Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Bill To Examine U.S. Response To Coronavirus Crisis

April 28, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of House lawmakers endorsed a bill on Monday to create a new congressional task force to scrutinize the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, introduced in early April by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. and Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., would allow the creation of a national commission on United States Preparedness for National Emergencies. 

The measure was approved by a majority of the members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. 

The new task force, modeled on the 9/11 Commission, would make recommendations to the president on how to mitigate future health disasters, with its first report due a year and a half after the bill is enacted.

One of the proposed commission’s central functions is to identify important medical supplies for government stockpiling and to pinpoint capacity issues at hospitals and other medical facilities.

Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. government has been forced to import millions of masks and other medical supplies from countries like China to address a severe shortage in personal protective equipment for health workers.

Rep. Brindisi said the bill would help ensure that the U.S. doesn’t need to rely on China for critical medical goods in future health crises. “Our legislation will save lives, keep Americans safe, strengthen our manufacturing sector, and create good-paying jobs,” he said. “COVID-19 exposed glaring holes in our supply chain and I am honored that the Problem Solvers Caucus is endorsing our plan to fix them.”

The commission would also look into ways individual states can better prepare for a crisis. Under the proposed law, states could lose their federal funds for emergency preparation if they fail to implement commission guidelines by 2025.

As part of their investigative duties, lawmakers would have the power to subpoena documents and call up witnesses to testify before Congress.

“It is only fair that we carefully review this current situation and take steps to fully understand how we can work better going forward,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.. “This legislation can help ensure our nation is stronger and more prepared for the next emergency.”

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 55,000 Americans with nearly one million cases reported across the nation, according to statistics from the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention. 

The chair of the 10-member commission would be appointed by the president and its remaining members by congressional leaders of the Democratic and Republicans parties. No more than five members would be from the same party.

The bill has been referred to several House committees that include Transportation and Infrastructure, Ways and Means, Oversight and Reform, Homeland Security, Energy and Commerce, and Armed Services.

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

Blue Dogs Tap LaVigne to Serve as new Executive Director
In The News
Blue Dogs Tap LaVigne to Serve as new Executive Director
May 10, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Blue Dog Coalition has hired Andy LaVigne to serve as its executive director. LaVigne previously served as the political director for the International Association of Fire Fighters. He will work alongside Brooke Lillard, who has served as the Coalition’s communications director over the... Read More

House GOP Leader Says He Backs Ousting Cheney from No. 3 Job
Political News
House GOP Leader Says He Backs Ousting Cheney from No. 3 Job

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy publicly endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik for the post of No. 3 leader, cementing party support of the Donald Trump loyalist over Rep. Liz Cheney, an outspoken critic of the former president for promoting discredited claims  that the 2020... Read More

Murphy, Mast in Bipartisan Push to Protect Florida Manatees, Other Marine Mammals
Environment
Murphy, Mast in Bipartisan Push to Protect Florida Manatees, Other Marine Mammals
May 7, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Brian Mast, R-Fla., are urging their colleagues to support bipartisan legislation to protect marine mammals like manatees, dolphins, seals, and whales.  The Marine Mammal Research and Response Act increases funding for two initiatives -- the Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant... Read More

Liz Cheney Clings to GOP Post as Trump Endorses Replacement
Political News
Liz Cheney Clings to GOP Post as Trump Endorses Replacement

WASHINGTON (AP) — No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney was clinging to her post as party leaders lined up behind an heir apparent, signaling that fallout over her clashes with former President Donald Trump was becoming too much for her to overcome.  Unbowed, Cheney on Wednesday... Read More

Republicans Promote Pandemic Relief They Voted Against
Congress
Republicans Promote Pandemic Relief They Voted Against

NEW YORK (AP) — Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., said it pained her to vote against the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. But in the weeks that followed, the first-term Republican issued a news release celebrating more than $3.7 million from the package that went to community... Read More

No. 2 House Republican Backs Cheney Ouster Over Trump Barbs
Political News
No. 2 House Republican Backs Cheney Ouster Over Trump Barbs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 House Republican publicly called Wednesday for the removal of Rep. Liz Cheney from the party's leadership, adding momentum to the drive to topple her after she clashed repeatedly with former President Donald Trump.  Rep. Steve Scalise, the House GOP whip,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top