Brindisi & Fitzpatrick Introduce Bill to Ensure Comprehensive Preparedness for Future Natural Emergencies

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April 3, 2020
Press Release

Representatives Introduce Made In America Emergency Preparedness Act To Protect National Security & Bolster Supply Chain

 

To Better Prepare Country For Crisis, Members Introduce Forward Looking Legislation To Ensure Improved Response

 

Congressman Anthony Brindisi and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Tom Reed (NY-23), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Will Hurd (TX-23), Tom Suozzi (NY-03) and Dean Phillips (MN-03), introduced the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act. This legislation aims to strengthen the manufacturing industry and bolster the supply chain of emergency resources for future crisis. Additionally, the bill aims to make sure America is better prepared for national emergencies like a global pandemic moving forward.

 

“Saving lives and keeping Americans safe is my top priority,” said Brindisi. “Unfortunately, we are already seeing breaks in our supply chain of critical supplies like PPE and other essential equipment to keep our frontline workers safe. We must learn from this crisis and in the future, we need to strengthen our supply chain and not be over-reliant on adversaries like China to help us in our time of need. The bipartisan Made In America Emergency Preparedness Act will make our country better prepared for national emergencies and in times of war, strengthen our manufacturing sector, and create good-paying jobs along the way. While we respond to this pandemic, we need to also be working together to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

 

"We simply cannot outsource our public safety and national security to foreign nations. We must reconstitute our healthcare and public safety supply chain back to the United States. Medical products, protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, emergency response equipment, and all other critical items and materials needed to respond to a national emergency must be produced domestically for domestic consumption, especially during a critical, time-sensitive crisis," said Fitzpatrick. "Our response to the September 11th terror attacks was 'Never Again.' We must have that same exact response to COVID-19. This landmark bipartisan legislation does just that.

 

"It is only fair that we carefully review this current situation and take steps to digest and understand how we can get better going forward,” said Reed. “We care about ensuring our nation is stronger and more prepared for the next emergency."

 

"Right now, we are seeing how a major public health emergency is impacting every part of our country — from workers and families, to businesses of all sizes, to resources our residents and health care workers need to survive,” said Gottheimer. “Moving forward, our government and private sector will need to learn from this crisis, assess the gaps, and better prepare for future national emergencies. We simply can’t rely on the rest of the world to build our ventilators, supply our medicine, and construct our masks and gowns. This bipartisan legislation will establish a bipartisan federal Commission to help ensure our nation's government and industries are better prepared for the next crisis."

 

“The Coronavirus has affected every single American and every single industry. When a tragedy like this strikes again, the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act will ensure certain products be deemed essential to a national response and, as such, must be manufactured and procured in the U.S.,” said Hurd. “We cannot leave our nation's fate in the hands of other nations, especially not China. The United States will ultimately get out of this pandemic, and we will restart stronger and more prepared for future emergencies.” 

 

“The US has a strategic reserve for petroleum. We maintain shipbuilding in the US even though it’s more expensive to build ships here than elsewhere. There are other defense capabilities that we maintain in the US so that we will always have the capability,” said Suozzi. “This new crisis response demands that we consider what other essential equipment must be maintained in the US to ensure that we can access it when we desperately need it. If there is one thing for sure, we must have the ability to manufacturer gowns, masks, gloves and other PPE right here in the United States.”

 

“We were not prepared for this pandemic, and we cannot wait for the next crisis before we begin to prepare,” said Phillips. “Our first-responders must have access to the necessary resources to protect our nation, and Americans need a coordinated, fully-funded, unified government response. A National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies will help get us there. I am proud to work with Congressman Fitzpatrick and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus on this issue as an original co-sponsor of the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act.”

 

To accomplish this, the legislation mandates that by 2025,  certain products that are deemed essential to a national response be manufactured and procured within the United States. Additionally, the bill authorizes the creation of a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies. This Commission would be modeled on the 9/11 Commission, and would look at the national emergency response by the United States government and private sector to this pandemic. The Commission would report findings to Congress and the President on what steps and items are necessary to ensure America’s effective response to future national emergencies. 

 

The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act:

  • Mandates that certain products that are deemed essential to a national response be manufactured and procured within the United States.
    • Goods being procured by DOD, DHS, HHS, CDC and NIH need to be manufactured and procured within the United States 
    • Specific focus on medical, pharmaceutical, and emergency preparedness products (including PPE)
    • The President may make exemptions for reasons of national security
    • Federal Agencies must comply by January 1, 2025
  • Creates a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies
    • The Commission is modeled in the same way as the 9/11 Commission and will look into the U.S. Government and private sector response
    • Will be the body that provides a report and recommendations to the President on which items are essential to a U.S. response and must be manufactured or procured in the United States.
    • Will also review national federal stockpile requirements, national surge capacity, and deficiencies in hospitals and medical centers.
  • Mandates that States that fail to implement the findings of the Commission’s report will lose access to federal funds for emergency preparedness.
    • States must comply by January 1, 2025
    • DHS may exempt a state from funding loss if DHS certifies that the state is working in good faith to meet Commission recommendations.
      • Certification will need to be made every fiscal year
  • Expensing of Qualifying Goods
    • The costs associated with businesses and manufacturers bringing their products into compliance with this legislation will be 100% covered.