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S. 3159 (117th): Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions Act

About the bill

The last time we saw a “Fauci Act,” it was when the man was impersonated on Saturday Night Live by Brad Pitt.

Context: what is gain-of-function research?

Gain-of-function research is a scientific approach in which scientists or researchers in a lab intentionally make a virus either deadlier or more easily transmitted. The intention is to study these super-viruses, to better design countermeasures ahead of time — for example, if a new virus mutation arises in the wild, which bears similarities to an artificial super-virus previously created in the lab.

Gain-of-function research so named because, as an article in The Conversation explains, “Any organism can acquire a new ability or property, or ‘gain’ a ‘function.’”

Because this is a risky research method, strict bioethics and safety protocols are …

Sponsor and status

Joni Ernst

Sponsor. Junior Senator for Iowa. Republican.

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Last Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Length: 5 pages
Nov 3, 2021
117th Congress (2021–2023)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on November 3, 2021, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


4 Cosponsors (4 Republicans)



Nov 3, 2021

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 3159 (117th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 3159. This is the one from the 117th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 117th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2021 to Jan 3, 2023. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 3159 — 117th Congress: Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions Act.” 2021. October 2, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.