HR 269, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 8, 2019, and passed the House of representatives by a vote of 401 – 17 on January 8, 2019. This bill would amend the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to reauthorize programs relating broadly to public health security and all-hazards preparedness. Three of the sections of this bill (404, 504, and 505) relate to genetics/genomics.
Section 404 of the bill would address the dangers associated with pandemic influenza and anti-microbial resistance by bolstering existing strategic initiatives to research, develop, and acquire countermeasures relating to biological threats. Initiatives covered under this section include developing novel virus strains, vaccines, and other therapeutics.
Section 504 of the bill would appropriate $7.1 billion to the BioShield Special Reserve Fund through 2028, and $611 million to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority through 2023.
Section 505 of the bill would reauthorize the existence of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This council is tasked with understanding and providing recommendations to HHS regarding antibiotic-resistant bacteria and its threat to public health and safety. By October 1, 2022, HHS would be required to submit a report to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding whether the council should be extended.