News

Press Release Updates


Apr 22, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Statement on Biden Admin’s Disastrous Nursing Home and Medicaid Access Rules

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the Biden administration announced its final Minimum Staffing Rule and Medicaid Access Rule:  “The President’s one-size-fits-all, Washington-knows-best approach to long-term care is an unfunded mandate that will drive up costs and threaten access for patients. The minimum staff-to-patient ratio is unworkable for nearly 80 percent of nursing homes, requiring facilities to increase costs for patients or close their doors to new patients. The so-called ‘access rule’ creates untenable standards for home health agencies to meet. Both rules in practice will result in reduced access to care for those that need it most and their families." BACKGROUND :  The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing in October 2023, after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed the rules. Witnesses, including providers and former state officials, criticized the rules for putting access to care in jeopardy for millions of Americans.  Chair Rodgers also joined House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) in urging the administration to withdraw the minimum staffing rule.  Reps. Greg Pence (R-IN) and Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) introduced H.R. 7513 , the Protecting America’s Seniors Access to Care Act , which would block the finalization of the Minimum Staffing Rule. 



Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone Applaud Passage of H.R. 7520 and H.R. 7521

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) praised the inclusion of H.R. 7520, the Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024, and H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, in the 21 st Century Peace Through Strength Act that passed the House today. “These bills are the result of diligent and bipartisan work to protect Americans’ data and address the serious national security threat posed by our adversaries. Today’s vote is a clear victory for protecting Americans online and off, but there is still work to be done,” said Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone. “Companies and bad actors are collecting troves of our data unchecked and using it to exploit, monetize, and manipulate Americans of all ages. This cannot be allowed to continue, which is why today’s actions are an important step forward as the Energy and Commerce Committee continues to work together on tech accountability measures.”



Apr 19, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Announces Slate of Budget Hearings to Hold Biden Admin Accountable

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) announced a series of upcoming budget hearings with Biden administration officials as part of the Committee’s ongoing efforts to hold the administration accountable on behalf the American people. “President Biden’s radical, out-of-touch, tax-and-spend agenda will only make the inflation crisis he caused worse for the American people. By bending to the whims of his left-wing base, he’s sacrificing freedom and prosperity for all Americans,” said Chair Rodgers . “It’s nearly three and a half years into his presidency, and all the Biden administration has to show is a war on American energy, a worse national and cybersecurity posture, and a weakened American role on the world stage. These hearings will give our Members the opportunity to ensure this administration is transparent and accountable to the American people.” The following administration officials will testify for budget hearings:  Wednesday, May 1 Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Hearing with the Department of Energy:   Hon. Jennifer Granholm, Secretary, Department of Energy   Tuesday, May 7 Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing with the Federal Communications Commission:   Hon. Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman, Federal Communications Commission   Hon. Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission   Hon. Nathan Simington, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission   Hon. Geoffrey Starks, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission   Hon. Anna Gomez, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission   Wednesday, May 15 Subcommittee on Environmental, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Hearing with the Environmental Protection Agency:   Hon. Michael Regan, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency   Wednesday, May 15 Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration:   Hon. Alan Davidson, Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration   This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearings will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ .  If you have any questions concerning the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearings, please contact Noah Jackson at Noah.Jackson@mail.house.gov .  If you have any questions concerning the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security or Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials hearings, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at Kaitlyn.Peterson@mail.house.gov .  If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at Sean.Kelly@mail.house.gov .



Chair Rodgers Questions EPA’s Designation of Certain PFAS as Hazardous Substances

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier today announced a final rule designating Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). “This new rule falls woefully short of adequately addressing the legitimate and significant implementation and environmental questions raised by tens of thousands of stakeholders since this rulemaking process began. The agency’s decision to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA will have permanent, far-reaching implications for manufacturers, consumers, municipalities, landowners, and disposal companies. It will also have the effect of jeopardizing people’s access to essential services that we all rely on every single day. The reality is these and other efforts by the EPA are making life less affordable for Americans and jeopardizing America's economic leadership.” 



Apr 19, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Griffith Announce UnitedHealth CEO to Testify at Oversight Hearing on Change Healthcare Attack

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today announced that UnitedHealth Group, Inc., CEO Andrew Witty will testify before the Subcommittee on May 1. UnitedHealth is the parent company of Change Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest providers of health care payment management systems, which experienced a cyberattack on its platforms on February 21, 2024. "Americans are still dealing with the fallout of the Change Healthcare hack. Individuals and smaller providers, in particular, have struggled financially following the cyberattack, threatening critical access for patients,” said Chairs Rodgers and Griffith. “While we’re disappointed that UnitedHealth could not join us for the recent Health Subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity, we look forward to learning more on what happened in the lead up to, and in the weeks following, the attack. This hearing will help inform the Committee as we continue working toward solutions that protect the health and well-being of all Americans.” WHAT : A hearing to discuss the cyberattack on Change Healthcare and how it impacts patients and providers. DATE : Wednesday, May 1, 2024     TIME : 2:00 PM ET LOCATION : 2123 Rayburn House Office Building WITNESSES : Andrew Witty, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, Inc.   This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Lauren Kennedy with the Committee staff at Lauren.Kennedy@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov .  NOTE :  On April 15, the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Full Committee and Health and Oversight subcommittees wrote a letter to Mr. Witty seeking more information about the cyberattack.



Apr 17, 2024
Press Release

Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis Opening Remarks on Legislative Solutions to Protect Kids Online and Ensure Americans’ Data Privacy Rights

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee  hearing  titled “Legislative Solutions to Protect Kids Online and Ensure Americans’ Data Privacy Rights.” "First, I want to welcome our new Subcommittee members, Representatives Obernolte and James. With business acumen and technical expertise, these esteemed members will bring new ideas to the Subcommittee. I’m looking forward to working with you both. "During the 118th Congress, our Subcommittee held multiple hearings to examine the need for a federal data privacy and security law.   "Those hearings illustrated the need to provide certainty for Americans to know their rights online, and for businesses to know their obligations on a consistent basis throughout the country.  "It will also help cement America’s global leadership and ensure we remain competitive in this evolving landscape." HISTORIC LEGISLATION "This bipartisan work has culminated with this discussion draft, the American Privacy Rights Act, which is a comprehensive privacy and data security standard. "This bipartisan, bicameral bill gives Americans the right to control their personal information, including how and where itis being used, collected, and stored.  "This legislation establishes one national standard. It preempts the patchwork of state laws so when consumers and businesses cross state lines there are consistent rights, protections, and obligations.  "The discussion draft creates requirements for companies contributing to the data ecosystem while protecting small businesses trying to provide for their customers. "The bill also directs strong data security standards that minimize and protect against data being used by bad actors, and provides Americans notice if their data is being transferred to a foreign adversary, like China, and allows consumers the choice to opt-out." ADDITIONAL SOLUTIONS "We are also discussing proposals that require age verification for certain websites and social media companies, streamline terms of service labeling, and allow third party software providers to make social networks safer.  "There are also two bills that received significant attention in the Senate: Rep. Walberg’s Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA 2.0, and my bill the Kids Online Safety Act, or KOSA. "I am proud to collaborate on these kids’ privacy and online safety measures with our Subcommittee Vice-Chair Rep. Walberg, and I thank him for his longstanding leadership in this space. "I’m also grateful to work with my fellow Floridian and colleague, Rep. Castor, on a bipartisan basis on these bills. I’m looking forward to continuing to work towards passage of these critical safety measures.  "We know that Big Tech has failed to prioritize the health and safety of our children online, resulting in a significant increase in mental health conditions, suicide, and drug overdose deaths. "It is time for Big Tech to be held accountable for facilitating this activity and manipulating our kids to keep them addicted to their screens for longer than ever before. "I am glad to have Ava Smithing from the Young People’s Alliance here to share her personal story about the harms she experienced as a young woman related to social media. Ava, thank you for being here.  "I’m also looking forward to hearing from Kara Frederick, who can share her experience as a team lead for Facebook. She understands how these companies operate and how to curtail the harms of their products.  "In closing, I want to thank the witnesses for their testimony, and I want to thank Chair Rodgers for her historic bipartisan proposal. Let’s get this done together for the sake of all Americans, and especially our kids."



Apr 17, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans Expand Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH to now Include Review of HHS Office of Civil Rights Compliance Role

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), on behalf of the Health and Oversight Subcommittee Republicans, wrote to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra.  The letter outlines concerns with the role HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) plays—or fails to play—in investigating instances of sexual harassment that occurs at research institutions which receive grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  KEY EXCERPTS :  “There have been several public reports of sexual harassment occurring on NIH-funded research or NIH-supported activities over the last decade, and it raises concerns about what, if any, actions the NIH has taken to resolve these issues. The NIH’s own statistics show a significant problem with more than 300 cases related to sexual or gender harassment since 2018—with about a third of those allegations being substantiated. This also represents hundreds of men and women who may be forced to operate in a hostile or unsafe research environment.”  [...]  “According to the HHS website, OCR does investigate and resolve complaints of sexual harassment in the education and health programs of recipients of grants or other federal financial assistance from HHS—including the NIH. Moreover, HHS OCR is required to conduct periodic compliance reviews of institutional Title IX programs to ensure compliance with the law—including examining the way in which complaints are handled by the institution.”  The Chairs have requested answers to questions about HHS OCR’s role by April 30, 2024.  BACKGROUND :  Based on a recommendation from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), HHS OCR and the NIH adopted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate communication between the two components of HHS as it relates to sexual harassment.   This MOU was intended to clarify procedures on how the enforcement arm of HHS and the grant-making arm share valuable information with one another in an effort to respond appropriately to complaints of sexual harassment and prevent federal grant money from going to those with a history of sexual misconduct.   TIMELINE OF INVESTIGATION :  August 10, 2021 : E&C Republican Leaders Question NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints  August 11, 2022 : E&C Republican Leaders follow up with NIH on Insufficient Response to its Letter on the NIH’s handling of Sexual Harassment  November 30, 2022 : E&C Republicans to NIH: Turn Over Previously Requested Information Ahead of New Congress  March 14, 2023 : E&C Republicans Press NIH for Information on Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints  October 6, 2023 : E&C Republicans Signal Intent to Issue Subpoenas to Obtain Information on NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment if Questions Go Unanswered  January 26, 2024 : Chair Rogers notifies NIH of Imminent Subpoena  February 5, 2024 : Chair Rodgers Subpoenas NIH for Documents Related to Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH and NIH Grantee Institutions February 20, 2024: HHS Responds on behalf of NIH to offer a rolling in camera document review to the Committee. Documents produced in the review have been highly redacted, including the redaction of the names of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, public news articles about individuals who have been found guilty of harassment, and redaction of the names of the institutions where the abuse occurred—effectively preventing the Committee from understanding if NIH continues to fund work performed by substantiated abusers at other institutions—a practice known as “pass the harasser.”



Apr 17, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on Legislative Solutions to Protect Kids Online and Ensure Americans’ Data Privacy Rights

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee hearing titled “Legislative Solutions to Protect Kids Online and Ensure Americans’ Data Privacy Rights.” “Right now, the average American spends nearly seven hours online a day, with two and a half hours of that time being spent on social media platforms. “The consequences range from increased suicide rates and depression, to increased polarization and loss of trust in our institutions. “All the while, these companies are collecting nearly every data point imaginable which they use to then control what we see and when we see it. “Many of these tools were created with good intentions to bring people together. “But over time they have strayed from their core mission in the interest of more control over our lives. “This isn’t the American dream. America was built on individual liberty and freedom, freedom of thought, expression, and speech.” REFLECTING BACK ON WHERE WE STARTED “Our founders fought for these freedoms because they were tired of living under the crushing weight of tyranny. “They were tired of being told how to think and how to live by a few elites who thought they knew best and who exploited others for their own power and wealth. “Fast forward to today, we find ourselves living in a similar, modern form of digital tyranny, where a handful of companies and bad actors are exploiting our personal information, monetizing it, and using it to manipulate how we think and act.” HOW WE GET BACK ON TRACK “Many companies are using their control over our data to erode people’s agency, their rights, and their identity. “It’s time for that status quo to change. “Today, we will be discussing several pieces of legislation, including the American Privacy Rights Act, to give people the RIGHT to control their personal information online and not have it used against them. “We’re putting people back in control of who they are, what they think, and how they live their lives. “This is especially necessary for our children. “As a mom of three school-aged children, Big Tech platforms are my biggest fear. “The algorithms developed by these companies are specifically designed to get kids addicted to their platforms, and they’ve been used to target children with content that leads to dangerous, life-threatening behaviors. “For me and my husband, as well as millions of parents across the country, this is a battle for our kids’ development, their mental health, and ultimately, their safety. “We must build a better future for our children. They are our future. THE AMERICAN PRIVACY RIGHTS ACT “The American Privacy Rights Act is foundational for protecting our kids online. “Working together with other important legislation, like the Kids Online Safety Act, the Children’s and Teen’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and other bills, which we’re also discussing today, these solutions will ensure the best protections to date for our children. “Today we find ourselves at a crossroads. “We can either continue down the path we’re on, letting companies and bad actors continue to collect troves of our data unchecked while they trample on core American values, like free expression, free speech, and identity, or we can give people the right to control their information online. “Congress has been trying to develop and pass comprehensive data privacy and security legislation for decades. “With the American Privacy Rights Act, we are at a unique moment in history where we finally have the opportunity to imagine the internet as a force for prosperity and good. “I’d like to thank Senator Cantwell for working with me on this landmark draft bill. “I would also like to thank Ranking Member Pallone, who has been a trusted partner over the years as we have worked together on privacy. “We would not be here today without his tireless efforts and leadership, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to strengthen privacy protections for Americans. “I’d also like to thank the members of this committee—Republicans and Democrats—many of whom have also been involved in these efforts over several congresses. “I look forward to continuing to work together to get this legislation through Congress and signed into law.”



Apr 17, 2024
Health

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at the Health and Human Services Budget Hearing

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee hearing titled “Fiscal Year 2025 Department of Health and Human Services Budget.”  “I wish I could say this hearing is an exciting opportunity to learn more about President Biden and Secretary Becerra’s vision for how we can all work together to plow the hard ground necessary to improve the lives of the American people by addressing major issues such as the fentanyl crisis and rising health care costs. “I wish this budget contained bold, new ideas from the HHS Secretary on how to lower health care costs or at least prioritized implementation and enforcement of existing initiatives to lower health care costs. “Instead, what we have before us today, is a budget request that proposes more than $1.8 trillion in spending for fiscal year 2025 with misplaced priorities throughout. “It prioritizes spending $.25 trillion to large health insurance companies to subsidize insurance premiums rather than innovative proposals to lower the actual cost of health care. “It favors the pursuit of far-left priorities over implementation and enforcement of bipartisan health care laws, and it signals to the American people who are struggling under the weight of an overly expensive and complicated health care system, that help is not on the way from this administration.” UNRESPONSIVENESS & MISPLACED PRIORITIES “Secretary Becerra, this is the third time you have testified on an HHS budget before the Energy and Commerce Committee, and you have already testified before the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees this year. “If those are any indication, we will hear platitudes about lower drug prices, but nothing on what you have done to lower outrageous hospital bills and empower patients with the ability to know the price they will pay for care up front. “We will hear about what HHS is doing to address climate change, but not what HHS is doing to tackle the fentanyl crisis that is devastating communities and killing hundreds of Americans a day. “We will hear that ‘you’ll get back to us’—as we have seemingly countless times in the past—on questions of critical importance to the American people . “Secretary Becerra, I hope you prove me wrong.” OUTSTANDING INQUIRIES “Secretary Becerra, I’ll also raise a very disturbing lack of transparency from the NIH—a subagency under your purview—regarding sexual harassment at the agency and institutions it provides grants to—a very serious issue that this Committee has been investigating for almost three years. “At the direction of your department, Mr. Secretary, the NIH continues to obstruct the Committee and cover for individuals found to have committed sexual harassment or abuse at NIH-funded institutions, including many convicted of crimes. “You need to stop withholding critical information from this Committee, you need to stop protecting sexual abusers. The victims deserve full accountability and justice.” INFLATION IN HEALTHCARE “I’ll close with a somber reminder: rampant inflation is not behind us. “The latest reports showed that inflation remains persistently high, and it is compounding, making everyday expenses more and more difficult for American households. “Your failure to propose a responsible fiscal policy shows again how little this administration cares about inflation and the impact it has on everyday Americans. “You are quick to propose more reckless spending, without regard to how it will fuel the fire of increasing prices and then refuse to take any accountability for the harmful result. “I look forward to hearing from you on how you plan to address these concerns. I hope you prove my predictions wrong.”