Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities [July 6, 2009]   [open pdf - 190KB]

"Many potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents lack available countermeasures. In 2003, President Bush proposed Project BioShield to address this need. The Project BioShield Act became law in July 2004 (P.L. 108-276). This law has three main provisions: (1) relaxing procedures for some CBRN terrorism-related spending, including hiring and awarding research grants; (2) guaranteeing a federal government market for new CBRN medical countermeasures; and (3) permitting emergency use of unapproved countermeasures. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has used each of these authorities. The HHS used expedited review authorities to approve grants relating to developing treatments for radiation exposure and used the authority to guarantee a government market to obligate approximately $2.3 billion to acquire countermeasures against anthrax, botulism, radiation, and smallpox. The HHS has also employed the emergency use authority several times including allowing young children with H1N1 'swine flu' to receive specific antiviral drugs. The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2004 (P.L. 108-90) advanceappropriated $5.593 billion for FY2004 to FY2013 for Project BioShield. In addition to the approximately $2.3 billion used for countermeasure procurement, Congress has decreased the available amount in the BioShield account. In FY2004 and FY2005, Congress removed approximately a total of $25 million through rescissions. In the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-8), Congress transferred $412 million to other programs to support countermeasure advanced research and development and pandemic influenza preparedness and response. President Obama has proposed transferring an additional $305 million in FY2010 to support countermeasure advanced research and development."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21507
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations