Catalytic Converter Thefts

Floor Speech

Date: July 26, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BAIRD. Madam Speaker, today I rise to address an issue plaguing my constituents, my fellow Hoosiers, and Americans across the country: catalytic converter thefts.

From the outside looking in, catalytic converter theft may seem like a small problem, but law enforcement, auto dealers, and the growing number of victims of these crimes will tell you otherwise. In communities across the country, thieves are targeting families, schools, and businesses, disrupting transportation plans and leading drivers to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with catalytic converters, this auto part is required to reduce the potency of toxic emissions from internal combustion engines and is usually made up of precious metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium, which can be sold to scrap dealers for hundreds of dollars on the black market. The value of these materials, combined with a thief's ability to remove them from a car in a matter of seconds, makes them a prime target for criminals looking to earn cash with little risk.

My bill takes a multipronged approach to tackling this epidemic and by including traceable identifying features on catalytic converters, addressing how parts are purchased, and strengthening enforceability of catalytic converter thefts. By creating a system where law enforcement can link stolen catalytic converters from their vehicles of origin, prohibit the purchase of disassembled catalytic converters, and codify catalytic converter thefts as criminal offenses with criminal penalties, it is my great hope that we can curb these costly thefts.

I am deeply concerned about the costly impacts that these thefts have on Americans, especially at a time when American workers are taking home less and families are paying more for everything thanks to soaring inflation rates. I recognize the strain this has put on so many victims of this crime, and I want to do all I can to empower law enforcement so we can address this problem.

Americans have enough to worry about. Spending their hard-earned paycheck to replace stolen car parts shouldn't be one of them.

I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have joined me in this effort to empower law enforcement and deter future theft by joining the PART Act. I believe that this widely bipartisan issue can be an easy win for Congress by offering a straightforward and impactful solution for law enforcement struggling to address these rampant crimes across the country. I hope you will join me in putting an end to this issue by supporting H.R. 6394, the PART Act. Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education


Mr. BAIRD. Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak about H.R. 3588. This is an important piece of legislation that I was proud to introduce with my friend from Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan.

The Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act provides a much-needed solution to improving the quality of STEM education in America. This legislation advances mathematical instruction by incorporating modern tools and context, including data, statistics, and computation.

Mathematical modeling is currently taught on a limited basis yet is the foundation for the important work our Nation is addressing within research, development, and technological innovation.

In addition to being both a bipartisan and a bicameral piece of legislation, this bill has the support of several organizations, including the American Mathematical Society, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; and I am proud to lead this effort in providing for the security of America's global competitive edge.

Madam Speaker, I urge all Members to support this bill.