The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released its summary assessment of the costs of S. 2967 – The National Biodefense Strategy Act of 2016.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson [R-WI] on May 23, 2016, amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the President to establish a Biodefense Coordination Council to develop a national strategy to help the federal government prevent and respond to major biological incidents.
S. 2967 would require the President to report to the Congress on the status of the strategy every 180 days until it is completed and to update the strategy at least every five years thereafter. The bill also would require the President to submit an annual report detailing total federal expenditures on biodefense activities and how those expenses relate to the priorities established in the strategy.
CBO estimated that implementing S. 2967 would require a couple of employees annually to coordinate the Council’s work and to produce the reports. CBO estimates that enacting S. 2967 would cost less than $500,000 annually and about $2 million over the 2017-2021 period; any such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.