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Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Mr. UPTON. I particularly want to thank Mr. Rogers, who has helped shepherd this bill through our committee. I appreciate the very hard work of Chairman Pitts, Ranking Members Waxman and Pallone, along with all the members of our committee to get this bill done and to the floor this afternoon.

Madam Speaker, this bill, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2012, would reauthorize programs designed to encourage the development of medical countermeasures and improve the Nation's health infrastructure to help us respond to a terrorist attack. This bill is very similar to H.R. 2405, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2011, which passed the House last year. This bill, H.R. 6672, reflects common ground reached between the House and Senate through months and months of bipartisan negotiations. I'm hopeful that the Congress, House and Senate, will enact the bill this week so that we can ensure that our Nation is prepared for the unthinkable.

This bill reauthorizes the special reserve fund, the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority, and public health preparedness programs, while eliminating duplicative reports. It also clarifies that the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is the leader of the Federal Government's efforts on preparedness
and response. This clarification will help in removing duplication, improving coordination, and providing accountability.

The bill also takes important steps to foster medical countermeasure development by ensuring that the FDA's regulations of medical countermeasures are predictable, consistent, and, in fact, transparent. Finally, the bill would provide additional flexibility for emergency distribution, stockpiling, and use of medical countermeasures so the Nation is prepared for whatever may happen.

I would urge all of my colleagues to support the bill. Again, I commend Republicans and Democrats for working together on a bill that really does need to get to the President's desk.

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