Pallone Opening Remarks at Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Markup of Five Bills


Date: Feb. 7, 2023
Location: Washington, DC

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following opening remarks at an Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee markup of five bills:

Today the Subcommittee is holding a markup on five bills -- two of which have never had a legislative hearing. This is unfortunate because I believe these five bills are areas where Democrats and Republicans share similar goals for securing our nation's supply chains and ensuring everyone in the United States is informed about who is storing their sensitive data and where it is stored.

While this Committee has the opportunity to enact real, positive change in the lives of everyday Americans, it is unfortunate that the Republican majority is not taking these bills through regular order so that we can hear feedback on the bills from interested stakeholders to ensure there are no unintended consequences. I hope this is not the way the Chairs plan to run this Subcommittee and Committee over the next two years.

Now let me get to the legislation before us today. Two of the bills, H.R. 813, the "Global Investment in American Jobs Act," and H.R. 752. the "Securing Semiconductors Supply Chain Act," focus on America's supply chain resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain, which had devastating effects for first responders, patients, and everyday Americans.

I am glad to see the Republican Majority has made it a priority this Congress to address and strengthen U.S. supply chain. It is critical that we work together to ensure that the disruptions we saw over the past three years never happen again. That's why I am extremely discouraged by the Republicans' refusal to include in this markup the substantive and comprehensive supply chain bills that Representatives Blunt Rochester, Dingell, Kelly, and Wild worked so hard on in the previous Congress and reintroduced last week. If Republicans are serious about securing our nation's supply chains, I hope they will seriously consider working with Democrats to move these substantive bills and I look forward to addressing any concerns they may have.

Two of the other bills on today's markup, H.R. 742 and H.R. 784, focus on disclosures to consumers. H.R. 742 requires disclosure of the fact that a mobile application is owned by the Chinese Communist Party, or a non-state entity located in the People's Republic of China. H.R. 784 requires disclosure that a mobile application or website maintains and stores information in China. These bills address problems worthy of our attention, but they are way too broad and need more work.

Versions of these two bills introduced in the last Congress were part of a legislative hearing in December 2021, but there was very little discussion on either of them and the witnesses did not address how the bills would affect consumers and American businesses. I support giving consumers access to information about where their data is maintained and who has control over it, but I don't think rushing through two pieces of legislation like this without proper feedback is in the best interest of anyone.

I have similar concerns about the last bill on today's markup, H.R. 750. This bill was only introduced a few days ago and there has not been adequate time to vet this legislation with stakeholders to fully explore its implications.

I hope we can work in a bipartisan manner to continue the work Democrats championed in the last Congress to protect consumers and our national security. I also hope my Republican colleagues will commit to working with Democrats between now and any full Committee markup, so that we can come to a bipartisan agreement on these bills.

Thank you, Chairman Bilirakis.