Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading on bipartisan solutions to improve safety, increase transparency, counter China, and strengthen privacy and data protections for Americans.
The markup included the bipartisan, bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which would enact a national privacy standard to protect Americans’ data privacy online—regardless of their zip code—while providing certainty for businesses so they clearly understand their obligations.
Additionally, committee members marked up several other bills that will protect children from hazardous products, improve transparency and security regarding smart devices, promote technologies used during the COVID-19 pandemic, protect our data from foreign adversaries, and help streamline access to information about federal manufacturing programs.
Today’s legislative markup in the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce is an example of the important strides that can be made when Congress comes together to address critical issues.
Legislative Voting Summary
- H.R. 8152, The American Data Privacy and Protection Act, was forwarded, as amended, to the Full Committee by a voice vote.
- H.R. 3355, The Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act of 2021, was forwarded, as amended, to Full Committee by a voice vote.
- H.R. 3962, The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2021, was forwarded to Full Committee by a vote of 22-0.
- H.R. 4081, The Informing Consumers About Smart Devices Act, was forwarded to Full Committee by a vote of 21-0
- H.R. 4551, The Reporting Attacks from Nations Selected for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies Act, was forwarded to the Full Committee by a vote of 22-0
- H.R. 5313, Reese’s Law, was forwarded, as amended, to the Full Committee by a vote if 21-0.
- H.R. 5441, The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2021, was forwarded, as amended, to the Full Committee by a vote of 22-0.
- H.R. 6290, The Manufacturing.gov Act, was forwarded to the Full Committee by a vote of 22-0.
E&C Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA):
“There is no better time than now to enact comprehensive privacy and data security protections. More than 80 percent of Americans support the key pillars of our legislation. Their support for a national framework enacted by Congress is overwhelming and bipartisan.
“As we continue our process, we must remain focused on creating the best standard possible to protect people’s privacy, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure American leadership.
“First and foremost, Americans need one national standard, not a patchwork of state laws.
“This bill protects all Americans, regardless of zip code, and provides certainty for businesses so they clearly understand their obligations.
“We also need to target malicious data practices from bad actors.
“Last week, it was reported that TikTok knowingly allowed the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data collected by the app, after telling Americans and Congress on numerous occasions that they do not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government, CCP, or any Chinese state-owned entities.
“This is unacceptable and a complete betrayal of trust.
“People should know how their data is collected and shared, which is why we’d require companies to specify when they are transferring and storing people’s data in countries like China, Russia, and Iran.
“Preventing real harms from bad actors is equally important for protecting our children and minors—especially from Big Tech—no matter where they live.
“If Big Tech can’t target our kids, they can’t exploit them.
“Our bill would foster stronger data security practices by requiring companies to only keep information they need and encouraging them to take steps to better secure data that is retained.
“It also requires Big Tech to examine how their algorithms may harm individuals, including children, and while the bill places strict requirements on Big Tech companies, which can afford high compliance costs, it ensures small businesses and startups remain competitive by equipping them with resources to comply with their obligations and providing relief from burdensome compliance mechanisms.
“This allows them to unleash their full potential to better power America’s economy.
E&C Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Republican Leader Gus Bilirakis (R-FL):
ON THE RANSOMWARE ACT
“I am eager to advance my bill H.R. 4551, the Reporting Attacks from Nations Selected for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies Act otherwise known as the ‘RANSOMWARE Act.’ This legislation amends the U.S. SAFE WEB Act, a tool the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) uses to protect consumers with an international dimension, including by increasing cooperation with foreign law enforcement, and will require the FTC to report on cross-border complaints they receive involving ransomware or other cyber-security-related incidents committed by our adversaries: China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
“This legislation is very timely, as just a few weeks ago the U.S. learned that Chinese government hackers had breached major telecommunications companies and network service providers to steal credentials and harvest data. What the CCP will do with this information, no one knows, but if their intent is to ransom off the information or use it to extort Americans, this bill will help us better understand these attacks and learn how to better combat them. So I’m hopeful my colleagues will work with me to move this bill across the finish line.”
ON THE AMERICAN DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTION ACT
“Certainly not to our surprise, this is not the only avenue the CCP travels to get their hands on Americans’ information. Last week, we learned TikTok has been lying to Congress over the information they share with the Chinese Communist Party, specifically, the data belonging to Americans. This is completely unacceptable.
“TikTok’s blatant lies are even more proof for why the American people and businesses deserve clear privacy and data security rules. We need to give consistent ‘rules of the road’ that give the American people more control over their own data, and provide businesses with clear obligations that don’t change based on the location of their store. We must also be particularly clear when it comes to protecting the data security and privacy of our children and teens.
“That’s why I’m glad to see our bipartisan privacy bill, H.R. 8152, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, included on the docket today. We’ve taken in a lot of feedback from stakeholders and have made significant progress to better clarify and improve the bill since our draft was initially released – I’m very thankful for all the constructive comments we’ve received up to this point. And I want to be clear: this is certainly not the last opportunity to work with us and continue to deliberate on tweaking this bill further.
“There is still more work to be done, but we must take this important step forward, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with our friends in the Senate to get this done. This is the best shot we’ve had in years to give the American people and businesses something they desperately need.”