The House Energy and Commerce Committee today approved the rules of the committee and advanced five pieces of legislation, versions of which were previously considered and approved by the full House, during the organizational meeting for the 113th Congress. The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (H.R. 267), the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act, the Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 297), the National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013 (H.R. 225), and the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act (H.R. 235) were all approved by unanimous consent.
"I am pleased that today, on the first official day of committee activity in the 113th Congress, we were able to advance five commonsense and bipartisan bills that assist veterans, streamline energy permitting, and advance health care for children," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton. "I look forward to their consideration on the House floor, and it is my hope that our counterparts in the Senate act as favorably and expeditiously as we have here in this committee."
Details of the Legislation Approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee:
The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, authored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), will help facilitate the development of new hydropower projects across the country by reducing red tape and streamlining the permitting process. Hydropower is the largest renewable electricity source in the United States, and new hydropower development has the potential to create 700,000 new jobs over the next 14 years.
The Collinsville Hydroelectric Relicensing Bill, authored by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), would provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with limited authority to reinstate two terminated hydroelectric licenses and transfer them to a new owner, the Town of Canton, Connecticut. The licenses are associated with the Upper and Lower Collinsville Dams on the Farmington River in Connecticut. Both projects are under one megawatt each.
The Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act, authored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), would extend the widely used program for five years. CHGME provides support to children's hospitals for pediatric medical residency programs. Today, over 40 percent of pediatricians and pediatric specialists are trained through the CHGME program.
The National Pediatric Research Network Act, authored by Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), would allow NIH to fund pediatric research networks comprised of a consortia of institutions that will cooperate in conducting research on conditions and diseases affecting children.
The Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act, authored by Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Lois Capps (D-CA), would provide demonstration grants to states with a shortage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to streamline state-licensing requirements for military veteran EMTs to prevent unnecessary duplication in training.