WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) to direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to research supply chain vulnerabilities that threaten homeland security has advanced in the Senate. The bill, which Peters introduced last week, would also require DHS to identify ways to strengthen critical supply chains. Recent shortages of critical supplies have highlighted significant gaps in our nation’s supply chains, as well as the need to strengthen domestic manufacturing of products that are essential to our national and economic security – such as personal protective equipment and electronics.
“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.”
A recent cyber-attack against an oil pipeline that caused gas shortages for millions of Americans, as well as medical supply shortages at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic highlight the importance of identifying supply chain vulnerabilities. The 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.
The legislation builds on Peters’ longstanding efforts to strengthen and secure our nations supply chains. He recently introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect against cybersecurity threats and other technological supply chain security vulnerabilities that arise when the federal government purchases services, equipment or products. As a part of his ongoing investigation into the federal government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Peters also convened a hearing with supply chain, pharmaceutical, and medical experts on how lawmakers can work to strengthen supply chain security and bolster domestic manufacturing of critical medical supplies to create jobs and ensure our nation is prepared for future crises. In 2019, Peters released a report warning of the serious national security risks posed by our overreliance on foreign nations for critical drugs and gaps in our medical supply chains.