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Michael B.
Republican TX 26

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013

    by Representative Michael C. Burgess

    Posted on 2014-01-09

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    Read More about Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013

    BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 455 and ask for its immediate consideration.



    The Clerk read the resolution, as follows: H. Res. 455 Resolved, That at any time after adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2279) to amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act relating to review of regulations under such Act and to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 relating to financial responsibility for classes of facilities. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Energy and Commerce now printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-30. That amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. All points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. No amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part A of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. All points of order against such amendments are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final [[Page H88]] passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

    Sec. 2. Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 3362) to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to require transparency in the operation of American Health Benefit Exchanges. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. The amendment printed in part B of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. The bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. All points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate, with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means; and (2) one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

    Sec. 3. Upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 3811) to require notification of individuals of breaches of personally identifiable information through Exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. The bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and (2) one motion to recommit.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 1 hour.

    Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.

    General Leave Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas? There was no objection.

    Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 455 provides for the consideration of three important bills which were reported by the Energy and Commerce Committee: H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013; H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act; and H.R. 3811, the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014.

    H.R. 2279 is a bill to address the burdensome and outdated deadlines for certain rulemaking activities conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Solid Waste Disposal Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. This provides flexibility for the Environmental Protection Agency in order to streamline a process critical to cleaning up sites contaminated with certain toxic or hazardous chemicals.

    It further requires the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate existing State or other Federal financial insurance requirements to determine whether additional requirements are, in fact, necessary.

    Finally, it requires the owner or operator of a chemical storage site to report the presence of such chemicals to the State emergency response commissions.

    It is a commonsense piece of legislation to help clean up areas that have been polluted and allows for their reclamation or development. This could bring jobs and economic benefits to neighborhoods which have been so affected.

    As the two health care-related pieces of legislation, these are targeted bills to address just a few of the massive problems the American public has witnessed over the last few months pertaining to the calamitous rollout of the Federal www.healthcare.gov Web site. The data obtained by www.healthcare.gov is one of the largest collections of personal information ever assembled. It links information between seven different Federal agencies, State agencies, and government contractors.

    In promising lower costs and widespread health coverage for Americans, President Obama failed to mention that the Affordable Care Act's mandates and requirements will create large-scale disruption of the entire health insurance market. The resulting cancelation of insurance plans and high cost for employers to continue providing insurance for their workers has left millions of Americans with no choice other than to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges, subjecting their personal information to the vulnerable security infrastructure.

    The initial launch of www.healthcare.gov on October 1, 2013, was plagued with glitches and errors. Not only did the administration fail to establish basic functionality of the Web site, but the initial problems really only break the surface of the deeper security threats in the underlying law. A multitude of gaps remain in the Web site's security infrastructure, making the Web site a wide-open target for hackers and identity thieves. These flaws continue to pose a threat to the security of Americans' personal data.

    Mr. Speaker, it wasn't that the administration was not alerted to these security concerns on the Web site prior to the launch. MITRE Corporation, a contractor for the Department of Health and Human Services, alerted the agency that 19 unaddressed security vulnerabilities plagued the Web site prior to its launch on October 1. Top officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including the chief information security officer, Teresa Fryer, along with the Web site's project manager, Tony Trenkle, both refused to sign the Authority to Operate license that was necessary to actually launch www.healthcare.gov. Despite these known issues, the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner, continued to launch the Web site.

    This is much more than a faulty Web site. This is about the American people, who cannot trust their government to certify that their personal information will be safe on a government-run Web site.

    The security threat goes beyond just an individual's primary application. Once an individual's personal information is entered into the system, the exchange has the ability to access information within the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, and the Treasury Department. The administration has opened numerous Federal agencies to data breaches and unauthorized access.

    Just before the holidays, the entire Nation saw firsthand what a massive security breach looks like. Over 40 million Target customers, their personal data was compromised by computer hackers who pilfered personal financial information and identification.

    Target has gone out of their way to alert customers of the security breach. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has no such obligation under the law. This is a point that I don't think most people are aware of. It is not required. It is not a mandate that you have a Target charge card or that you shop at Target, but it is certainly required and a mandate that you buy your insurance through www.healthcare.gov. This is a coercive Federal policy that now is pulling people into its Web site and refuses to provide them the very same protection that we demand that the private sector do for a voluntary purchase.

    Instead of following the same requirements placed on the private sector, the Federal Government has gone out of their way to avoid imposing this basic due diligence in their own exchanges. Even when a notification requirement was specifically requested during the rulemaking process on the exchanges, the administration just simply refused.

    In the March 27, 2012, Federal Register, Department of Health and Human Services responded, stating: We do not plan to include the specific notification procedures in the final rule. Consistent with this approach, we did not include specific policies for investigation of data breaches in this final rule.

    Furthermore, State laws required that many of the 14 State-run insurance exchanges, that they do disclose such information. No such law exists for the federally run exchange. Mr. Speaker, I would remind you that 36 [[Page H89]] States rely upon the federally run exchange.

    Look, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, taxpayer dollars. The American people deserve to know that their personal information is protected and to be notified if that protection lapses.

    Let's be honest: www.healthcare.gov is the most talked about Web site in years. The massive amounts of personal information that is collected through www.healthcare.gov and its ability to access multiple government databases creates the perfect environment for targeting by hackers.

    Over 16 attempts to hack into the system have already been reported, not to mention the many stories that have been reported in the press on the mishandling and sharing of individuals' data. Identity theft is a threat not only to an individual's credit rating and personal finances but also to overall United States security. Most Americans would be shocked to learn that this level of protection is not already in place for an initiative the size of the Affordable Care Act. Well, today the House is working to correct this injustice, protecting Americans when the administration has refused to do so.

    The Obama administration has consistently refused to disclose detailed data on how many Americans have actually completed the Obama Care enrollment process. Now it is more than 3 months after the launch of the exchanges, and we just simply do not know how many Americans are enrolled in the exchange plan.

    It was the administration who initially defined the success of the exchange as the number of Americans who actually enroll in the program. The number of enrollments are the only way to evaluate whether the more than $1 trillion that was spent on this thing by the administration is actually working.

    The President's commitment to an open and transparent government, repeated so many times during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, represents yet one more broken promise in a long string of broken promises.

    {time} 1245 Where this administration has failed, the bill before us will require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide detailed weekly reports to the American people about the enrollment number on healthcare.gov. The American people deserve to know what they are getting for their hard-earned tax dollars that they have spent on the demands of this administration.

    It is the American people who are suffering because of the mismanagement and failures of this administration. Today--today--we have the opportunity to provide transparency and protect Americans' personal information.

    The rule before us today provides for 1 hour of debate equally divided between the majority and the minority for each of the bills contained in the rule. The minority is further afforded the customary motion to recommit on each piece of legislation.

    I want to encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the rule and ``yes'' on the underlying bills and stand with the millions of Americans who are asking and who are demanding that we protect their privacy.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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