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H.R. 3579 (115th): Public Health Emergency Preparedness Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 28, 2017.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Act

This bill provides $5 billion in supplemental appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Public Health Emergency Fund.

The bill designates the funds as an emergency requirement, and provides that the funds are only available if the President subsequently designates the funds. (Emergency spending is exempt from discretionary spending limits and other budget enforcement rules.)

HHS may use the funds provided by this bill to acquire products such as drugs, vaccines and other biological products, and medical devices for deposit into the Strategic National Stockpile.

The bill amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to exempt the Public Health Emergency Fund from sequestration, which is a process of automatic, usually across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals.