Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Joe Pitts
Date: March 4, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, introduced by my colleague Mike Rogers from Michigan, would reauthorize programs designed to foster the development of medical countermeasures and strengthen the Nation's preparedness infrastructure. These programs are essential to helping our Nation prepare for public health emergencies, including those caused by terrorist attacks.

H.R. 307 reauthorizes programs for 5 years at the fiscal year 2012 appropriated level and does not create a new program, nor increase the authorization for appropriations for an existing program. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill does not increase spending.

Congress originally enacted the programs reauthorized in H.R. 307 through the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006. Project Bioshield authorized funds for the purchase of medical countermeasures through the Special Reserve Fund and enabled the Secretary of Health and Human Services to authorize the emergency use of medical products.

The original PAHPA bill created the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority within HHS to help with the development of medical countermeasures and increase communications between HHS and the developers of MCMs.

The House passed H.R. 307 back in January. The Senate made some minor changes to the bill and passed it by unanimous consent last week.

I would like to commend Chairman Upton, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Waxman, and Mr. Pallone for their work on the bill. I also would like to thank Senator Harkin, Senator Alexander, Senator Enzi, and Senator Burr for their leadership.

I would urge all Members to support this critical piece of legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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