Senate HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Richard Burr Secure Inclusion of Critical Preparedness Legislation
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the Alliance for Biosecurity released the following statement applauding increases in funding for our nation’s biosecurity programs and the inclusion of the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act) in the FY23 omnibus appropriations legislation. The PREVENT Pandemics Act is important bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) that is focused on strengthening the nation’s public health and medical preparedness and response systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Next year, Congress should build on this momentum by reauthorizing the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA).
“By including the PREVENT Pandemics Act in the omnibus spending legislation, Congress is taking a critical step toward ensuring our nation is ready for the next health emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic showed our nation and the world the dangers of being ill-prepared. This bipartisan legislation is an important step toward ensuring our medical preparedness and response systems are better suited to meet tomorrow’s challenges. This is a key first step, but more must be done. The members of the Alliance for Biosecurity are grateful to Senate HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Richard Burr for their leadership. We urge every member of Congress to support this important measure.”
The FY 23 omnibus appropriations legislation will also provide $3.8 billion for the Office of the Secretary—Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), an increase of $568 million above the fiscal year 2022 level. The bill provides funding to improve the nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies, including:
- $950 million, an increase of $205 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA);
- $965 million, an increase of $120 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, for the Strategic National Stockpile;
- $820 million, an increase of $40 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, for Project BioShield; and
- $335 million, an increase of $35 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, for pandemic influenza.
While the Alliance appreciates these funding increases, we continue to believe that the funding levels provided in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Multiyear Budget should be considered the minimum needed to support the medical countermeasures (MCM) enterprise. As such, the Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to achieve long-term sustained funding for these critical biodefense programs so that the country is better prepared for the next pandemic.