WASHINGTON, DC – As the United States continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, today the Problem Solvers Caucus formally endorsed the bipartisan Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, legislation focused on ensuring our nation is looking ahead, taking the necessary steps to mitigate the impacts of future national emergencies, improve responsiveness, and save lives.
Problem Solvers, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), authored the bill and introduced it in the U.S. House of Representatives along with fellow Problem Solvers Caucus members, Tom Reed (R-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Will Hurd (R-TX), Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Dean Phillips (D-MN). Reps. Fitzpatrick and Brindisi brought the bill to the caucus for endorsement, where more than 75 percent of the 50-member caucus agreed to support the bill.
The bill 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 the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission would then report its findings to Congress and the President on what steps and items are necessary to ensure America’s effective response to future national emergencies.
“It is only fair that we carefully review this current situation and take steps to fully understand how we can work better going forward,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Tom Reed. “This legislation can help ensure our nation is stronger and more prepared for the next emergency.”
“Just like after the September 11th terrorist attacks, where New Jersey tragically lost so many lives and first responders, our nation said ‘Never Again,’ and put plans in place to protect our nation from future risks. Right now, we are seeing how another major national emergency is impacting every part of New Jersey’s Fifth District — from workers and families, to first responders and front-line health care workers and businesses of all sizes – and we need a strategic plan,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Josh Gottheimer. “Moving forward, our government and private sector will need to learn from this public health and economic 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.”
“We simply cannot outsource our public safety and national security to foreign nations. We must reconstitute our medical and public safety supply chain back to the United States,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “Our response to the September 11th attacks was ‘Never Again.’ We must have that same exact response to COVID-19. I am incredibly happy to see the Problem Solvers endorse the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to advance this landmark, bipartisan legislation.”
“Our legislation will save lives, keep Americans safe, strengthen our manufacturing sector, and create good-paying jobs,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi. “COVID-19 exposed glaring holes in our supply chain and I am honored that the Problem Solvers Caucus is endorsing our plan to fix them. 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. The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act will make our country better prepared for national emergencies and in times of war. While we respond to this pandemic, we need to also be working together, in a bipartisan way, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“The Coronavirus has affected every single American and every single industry,” said Rep. Will Hurd. “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. 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. I’m proud to see the Problem Solvers Caucus endorse this important legislation.”
“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 Rep. Tom 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 Rep. Dean 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.”
“Made in America means something special,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “Americans are known for making things using innovation, hard work, and ingenuity. I’m proud that the Problem Solvers Caucus endorse this commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will help create jobs and save lives. This global pandemic has opened our eyes to the reality that we must do more to supply our nation’s own medicine, personal protective equipment, and other critical materials during a crisis, and this bill offers a real solution. We know it’s not a matter of if we face another national emergency, it’s when, and we need to use every tool in our toolkit to protect the safety and well-being of the American people.”
“As we battle a global pandemic, it is critical that we stay focused on getting Americans the immediate health and economic relief they need,” said Rep. Kendra Horn. “But emerging from this crisis, we must have a bipartisan plan to ensure that our nation is not caught off-guard by another emergency, unable to protect our communities. Our review of the COVID-19 response must be bipartisan, forward-looking, and equip our nation to respond to future threats. This legislation strengthens our national preparedness and national security, analyzing the COVID-19 response to better prepare our nation for what comes next.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed how unprepared our nation is for widespread emergencies,” said Rep. Susie Lee. “To effectively fight the coronavirus, or any public health crisis we could face in the future, we need to ensure that we’re able to produce and procure critical supplies right here in the U.S. Our failure to manufacture and source these protective equipment and testing materials at home has been an enduring hurdle that has put too many lives at risk as we respond to this pandemic. I’m proud to endorse the bipartisan Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act with my colleagues on the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus because Nevadans, and all Americans, deserve to have peace of mind that their government is ready at a moment’s notice to keep them safe.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the deficiency of our supply chains, so I think every American can agree that steps need to be taken to guarantee that we never find ourselves in a similar situation in the future,” said Rep. Pete Stauber. “As the Representative of an area rich in strategic minerals that can be used in necessities like medical devices, I am proud to support bipartisan legislation that will ensure America’s industries are better prepared and eliminate our dependency on foreign nations like China.”
“We must not wait until we are confronted with a crisis to begin planning our response—emergency preparedness is crucial to save lives and protect public safety,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal. “Our bipartisan Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act helps ensure our nation is well-equipped in times of difficulty by procuring supplies, strengthening U.S. manufacturing ability to quickly produce safety equipment and thoughtfully mapping out crisis response.”
“Investing in American manufacturing to boost domestic production and rebuild our critical supply chains will be vital to our nation’s ability to better prepare and respond to future national emergencies,” said Rep. Dan Lipinski.
“I am proud to join my House Colleagues in supporting the creation of a National Commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies,” said Rep. Steve Watkins. “It provides Congress and the President with an examination of our nation’s response to the pandemic. It also ensures our essential supplies are American-made. In times of crisis, Americans look to their leaders in Washington to deliver real results. This commission will provide Congress and the President with the resources and data to make effective decisions when dealing with future emergencies. We must have the tools needed to protect lives and livelihoods.”