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Next Week on Corporate Congress’ Agenda: Jeopardize Patient Safety, Block Consumer-Friendly Policies and Attack the EPA

Business for DemocracyAfter a week off, Congress returns next week to continue launching broadsides against the public interest. Here are a few we are tracking:

• 21 Century Cures. Don’t buy the snake oil some lawmakers are selling about how great this bill is – even if lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are selling it. In fact, the legislation is riddled with dangerous provisions that would put patients at risk. It would undermine efforts to approve safe and effective drugs and medical devices, according to Public Citizen’s analysis. The U.S. House of Representatives could vote on this bill (H.R. 6) as soon as next week.

• The Financial Services and General Government funding bill, which the House also likely will vote on next week. The legislation is loaded with dangerous and ideological policy riders that would do such things as undercut the work of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and ban the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from taking action in the crucial area of disclosure of corporate political spending. The bill provides far less funding than is necessary to appropriately support the agencies under its purview.

• Push to lift oil export ban. Lawmakers are still pushing to lift the ban on exporting oil, despite the fact that doing so would harm consumers. At 10 a.m. Thursday, July 9, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on H.R. 702, a bill to “prohibit restrictions” on the export of crude oil. But as Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, told lawmakers in June, the oil export ban benefits American oil and gas consumers, protects our nation’s energy security and fuels economic growth.

• And finally, for good measure, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday about what its chair evidently considers “overreach” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be on the hot seat. But one person’s overreach is another person’s safeguarding. In fact, the EPA’s job is to protect people by ensuring we all have clean air to breathe and uncontaminated water to drink. For instance, the Clean Air Act has prevented more than 160,000 premature deaths, 130,000 heart attacks, millions of cases of respiratory problems such as acute bronchitis and asthma attacks, and 86,000 hospital admissions. That doesn’t sound like overreach to us.