WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, April 3rd, 2020, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congressmen Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), 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. The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that we must do more, as a government and with private industry to prepare for the next national emergency. After 9/11, we as a nation said: “Never Again”. And in response to this current crisis, we must never again find ourselves caught off-guard, unable to protect our communities. We should never again see 200,000 American lives at risk and day to day life turned upside down. This legislation focuses on ensuring our nation is taking the necessary steps to mitigate the impacts of future national emergencies, improve responsiveness, and save lives.
To accomplish this, the legislation 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 affective response to future national emergencies.
States that fail to implement the findings of the Commission’s 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 of the Commission. States would be required to be recertified every fiscal year.
The Commission would also be required to provide a report and recommendations to the President on goods that are essential to a response to a national emergency and must be manufactured in the United States. To ensure that our federal procurement supply chains are more self-sufficient and can rely on more domestic sources of production, this bill also 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 or manufacturing right here in the United States. Specifically, goods procured by the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute of Health (NIH) would be manufactured by American businesses, allowing our national supply chain and domestic stockpile to become more reliant on American manufacturing.
“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.”
“Saving lives and keeping Americans safe is my top priority. 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,” said Brindisi. 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.”
"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.”
Finally, to help incentivize businesses and manufacturers to come into compliance with the federal procurement requirements and encourage domestic production, this bill would allow immediate expensing for firms that incur costs associated with expanded pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers within the United States, including personal protective equipment and any other item determined by the National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies to be necessary.