Sen. Alexander praises signing of Burr-Harkin bill for biopreparedness

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) expressed praise on Thursday for the signing into law of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013.

Alexander, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said the law would keep the U.S. prepared against pandemics and biological terrorist attacks.

"Americans know the real threat of a bioterror attack or flu outbreak, and this will prepare our nation for that threat and ensure our state and federal governments and local entities are continuing to work together to be as ready as possible," Alexander said. "I commend Senator Burr for his long-standing leadership on these issues."

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 is a bipartisan effort to make sure the U.S. is prepared to respond to various public health emergencies, whether they are naturally occurring disasters or the result of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Alexander, Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) originally co-sponsored the bill.

The reauthorization improves preparedness for and ability to respond to public health and medical emergencies, enhances activities related to medical countermeasures, improves local and state all-hazards preparedness and response efforts and collaboration and reauthorizes important public health and medical programs, such as the BioShield Special Reserve Fund.