E&C Democrats Fight to Bring More Transparency & Accountability to Committee Rules
Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats plan to offer several dozen amendments today to the Committee’s 115th Congress Rules Package and to the Authorization and Oversight Plan during the Committee’s official organizational meeting at 1 p.m. in Rayburn 2167.
During the meeting Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) will offer several amendments to the Rules Package that will bring more transparency and accountability to the Committee process, including in the area of subpoena power. Last Congress, the Committee gave the Chair the power to unilaterally issue subpoenas without minority concurrence and without a vote of the Committee.
“The Republican rules package, does not maintain transparency or encourage trust and consensus building between committee Republicans and Democrats,” Pallone will say. “The package also does little, on the whole, to inject more transparency into areas where past experience shows us that more real transparency and openness are needed.”
Pallone and other Committee Democrats will also offer amendments to the oversight plan. While Pallone will say there is a lot in the Oversight plan that he agrees with, there are also some glaring omissions that simply should not and cannot be ignored, including in the areas of health care and climate change.
“The Energy and Commerce Committee is going to be at the forefront of the vigorous debate on the Republican Majority’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Pallone will say at today’s organizational meeting. “If this is really the majority’s intent, you would think they would want to look at the impacts repeal would have on the American people. The Oversight Plan does not mention anything about the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“There is no recognition of the fact that the Paris Agreement on climate change became international law in November,” Pallone will say. “The United States led this effort, and that leadership should continue as we collectively work to fight climate change while also continuing to build a clean energy economy.”
A copy of the Committee Rules Resolution is available here.
A copy of the Accountability and Oversight Plan is available here.