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Enacted bill includes pandemic, food safety money

March 12, 2009
by Robert Roos
CIDRAP News

Mar 12, 2009 (CIDRAP News) - In passing a huge spending bill this week to cover the next 6 months, Congress approved pandemic preparedness funds that had been proposed by former President Bush and increased appropriations for food safety, according to a health advocacy group.

The $410 billion bill was passed by the Senate Feb 10, following earlier House approval, and signed by President Barack Obama yesterday. It funds numerous government agencies for the rest of fiscal year 2009, which ends Sep 30.

The measure includes more than $700 million in pandemic spending that Bush had sought for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but none of that is for state and local public health agencies, according to Richard Hamburg, government affairs director for the nonprofit group Trust for America's Health.

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