Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Strengthening Biodefense

As a nation, we are underprepared to address the next biological or pandemic threat to our country. I am focused on changing that. Specifically, I’ve introduced legislation to address our inability to mobilize quickly and effectively to identify, contain, treat and eliminate any kind of biological threat to people in the United States.

We know that terrorist organizations, including ISIS, are actively pursuing chemical and biological weapons, and that we remain vulnerable to naturally occurring epidemics and pandemics which pose a risk to national security and to public health. Right now, despite the steps taken during and after the Ebola epidemic, we remain largely reactionary in our response to pandemics and biological threats. DHS, the FBI, and the CIA, work to protect our nation from biodefense threats, but Congress has a pivotal role in strengthening our defense efforts. As a former U.S. Attorney, former chair of the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, and member of the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am working in Congress to lead proactive efforts to protect and defend our country and its citizens from the threat of outbreak, epidemic or an act of biological terror in the United States.

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense released a report in 2015 that found that our national biodefense strategy and efforts need significant improvement. I have been leading efforts in Congress to act on the 33 recommendations presented in the Panel’s final report. To put some of these recommendations into practice, I introduced H.R. 3299, the Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act, with Rep. Anna Eschoo (D-CA) to improve U.S. biodefense efforts and incentivize the development of vaccines for dangerous and deadly pathogens as identified by the Department of Homeland Security. This bill was signed into law as part of  the 21st Century Cures Act. I look forward to continuing work to prepare for and to protect our country from biological threats.

Additionally, I co-sponsored H.R. 4400 with Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), legislation that added Zika virus to the FDA Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher Program and incentivized the development and distribution of a vaccine for the Zika virus. The Zika virus, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and can be transmitted sexually, can infect pregnant women and result in birth defects, including microcephaly and neurological disorders in newborns. Companion legislation to H.R. 4400, S. 2512, was signed into law in 2016. 

To read an op-ed I wrote about why strengthening our national biodefense is so important to our security and to public health, click here.

To read an op-ed I wrote about how 21st Century Cures will help people get the treatment and care they need, click here. For more information on the 21st Century Cures act, click here

More on Strengthening Biodefense

May 14, 2019 In The News

The U.S. Senate is fast tracking bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the nation’s all-hazards preparedness and response law, according to the Alliance for Biosecurity.

U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on May 8 sponsored S. 1379, which has been referred to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for consideration.

Jan 10, 2019 In The News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 8 approved the bipartisan Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, introduced the same day by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN).

“I am proud this reauthorization bill reflects extensive feedback from medical and public health preparedness and response stakeholders so we can better prepare for and combat the known threats of today and the unknown threats of tomorrow,” Rep. Brooks said following the House’s 401-17 vote.

Jan 9, 2019 In The News

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved the newest version of bipartisan legislation that would keep Americans safe against natural disasters and chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threats.

Introduced on Jan. 8, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, H.R. 269, received House approval the same day in a 401 to 17 vote.

Jan 8, 2019 News Releases

To watch Brooks’ remarks on the House Floor, click here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 269, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (PAHPA), a bill introduced by Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA18) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ06) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR02).

Dec 3, 2018 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) is pushing for the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in September, to be signed into law this year.

Nov 30, 2018 In The News

Federal officials are pushing for the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in September, to be signed into law this year.

Nov 29, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the Alliance for Biosecurity hosted Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Robert Kadlec, and the Director of the Biomedical Advances Research and Development Authority Dr. Rick Bright for a discussion with members of the Congressional Biodefense Caucus about our biosecurity preparedness and ensuring the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA) is signed into law this year. Congresswoman Susan W.

Sep 30, 2018 In The News

Seventeen years ago, on 9/11, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of three unforgettable terrorist attacks on American soil. But it is commonly overlooked that more than 6,000 other people were injured, many of them first responders.

Sep 28, 2018 In The News

On September 25, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed without objection the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness And Advancing Innovation Act of 2018. Introduced on July 16, 2018, by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN), this Act reauthorizes certain programs under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, and amends the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Sep 27, 2018 In The News

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) to bolster America’s preparedness and response to public health emergencies, including disease outbreaks, bioterror attacks or chemical incidents, received approval on Sept. 25 from the U.S. House of Representatives.