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Pallone Demands Upton Intervene to Prevent Select Panel Contempt Vote

Sep 21, 2016
Press Release
Select Panel Does Not Have Power to Bring Contempt Charges

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) requesting that he immediately intervene to prevent the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives from considering a resolution and draft report today that charges StemExpress, as well as its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cate Dyer, with criminal contempt. 

“The Select Panel does not have the authority to take such action, and therefore I am requesting that you immediately intervene and demand that Select Panel Chairman Marsha Blackburn withdraw her request for a contempt vote,” Pallone wrote to Chairman Upton.  “The House Resolution that created the Select Panel did not give it power to bring contempt charges or to issue any contempt reports.  Furthermore, the rules of the House only allow full committees to consider and approve contempt resolutions; the Select Panel is a sub-entity of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, and as such it lacks independent contempt or legislative making authority. Therefore, it is clear that Chairman Blackburn does not have the authority to proceed with today’s vote, and no action on contempt can be taken without consideration of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.”

The Select Investigative Panel on Infant lives is scheduled to meet this afternoon to consider the contempt resolution. Pallone wrote in the letter that the McCarthyesque actions of the Select Panel, which include intimidation and harassment, undermine the type of research that a final 21st Century Cures bill strives to promote.

A copy of Pallone’s letter to Chairman Upton is available here.