Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member, Mr. Pallone, for his leadership and legislative courtesies along the way. I'm very proud that as we begin a new year and a new Congress that this bill is on the floor. I think it's fitting that we begin a new Congress with this bill, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization. It is very important legislation, as you have already heard from those that have spoken.
I first introduced this legislation with Congressman Mike Rogers, my friend, my colleague, at the committee, and we've done other bills together very successfully, as well. We began that particular effort in 2006 to better help our country prepare for a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack--all words that none of us really wish to utter. But we need to be prepared.
Developing and stockpiling appropriate countermeasures is essential for public safety. And these programs encourage American companies to invest in areas of critical need because we need the partnership of the private sector in this as well.
The bill before us today includes new provisions that highlight the important needs of our Nation's children. Children are not just little adults. They need special care and medical attention. They're especially vulnerable to biological or chemical agents because of their size, their limited capacity to flush toxins out of their bodies, their underdeveloped motor skills, and their total reliance on their parents or other caregivers. And certainly the role of the Congress in this is to make sure that we have laws that really speak specifically to them.
While the hope is that we will never need to use these countermeasures to combat an attack on our country, I'm proud that we've strengthened these programs for everyone in our country, especially children.
This legislation is supported by the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and Trust for America's Health, as well as, very importantly, the American Academy of Pediatrics.
I'm very pleased that we're, once again, voting to pass the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, just as we did a month before the end of the last Congress, and I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same. This is a bipartisan effort, and it's critical to our national preparedness and security strategies. We very often come to the floor about strategies relative to our military and strategies relative to our national intelligence community. This is about the public health element of that national security for our country.
We need to move forward with this and bring the legislation to the President's desk for his signature.
I thank Chairman Upton, the ranking member of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Waxman, and certainly the distinguished chairman of the Health Subcommittee and, again, my wonderful partner, Congressman Mike Rogers.