McMorris Rodgers Helps Advance Bills to Strengthen America’s Health Care System

Jul 20, 2023
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Washington, D.C. — Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today led the House Energy and Commerce Committee in marking up 15 bills to bolster substance use disorder treatment, prepare for the next public health security threat, take care of mothers and infants, and strengthen research into deadly diseases.

One of the bills advanced during the markup was Cathy’s Public Health Guidance Transparency and Accountability Act. This legislation would require the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to consider feedback from the public as part of its guidance-making process. Years ago, the House Energy and Commerce Committee worked to make sure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) included some type of process for public input and was clearly noted as “guidance” rather than a regulation that’s enforced by law. This bill builds off that effort and would open up the CDC’s insular culture and decision-making process to consider more outside voices to increase transparency.

NOTE: These 15 pieces of legislation are ready for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Cathy delivered the following opening remarks at today’s markup. Excerpts and highlights are below:

ENERGY AND COMMERCE IS LEADING ON SOLUTIONS

“Thank you to all my colleagues who are leading on solutions.

“We’re doing the hard work necessary to review and reauthorize programs and deliver results to the American people.

“That is our job as the People’s Representatives—to help improve the lives of those we serve.

“We are making sure moms and their babies get the support they need in all phases of their lives.

“We’re supporting research for Sickle Cell and childhood cancer.

“We’re reauthorizing important programs to help people find hope and recover from substance use disorders.

“We’re building on our work to stop fentanyl poisonings.

“We’re making sure hospitals can train pediatricians and we’re also bringing accountability to the CDC.”

REAUTHORIZING AND REFORMING KEY PROGRAMS

“In addition, we are reauthorizing key authorities to help protect Americans from chemical, radiological, biological, nuclear, and cyber-attacks.

“I have made clear my top priority is for these programs to be reauthorized on time.

“We are moving Mr. Hudson’s legislation today to make sure America is equipped to respond to public health threats.

“Regarding drug shortages, as I said last week, we are working on legislation following our request for information to address the underlying causes.

“Just yesterday, we sent a letter to the FDA asking about their lack of foreign inspection of manufacturing sites in China and India—two countries with a long history of safety compliance failures.

“The Senate HELP Committee released new provision on shortages as well that seem to take a more tailored approach to more FDA authorities, and I look forward to hearing stakeholder feedback.

“Examining FDA is only one part of addressing shortages, and our committee has the privilege of being able to look at federal reimbursement policies as well.

“I hope Democrats will work with me on our comprehensive approach to address the root causes of drug shortages, including looking at FDA authorities and how Medicare and Medicaid pay for medicines.

“Let’s work together.”

COMING TOGETHER FOR THE SUPPORT ACT

“I think about how we came together for the SUPPORT Act, for example.

“It’s proof of what we can accomplish when we work together.

“Today’s SUPPORT Act reauthorization includes a number of key bipartisan wins, including agreements on lifting the IMD Exclusion, helping people in our criminal justice system, and caring for foster youth in need.

“I’m proud of the work on this, and I’m looking forward to advancing it today.

“With that, thank you to all our members and their staff for all the hard work leading up to this markup.

“I look forward to today’s discussion and our work to advance these solutions to the full House for consideration.”

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