Senators to Introduce Bioterrorism Bill Today
Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) today intend to introduce a $3.2 billion bioterrorism bill that would increase the nation's stockpile of vaccines and medicines, boost CDC funding, increase food inspections and help state and local governments prepare for biological or chemical attacks, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Of the $3.2 billion, about $1.1 billion would be allocated to the antibiotics stockpile and for doses of a smallpox vaccine and another $1 billion would go toward helping state and local officials prepare for bioterrorism. In comparison, President Bush's $1.5 billion proposal would give $643 million to increase the vaccine/antibiotic stockpile and $509 million for 300 million doses of the smallpox vaccine. A "small fraction" of the Bush bill would help state and local officials prepare for bioterrorism attacks, the AP/Star Tribune reports. House Democrats last month introduced a $7 billion bioterrorism bill (Zuckerford, AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/15). Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) was expected to introduce another House bioterrorism bill yesterday that would provide funds for the CDC, the vaccine/antibiotics stockpile, physician and nurse training and volunteer certification. Tauzin said House Republican leaders wanted to have a bill available for floor consideration should the Senate reach a consensus on its bioterrorism bill (CongressDaily, 11/14).