Preparedness Reauthorization Bill Moves to U.S. House

The Senate passed S. 242 late last week, and HELP Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., urged the House to follow suit.

S. 242, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, has passed the U.S. Senate and now awaits action in the House of Representatives. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., called on the House to pass it.

"The threat of a bioterror attack or flu outbreak is real, and this bill helps ensure we’re prepared for that threat and that our state and federal governments and local entities are working together to be as ready as possible," Alexander said. "I thank Senator [Richard] Burr for his leadership on this issue, and I urge our colleagues in the House to pass this important legislation."

HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Robert Casey, D-Pa., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., are also original co-sponsors of the bill.

It would reauthorize and enhance the National Disaster Medical System, the volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, and the Strategic National Stockpile. The bill also would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and follow through on plans to modernize national situational awareness and biosurveillance capabilities.

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