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  • Washington Highlights

    House Subcommittee Holds Legislative Hearing on Public Health Legislation

    Katherine Cruz, Legislative Analyst
    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
    For Media Inquiries

    On June 13, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on various public health bills, including the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) of 2023. The hearing, entitled “Legislative Solutions to Bolster Preparedness and Response for All Hazards and Public Health Security Threats,” featured witnesses from the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program at Texas A&M University; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Consolidated Health and Human Services Agency; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization; the American Society of Clinical Oncology; and the Community Oncology Alliance. 

    In his opening remarks, subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-K.Y.) expressed disappointment that PAHPA is currently not bipartisan, while subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) urged her fellow subcommittee members to find a bipartisan path forward to reauthorizing PAHPA in her remarks. Additionally, both committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) noted during the hearing that it is critical the PAHPA is passed before its expiration — particularly to address drug shortages and develop crucial medical countermeasures.  

    Subcommittee members on both sides of the aisle also disagreed on how to address drug shortages. McMorris Rodgers noted her Democratic colleagues’ concerns about the lack of legislation related to drug shortages and supply chain issues in her remarks, but stated that finding solutions for drug shortages is outside of the scope of PAHPA reauthorization and expressed concerns for expanding Food and Drug Administration authorities and giving the agency more funding.