WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) sent letters to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough and to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging them to enter into long-term contracts for US-made masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to support domestic PPE manufacturers. This letter follows the adoption of the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act (IIJA), which included a provision based on the Make PPE in America Actwhich requires federal agencies to ensure that all contracts for PPE and their materials and components last at least two years and are for products made in the United States.
“American companies have stepped up over the past two years, reorganizing manufacturing lines to help offset supply chain weaknesses and meet needs for essential products, including N95 respirators and other PPE.” , write the senators.“These companies have saved American lives. Domestic PPE production is resilient to global supply chain disruptions like those caused by COVID-19, ensures PPE meets the highest quality standards, and supports American industry.
The letter asks each agency for an update on its progress in implementing the IIJA provisions that require HHS, VA and DHS to enter into long-term contracts for masks and other PPE manufactured in the United States. United. Providing the domestic PPE industry with strong and consistent demand by entering into long-term contracts with domestic manufacturers will help strengthen the domestic PPE industry and ensure that the federal government has enough high-quality PPE to meet effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future. health emergencies.
In January, Brown and Baldwin sent letters to President Joe Biden, Capitol Architect J. Brett Blanton and Senate Secretary Sonceria Ann Berry urging them to prioritize purchasing state-made masks. United with American materials. Brown and Baldwin are pushing for American taxpayers’ money to be spent on American products made by American workers. Their letters followed President Biden’s recent announcement that his administration would provide hundreds of millions of high-quality masks to Americans free of charge. Brown and Baldwin’s letter urged the president to ensure that future purchases — including those to replenish the strategic national stockpile and those to support access to free masks for children — prioritize masks made in the United States. United with American materials.
The full letter is available here.