Energy and Commerce Committee approves Rep. Green’s tuberculosis bill
September 17, 2008
Washington, DC– U.S. Rep. Gene Green’s bill to create a national program aimed at eliminating tuberculosis gained approval from House Energy and Commerce Committee today. Green said he expected the full House to vote on the bill before Congress’s scheduled recess at the end of September.
“The Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2008 aims to eliminate TB domestically and would intensify efforts to prevent, detect, and treat individuals in our country with TB” Green said.
According to the CDC there were 13,293 tuberculosis cases in the United States in 2007. In 2006, 91 cases of multidrug-resistant TB were reported in the United States and multidrug-resistant TB has been reported in 49 states.
Green’s bill, the Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act (H.R. 1532), targets the disease from several angles. Specifically, H.R. 1532 will authorize grants within the CDC for research, education, and training projects to prevent, control and eliminate TB. The legislation also creates an Advisory Council to coordinate federal TB control activities and develop a national plan to eliminate TB in the U.S. and creates a new Federal Tuberculosis Task Force. H.R. 1532, states that the National Institutes of Health Director may expand, intensify, and coordinate research and development and related activities with respect to TB since the standard method for TB detection is more than 100 years old and the newest class of drugs to treat TB is more than 40 years old.
H.R. 1532 is the House version of S. 1551 which was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and is awaiting Senate passage. The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act with several other bills expected to pass the House with bipartisan support.
“We must remain vigilant in the fight against domestic Tuberculosis. It is essential that we research and develop the tools needed to prevent TB from evolving into an epidemic we are unprepared to fight,” Green said. “The Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2008 provides the means necessary to wage war against TB in the US, and hopefully in the future, the eradication of TB in this country.”