Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), along with Tina Smith (D-MN), a member of the Senate Health Committee, and Senator Angus King (I-ME) an original cosponsor, introduced a bipartisan effort to improve research, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment for tick-borne diseases. Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ), with lead co-sponsor Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan companion bill, the identical House version of the Tick Act, HR3073, into the House of Representatives. It was referred to the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
The Tick Act, Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout (TICK) Act, S1657, is an effort to effort to improve research, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment. The Tick Act incorporates significant language from the HR 220 Chris Smith (NJ-4) bill introduced early in 2019 to establish an office for tick-borne diseases but broadens the scope to vector-borne diseases, which include tick-borne diseases but also mosquito and other insect-borne diseases. The bill also reauthorizes Regional Centers for Excellence in vector-borne diseases for FY2021-2026, $10M per fiscal year, as their current funding runs out in 2021. Additionally, the bill authorizes CDC grants of $20M per year to state health departments to improve collection of data, improve early diagnosis, improve treatment, and raise awareness.
Oct 31 – Press Release from collins.senate.gov:
Legislation Introduced by Senators Collins, Smith to Combat Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases Clears Senate Hurdle