Walorski Bill to Boost Made-in-America PPE Included in Bipartisan Legislation to Overhaul National Stockpile

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Walorski Bill to Boost Made-in-America PPE Included in Bipartisan Legislation to Overhaul National Stockpile

Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act Would Boost Domestic Manufacturing of Critical Medical Supplies

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today announced she is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act, which aims to boost domestic manufacturing of critical medical supplies and make much-needed improvements to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The legislative package includes Walorski’s bill to strengthen domestic supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Health care workers on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus risk their lives to care for patients and protect our communities,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This bipartisan legislation is a major step toward ensuring they have access to the personal protective equipment they need to keep themselves and others safe. It also includes my bill with Congresswoman Dingell to modernize the Strategic National Stockpile and strengthen domestic manufacturing of PPE so our country is better prepared for the next public health crisis.”

“The coronavirus crisis has shined a light on cracks in our society and economic foundations,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.). “Cracks in the supply chain and decades of weakening domestic manufacturing left us unable to respond in a quick and efficient manner. We must address issues with the Strategic National Stockpile. My bipartisan legislation will enhance medical supply chain manufacturing domestically and improve our national security.”

BACKGROUND

The Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act combines several bipartisan bills previously introduced to spur domestic manufacturing and strengthen the stockpile, a repository of critical supplies and medicines maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to respond to public health emergencies.

The legislation includes the Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act, which Walorski and Dingell introduced in April. Their bill would enhance medical supply chain elasticity, improve the domestic production of PPE, and partner with industry to refresh and replenish existing stocks of medical supplies.

If enacted, the Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act would:

  • Make sure stockpile items are in good working order and ready to use if and when a crisis hits. Will ensure items in the stockpile are in good working order and aren’t expired by requiring regular maintenance.
  • Increase manufacturing of critical supplies in America. Will boost domestic production of critical supplies by establishing a $500 million pilot program to diversify sources of personal protective equipment and partnering with industry to replenish existing stocks.
  • Improve stockpile financial security and reduce waste by allowing the transfer of stockpile items nearing their expiration dates to other federal agencies.
  • Bring transparency to past stockpile allocations. Will require the administration to report to Congress on all state, local, tribal and territorial requests for stockpile supplies during the pandemic and the response to each request.
  • Bring transparency to process for stockpile allocations. Will require development of improved, transparent processes for distribution of goods from the stockpile and provide the states with clear, transparent guidelines on how to request distributions from the stockpile.
  • Take steps to return money to taxpayers when companies profit off of SNS products. Will explore the possibility of further strengthening the stockpile financially by requiring a Government Accountability Office study on implementing a user fee to reimburse the stockpile for items such as antitoxins, for which it is the sole provider and for which health care providers or others may charge patients.
  • Support states’ readiness in a public health emergency. Will establish a pilot program to support state efforts to expand and maintain their own stockpiles.
  • Put more resources behind the SNS. This legislation will also provide increased resources for the stockpile by raising annual authorized funding for its operations from $610 million to $705 million for fiscal years 2020 through 2023.

Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Earl L. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), David McKinley (R-W.V.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Kim Schier (D-Wash.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and Michael Burgess (R-Texas) are original co-sponsors on the bill.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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