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Upton Helps Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Calling for Aggressive Use of the Defense Production Act for COVID-19 Response

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Washington, March 23, 2020 | Josh Paciorek (202-313-2643) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) today helped lead the bipartisan effort to secure more Personal Protective Equipment for health care workers by cosponsoring legislation urging the President to make quick and effective use of the Defense Production Act during the greatest public health crisis in a century. Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) introduced the legislation earlier today.

"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. "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. It should also be noted that the DPA does not nationalize businesses, as some suggest. It does, however, allow the government to direct businesses to make certain supplies that are desperately needed in our fight against the coronavirus. The companies would remain private. Let’s be clear, to address this generational crisis, we need to use every single tool in the tool box."

“President Trump said he would use the Defense Production Act in the worst case scenario—we’re there, Mr. President,” Rep. Levin said. “Frontline health care workers are already treating patients without the personal protective equipment they need, some falling victim to the virus themselves. A nurse in my district described her ER as a ‘war zone’ in the fight for masks, everyone given one per shift. Soon, our health care workers will be battling for their patients to get the one ventilator available. We cannot wait for that day to come.”

The resolution calls on the president to immediately share with Congress plans for the use of the Defense Production Act authorities, including targets and timelines to produce supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the results of the ongoing use of these authorities. The resolution also states that the House stands ready to make additional appropriations available to meet the needs of Defense Production Act invocation.

Click here to read the resolution.

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