Rep. Rogers introduces bipartisan CBRN protection bill

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.-08) introduced a bipartisan bill on Wednesday in an effort to protect the United States against pandemics and attacks from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.

The bill, H.R. 2405, would reauthorize portions of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which Rogers authored in 2006. BARDA bridges the so-called “valley of death” funding gap between early-stage research and the actual procurement of medical countermeasures.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that followed, it is timely and necessary to reauthorize the federal government’s role in protecting the country from attack,” Rogers, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said. “Pandemics and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons pose serious threats, and we need to work aggressively to prevent their use in another attack against the United States.”

In addition, the bill would reauthorize Project BioShield’s Special Reserve Fund, which was created to procure medical countermeasures against smallpox, botulism, anthrax and other threats for the Strategic National Stockpile.

The legislation would also reauthorize critical public health preparedness programs, enhance the role of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and increase the Food and Drug Administration’s role in reviewing medical countermeasures.
“Bad guys all around the world are working each and every day to plot and carry out attacks against the United States using whatever means necessary,” Rogers said. “We need to remain vigilant and prepared to protect the public for the worst that they can imagine using against us.”