03.22.20

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Announces New Legislation to Scale Up Made in America Production of Medical Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment For Hospitals and Health Care Workers

Baldwin Plan will Require the Full Use of Defense Production Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced new legislation to expedite the procurement of medical equipment, under the Defense Production Act (DPA), to combat the spread of coronavirus. Despite multiple announcements, President Donald Trump has not utilized the federal government’s entire authority under DPA, so Baldwin’s legislation would require the President to do so in order to quickly produce and ensure access to supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for health care workers on the frontlines of this pandemic.

“Wisconsin hospitals and health care providers are currently facing a dire shortage of supplies and medical equipment, including PPE. The President needs to act now to give them the resources they need to fight this pandemic and this will require him to take action,” said Senator Baldwin. “My legislation will trigger the full authority of the Defense Production Act without delay so we can massively scale up production of Made in America medical supplies that our health care workers need to combat this public health emergency and save lives.”

Specifically, this legislation will:

  • Immediately require a major purchase order for 300 million N95 masks, which will allow industry to begin scaling up production of masks and other PPE materials.
  • Require the National Response Coordination Center to conduct a national assessment on current medical supply needs and a follow up major purchase order to fulfill the needs identified in the assessment.
  • Waive restrictions on dollar limitations for orders executed under DPA and a 30 day waiting period for orders that exceed $50 million.
  • Authorize increased funding for DPA accounts that are being considered for supplemental COVID-19 spending packages.

Senator Baldwin’s legislation is cosponsored by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  

The full bill text is available here.