Bio-Industry Relevant Committee Roles
House of Representatives
Rep. Dan Benishek – Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy &
Forestry; Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
The jurisdiction of the House
Committee on Agriculture and its subcommittees insofar as the bio-industry is
concerned, focuses on agricultural and industrial chemistry; animal industry
and diseases; agricultural biotechnology and engineering; food inspetion;
human nutrition; production of energy from agricultural and forestry products;
matters related to pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, insecticides; and foreign
market agreements for agricultural products.
The U.S. House Committee on the Budget, commonly known as the House Budget Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Its responsibilities include legislative oversight of the federal budget process, reviewing all bills and resolutions on the budget, and monitoring agencies and programs funded outside of the budgetary process.
Tim Walberg – Chair, Workforce Protections Subcommittee;
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
This Committee’s basic
jurisdiction is over education and workforce programs generally, from early
learning through secondary education, from job training through retirement.
Included are access to health care, job training and workforce
development initiatives, occupational safety and worker health, wages and
The E&C Committee is by
far the most relevant to all matters for the bio-industry. It oversees food, drug
and device safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy (i.e.,
renewable fuels) policy, interstate and foreign commerce, consumer protection
and telecommunications. That means the Departments of Health & Human
Services (including the National Institutes of Health, Food & Drug
Administration, Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, Center for
Disease Control & Prevention, and Biomedical Advanced Research &
Development Authority), Energy, Commerce and Transportation, along with the
Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and Federal
Communications Commission, fall under the Committee’s oversight.
Bill Huizenga– Vice-Chair,
Subcommittee of Monetary Policy and Trade; Subcommittee on Capital Markets and
Government Sponsored Enterprises
Rep. Dan Kildee – Subcommittee on Capital Markets and
Government Sponsored Enterprises; Subcommittee of Monetary Policy and Trade
The Capital Markets
Subcommittee has jurisdiction over issues surrounding securities, exchanges and
finance including SEC Commission, as well as capital market activities
including capital formation and venture capital.
The Judiciary Committee
covers many matters relating to the administration of justice and law
enforcement, as well as immigration policy. But as it relates to the bio-industry, the Committee especially through
its Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and Internet, oversees
patents, the Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), copyrights and trademarks,
protection of trade and commerce.
The Oversight Committee
oversees impediments to economic growth and job creation, monetary policy and
tax policy. In addition, its
Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements has jurisdiction
over federal health policy, food and drug safety, energy policy and solvency of
federal entitlement programs like Medicare.
The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has jurisdiction over all energy research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor, and all federally owned or operated non-military energy laboratories; astronautical research and development, including resources, personnel, equipment, and facilities; civil aviation research and development; environmental research and development; marine research; commercial application of energy technology; National Institute of Standards and Technology, standardization of weights and measures and the metric system; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; National Weather Service; outer space, including exploration and control thereof; science scholarships; scientific research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology shall review and study on a continuing basis laws, programs, and Government activities relating to non-military research and development.
The Small Business Committee
has oversight for the protection and assistance of small businesses including
matters related to small business financial aid and regulatory flexibility, as
well as the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its programs.
Ways & Means oversees
revenue and taxes, payments for healthcare (e.g., Medicare), health delivery
systems and health research, economic growth policies, and trade and tariff
legislation. Matters like the medical
device tax, Medicare spending and payments, and foreign trade agreements (e.g.,
Trans-Pacific Partnership) fall under the Ways & Means Committee’s
The Senate Ag Committee has
jurisdiction over agricultural commodities, inspection of livestock, meat, and
agricultural products, plant industry, agricultural biotechnology and engineering,
as well as bio-energy crops and renewable chemicals from feedstock, among others. Much, if not all, of these issues are shaped into law via the Farm Bill
that must be authorized every five years.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow – Ranking Member,
Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure; Subcommittee on
Health Care; Subcommittee on International Trade & Global Competitiveness
The Senate Finance Committee
concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenues, trade and
tariffs, health programs including Medicare, Medicaid, energy and other
matters. It has sole or shared jurisdiction over the activities of numerous
agencies and offices including but not limited to Agriculture, Commerce (Int’l
Trade Administration, Economic Development Administration), Health & Human
Services (CMS), Homeland Security (Customs), Labor (Employment and Training
Administration, Pension & Welfare Benefits Administration - ERISA),
Treasury (IRS, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, and ERISA group
health plans including HIPAA), Physician Payment Review Commission, and
Industry Trade Advisory Committees.
The Senate Armed Services
Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Defense and its many divisions. Of most relevance to the bio-industry is military
research and development through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) and military operations such as drop-in biofuels and battle
preparedness (i.e., medical devices, bioterrorism prevention).