WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research and development into the ways that supply chain vulnerabilities threaten our homeland security. Congressmen John Katko (R-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) have introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Our overreliance on foreign manufacturers poses serious national security and economic risks, as we saw most recently with the shortage of semiconductor chips that hurt autoworkers and manufacturers across Michigan, as well as shortages of critical medical supplies highlighted by the pandemic,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense legislation will help federal agencies and Congress support increased domestic production of critical supplies, create good-paying American jobs, and protect our national security.”
“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 and brightest 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 and I urge my colleagues to join in supporting this much needed legislation.”
A recent 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.
As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led several 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 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.