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Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, as a personal aside, this probably won't be the headline on the 6 o'clock news tonight around the country because we're actually agreeing on something, and I think I can associate myself with the remarks of my colleague, the primary sponsor of this bill, as well as he could associate with mine, Mr. Pallone, and Mr. Pitts.

But I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2405, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2011, which will reauthorize certain provisions of the Project BioShield Act of 2004 and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006, and I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation.

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 that are needed 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 this legislation before us today.

As my colleague from Michigan said, it may not be the bestseller on the market, like so many other pharmaceuticals, but this is something that our country needs.

H.R. 2405 is important to me because the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston National Laboratory is literally in the backyard of our congressional district. The Galveston National Lab is the only BSL-4 lab located on a university campus.

At the lab, the scientists conduct research and develop therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tests for naturally-occurring emerging diseases such as SARS and avian influenza, as well as for microbes that may 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 H.R. 2405 with Mr. Rogers, I'm really pleased with how quickly we moved this rare bipartisan piece of legislation. I want to thank Mr. Rogers, Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Waxman and Ranking Member Pallone, along with the chair of our Health Subcommittee, Mr. Pitts, Mrs. Myrick, Ms. Eshoo, and Mr. Markey for their work on H.R. 2405.

I strongly urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''


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