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Public Statements

Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GENE 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.

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