HELP Committee Approves Critical Law to Prepare for and Respond to Bioterror Attacks and Pandemics, Moves to Full Senate

May 23, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Health Committee approved the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, legislation authored by Senators Burr, Casey, Alexander, and Murray to ensure our country is prepared for the threats we are facing, both naturally occurring like pandemic influenza and man-made, such as a bioterror attack. The Senators released the following statements regarding the Committee’s passage of the legislation:

“I’m pleased by the Committee’s passage of this important legislation,” said Senator Richard Burr.  “This is a great step in supporting the programs and policies we have in place to prepare for and respond to worst-case scenarios, like pandemic influenza or a deliberate attack on our country.  This legislation builds upon the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to ensure we are ready for constantly evolving threats and encourages the development of innovative technologies to better protect Americans from the threats we may face today and in the future. I look forward to the Senate’s swift consideration and approval to put these improvements in place.”

“The HELP Committee has taken an important step forward in advancing this legislation,” said Senator Bob Casey. “This reauthorization bill makes important improvements to our public health and health care preparedness programs, and will help strengthen our communities’ ability to respond to the full range of public health threats. I urge my Senate colleagues to support this measure so it can be signed into law.”

“Tennesseans want to know we are better prepared to face public health threats—whether that’s outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola, Zika, or the flu; natural disasters, such as hurricanes and the wildfires that swept across East Tennessee in 2016; or deliberate attacks with dangerous agents, like anthrax or nuclear weapons,” said Senator Lamar Alexander. “This bipartisan legislation takes the next step toward ensuring we are able to better protect Tennesseans and all Americans from 21st century threats by strengthening our preparedness and response capabilities. I’m grateful to Senator Burr and Senator Casey for their leadership on this bill and I’m hopeful that the full Senate will pass it before many of the programs expire at the end of September.”

“While we don’t know what the next public health emergency will be or when it will occur, we do know the threats are real, present, and deserving of serious attention—which is why this bill is so important,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This strong reauthorization builds on our past efforts to protect our communities with new steps to ensure we are working to prepare for every scenario, and for every family and their unique needs. The passage of this bill is a testament to the bipartisan agreement on the importance of making investments and making plans to keep our families safe and healthy when public health emergencies strike.”

You can find the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 here

You can find a section-by-section of the legislation here.