A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to establish a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies.
The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act authorizes the creation of a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies, which would be modeled on the 9/11 Commission. It 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 are necessary to ensure an effective response to future national emergencies.
States that fail to implement the findings of the report by 2025 would lose access to federal funds designated for emergency preparedness unless DHS can certify that the state is working in good faith to implement the findings.
The commission would also report to the President on goods that are essential to a response to a national emergency and must be manufactured in the United States. It mandates that by 2025, federal agencies responsible for responding to national emergencies are procuring essential supplies, like medication and personal protective equipment from domestic sources in the United States.
Specifically, goods procured by the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Institute of Health (NIH) would be manufactured in America.
The bill was introduced by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Will Hurd (R-TX), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), and Dean Phillips (D-MN).
“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,” Fitzpatrick said. “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. 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.”
The legislation would allow immediate expensing for firms that incur costs associated with expanded pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers within the United States to incentivize businesses to comply with the federal procurement requirements and encourage domestic production. This includes personal protective equipment and any other item determined by the National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies to be necessary.
“Saving lives and keeping Americans safe is my top priority,” Brindisi said. “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,” Brindisi continued. “While we respond to this pandemic, we need to also be working together to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”