RealNews

House Approves 'Bioshield' Defense Bill

Legislation to stimulate the development of drugs and vaccines to counter a bioterror attack won final congressional approval on Wednesday and was sent to President Bush to sign into law. The $5.6 billion, 10-year Project BioShield program, approved by the House on a 414-2 vote, expands public- and private-sector research incentives to develop treatments, antidotes and vaccines that would otherwise not find a viable commercial niche. The Senate earlier passed the bill, a 2003 initiative of Bush that enjoyed strong bipartisan support. The goal is to deter a biological, chemical or nuclear attack, as well as to limit casualties should one occur. “The purpose of course is to protect Americans,” said California Republican Chris Cox, chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. He said the bill marshaled public resources to spur an “unleashing the creative genius of the private sector.” Full Story

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