Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, introduced by my colleague, Mike Rogers, from Michigan, would reauthorize programs designed to foster the development of chemical, biological, radioactive, and nuclear medical countermeasures and strengthen the Nation's preparedness infrastructure. It reauthorizes programs for 5 years at the fiscal year 2012 appropriated level and does not create a new program nor increase the authorization for appropriations for an existing program.
Congress originally enacted the programs reauthorized in PAHPRA through the Project BioShield Act of 2004 and Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006. Project BioShield authorized funds for the purchase of medical countermeasures through the Special Reserve Fund and enabled the Secretary of Health and Human Services to authorize the emergency use of medical products.
PAHPRA created the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority within HHS to help with the development of medical countermeasures and ensure communications between HHS and the developers of medical countermeasures. Reauthorizing these programs would help the Nation respond to a CBRN attack and is essential to addressing gaps in the Nation's flu preparedness.
H.R. 307 is essentially the same as H.R. 6672, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2012, which passed the House in December by a vote of 383-16.
I would urge all Members to support this critical piece of legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.