Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sought information on steps taken by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assess and improve upon our nation’s mental health system following previous incidences of mass violence. Following the tragedy in Newtown, the committee announced Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy and Ranking Member Diana DeGette would spearhead an examination into a range of programs, including the federal government’s role in mental health research and care. The request is part of the panel’s ongoing efforts to gain a better understanding of societal factors contributing to and potential causes of outbreaks of violence.
Democratic Members Offering Amendments to Oversight Plan to Direct the Committee to Hear from Experts about the Science of Climate Change
The Committee is currently meeting to discuss the draft oversight plan for the 113th Congress. Democrats are offering a series of amendments to the oversight plan to direct the Committee to hear from experts about the science of climate change, the risks it poses for the nation, and the shrinking window for action. The purpose of these amendments is to force the Committee to vote on whether it will educate itself through hearings so the members will be in a position to have informed discussions about the preeminent energy challenge of our ear. Watch live here as Democratic members offer amendments.
Today, the Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee offered three amendments to direct the Committee to hear from experts about the science of climate change, the risks it poses for the nation, and the shrinking window for action. Two of the three amendments were debated and voted upon. The purpose of these amendments was to force the Committee to vote on whether it will educate itself through hearings, so the members will be in a position to have informed discussions about the preeminent energy challenge of our era.
Today, the co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote to over 300 businesses and organizations, soliciting their views on actions the federal government could take to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen our resiliency to climate change. The members have called for ideas for action that can be taken using the Administration’s existing authority as well as ideas that might need congressional approval. The members wrote to groups representing a wide range of key stakeholders, including industry, labor, nongovernmental organizations, academia, business and trade associations, and faith-based and public health groups.
Ranking Member Waxman Calls on Committee Leaders to Abandon Unwarranted Attack on CRS Analysis on Coal Ash Legislation
Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman wrote to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus calling on them to abandon their unwarranted attack on the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and its analyst. The flaws in the coal ash legislation identified by the CRS report are the same flaws that the Environmental Protection Agency identified in its analysis of the bill.
Ranking Members Waxman, DeGette, and Rush Express Concerns to Chairman Upton about Unfair Attack on Clean Energy Grant Program
Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette, and Energy and Power Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby L. Rush wrote to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton to raise concerns about the allegations contained in a Republican staff report on the section 1603 Treasury grants program.
Today, Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman released the following statement clarifying his position on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline:
Today Democratic leaders of the committees with jurisdiction over health policy submitted comments on the proposed rule on nondiscriminatory wellness programs offered by group health plans issued by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services.
Following President Obama’s recent statement in his inaugural address that failing to respond to the threat of climate change would “betray our children and future generations,” Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse today announced the formation of a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to address this important issue.
As their first order of business, Task Force Co-Chairs Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, joined by Rep. Ed Markey, sent a letter to President Obama applauding his recognition of climate change in his inaugural address, pledging to stand with him in the fight to address this issue, and urging him to develop a comprehensive climate change plan as expeditiously as possible.
The text of the letter is below and online here.