Skip to main content

Walden Remarks at Full Committee Markup of 30 Bipartisan Bills


07.15.20

Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) delivered remarks at a Full Committee markup of 30 bipartisan health, energy, and communications and technology bills.

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning.

I am proud that today we will mark up 30 bipartisan bills, and I thank Chairman Pallone for keeping his word to only include bills on the agenda that we were able to reach agreement on.

It would be impossible to speak at length on every important bill before us today, but I would like to highlight a few.

Today we are considering five energy bills that would promote and support the deployment of various forms of energy including energy efficiency, natural gas, and hydropower.

As we heard during our hearing last week, access to reliable and affordable energy is a priority for Tribes, and the Tribal Power Act would provide resources and support to assist with that.

I am also glad to mark up five bills that will help address the mental health of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Suicide Prevention Act would help address “deaths from despair” – something that has been exacerbated by this public health crisis. Other bills we will discuss today would expand telehealth mental health care services.

I am pleased that we were able to work together on the Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act of 2020. This bill gives new authorities to the Strategic National Stockpile so that it’s better equipped for the future.

Another bill would improve the safety of America’s medical product supply chain. H.R. 5663 would protect Americans from dangerous counterfeit medical devices by extending FDA’s administrative destruction authority, something that is critical as we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This pandemic has also highlighted the need to find additional ways to secure our drug supply chain, and legislation we will consider today is a critical piece of that puzzle. We will also discuss bills to help alleviate barriers to treatments; to continue immunosuppressive drug coverage under the Medicare program; strengthen mental health parity and the BENES Act to make seniors more aware of their Medicare eligibility options including Medicare Advantage which is an important option in my home state of Oregon.

Finally, we all know Americans across the country are relying more than ever on the internet for their daily activities, and we must ensure our networks are secure and accessible.

We are also considering many important bills to improve cybersecurity, update our spectrum management infrastructure, and promote diversity in the media.

I am glad we are considering the USA Telecommunications Act, which would establish a grant program at NTIA for the deployment of open radio access network technologies to better secure our communications networks. This technology has the promise to provide us with trusted, cost effective alternatives to options like Huawei and ZTE.

I am glad that we were able to come together in a bipartisan way on these important bills.

Press Release