Upton’s bipartisan resolution initiates domestic production of needed medical supplies

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) on March 23 introduced a bipartisan resolution that calls upon the president to make urgent use of the Defense Production Act to direct the domestic production of supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have said from the beginning that we need all hands on deck, and the bipartisan resolution we introduced today urges the president to use the Defense Production Act to ensure we as a nation unleash the stockpile of supplies to help health care workers and save lives,” Rep. Upton said on Monday.

The congressman is an original cosponsor of House Resolution 906 with sponsor U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) and 12 other cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Bill Huizenga (R-MI).

If enacted, the resolution also would call upon the president to immediately share with Congress plans for the use of the Defense Production Act authorities, including targets and timelines for the production of supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results of the ongoing use of these authorities, according to the text of the resolution.

“The bottom line is that we need to get more personal protective equipment to our medical community who are on the front lines working to keep our nation safe,” said Rep. Upton.

He also noted that the Defense Production Act does not nationalize businesses, but allows the government to direct businesses to make certain supplies that are desperately needed in the nation’s fight against the coronavirus.

“The companies would remain private,” Rep. Upton said. “Let’s be clear, to address this generational crisis, we need to use every single tool in the tool box.”

The resolution also states that the U.S. House of Representatives stands ready to make additional appropriations available to meet the needs of the Defense Production Act invocation, according to its text.

“President Trump said he would use the Defense Production Act in the worst-case scenario — we’re there, Mr. President,” said Rep. Levin.