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

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

Streamlining how hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control handle terror attacks, natural disasters and disease outbreaks would be made possible through a bill that has passed the U-S House and was co-written by Fifth District Congresswoman Susan Brooks.

The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act would provide more federal money for vaccines, equipment such as hazmat suits and allow more money for researching diseases such as Ebola and Zika.

 

 

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.

Sep 26, 2018 In The News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) to bolster America’s preparedness and response to public health emergencies, including biological threats like emerging infectious diseases, as well as chemical, bio or nuclear terrorist attacks.

Sep 26, 2018 In The News

H.R. 6378 will bolster U.S. biodefense preparedness and response capabilities

Sep 26, 2018 In The News

WASHINGTON, DC – Streamlining how hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control handle terror attacks, natural disasters and disease outbreaks would be made possible through a bill that has passed the U.S. House and co-written by Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks.

Sep 25, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill introduced by Congresswomen Susan Brooks (R-IN05) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA18) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR02) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ06), H.R.6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA).

Sep 25, 2018 In The News

WASHINGTON--()--The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6378).

Aug 6, 2018 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) introduced a bill to strengthen the nation’s biodefense resources.  The measure prepares the country for emergencies that include infectious disease, natural disasters, and chemical and biological attacks.