Legislation that will strengthen domestic control of tuberculosis (TB) passed unanimously in the US Senate on Saturday. The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act also passed unanimously three days earlier in the House of Representatives on September 24.

“This legislation is important to the health and well-being of every American. We cannot afford to be complacent at a time when drug-resistant TB is on the rise worldwide,” says Jo Rae Wright, PhD, president of the American Thoracic Society.

The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act will:

•    Increase funding for the CDC’s domestic TB control program, including state TB control programs.
•    Ensure vulnerable communities are protected from drug-resistant TB through increased funding and through intensified research efforts directed at combating drug resistant TB.
•    Expand ongoing and new research efforts at the CDC and the NIH specifically geared toward the development of improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention tools to combat TB.
•    Provide support for targeted efforts to detect, treat, and prevent TB in the foreign-born population, among US minority populations and along the US-Mexico border.