WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, May 28th, 2021, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-AL), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Don Bacon (NE-02), Susie Lee (NV-03), Van Taylor (TX-03), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) 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 nearly 600,000 American lives lost 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 effective response to future national emergencies.
One of the purposes of the Commission would be to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak. States that fail to implement the findings of the Commission’s report by 2026 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 domestically manufactured goods that are essential for a response to national emergencies. 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 2026, 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 Institutes of Health (NIH) would be manufactured within the United States, 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 Rep. 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's critical that our government and private sector industries learn from the COVID-19 crisis and better prepare for future national emergencies,” said Rep. Gottheimer. “We must ensure that our health systems, first responders, Strategic National Stockpile, and supply chain are always standing at the ready. This bipartisan legislation will establish a bipartisan federal Commission to help ensure our government and industries are better prepared for the next crisis."
“As our country continues to recover from the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s apparent that the national stockpile was inadequately supplied to respond to an event of this magnitude,” said Rep. González-Colón “In order to prepare for any type of major event, we need ensure that we have the necessary medical products, protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, emergency response equipment, and critical items and materials included in the stockpile. Our country has an opportunity to rebuild our manufacturing capacity in places such as Puerto Rico where we not only lack the infrastructure capacity, but the labor and experience necessary to increase the strength of the pharmaceutical industry in America. This bill will provide the necessary information through the established commission to best prepare us for future events.”
“This past year we’ve witnessed the dangers of not having a ready and accessible reserve of goods to combat a global crisis,” said Rep. Suozzi. “A unified, coordinated government response combined with strengthened national supply chains will have us prepared for any future crisis. We never want to relive the uncertainty of having limited access to essential goods, and with the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, we won’t have to in the future.”
“The COVID pandemic exposed the dangers of our reliance on the Communist Regime of China and other foreign nations for the critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, and PPE that we all need for survival,” said Rep. Stauber. “We must take the tough lessons learned from COVID and begin to build an even stronger and more self-reliant nation than ever before. The next time our nation faces an emergency, we will be ready because the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act ensures that essential minerals, products and equipment are manufactured and developed 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 Rep. 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.
“Ensuring the public health and safety of all Americans should be a bipartisan mission,” said Rep. Bacon. “This independent commission is needed to investigate the who, what, when, where, and why of COVID-19 and to develop a report on the U.S.’s response to its handling of the pandemic. Further, this will help us better prepare our medical professionals for future national emergencies and pandemics. I thank my colleagues from both sides for their partnership on this much needed effort.”
“Our entire nation was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but my home state of Nevadawas absolutely devastated as our travel and tourism economy came to a screeching halt,” said Rep. Lee.“We must do everything in our power to better prepare for another national emergency like the COVID-19 crisis. That means we must ensure that we understand how we got here. This bipartisan legislation will establish a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies to help us learn from our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and then implement those lessons into needed reforms to our emergency response and national security systems.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented incredible challenges and impacted every facet of life as we know it,” said Rep. Taylor. “Our nation faced serious disruptions to our medical, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods supply chains. This commission will help ensure our nation is better prepared for potential future emergencies.”
“The COVID pandemic demonstrated that we must take proactive measures to ensure products essential to national emergency responses can be immediately secured,” said Rep. Panetta. “The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act would help accomplish that by authorizing a commission to determine what steps are necessary now to ensure an efficient response to future emergencies. Our legislation would help America exit this pandemic on the right foot by ensuring that we are fully prepared for the future.”