Shaheen Attaches Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Domestic Supply Chain for PPE & Other Items Critical for National Security to FY2023 NDAA
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that her bipartisan legislation – the Homeland Procurement Reform Act – is included in the final fiscal year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA authorizes defense programming for the year. Shaheen’s bill, which she introduced with Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), strengthens the domestic supply chain for national security-related items and bolsters the government’s ability to reliably access these critical materials that the Department of Homeland Security needs, particularly during a national emergency. Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed glaring gaps in our domestic supply chain that left our nation flat-footed during the greatest public health crisis of our lifetime. Our bill will help ensure that does not happen again, and I’m thrilled that it will soon be the law of the land,” said Shaheen. “Too many times, I recall scrambling with local stakeholders, business owners and officials to locate sources of PPE from around the world to fly in for our frontline workers – we never should have been left in such a vulnerable position where we had to rely on those emergency flights. Once our legislation is law, steps will be put in motion to ramp up our own domestic manufacturing so we are not reliant on international sources for PPE and other national security items. This is a necessary and forward-looking effort that will help ensure those defending our national security will always have the materials they need to stay safe on the job when a crisis strikes, while also incentivizing additional investment in American manufacturing.”
The final text of the FY2023 NDAA was released late last night after Senate and House conferees finalized their negotiations. The House of Representatives will vote first, followed by the U.S. Senate before it is sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Senator Shaheen’s legislation specifies certain critical equipment and uniforms that DHS is required to procure domestically, and implements additional requirements and restrictions on DHS procurement. These restrictions would narrow the field of suppliers from whom DHS is able to procure this critical equipment, and direct DHS procurement towards predominately U.S. companies that are able to meet the standards outlined in the bill. Bolstering the domestic supply chain will help ensure American-made products are prioritized and will also help alleviate shortages that could arise during times of national emergencies, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, when access to necessary equipment like PPE was significantly interrupted.
Senator Shaheen led efforts to secure urgently needed personal protective equipment for New Hampshire during the COVID-19 crisis. Shaheen joined a letter to President Joe Biden supporting his administration’s plan to quickly utilize all available authorities under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly increase the production and stockpiling of medical, testing and protective equipment supplies. Shaheen previously introduced legislation that laid out a framework for an effective COVID-19 response by federalizing and adding oversight and transparency to the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment.