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Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act 2013

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise 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 the 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, to provide a mechanism for Federal acquisition of these newly developed countermeasures.

Our Nation remains vulnerable to these threats because many of the vaccines and medicines to protect our citizens do not exist. Developing and stockpiling these medical countermeasures require time, resources, and research, all of which will be provided under the legislation before us today. I'm pleased that the language I supported during the committee process aimed at increasing emphasis on regional trauma care centers was included.

This bill is very important to me because the University of Texas Medical Branch's Galveston National Laboratory is near our district. 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'm very pleased at how quickly we have moved this rare bipartisan piece of legislation. I would like to thank Chairman Rogers, Chairman Upton, Chairman Pitts, Ranking Member Waxman, Ranking Member Pallone, Mrs. Myrick and Ms. Eshoo for their work on this important legislation. The House passed this bill twice last year, and I hope the Senate acts quickly, and we will send it to the President.

I strongly urge my colleagues to vote "yes'' on this legislation.

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