House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Energy and Commerce Committee

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee hearing on how new regulations from the Biden administration could force facilities to close their doors and jeopardize patient care. “Today, we are here to critically examine two proposed regulations from the Biden administration that threaten to disrupt care for millions of seniors and people with disabilities throughout the country.   “The proposed ‘Minimum Staffing Standards Rule’ would require nursing homes to have a minimum number of registered nurses and nurse aides, while the ‘Medicaid Access Rule’ would require home health agencies to pass through a minimum of 80 percent of all payments to the direct care workforce.   “While well-intentioned, these rules are misguided and will ultimately threaten to undermine access to vital services that our most vulnerable rely upon.  “The success of our long-term care system is integral to the success of the broader health care system.   “Caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system, providing around-the-clock care and oftentimes undertaking physically intensive work to support our loved ones." CRITICAL MOMENT FOR LONG TERM CARE HEALTH SYSTEMS   “We’re at a critical juncture for our long-term care systems. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of workers from nursing homes as well as home and community-based settings.   “Nationally, there have been over 500 long-term care facility closures since 2020, and the industry needs to fill 150,000 jobs just to reach pre-pandemic levels.   “All the while, Americans continue to age and need more long-term care services. “More needs to be done to address these dire workforce shortages." CHAIR GUTHRIE’S SOLUTION TO ADDRESSING WORKFORCE CRISIS   “My bill, H.R. 468, the Building America’s Healthcare Workforce Act, is one solution to addressing this very complex problem.   “This would permit temporary nurse aides to work in eligible Medicaid or Medicare long-term care facilities while they work to become certified nurse assistants.  “However, instead of partnering with Congress to comprehensively solve this workforce crisis, the Biden administration is embracing central planning, claiming their proposals will lead to more workers being hired and help ensure patient safety.  “Unfortunately, this is far from reality. These one-size-fits-all Washington-knows-best approaches will impose unfunded mandates on states and providers while reducing overall access to vital services without addressing the root causes of these complicated problems.”  BIDEN’S UNFUNDED MANDATES WOULD RESTRICT ACCESS TO CARE FOR VULNERABLE POPULATION   “In the case of the Access rule, this could even make it more challenging for home and community-based service providers to offer health care benefits, invest in paid training programming to provide a higher quality of care, and run background checks to protect patient safety.   “According to the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care, finalizing the Access Rule would also force 93 percent of all home care agencies to reduce or limit their ability to accept new referrals.   “Regarding the Minimum Staffing Standards Rule, analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that as many as 80 percent of nursing homes would not be able to meet its requirements.   “Separate analysis found that the mandate would cost Kentucky long-term care facilities $69 million annually just to come into compliance.  “Even the Obama Administration agreed about the harms of these ratio requirements, concluding in 2016 that this policy would stifle innovation, wouldn’t improve quality, and lead to the elimination of jobs." BARREN COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR SAYS THESE RULES ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE “To bring this even closer to home, a local Administrator at a Barren County long-term care facility summarized this, stating: ‘Our rural area in southcentral Kentucky simply does not have access to additional workers. The lack of providers that will result from this requirement will result in no options for long-term care services. The Glasgow and Barren County market has five nursing homes and an acute care hospital competing for a small pool of registered nurses.’ “It is clear how devastating these two rules will be for patients’ access to care. Nursing homes would be forced to stop accepting new patients, as well as cuts to home and community-based services. This would significantly undermine the bipartisan work this committee has undertaken for decades to improve access to care. “I call on the Biden administration to retreat from these misguided policies. I stand ready to work with my colleagues on this subcommittee, state and local officials, patient advocates, and other key stakeholders to comprehensively address these issues. “America’s seniors and future generations deserve solutions that will increase access to affordable, high-quality health care. I will continue to work as Chair of the subcommittee toward achieving this objective.”
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 on how new regulations from the Biden administration will force facilities to close their doors and jeopardize patient care. EMPOWERING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES   “As many know, my son Cole was born with that special extra twenty-first chromosome, otherwise known as Down syndrome. “Today, Cole is a sixteen-year-old high-school student with big dreams. “He wants to be a football player, a pastor, and a race car driver, and he’s also looking at college. “For people with disabilities like Cole, others born with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or even seniors facing physical limitations in their everyday lives, the sky is truly the limit to their potential. “Long-term care services and supports, whether that be those provided as home and community-based services—or HCBS for short—or in nursing home settings, are key to ensuring that people can live successful and independent lives. “As many of us know, there is a shortage of long-term care providers.” WORKFORCE SHORTAGE “Since 2020, we’ve lost tens of thousands of workers across both HCBS and nursing home settings, as workers left the field due to burnout or in pursuit of other career opportunities. “While these stressors were present in the long-term care field prior to the pandemic, they’ve gotten worse, even as other parts of the health care field begin to return to pre-pandemic employment levels. “The future of care for seniors and people with disabilities depends on us finding ways to support long-term care workers.” LIMITING ACCESS TO CARE “I’ve been troubled by recent proposals from the Biden administration that, while likely well-intentioned, would further undermine this workforce. “The administration proposed the so-called 'Medicaid Access Rule', which would require home health agencies to pass through a minimum of 80 percent of all reimbursements directly to the direct care workforce. “State Medicaid Directors and advocates, however, have raised concerns, stating that such a high threshold is out of reach for most agencies and would require agencies to have to reduce service and staff to be able to ensure that they could comply with the rule. “Put simply, this proposal would actively undermine access to care, running counter to the very name of the rule. “Additionally, just last month, the administration followed the Access Rule with a proposal to require minimum staffing levels for nursing homes. “Like the Access Rule, this Minimum Staffing Rule would set unrealistic staffing threshold. “Independent analyses have found that as many as 80 percent of all nursing homes would be unable to meet the requirements of the rule, meaning facilities would have to increase costs for residents, reduce censuses and stop accepting new residents, or potentially even close. “We all believe in access to high quality care, but proposed requirements that are untenable for four out of every five nursing homes do not represent a serious solution. “And those who rely on skilled nursing care deserve better than a proposal that could dramatically curtail their care. “These top-down approaches are not the way forward in supporting seniors and people with disabilities, and it’s my hope that today will begin a conversation on ways to find more meaningful solutions to help those in need. “We cannot let this rule simply go into effect and watch idly as individuals with disabilities and seniors lose the support they need to maintain their independence. We do not want to see people forced into hospitals for chronic conditions that could have been avoided.” NEED FOR BIPARTISAN SOLUTIONS “I’m proud of the bipartisan work this committee has done. “From passing the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act to make health care more affordable and more accessible, to reauthorizing Mr. Guthrie’s SUPPORT Act to help those struggling with substance use disorder. “And I’ll note that my colleague, Mr. Pence, just led a bipartisan letter to the administration with over 90 members raising concerns with the nursing home staffing rule. “I hope in the spirit of bipartisanship, we can discuss these policies and find a pathway forward that helps people with disabilities and seniors get access to their care they need.” 
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s hearing titled “What’s the Prognosis?: Examining Medicare Proposals to Improve Patient Access to Care & Minimize Red Tape for Doctors.”  INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE FOR SENIORS   “Today we are considering legislation aimed to provide greater access to care for seniors, including lower cost prescription drugs, as well as reducing unnecessary red tape for health care providers.    “We are also considering proposals designed to make updates to our physician reimbursement models that strike the critical balance between driving higher quality care while ensuring [the] Medicare program remains solvent for future generations.    “According to a September 2023 report [from] the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spending on health care is expected to grow faster than GDP over the next decade.  This is simply unsustainable, especially for our Medicare program.    “The data shows per person health care spending of those over 65 costs on averages almost 2.5 times more than what the average working person spends, with the federal government picking up much of the higher share of the spending.    “This report only further underscores the need for today’s hearing and to examine policies intended to sustain and strengthen the Medicare program.”  TIME TO REEXAMINE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE PAYMENT POLICIES   “This is the first time in several years that we’ve thoughtfully examined our reimbursement system for physicians, many of whom are providing specialized care for seniors with chronic conditions. “These conditions also require coordinated care that spans across multiple providers and clinical staff, requiring every targeted reimbursements that incentivize meeting higher quality standards for these patients.   “These are complicated problems, and they require serious solutions. Our goal is figuring out how to preserve best access for seniors in a sustainable and responsible manner. “This will require constructive work between stakeholders, regulators, and this subcommittee. Any changes we ultimately pursue will be fully offset and promote the highest quality of care for our seniors.”
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee legislative hearing titled “What’s the Prognosis?: Examining Medicare Proposals to Improve Patient Access to Care & Minimize Red Tape for Doctors.” BIDENFLATION IS RAISING COSTS ON EVERYONE “Our focus today is to explore solutions to improve Medicare payments to providers and ultimately help patients. “Under President Biden, everyone has been hurt by inflation caused by Democrats’ runaway spending and the loose monetary policies necessary to accommodate their spending binge. “Just last week we got two more pieces of bad news on inflation: “First, Medicare Part B premiums are increasing by almost 6 percent next year. In fact, since President Biden took over, Medicare premiums are up by nearly 18 percent. “Next, we found out that the core inflation metric shows prices continuing to increase—by 4 percent over last year. “Bidenflation remains a huge problem. Everyone—from patients to providers—is feeling the pain of higher prices and higher interest rates. “Patients have less money to spend on basic needs: food, housing, health care “And for providers, the cost of running an independent practice is growing as well. “This committee has heard testimony that the whole health care system becomes more expensive when providers cannot afford to stay independent. “Today’s hearing will focus on how we can eliminate unnecessary red tape and, most importantly, sustain access to care and lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of where they live.” RED TAPE, IMPEDIMENTS TO CARE “As many of my doctor colleagues have said—it is important to let doctors do what they do best: spend time seeing patients and less time filling out paperwork. “The challenge before us is how to balance the need to ensure patients—and Medicare—are accurately paying for that care, while recognizing that paperwork—even if well-intentioned—can limit time spent on providing health care and increases costs. “As we look to modernize our Medicare payment system, we must be thoughtful about striking the right balance. “Today we’ll consider a wide range of discussion drafts and legislation that aims to support Medicare providers as they deal with rising paperwork, rising inflation, and rising labor costs.” DEFENDING MEDICARE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS “For example, a few discussion drafts address expiring payment initiatives. “If Congress does not act before the end of the year, doctors in certain rural areas and laboratories that perform testing essential to patient care will see a pay cut from Medicare starting January 1st. “In the short-term, Congress should act to avert these cuts, but we should consider why we are having this conversation every single year. “If we need further proof that government should not intervene in the economy, look no further than the physician fee schedule. “In our efforts to create a more perfect price control, Congress has increased Medicare payments to doctors seemingly every single year since 2003. “I’m not saying these weren’t worthy endeavors. I believe in supporting our doctors. “In 2015, this committee and Congress passed MACRA to change how physicians are paid in Medicare, to get us out of the cycle of annual fixes. “Yet, here we are, with a system that has again underperformed for those that rely on the Medicare program. “And still, some of our Democratic colleagues would expand such a system to cover every patient in the entire country. “The fact is: politicians and bureaucrats will always do a worse job than the market at determining the most efficient price for an item or service. “And Congress should spend its efforts on longer term reforms to the program we have now so we’re not back at this every 1, 2, or 3 years.” THE LOWER COSTS, MORE TRANSPARENCY ACT “It is also important that we recognize the greater context of this discussion: parts of Medicare are on pace to become insolvent by 2031. “Solutions, like the bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, will save Medicare money in the long run. “But our resources are still finite, and we must make sure we’re examining every dollar Medicare spends and making sure it is going to the right places before assuming additional resources are necessary. “If additional resources are necessary, we should work together to find ways to save Medicare money in other areas. “Again, our goal today is to strengthen the Medicare program and increase seniors’ access to care by improving the way we reimburse providers.”
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) held a hearing today titled “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Powering America’s Energy Future.” The following are his remarks as prepared for delivery: “Artificial Intelligence has advanced significantly over the last several years, and now provides many potential applications across a wide range of sectors. “AI has beneficial uses in each of the sectors under the Energy and Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction, from innovation, data, and commerce, to healthcare, to applications in energy.    “Today, I am looking forward to learning about and examining AI’s uses in the energy sector, the importance of a national data privacy and security standard, and the ways it can foster innovation to strengthen America’s energy leadership and energy security.” AMERICAN ENERGY LEADERSHIP   “The United States Department of Energy has been a world leader in technological and scientific innovation. DOE’s research and development have made consequential impacts on today’s world.  “During World War II, the government launched the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project and Atomic Energy Commission propelled the United States into nuclear leadership. The research and development today at the DOE and our nation’s 17 labs continue to contribute to our energy and national security.   “These labs, which have world leading technological capabilities, do much more than just energy policy. They have been working to improve existing energy technology as well as develop new energy technologies – now with the capabilities of AI and advanced computing.   “Our national labs use some of the fastest and most sophisticated supercomputers in the world to help us remain strong innovators and leaders in energy.”  AMERICAN AI INNOVATION   “Private sector innovators are also developing new technologies and applications for AI.   “American energy companies are utilizing AI and advanced computing across the energy sector value chain – from oil and gas exploration and production to power generation and electric distribution.    “They are using AI to help inform decision making, to automate equipment, to identify trends, and to predict everything from the weather to market conditions.       “Many companies are now exploring ways to utilize AI to help drive efficiency, productivity, and safety.”  WINNING THE FUTURE OF CYBERSECURITY   “As we embrace the capabilities and functions of AI, we must recognize that we are on the precipice of a new frontier: the AI race. Our adversaries, China and Russia, are also competing to harness the power of AI to their own advantage.    “With America’s innovative spirit and the right policies in place, we can outpace our adversaries to strengthen our energy and national security.   “Our energy security is not just energy exploration, production, and transmission of energy across the grid and the pipeline network to power America.  “The security extends to the hardware and software to power AI, like semiconductors, algorithms, and other inputs that make AI possible.   “As we rely more on data and data intensive processes, we must prioritize data security. Just the other day, it was reported that over 2,100 organizations filed data breach notices through the first nine months of this year, setting a new record.   “It is critical that we promote innovation and establish sensible safeguards to provide people control over how our data is collected, used, and shared.    “We must also recognize the implications AI could have on an already strained electric grid.  “The computational power of AI, while impressive, consumes large amounts of electricity.   “As we heard in our hearing with grid operators a few weeks ago, we are already facing reliability concerns on the grid. The need for affordable and reliable electricity must remain a priority for all aspects of our economy, including those that innovate and contribute to our energy leadership and security.”  MORE AFFORDABLE AND MORE RELIABLE   “Successfully harnessing the benefits of AI will increase safety, reliability, resiliency, and hopefully lower costs for American energy consumers.   “These benefits will improve the quality of life and save Americans money during a time of severe inflation due to the failed policies of the current administration.    “This Committee, and Congress as a whole, needs to understand the hurdles to AI innovation as well as the potential harms.   “AI can play a critical role in better delivering reliable and affordable energy to Americans.  “I look forward to this hearing today to better understand AI’s intersection with the energy sector and ways Congress can approach AI regulation to both support innovation and minimize threats.” 
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led an Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing today titled “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Powering America’s Energy Future.” The following are her remarks as prepared for delivery:  LEADING WITH A NATIONAL DATA PRIVACY STANDARD   “This hearing is the second installment of our series on artificial intelligence and the importance of establishing a national privacy and data security standard, which is the best way to boost innovation and protect people’s information online as we incorporate more AI tools into our lives and businesses.     “Today, we’ll explore the many advances in artificial intelligence applications and the opportunities AI can bring to our energy sector.    “The Promise of American innovation and entrepreneurship has improved people’s lives and advanced our global economic leadership for decades.    “America’s energy dominance has played a foundational role in helping us achieve those successes.    “We’re blessed with an abundance of natural resources all around us.   “From harnessing the power of clean nuclear and hydropower, to unlocking the shale revolution, we have led the world in countless advancements in the energy sector.   “Today’s innovators are on the cutting edge of developing and deploying game-changing solutions that lower costs and shape the future for the next generation.    “This is a uniquely American legacy, and it’s critical that we continue working to build on that legacy.   “Which brings us to artificial intelligence.”  OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE ENERGY SECTOR    “As our energy infrastructure and equipment is increasingly automated and connected online, unlocking AI’s potential could radically enhance our ability to deliver affordable, reliable energy faster and more efficiently.      “That includes tools to optimize energy exploration and grid operations, which will improve reliability, lower costs, and bolster U.S. leadership in reducing emissions.    “AI can improve our prediction models for wildfires to significantly mitigate risks and reduce damage.    “This technology can also help expand our energy supply by enhancing production of fossil energy, like natural gas and oil, while finding new ways to harness nuclear energy.     “Across the board, AI can improve how we use our energy resources and mitigate risks for energy workers and the communities they serve.    “We’ll be able to produce more and use our abundant resources in more efficient, clean ways, which can help us drive down costs and achieve our common goal of being good stewards of the environment.    “And the benefits of this technology become even greater over time.   “Further down the road, machine learning, or 'generative' AI systems, could open up new opportunities by enabling companies to perform even more complex data analysis, forecasting, and automation.”  THE RISKS OF AI    “But like any new technology, with opportunities also come potential challenges.    “As these increasingly powerful computing and information tools expand into critical sectors of our energy economy, we must confront the risks and potential for untended consequences of AI.    “That includes accidents caused by automated decision-making and machinery, data privacy and copyright violations, and how these systems will respond to events like market disruptions.    “Perhaps more concerning, as our energy systems become more complex and integrated, the risks for attacks by cybercriminals and other bad actors grow.   “Because of the nature of these challenges, especially as it relates to the security of people’s data, it’s vital that America—not China—is the one leading the development and deployment of these AI tools.”   AI STANDS FOR AMERICAN INGENUITY     “We are at a pivotal moment in the development of AI.    “Our competitors and adversaries, like China, are charging ahead to dominate it’s use in energy and other sectors.   “Many of these countries do not share America’s values, like personal freedom and liberty, free markets, and human dignity for all.     “As we explore the opportunities and risks of AI, we must strike the right balance.   “One that keeps the U.S. in the lead by giving businesses the flexibility to remain agile as they develop these cutting-edge technologies, while at the same time ensuring the tools are used responsibly and the data that feeds these AI systems, especially people’s personal data, is safe and secure.   “This is the best way to set durable, informed policy that fosters American innovation and keeps the public’s best interests front and center.   “To reassert our global energy and innovation leadership for the coming century, we must win the race to harness the power of AI.       “I am optimistic that American innovators will answer the call and I encourage them to work with us.”         
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) today announced a subcommittee hearing titled "Supporting Access to Long-Term Services and Supports: An Examination of the Impacts of Proposed Regulations on Workforce and Access to Care.”    “Americans receiving long-term services and support, including seniors and people with disabilities, need access to quality care. Yet, the Biden administration has prioritized new rules with a one-size-fits all approach. We've heard concerns in our communities that the administration's recently proposed nursing home ratio rule and so-called access rule will force facilities to close their doors and jeopardize patient care. This hearing will give members an opportunity to hear from expert witnesses to better understand the unique challenges that our nation’s most vulnerable are facing,” said Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie. Subcommittee on Health hearing titled "Supporting Access to Long-Term Services and Supports: An Examination of the Impacts of Proposed Regulations on Workforce and Access to Care."   WHAT : A subcommittee hearing to discuss how proposed regulations on the health care work force could affect access to care.  DATE : Wednesday, October 25, 2023    TIME : 2:00 PM ET  LOCATION : 2123 Rayburn House Office Building    WITNESSES : Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only.  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 Jolie Brochin with the Committee staff at Jolie.Brochin@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov
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 “Safeguarding Data and Innovation: Setting the Foundation for the Use of AI.” NATIONAL PRIVACY STANDARD IS FOUNDATIONAL FOR AI “Welcome to the first in our series of AI hearings, and the seventh data privacy related hearing we’ve held this year. “The promises of artificial intelligence are extensive—from more affordable energy and better health care to a more productive workforce and a better standard of living. “Unlocking this technology’s potential could radically strengthen American economic and technological leadership across the board. “In addition, the power of AI can also be abused, and raises serious concerns and challenges that must be addressed. “It’s critical that America —not China—is the one addressing those challenges and leading in AI’s development and deployment. “The best way to start is by laying the groundwork to protect people’s information with a national data privacy standard. “This is a foundational first step towards a safe and prosperous AI future.” DATA FEEDS AI SYSTEMS “If used correctly, AI can be a source for good. “It can help us unlock life-changing technologies like self-driving vehicles and enhanced health diagnostics systems, enhance protections against national security threats and data breaches, while assisting companies and law enforcement to better scan Internet platforms for illegal activity, like child sexual abuse material and fentanyl distribution. “To unlock these benefits though, we need to first establish foundational protections for the data that powers many of these new AI tools, and it’s vital that this be led by the U.S. “Data is the lifeblood of artificial intelligence. These systems learn from processing vast amounts of data. “As we think about how to protect people’s data privacy, we need to be considering first and foremost how this data is collected, how it was meant to be used, and ensure it is secured.” RESPONSIBLE ALGORITHMS TRAIN RESPONSIBLE AI “It’s time that we provide people with greater transparency and put them back in control over the collection and use of their personal information. “Key to this is ensuring the safety of the algorithms used by online platforms, which serve as the instruction manuals for artificial intelligence. “By making sure algorithms are being developed, operated, and ‘training’ AI responsibly, we can provide Americans with greater transparency for how their data is analyzed, how these systems identify patterns, how they make predictions, and how their interactions with online platforms are used to determine what content they see. “Put simply, trustworthy algorithms are essential components in the responsible deployment of AI. “Failing to enact a national data privacy standard, or allowing China to lead the way, heightens the risk for the over collection and misuse of data, unauthorized access and transfers, and greater harms for Americans and our families.” PROTECTING DATA FROM CYBER THREATS “We need to prioritize strengthening data security protections to safeguard people’s information against threats. “The theft and exploitation of sensitive information, especially biometric data, pose severe risks to individuals and organizations. “Even if we establish stronger data privacy protections for Americans, without equally robust data security requirements alongside those rules on collection and use, the number of data breaches and abuses will continue to rise and compromise people’s information. “Building those laws early will ensure greater public trust in AI, which will help ensure future innovations are made in the U.S.” CONCLUSION “To ensure American leadership, we must strike the right balance with AI, one that gives businesses the flexibility to remain agile as they develop these cutting-edge technologies, while also ensuring the responsible use of this new technology. “A national standard for the collection and handling of data will provide businesses, creators, and every American with clear and understandable protections wherever they are.”
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s hearing titled “Exposing EPA Efforts to Limit Chemicals Needed for Life-Saving Medical Devices and Other Essential Products.” CHEMICALS CRUCIAL TO OUR WAY OF LIFE “Boosting U.S. manufacturing is key to winning the future. “For decades, we’ve been the best place to do business. “We’ve done more than any other country to improve people’s lives thanks in large part to our leadership in industries like health care, energy, national security and technology , all of which rely heavily on chemical manufacturing and its supply chain. “That includes medical devices, surgical equipment, heart valves for infants, and drinking water treatments. “It includes protective gear for law enforcement and our troops, and it’s essential for building semiconductors, which are key to securing our competitive edge against countries like China. “These products save lives, energy, and advance our standard of living, and they are all currently under threat by EPA. BIDEN’S BURDENSOME REGULATIONS ARE CEDING U.S. LEADERSHIP TO CHINA “A recent report found there to be ‘an ongoing decline in the growth rate of the demand for chemical products.’ “According to the report, this decline is the result of both rising competition from China and harmful regulations in the U.S. that are forcing businesses and jobs out of the country. “President Biden’s systematic shutdown of American industry is increasing our cost of living and forcing us to rely on countries—like China—with worse environmental and human rights records. “Just as we ’re seeing with our auto sector, the policies of the Biden administration are making America poorer and China richer. “The EPA is at the center of this regulatory attack. “Many of the agency’s recent regulatory actions go far beyond what is reasonable to protect against adverse risks. “For example, by delaying evaluations and policy decisions for new and existing chemicals, the EPA is creating expensive uncertainty for businesses and harming innovators. “These regulations span multiple laws, and raise serious concerns regarding EPA’s motives, as well as the methods and models used to justify many of its decisions.” THREAT OF UNSAFE SURGICAL SUPPLIES “Like many of my colleagues, I am very concerned—for example—of how the EPA is trying to regulate the chemical used to sterilize approximately half of all medical devices and 95 percent of all surgical kits in the U.S. EPA is taking steps to drastically restrict its use, which will significantly disrupt patient access to emergency care and threaten patient safety from hospital-born infections. “The Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged the life-threatening consequences for patients if our health care system lacks adequate sterilization. “It isn’t clear to us that EPA is listening.” WORSE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND AMERICANS “The reality is, many more of EPA’s proposed standards will create more harm than good. “By all measures, America has significantly improved the nation’s air quality and enhanced people’s protections from pollution. “Our environmental standards are among the best in the world. “Despite this progress, however, the Biden EPA has moved ahead with these far-reaching regulatory attacks. “The longer we continue down this path, the more jobs, innovation, and investment we will force out of the U.S, leaving an opening for more products and chemicals to come in from China, the largest polluter in the world with the worst environmental standards. “We should be focusing on how we can make people’s lives better, not worse. “I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, who can shed light on how industry has been affected and how these efforts are limiting America’s ability to create and manufacture critical, often life-saving, products used every day.”
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