WASHINGTON (TIP): An amendment introduced by Indian American Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), which increases funding to help partner nations prevent the proliferation of biological weapons, and detect and respond to deadly diseases, passed June 18 in the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support (381-46). The amendment would restore a $15 million cut to the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program and adds an additional $5 million funding to this vital program.
“Recent news of Ebola spreading from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda is a reminder of how easy it is for deadly diseases to spread quickly,” said Rep. Bera, M.D. “This amendment strengthens the ability of partner countries to detect and respond to the spread of dangerous diseases before they become a threat to the United States.”
The amendment was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which passed the House.
As a doctor, Congressman Bera has always been a strong supporter of American leadership in global health. In March 2019, Rep. Bera led a bipartisan letter urging Congress to sustain global health security funding. In May 2018, Rep. Bera successfully urged the Administration to halt short-sighted Ebola funding cuts. He also led efforts by the Foreign Affairs Committee to address the global Zika epidemic and has pushed Congress to do more to stop future outbreaks.
Rep. Bera is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.