U.S. Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) reintroduced legislation that would establish and expand state strategic stockpiles Thursday.
The legislation, H.R. 2006, would help states prepare for future events like the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congressman said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic made it very clear that we need to be better prepared for future health emergencies,” said Carter. “Over the past year, many states were not prepared to deal with the large influx of patients needing ventilators and other medical products. Additionally, countries like China and India withheld therapeutics and pharmaceutical ingredients that we needed here in the United States. I reintroduced this legislation today because we cannot let that happen again. This legislation will make sure states are prepared and able to respond quickly by having their own stockpile ready in addition to the federal strategic stockpile.”
Called the State Strategic Stockpile Readiness Act, the legislation would establish a pilot program that would award dollar-for-dollar matching grants to states that expand or maintain a strategic stockpile of commercially available drugs, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and other medical products deemed to be essential supplies in the event of a public health emergency. States would be responsible for acquiring, managing, and distributing the stockpiles and would serve as a supplement to the federal Strategic National Stockpile.
The bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ). It was originally introduced in the House in July 2020.