Why I voted Yes on S.Amdt to H.R. 307
I voted Yes on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act.
The legislation, which was originally approved by the House on January 22, 2013, reauthorizes and modifies medical disaster and emergency response programs designed to help develop chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear medical countermeasures. Programs reauthorized include the BioShield Special Reserve Fund, Public Health and Health System Preparedness Grants, Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority, Bio-Surveillance Program, and the National Disaster Medical System.
Additionally, H.R. 307 would refine the role of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response under the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the measure, this Assistant Secretary would have primary responsibility for emergency preparedness, response coordination, identifying threats that and eliminating systemic inefficiencies. The bill would also permit the Food and Drug Administration to utilize unapproved products on an emergency basis.
The Senate amended this legislation on February 27, 2013 to extend the authorization for these programs through 2018. I support this effort to improve and extend important federal programs that help us prepare for and mitigate medical disasters and other emergencies.
The bill was approved by a vote of 370 – 28 and will be sent to the President's desk for his signature.