’ Tax and Spending Spree

Washington D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following remarks before Rules Committee today on H.R. 5376, the Democrats’ plan for more inflation, higher taxes, unreliable & unaffordable energy, fewer but more expensive lifesaving cures, and an emboldened China.     Her remarks, as prepared for delivery:   JOE BIDEN’S CRISES   “Almost a year ago, we were all here at the Rules Committee, testifying on the Democrat’s tax and spending spree and the devastating harm it would have on our economy, energy security, and medical care.   “Since, under Democrat’s one-party rule, inflation has continued to spiral out of control, gas and energy prices have risen to record highs, health care costs continue to climb, families can’t find baby formula, and we are now in a recession.    “Yet here we are again, debating the same dangerous policies under a new name, the ‘Inflation Reduction Act.’   “Despite the Democrats’ misleading name, there’s no evidence this will fix the inflation crisis they created.   “Their latest $700 billion socialist agenda will raise taxes and costs across every income level all so Democrats and President Joe Biden can fund their agenda and seek more federal command and control in people’s lives.?   “More inflation, higher taxes, unreliable and unaffordable energy, fewer but more expensive lifesaving cures, and an emboldened China.    “That is the pain Democrats will further inflict on the hardworking people of this country as they double down on this grand socialist agenda.”   GRAND SOCIALIST AGENDA   “It gives kickbacks to Democrats political allies and campaign donors, all while the government print records amount of money that we don’t have to build more inflation.??   “It’s an ugly tax on every part of people’s lives—from the gas pump to the grocery store.?   “I will submit that this grand socialist agenda that destroys freedom and emboldens our enemies is not how we win the future.”   SHUTTING DOWN AMERICAN ENERGY   “This legislation continues Democrats’ war on American energy, jobs, and affordable prices.   “They are increasing the pain at the pump by reviving and doubling a tax on refiners and crude oil importers that Republicans killed when we took back the House in 1994. “The natural gas tax will raise costs across the board on everything from heating homes to fertilizer and food. “Their blatant attempts to transform America dramatically with their rush to green transition will make us reliant on Chinese supply chains and slave labor. “And while families get zero relief from President Biden’s energy crisis, Democrats are sending payouts to their political allies to use Chinese supply chains to make solar panels, wind turbines, and electric car batteries for the rich. “For example, for the EPA there’s a $27 billion national climate bank, a $3 billion environmental justice and climate block grants program, a $5 billion pollution reduction grants program, and a $1 billion for electric garbage trucks and school buses. “For DOE, there’s a $9 billion for rebate programs for electric appliances heat pumps, and energy efficient home retrofits, $1 billion to use building codes to ban fossil fuels, $2 billion for private entities to build transmission lines for more wind and solar, and $200 million to train insulation and electrification contractors. “The spending goes on and on to tally to $370 billion to radically transform American life with more inflation and unaffordable prices by shutting down domestic energy and reliable fossil fuels.   “How far will Democrats force families to stretch their budgets on surging energy bills?   “An energy company just told me that without a strong energy mix that includes natural gas, their customers’ electricity bills would double. Double.   “They said people need choices to keep costs affordable and the lights on.     “We all remember the Solyndra scandal when they defaulted on a $500 million loan from DOE.   “This bill pumps $250 billion of loan authority into the same DOE loan guarantee program.     “And even worse, it uses $5 billion in taxpayer dollars to cover credit subsidy costs that companies taking these loans had to cover in the past.   “It’s Solyndra on steroids.   “This bill doesn’t include any meaningful permitting reform and we can’t buy this chatter from Senator Manchin that that will come next.   “Democrats were united against necessary permitting and regulatory reforms in the Senate.   “With the President blocking mines and shutting down energy infrastructure projects, there’s little trust this administration and Democrats will come to the table on these reforms.”   FEWER CURES AND MORE DEPENDENCY ON CHINESE SUPPLY CHAINS ?   “Regarding the health care provisions in this tax and spending spree, this puts us on a path to socialized medicine.   “Instead of working with Republicans on the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which caps what seniors pay out of their own pocket for drugs without jeopardizing innovation, the Democrats are resurrecting Speaker Pelosi’s socialist price controls that failed in the Energy and Commerce Committee.   “Their scheme will lead to fewer cures here in America.   “It will make future drugs more expensive if they are able to launch to all and it will embolden China’s biomedical leadership and the CCP’s grip on the world’s medical supply chains.   “According to the Congressional Budget Office, price controls will lead to 15 fewer drugs and treatments coming to the market.   “That is a modest estimate with other studies suggesting we could see more than 100 fewer cures.   “Democrats have previously stated that this is the price they are willing to pay to give Secretary Becerra and a new $3 billion health care bureaucracy the power to determine if a new cure or drug is worth it.   “That price could be eliminating hope for patients with cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and much more.    “CBO also confirmed that these price controls—which tie drugs covered by Medicare to Biden’s inflation crisis—will lead to higher costs for future drugs when they launch.   “So, despite promises for lower costs, this will mean Americans will pay more at the pharmacy counter.   “Shockingly, there is no pricing floor for the so-called 'negotiation' price, meaning health care bureaucrats could force a drug company to accept a figure as low as $1 or face up to a 95 percent excise tax.   “This is not a negotiation in any sense of the word.    “This is political extortion—extortion that will drive medical investments overseas into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.   “It will ensure that American seniors no longer reap the benefits of cutting-edge medical innovation.     “And Democrats aren’t even using the supposed savings from these price controls on improving health care for seniors, but instead subsidizing Obamacare and other unrelated energy projects.   “If this legislation is passed, 10 years from now, seniors will end up with fewer cures and still no certainty that Medicare will be able to pay for their health care.”   NOT THE FUTURE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT   “I’ll close with a picture of where this scheme leads.   “Blackouts, more unaffordable electricity bills, more tax hikes, jobs destroyed, no hope to cure diseases, long lines of the sick begging the government for more expensive lifesaving treatments, an army of IRS agents harassing and snooping on people’s bank accounts, and weak American defenses against our adversaries like China and Russia.?   “Is this really the future we really want? For more command and control of the federal government in our lives??   “People have suffered enough under President Joe Biden’s inflation crisis.   “This is not the future anyone wants.    “If Democrats were listening to the American people, they would abandon this tax and spending spree and get to work with us to reverse the damage their agenda has already caused.   “Republicans stand ready lift the regulatory burden, flip the switch on for more American energy production, and lower health care costs.   “That is what the American people rightfully want and deserve for a better quality of life.”