WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several provisions led by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, were passed by the Senate as a part of a legislative package to strengthen national security, boost American competitiveness on the global stage, and lessen our dependence on adversarial governments, like China and Russia. Peters’ provisions strengthen American defenses against sophisticated cyber-attacks, mitigate risks posed by our overreliance on foreign manufacturers for critical supplies, and support American companies and American workers.
“This bipartisan legislation is an important investment in keeping the United States on the cutting edge of technological development, strengthening our economic competitiveness on the global stage, and protecting our national security,” said Senator Peters. “Today, the Senate showed when we work together in a bipartisan manner, we can tackle the biggest challenges facing our nation. The provisions I worked to include in this historic package will bolster our response to dangerous cyber-attacks, limit our reliance on foreign manufacturers for critical supplies like PPE, and strengthen Buy American requirements to support domestic manufacturers and create more good-paying American jobs.”
Provisions that Peters led or supported in the United States Innovation and Competition Act to bolster cybersecurity, secure supply chains and support American workers and companies include:
- Strengthening Cybersecurity: Foreign adversaries like the Chinese and Russian governments, and criminal organizations often harbored by these nations, continue their relentless attacks against American information systems. The package included a Peters provision to provide additional resources for serious cyber-attacks, such as a recent one against the Colonial oil pipeline. The provision creates an authority for the Secretary of Homeland Security to declare a Significant Incident in the event of an ongoing or imminent attack and allow the Secretary access to a Cyber Response and Recovery Fund that would help entities recover from an attack. The bill also includes a Peters provision to establish a program to grow federal expertise and interagency coordination on cybersecurity.
- Manufacturing PPE in America and Securing Supply Chains: Peters has long raised the alarm about serious national security risk posed by our overreliance on companies in China and other countries for medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE). The package passed by the Senate today includes his provision to require federal agencies to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE. Growing domestic PPE production will help create American manufacturing jobs and improve preparedness for the next crisis.
- Supporting American Workers and Manufacturers: Taxpayer dollars should be used to buy American-made products and materials, which in turn supports American workers and advances American competitiveness. The package includes a provision by Peters to strengthen Buy American requirements and close loopholes to ensure the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars on American-made products that support American companies and workers, and create American jobs.
- Investing in Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence: With support from the federal government, the United States has an opportunity to help lock in its competitive advantage over the Chinese government in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence. Peters worked to include a provision that would leverage American values, innovation and entrepreneurialism to build strong public-private partnerships to advance this critical technology. Peters also secured a provision based on his bipartisan bill to promote American talent by offering scholarships to students studying AI and related fields in exchange for service in the public sector.