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Dingell Update: 03/11/2023

Representative Debbie Dingell
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Dear Friend,

Happy to be headed back home to Michigan after what has been a very busy week in Washington. This week, Congress worked on everything from investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to promoting American leadership in innovative technologies to advancing legislation to strengthen US supply of semiconductor chips, strengthening US energy independence, protecting Americans from exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals, preserving our waterways and fisheries, expanding access to clean water, and much more.

Throughout the week, I was focused on ensuring that our work on each of these crucial issues remained focused on the facts and kept the health and wellbeing of American families at the forefront of all of our decision-making.

Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic


On Tuesday, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held itsfirst hearing to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID pandemic took the lives of over one million Americans, disrupted global economies, and inflicted significant hardships on nearly every American. Getting to the bottom of the origins of COVID is vital to prepare for and prevent future pandemics. But our work MUST be guided by science and the facts, not driven by conspiracy theories or weaponized for political gain. This is far too important of an issue to play political games with. I’m committed to staying focused on information provided by the experts, and I hope my colleagues on the subcommittee will do the same.

Here is a fact. I read many articles over the past weeks, and talked to researchers, doctors, frontline nurses, and public health officials. They all agree on one fact – after the billions of dollars on pandemic-era upgrades to labs and data and surveillance, after all the studies and white papers about emergency preparedness, the U.S. still lacks two crucial things in the public health arsenal – people, and trust.

It is critical we can rebuild trust, but continued attacks on public health officials only serve to further discredit people’s confidence in our public health institutions, makes it very challenging to recruit workers in the field, and undermines public trust in science.

Most importantly, every one of us knows important health guidance as simple as washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough to getting vaccinations and immunizations saves lives.

Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications & Technology

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology considered 13 bills focused on strengthening American competitiveness in emerging communications technologies. The policy choices of today will have long-lasting effects on the wireless technology development of tomorrow. The US must take concrete steps to break down barriers to entry for U.S. companies and promote American competitiveness for the future generation of these innovative technologies/

That’s why last week, I led my bipartisan 5G & Beyond Caucus co-chairs in reintroducing the bipartisan Promoting US Wireless Leadership Act. This comprehensive legislation will ensure the US remains at the forefront of innovation in this constantly evolving frontier by setting wireless standards for emerging technologies. It’s essential we take these steps to preserve our global leadership in innovation and technology.

Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health

This week the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee considered a package of bills to address significant issues in American health care, including my bipartisan Block Report, and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act legislation.

The opioid crisis is a serious concern of mine and so many others. Too many families have lost a loved one due to a drug overdose, including my own. My home state has especially been hit hard. In Michigan, eight people die of a drug overdose every day. This is completely unacceptable.

That’s why I have been proud to introduce the Block, Report, and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act, which advanced through this committee and passed on the House floor the past two Congresses.

Pill dumping and other dodgy practices have perpetuated the opioid crisis that continues to upend communities across the nation, and we have an obligation to take strong action to confront this crisis and the pain it inflicts on our communities.

Energy & Commerce Full Committee

On Thursday, the full Energy and Commerce Committee considered several bills. I am proud of the bipartisan work that went into improving a number of these bills, particularly legislation focused on strengthening our domestic supply chain for semiconductor chips and our competitiveness in attracting investments into the US economy.

I’m disappointed that alongside great bipartisan work, we also moved a large number of seriously concerning and misguided energy and environmental bills. These laws were put in place to protect Americans, our communities, the environment, and the future of our planet. I’m seasoned enough to remember when rivers were so contaminated, they catch fire, and you couldn’t swim or fish in them. These laws put us on a path to getting contaminated sites across the nation cleaned up so we could restore these natural spaces and live healthier lives. We CANNOT go back now. We cannot put the profits of Big Oil over the health and livelihoods of Americans.

Energy security and independence is a top priority for me, but we must pursue this goal by investing in a clean energy economy for a healthy future. We can’t maintain the status quo that has fueled the Climate Crisis and inflicted significant damage on communities, public health, and our environment. I remain committed to finding common ground with my colleagues to strengthen our energy security and independence, but we must do so by following the facts and advancing science-based legislation. We MUST protect and strengthen our environmental laws as we move forward. And we must invest in developing cleaner alternative energy sources that won’t harm our communities and our planet.

Among the bills considered in committee this week is the Elimination of Future Technologies Delays Act—or as I call it, the Exposing Americans to Toxic, Cancer-Causing Chemicals Act. This bill would circumvent critical public health protections under the Toxic Substances Control Act in an attempt to speed up the review process of chemicals classified as “critical energy resources.” The Toxic Substances Control Act was designed and enacted to protect human health and our environment and its review process is critical to keeping us safe and healthy. I was proud to support an amendment to this dirty bill that would simply exclude toxic PFAS chemicals that accumulate in our blood and can cause a host of health issues, including cancer. We should be doing more to protect Americans from exposure to these toxic chemicals, not opening the floodgates and increasing the significant risks associated with exposure to PFAS.

Natural Resources Committee

This week, the Natural Resources Committee considered a package of highly partisan bills that fail to advance meaningful bipartisan solutions for the American people.

To transition to a clean energy economy and to deploy the clean technology across this country at also the scales needed to meet our climate goals will likely be the greatest challenge in generations—but we must build in ways that do not harm communities or our environment.

That’s why last Congress, Democrats passed historic legislation that directed over a $1 billion investment to conduct efficient and effective environmental reviews and permitting. For years we have heard how delays in the permitting process have been due to budget cuts and a diminished federal workforce. But thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act we are addressing these shortfalls.

But I know there is a lot more work ahead if we are to truly strengthen our permitting process for today. And if we can do this together—republicans and democrats—this can serve as an important tool to combat climate change, strengthen our economy, create good-paying American jobs, and protect our national security.

But let me be clear: we must not—and I will not—support proposals that rollback landmark environmental laws. Most of all I will not stand by and watch the National Environmental Protection Law (NEPA) get rolled back to line the pockets of oil companies over the health and safety of Americans.

I remain committed to working with my colleagues to find bipartisan solutions to these significant issues, but we must have tough, good-faith discussions on how we move forward to confront these challenges.

President Biden's 2023 Budget

President Biden has always said we need to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and that’s exactly what this budget will do by continuing to invest in American workers and industries. In the past two years, we have created more than 12 million American jobs, unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in more than 50 years, and we have seen the most new small business applications on record.

At the same time, this budget will continue to give working families breathing room by lowering everyday costs, from childcare to health insurance to energy. This budget strengthens and protects Medicare and Social Security, which are a part of the fabric of our country, and critical to making sure future generations can retire and age with dignity after a life of hard work. And this will all be done responsibly – by ensuring the wealthy and corporations finally pay what they owe. We will continue to put people over politics by investing in workers and families.

Great Lakes Week

Great Lakes Week Graphic

It’s Great Lakes Week!

This week we pay appreciation to our Great Lakes & all they provide to the Great Lakes region & the world, including making up 21% of the world’s freshwater, powering a thriving economy, & supporting thousands of good-paying jobs.

2023 Great Lakes Week_1
2023 Great Lakes Week_2

This week, I spent a lot of time meeting with organizations and advocates who are dedicated to protecting our Great Lakes for generations to come—including the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, Healing Our Waters, Great Lakes Ports, and the Great Lakes Cities Initiative.

I’m focused on doing all we can to protect the health of our Great Lakes because we cannot afford to sacrifice the economic prosperity, beauty, drinking water, & outdoor recreation they drive across the Great Lakes region.

Power Outages in Michigan

For more than two weeks I have heard from people across Southeast Michigan who have been forced to face frigid temperatures without power, and are dealing with challenges including frozen pipes, lost food and income, and the financial burden of last-minute hotel reservations.

Extended power outages threaten residents living with health conditions that require electricity for treatment such as oxygen support, or accommodations like a stair lift. We need to understand the circumstances that led to this crisis, and ensure we are better prepared for future weather events.

Read my letter to DTE Energyhere.

Toxic Waste Storage

The Ohio derailment should be a wake-up call and make us really look into not only improving rail safety, but also how we store and dispose of toxic waste. When incidents like this occur, decisions on how to dispose of the toxic waste shouldn’t be made behind closed doors.


Too often, Michigan has been a national resource for disposing of toxic waste from all across the nation, potentially exposing communities to a host of health and environmental issues. Moving forward, we must handle these issues much differently and more carefully. We should all be notified well in advance of any plans to ship hazardous materials to our backyards and our concerns should be heard.

Western Washtenaw Town Hall

Western Washtenaw Town Hall Graphic

Join meThursday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m. ETat theChelsea Municipal Building (311 S. Main St., Chelsea, MI 48118)for a town hall discussion on issues impacting Western Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. I'll be joined by local officials to provide updates on important issues and answer your questions!

Can't make it in person?Join the town hall livestream at

Daylight Savings Begins

REMINDER: Sunday marks the start of Daylight Savings! Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward one hour and get to bed a little earlier!

Photos of the Week

Dingell Speaks to One Fair Wage Advocates
Dingell Speaks at Susan G. Komen Briefing

Rep. Dingell joins advocates to call for better wages and supports for restaurant workers.

Rep. Dingell speaks at Susan G Komen briefing on need for expanded access to preventative cancer screenings.

Dingell Visits with Michigan LCV
Dingell meets with Michigan VFW

Rep. Dingell visits with Michigan League of Conservation Voters advocates.

Rep. Dingell meets with friends from Michigan VFW.

Debbie Dingell
Member of Congress

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