On July 13, the House Energy and commerce Health Subcommittee met to markup 17 bills including two PAHPA reauthorization bills and other related legislation. These include:
- H.R. 4421, the Preparing for All Hazards and Pathogens Reauthorization Act (Rep. Hudson) (partial PAHPA reauthorization)
- H.R. 4420, the Preparedness and Response Reauthorization Act (Rep. Hudson) (partial PAHPA reauthorization)
- H.R. 4529, the Public Health Guidance Transparency and Accountability Act (Rep. Rodgers)
- H.R. 4381, the Public Health Emergency Congressional Review Act (Rep. Murphy), and
- H.R. 3813, the CDC Leadership Accountability Act (Rep. Guthrie)
The House is currently approaching PAHPA reauthorization by splitting the content into two separate pieces of legislation. H.R. 4421, introduced by Rep. Hudson (R-NC), would reauthorize programs like the strategic national stockpile (SNS) and biomedical advance research and development authority (BARDA) to bolster public health security and hazard response. Several amendments were offered to the bill that aim to increase transparency of the origin of pharmaceutical ingredients and require drug manufactures to notify sustained spikes in demand of critical medicines, however, the amendments were rejected. H.R. 4421 was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 17-11. H.R. 4420, also introduced by Rep. Hudson, would reauthorize certain programs related to the CDC and support the distribution of medical countermeasures. Rep. Ruiz (D-CA) proposed an amendment from Rep. Underwood’s (D-IL) bill text in Improving DATA in Public Health Act which would promote coordination from federal agencies to share critical public health data for emergency response, supported by NACCHO, but it was not included. H.R. 4420 was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 16-12.
Additional public health legislation was considered and advanced out of the subcommittee. H.R. 4529, introduced by Chair Rodgers (R-WA), would add additional oversight and public participation requirements for guidance issued by the CDC, which NACCHO is concerned could negatively impact the timeliness and scientific basis of CDC guidance, particularly in an emergency. This was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 14-11. H.R. 4381 introduced by Rep Murphy (R-NC) and Rep. Guthrie (R-KY), would establish a Congressional review process to meet and vote on the termination of a declared public health emergency every six months, instead of keeping that authority with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 14-12. Finally, H.R. 3813 introduced by Rep. Guthrie (R-KY) would require any Director of the CDC appointed by the president after Jun 1, 2023, to be confirmed by the Senate, a requirement that is current set to begin January 1, 2025. It was forwarded, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 14-12.