Project BioShield: Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Policy Implementation Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Project BioShield Act of 2004 P.L. 108-276 established a 10-year program to acquire civilian medical countermeasures to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear CBRN agents for the Strategic National Stockpile. Provisions of this act were designed to encourage private companies to develop these countermeasures by guaranteeing a government market for successfully developed countermeasures. Both the Department of Homeland Security DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services HHS have responsibilities in this program. Funds for this program are appropriated to DHS, while contracts are executed through HHS. The interagency process responsible for deciding which countermeasures to procure has changed multiple times since this programs inception. The Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2004 P.L. 108-90 provided an advance appropriation of 5.6 billion to acquire CBRN countermeasures over a 10-year period FY2004 FY2013. This act also limited the amount that could be obligated during specified time periods. The Project BioShield Act of 2004 P.L. 108-276 assigned the 5.6 billion advance appropriation to Project BioShield countermeasure acquisitions. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 P.L. 108-199 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 P.L. 108-447 reduced the total amount available for Project BioShield by a total of 25 million. Congress retains the power to make additional appropriations and rescissions to this account. HHS has awarded Project BioShield contracts for a countermeasure against botulinum toxin, two types of anthrax vaccine, two types of anthrax treatments, and three kinds of countermeasures against radiological or nuclear agents. HHS reports that it has obligated approximately 1.831 billion from the Project BioShield account. However, the largest contract, 878 million for an anthrax vaccine, was cancelled in December 2006, for failure to meet a contract milestone.
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