Brooks’ pandemic preparedness and response bill heads to president
The U.S. House of Representatives on June 4 approved a bipartisan bill coauthored by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) to better protect Americans before, during and after man-made or naturally occurring public health emergencies.
“The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act is critically important legislation that works to make our nation better prepared for and able to keep Americans safer in response to natural disasters or biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear threats to our public health and national security,” Rep. Brooks said.
Rep. Brooks in January introduced the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing (PAHPA) Innovation Act, H.R. 269, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to strengthen the nation’s preparedness and response programs. The House initially approved the sweeping measure and sent it to the U.S. Senate, where U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the same-named S. 1379. After reconciling differences in the bills, the Senate on May 16 approved the combined bills in S. 1379, which the House then passed on Tuesday.
The bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law to update and expand upon the original PAHPA law, which expired on Sept. 30, 2018.
The congresswoman added that the measure “will ensure our health care professionals are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritize the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establish new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies.”
Additionally, the bill will accelerate medical countermeasure research and development and authorizes federal funds to tackle pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases, as well as funding to improve bioterrorism and other public health emergency preparedness and response activities, according to a summary provided by Rep. Brooks’ office.