A picture of Representative Mike Rogers
Mike R.
Former Republican MI 8
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    Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013

    by Former Representative Mike Rogers

    Posted on 2013-01-22

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    ROGERS of Michigan. Thank you, Mr. Speaker and Ranking Member Pallone. I want to thank Anna Eshoo for being such a great partner in what is truly a collaborative effort to get this bill passed and protect our ability to protect so many Americans.

    It's been about 10 years, Mr. Speaker, since September 11 and the anthrax attacks that followed. The threat of bioterrorism remains a very real danger, indeed, to the American people. As we have seen in events across northern Africa, our adversaries in al Qaeda and others are still hell-bent on their terrorism acts, and we know that they are interested in chemical and radiological and biological elements to further their political gains.

    Fortunately, we have spent the last decade preparing for those chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats by developing and stockpiling numerous medical countermeasures to protect Americans in the event of attack. As a result of these efforts, we now have numerous vaccines and treatments in the Strategic National Stockpile that will save thousands of lives if we're attacked. However, the work to protect Americans against bioterrorism is not finished, and we must pass this bill or the future of America's public health preparedness infrastructure will be in jeopardy.

    The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act is a fiscally responsible bill that represents common ground between the bipartisan House-and Senate-passed preparedness bills in the 112th Congress.

    I'd like to take this opportunity again to thank the bipartisan cosponsors--first, Anna Eshoo for her long-term commitment and partnership in this, certainly Mr. Pallone from New Jersey as well, Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Waxman, and all of our great partners in the Senate--for their support in what has been a very productive process to ensure the health preparedness of our States and hospitals for the next flu outbreak or pandemic.

    {time} 1240 This bill will reauthorize critically important biodefense programs designed to promote the continued development of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and would strengthen the Nation's public health preparedness infrastructure. Reauthorizing these programs is essential to how the Nation would respond to these types of attacks.

    The bill would also reauthorize programs for 5 years at the fiscal year 2012 appropriated level. The bill would not create a new program nor increase authorization for appropriations for an existing program. This bill would reauthorize and improve certain provisions of Project Bioshield and something we call PAHPA.

    Again, I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish this bill Godspeed for the safety of all of our first responders and those who might be exposed to what we know is a real threat when it comes to the safety, health, and national security of the United States.

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