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Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Latta Priorities

The Energy and Commerce Committee passed a number of bipartisan bills to improve health care access for new and expecting mothers, increase rural broadband capabilities, boost our economy, and more.

Washington, November 20, 2019

Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee concluded a two-day markup where members voted to pass a number of bipartisan bills working to improve health care access for new and expecting mothers, increase rural broadband capabilities, boost our economy, and more. Congressman Latta released the following statement at the conclusion of today’s markup:

“The bipartisan bills the Committee passed work to improve the lives of thousands of Americans nationwide. Americans who live in rural communities, including many in Northwest Ohio, deserve to have better access to critical resources that allow people, regardless of where they call home, to receive the care they need and compete in the 21st century economy.

“Specifically, I am proud that with the passage of these bills, we are making it easier for new and expecting mothers in rural communities to access vitally important health care services, increasing opportunities for businesses, allowing students to do their homework online, and ensuring the United States remains a leader in 5G.”

Congressman Latta and Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR02) provided the following joint statement:

“We are moving forward with critical legislation today that will help us achieve a broad range of our shared telecommunications priorities at Energy and Commerce. The bipartisan bills advanced to the House will help expand broadband access in rural America, secure our communications networks, and ensure proper management of federal spectrum resources. We are also moving forward with an agreement that, while not perfect, represents progress on STELAR that we can stand behind. This goes to show what we can achieve when we work together in a bipartisan way.”

BACKGROUND

The Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send a number of bills to the House of Floor for further consideration, including:

  • H.R. 4995, the “Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019” (sponsored by Congressman Latta, originated in the Health Subcommittee)
    According to 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the maternal mortality rate in large central metropolitan areas was 18.2 per 100,000 live births when compared to 29.4 per 100,000 live births in the most rural areas. This bill is a package of many bills, including the Rural MOMS Act introduced by Congressman Latta, that will improve health care access for new and expecting mothers in rural communities nationwide.

  • H.R. 4229, the “Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act,” or the “Broadband DATA Act” (Committee Print) (sponsored by Congressman Latta, originated in the Communications and Technology Subcommittee
    The Broadband DATA Act works to close the gap in internet access for rural communities by calling for a better national broadband map, which shows where Americans have internet access and where they do not. 

  • H.R. 5000, the ‘‘Studying How to Harness Airwave Resources Efficiently Act of 2019’’ or the ‘‘SHARE Act’’ (sponsored by Congressman Latta, originated in the Communications and Technology Subcommittee)
    The SHARE Act recognizes that we need to efficiently use spectrum as our nation's demand for connected devices increases. This bill aims to ensure the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has the tools needed to increase spectrum sharing among Federal users.  

  • H.R. 3851, the “Brand USA Extension Act” (Committee Print) (co-sponsored by Congressman Latta, originated in the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee)
    The Brand USA Extension Act would reauthorize the Brand USA program so that public and private resources can continue to be leveraged to promote the United States as a tourist attraction to international visitors at no cost to taxpayers. According to Ohio Tourism, 46 million people came to visit Ohio in 2017, spending $19 billion and contributing $3.1 billion in tax revenue.

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH05) serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee as the Republican Leader on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee where he advocates for policies that help consumers, grow the economy and spur innovation. He also serves as an active member of the Consumer, Protection, and Commerce Subcommittee, which he previously chaired, and the Energy Subcommittee.

Congressman Latta has served on all six Energy and Commerce subcommittees. The Energy and Commerce Committee is the oldest standing legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and is vested with the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee.

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