House Energy and Commerce Committee

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'Appalled' GOP Wants Planned Parenthood Inquiry

House committee to investigate if PP harvested organs for money

(Newser) - House Republicans have launched a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood over an undercover video in which an official describes how the organization gives fetal tissue to researchers. Selling fetal parts for a profit is illegal. However, the senior director of medical services tells pro-life activists from the Center for Medical... More »

Feds Ignored Warnings on Deadly GM Glitch

And GM declined to fix it because it would be too expensive

(Newser) - Federal regulators twice ignored complaints about the Chevy Cobalt defect that has killed hundreds of people , congressional investigators alleged yesterday, and General Motors not only knew about the flaw , but nixed several fixes because they'd be too expensive, the Wall Street Journal reports. A breakdown of each allegation:
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ObamaCare Penalty Delayed —but Not Due to Website

WH says it's just eliminating confusion

(Newser) - Good news for procrastinators: Americans will now have an extra month and a half to get health insurance before facing a penalty under ObamaCare, meaning they won't face a fine if they sign up for a plan by March 31. The six-week delay (a change of tune for the... More »

EPA Head Lisa Jackson Stepping Down

Jackson's tenure marked by big fights with Republicans

(Newser) - The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants, and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people'... More »

White House Counsel Refuses Solyndra Subpoena

Says it's too broad, smacks of 'partisan politics'

(Newser) - The White House is fighting back over a House panel's subpoena of all Solyndra documents , refusing to comply and accusing the subpoena of being "driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation," reports CNN . The "extremely broad request" is "... More »

House Panel Subpoenas White House Solyndra Docs

Last-ditch efforts to avoid the move prove fruitless

(Newser) - Despite last-minute efforts by the White House, the House Energy and Commerce Committee panel today authorized subpoenas for internal White House documents related to the Solyndra mess. The Washington Post calls the move “apparently unprecedented.” President Obama’s top lawyer had sought a deal and White House officials... More »

White House Investigates Loans to Energy Department

Two dozen loans worth $36 billion will be reviewed after Solyndra mess

(Newser) - In the ugly aftermath of Solyndra , the White House yesterday ordered a 60-day independent review of the Energy Department's entire loan guarantee program, reports the LA Times . The review will encompass three loan programs and about two dozen loans worth about $36 billion. "While we continue to take... More »

Solyndra Execs Will Take 5th at House Hearing

Lawyers advise CEO and CFO to keep mum

(Newser) - When Solyndra bosses arrive for a House hearing this week, they won’t be saying much. CEO Brian Harrison and CFO Bill Stover plan to take the Fifth during congressional questioning Friday, their lawyers told House investigators in letters. “I have advised Mr. Harrison that he should decline to... More »

Almost 10% of Medicare Payments Improper

But it's hard to tell how much of that is fraud

(Newser) - The federal government lost around $48 billion to fraudulent and improper Medicare claims last year—which made up nearly 10% of all payments the program doled out, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. And even that figure might be on the low side, because it doesn’... More »

Relax, God Vowed Not to Destroy Earth: Would-Be Energy Chair

In climate change debate, Shimkus points to God's promise to Noah

(Newser) - A leading contender to chair the House Energy Committee has plucked his position on climate change straight from the pages of Genesis. People shouldn't worry about the planet being destroyed, Rep. John Shimkus testified last year, because God promised Noah after the flood that he wouldn't destroy the planet again.... More »

Joe Barton's Office Deletes Triumphant Tweet

An aide takes blame; senator keeps committee post

(Newser) - Joe Barton found himself having to backtrack again today, but this time it seems an aide is to blame. The chain of events goes like this: Barton apologized to fellow Republicans for his BP apology mess, then learned he'd get to keep his spot as ranking Republican on a plum... More »

Big Oil to House: It Won't Happen to Us

Execs to tell hearing that America needs continued drilling

(Newser) - The biggest cheeses from the world’s biggest oil companies are on Capitol Hill today to try to convince Congress that the Deepwater Horizon spill was a freak occurrence, and that they can surely be trusted to drill safely. According to prepared testimony, Exxon Mobil’s chairman will also issue... More »

New BP Plan: Fix the Failed 'Blowout Preventer'

Which failed in an outrageous number of ways, Congress heard yesterday

(Newser) - So far, nothing BP has tried to do to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf has worked, but company and Obama administration officials tell the New York Times they're optimistic about their latest plan: fixing the underwater “blowout preventer” that was supposed to seal off the spill... More »

House Panel: Kill College's BCS System

Subcommittee passes measure aimed at pushing playoff system

(Newser) - Lots of people hate the BCS college football system, and now a House panel does, too. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas pushed the anti-BCS measure through an Energy and Commerce subcommittee today. It would prevent college football officials from calling any game a "national championship" unless it's the result... More »

Drug Makers' Big Spending Pays Off on Hill

Biologics debate shows how lobbyists shape health debate

(Newser) - Drugmakers could get quite a gift from the health care reform bill. Senate and House amendments passed this summer give the makers of biologics—next-generation wonder drugs derived from living matter—12 years of exclusivity on their hyperexpensive products. That’s 7 more years than normal drugs get, and critics... More »

House Health Care Vote Looks Like a Squeaker

But slim margin could vanish if bill moves left or right: Silver

(Newser) - A compromise health care bill will likely squeak through the House by about two dozen votes, Nate Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight.com. The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Friday night 31-28 vote is a good model, with its similar balance of Republicans, liberal and Blue Dog Democrats. The committee passed... More »

Health Bill Compromise Kicks Off 5-Week Battle

(Newser) - A key House committee approved a health care package tonight, kicking off a 5-week public battle on the issue and sending lawmakers home for August recess, the Washington Post reports. The 31-to-28 vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, fueled by a liberal–Blue Dog deal this morning, could... More »

Blue Dog Deal Means No Vote on Health Before Recess

Dems also agree on $100B trim: Waxman

(Newser) - The House will not vote on a health care bill before the August recess, the Hill reports. Rep. Henry Waxman agreed to the delay as part of a deal with “Blue Dog” Democrats on his Energy and Commerce Committee, who had been threatening to block the bill. Waxman now... More »

Waxman Offers Secret Health Deal to Blue Dogs

Dem: 'Don't think failure is a reasonable option'

(Newser) - Rep. Henry Waxman is optimistic he can get a health care bill out of his committee after pitching Blue Dog Democrats a compromise late last night, the Hill reports. After three hours of negotiations, the Dogs asked Waxman to get a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before they... More »

Rep. Waxman Hospitalized

But House Democrat reportedly 'feeling much better now'

(Newser) - A powerful House committee chairman with a central role in President Obama's global warming and health care legislation has been hospitalized. Democrat Henry Waxman was not feeling well yesterday and was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in his native Los Angeles for "routine testing," a spokeswoman said today. More »

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