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Eshoo, Brooks Legislation Passes Full House

September 25th, 2018

‘PAHPA’ Combats Biodefense Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House passed the bipartisan legislation of Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Susan Brooks (R-IN) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) to strengthen the country’s existing preparedness and response programs. H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) ensures that our nation is prepared to respond to a wide range of public health emergencies, whether man-made or occurring through a natural disaster or infectious disease.

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act that the House overwhelmingly passed today is critical to our national security. The legislation updates the original PAHPA by directing federal agencies to respond to new and emerging threats to strengthen our nation’s existing preparedness and response programs. The reauthorization meets the challenges of today and the future,” Rep. Eshoo said. “I applaud today’s passage in the House and I look forward to the Senate swiftly considering PAHPA so that it can be signed into law before September 30th.”

“It has been 17 years since anthrax attacks infected more than 17 people and ended five people’s lives,” said Rep. Brooks. “Since then, the threat of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incident has not dissipated, but instead continues to grow. Everyday our adversaries are looking for more effective and faster ways to produce a threat. I am proud this comprehensive bill ensures our health care professionals are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritizes the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establishes new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies. It reflects extensive feedback from the full range of medical and public health preparedness and response stakeholders in order to best examine our response as a nation to threats, and to ensure that moving forward, we have clear procedures, resources and support in place to keep Americans safe. PAHPA was first signed into law in 2006, and I am proud to lead this critically important reauthorization legislation.”

“I commend Reps. Brooks and Eshoo for their bipartisan leadership to reauthorize PAHPA,” said Ranking Member Pallone.  “This vitally important public health bill will support public health departments and their workforce as well as the development of new treatments and the stockpiling of supplies that will be deployed to communities nationwide in the case of an emergency. Our national preparedness and response capabilities will be better prepared to respond to public health threats thanks to the passage of PAHPA.”

“Today, the House took an important step towards keeping our families safe in the worst-case scenarios of a dangerous disease outbreak or bioterrorism attack,” said Chairman Walden. “By working across the aisle, Reps. Eshoo and Brooks advanced vital improvements to our federal framework for emergency preparedness and made important and potentially life-savings reforms to modernize our readiness, enhance federal authorities, and improve information sharing.”

Background

The legislation strengthens and improves our national preparedness and response for public health emergencies through our hospitals, state and local health providers, and by accelerating medical countermeasure research and development. Specifically, the legislation focuses on the needs of special populations including children, people with disabilities and seniors before and during a public health emergency. It codifies the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise and the duties of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), while maintaining the important role of the Centers for Disease Control in emergency and response activities. The legislation also provides the authorization and federal resources to invest in programs related to Pandemic Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In addition, PAHPA:

  • Reauthorizes funding to improve bioterrorism and other public health emergency preparedness and response activities such as the Hospital Preparedness Program, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, Project BioShield, and BARDA for the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures (MCMs).

Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) expires on September 30, 2018.

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