Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013by Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2013-03-04
GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support
of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act which
will reauthorize certain provisions of the Project Bioshield Act of
2004 and Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006.
This legislation was initially passed by Congress to help the U.S. develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear terrorism agents and to provide a mechanism for federal acquisition of those newly developed countermeasures.
Since the first part of the last session of Congress, we have been working with Senators to perfect the language. We have passed it several times in the House and after many months, the Senate has sent it back for our approval. I am pleased that we finally have a bill that can be sent to the President and I am proud to support it.
This bill is important because our nation remains vulnerable to these threats because many of the vaccines and medicines that are needed to protect our citizens do not exist.
Developing and stockpiling these medical countermeasures requires time, resources, and research. All of which will be provided under the legislation before us today. I am pleased that language I supported during the committee process aimed at increasing emphasis on regionalized trauma care systems was included in this final version.
This bill is also very important to me because the University of Texas Medical Branch's Galveston National Laboratory is in my backyard.
The Galveston National Lab is the only BSL-4 lab located on a university campus. At the lab, scientists conduct research to develop therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tests for naturally occurring emerging diseases such as SARS and avian influenza--as well as for microbes that might be employed by terrorists.
This is exactly the type of research we hope to encourage under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act.
As an original cosponsor of this bill with Mr. Rogers, I am very pleased at how quickly we have moved this rare bipartisan piece of legislation.
I want to thank Mr. Rogers, Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Waxman, Ranking Member Pallone, Ms. Myrick, Ms. Eshoo, and Mr. Markey for their work on this important legislation.
I strongly urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this legislation.
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, as amended by the Senate. This legislation will reauthorize programs first established in the 2002 Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, the 2004 Project Bioshield Act, and the 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. These programs are crucial to ensuring that our Nation is prepared to respond to public health emergencies, including those caused by natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and bioterrorism.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 will reauthorize programs such as the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, which provides grants to state and local health departments, the National Disaster Medical System, which helps manage the government's medical response in emergencies, and bio- surveillance programs, which help states coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track and detect disease outbreaks. The legislation also allows the Food and Drug Administration to collect and analyze data about the safety and efficacy of products used in emergencies.
Mr. Speaker, in our changing world, public health emergencies can be created by sources as various as disasters due to climate change, global epidemics from an increasingly interconnected planet, and terrorists who target us. As we face these threats, it is our responsibility to remain vigilant and prepared for the sake of our children and our communities. The programs covered under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 serve as essential tools in our endeavor to protect the health of all Americans.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts) that the House suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill, H.R. 307.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.