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

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.

Jul 19, 2018 In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bio-attack could happen at anytime according to Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R).

Her bill called "the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018" or PAHPA, would re-authorize federal funding to be used for quick response efforts should a new pandemic arise or if the nation suffers a biological attack from a foreign or domestic adversary.

Jul 19, 2018 In The News

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.) introduced H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), and this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to pass the bill, sending it to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Jul 18, 2018 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) has introduced the bipartisan Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) of 2018 to reauthorize the nation’s main law ensuring Americans are prepared to respond to public health emergencies resulting from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks, natural disasters or emerging infectious diseases.

Jul 18, 2018 In The News

On Monday, Congresswomen Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R.6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), a bipartisan effort to ensure that our nation is prepared to respond to public health emergencies resulting from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks from other nations, natural disasters or emerging infectious disease.

Jul 17, 2018 In The News

A comprehensive update to the nation’s soon-to-expire pandemic and all-hazards law has been unveiled in the U.S. House where Energy and Commerce Committee members have painstakingly produced a bipartisan reauthorization to bolster America’s defense against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks, natural disasters and emerging infectious diseases.

Jul 16, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC Today, 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 (D-NJ06) introduced H.R.6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), a bipartisan effort to ensure that our nation is prepared to respond to public health emergencies resulting from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks from other nations, n

Jun 29, 2018 In The News

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on June 27 passed the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2018 (PAHPRA), sending it to the full committee along with four other public health bills under consideration.

“The mark up of these five important bills will strengthen our public health workforce and protect our country from potential biological threats,” said Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX).

Jun 24, 2018 In The News

A novel virus, moderately contagious and moderately lethal, has surfaced and is spreading rapidly around the globe.

Outbreaks first appear in Frankfurt, Germany and Caracas, Venezuela. The virus is transmitted person to person, primarily by coughing. There are no effective antivirals or vaccines. American troops stationed abroad are infected. Now the first case to reach the United States had been identified on a small college campus in Massachusetts.

Jun 7, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DCThe Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine the Reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), legislation Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) is leading in the House of Representatives with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA18).

To watch Brooks’ remarks from the hearing, click here.