Peters & Portman Provision to Direct DHS to Research Supply Chain Vulnerabilities That Threaten National Security Passes Senate as a Part of Annual Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – A provision authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman and Ranking Member of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research and development into the ways that supply chain vulnerabilities threaten our homeland security has passed the Senate as a part of the year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual defense bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“As we saw recently with the shortage of semiconductor chips that hurt autoworkers and manufacturers across Michigan and the shortage of critical medical supplies during the pandemic, our nation’s overreliance on foreign manufacturers for critical supplies is a grave national security and economic risk for the American people,” said Senator Peters. “I will continue working to move this important legislation forward so we can help federal agencies and Congress support increased domestic production of critical supplies, create good-paying American jobs, and protect our national security.”

“I applaud the Senate for passing this important legislation as a part of the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act because between shortages of medical supplies and semiconductors, the past year and a half has exposed how offshoring of our manufacturing base has weakened our homeland security,” said Senator Portman. “This bipartisan legislation puts the best minds at DHS on the job to identify where we have vulnerabilities in our supply chains and develop solutions to strengthen American manufacturing and re-shore jobs in critical sectors.”  

The provision, which is based on the senators’ Domains Critical to Homeland Security Act, would require DHS to conduct an analysis of critical domains – defined in the bill as industries critical to the economic and national security of the United States – to determine whether there is a present or future national security threat in the event their supply chains are disrupted. The bill also requires the DHS Secretary to submit a report to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and House Homeland Security Committees detailing the vulnerabilities in critical domain supply chains and actions by the federal government to strengthen them. The report would be updated annually through 2026.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led efforts to increase our nation’s cybersecurity defenses. His bill to enhance cybersecurity assistance to K-12 educational institutions across the country was signed into law. Peters secured several provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to bolster cybersecurity – including $100 million fund to help victims of a serious attack recover quickly. Peters’ bills to bolster federal cybersecurity and require critical infrastructure owners and operators to report to CISA if they experience a cyber-attack, and other organizations to notify the federal government if they make a ransom payment have advanced in the Senate.