COVID-19 Update: Bi-Partisan Congressional group attempts to push through Defense Production Act

WASHINGTON — In a press release Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) identified himself as one seven Republicans and seven Democrats to introduce a resolution calling for the use of the Defense Production Act to ensure there are enough health care supplies going to providers to test and treat COVID-19.

“As I continue to talk to health care providers throughout my district, they’re worried about having the medical supplies necessary to treat COVID-19,” said Davis. “These are unprecedented times and we need all hands on deck. Utilizing the Defense Production Act would provide more direction and incentives for businesses to prioritize the equipment our health care providers are asking for. The sooner we contain this virus, the sooner Americans and businesses can return to normal life.”

The Defense Production Act of 1950 does not nationalize industries, but instead, provides the president with authorities to support domestic preparedness, response, and recovery from natural hazards, terrorist attacks, and other national emergencies. Some relevant authorities include:
Title I: Priorities and Allocations, which allows the President to require persons (including businesses and corporations) to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services as necessary to promote the national defense.
Title III: Expansion of Productive Capacity and Supply, which allows the President to incentivize the domestic industrial base to expand the production and supply of critical materials and goods. Authorized incentives include loans, loan guarantees, direct purchases and purchase commitments, and the authority to procure and install equipment in private industrial facilities.
Title VII: General Provisions, which includes key definitions for the DPA and several distinct authorities, including the authority to establish voluntary agreements with private industry; the authority to block proposed or pending foreign corporate mergers, acquisitions, or takeovers that threaten national security; and the authority to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability and to establish a volunteer pool of industry executives who could be called to government service in the interest of the national defense.

The resolution was introduced by Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Katie Porter (CA-45), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Don Bacon (NE-02), Fred Upton (MI-06), Van Taylor (TX-03) and Bill Huizenga (MI-02).