Thursday, January 01, 2015
Billy Long: I look forward to crafting major legislation
With the start of a new year and the new Congress I am excited about the opportunities ahead for the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2015 and the 114th Congress.
Last month Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton named me to three leading subcommittees for the 114thCongress. I will serve on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, the Energy and Power Subcommittee, and the Health Subcommittee. These three subcommittees cover a large majority of the full committee’s policy jurisdiction, and I look forward to having a hand in crafting major legislation beginning at the ground floor.
In the last Congress the Energy and Commerce Committee had a solid record of success aimed at creating jobs and modernizing government. All told more than 50 bills became law, while 40 ended up languishing in the Harry Reid led Senate.
In the 114th Congress the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will strive to update the Communications Act, which was last updated in 1996. The subcommittee spent last year gathering information and public input on updating this law for the innovation era in an effort to foster job creation. A part of the full committee’s record of success in the 113th Congress was the passage of the STELA Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law late last year. This legislation, especially important for rural areas, ensures that 1.5 million satellite television subscribers continue to receive broadcast programming and makes a number of changes to improve the video marketplace for consumers.
I am looking forward to helping the Energy and Power Subcommittee build on the Architecture of Abundance energy strategy in the 114th. The Architecture of Abundance energy strategy is based on five pillars: 1, building a modern energy infrastructure; 2, maintaining diverse electricity generation; 3, permitting a new manufacturing renaissance into existence; 4, harnessing new energy innovation and commonsense efficiencies; and 5, unleashing a new era of American energy diplomacy. This subcommittee will look to advance a new energy policy for our country that says yes to energy. Our country has the energy resources to increase energy security here at home. Tapping into our nation’s resources in a safe and responsible way means cheaper energy for American families and more jobs.We have plentiful energy resources in our country and need policies in place that allow for us to tap into those energy resources.
The Health Subcommittee will build on the efforts of the 21st Century Cures initiative. The goal of this initiative is to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in our country. Last year the committee hosted a number of hearings and roundtables in Washington and across the country gathering ideas about how to speed up the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments. Early this year, my colleagues and I on the Health Subcommittee will unveil a legislative package to be considered as we move forward with this important initiative.
It is important we are looking at new technologies and advancements available in the telecommunications, energy and health care arenas and how they can help spur economic growth and job creation. The Energy and Commerce Committee will look to build on the committee’s record of success in the 114th Congress, and I am ready to help accomplish this goal.