Committee on Energy and Commerce to Mark Up 21st Century Cures Act

On Tuesday, May 19, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will begin its markup of the 21st Century Cures Act, to be continued on Wednesday, May 20. The legislation is the product of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Initiative that was spearheaded by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) this past year. The Initiative held various events and authored policy papers on topics such as innovating public health agencies, incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, and modernizing medicine and medical product regulation.

The Act includes an increase of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), changes to the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and provisions focused on electronic health records, telemedicine, and drug manufacturing and development, among others. The Subcommittee on Health passed the legislation by unanimous voice vote last week, though the Committee was still working on finalizing language and determining plans to offset the bill’s costs after the markup.

While Chairman Upton has indicated he would like to consider the 21st Century Cures Act on the House floor in early summer, the Senate is unlikely to consider companion legislation this year. Rather, leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) have acknowledged that they do not anticipate significant movement on their parallel legislation until early 2016.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, May 19: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Improving Competition in Medicare: Removing Moratoria and Expanding Access.”
  • Tuesday, May 19: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will convene for opening statements for the markup of H.R. ___, the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • Wednesday, May 20: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will reconvene for the markup of H.R. ___, the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • Wednesday, May 20: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Use of Administrative Actions in the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Wednesday, May 20: The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing titled “Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis.”
  • Thursday, May 21: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “What Are the State Governments Doing to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?”