Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Introduce NDAA Amendment To Increase National Production Of Testing Supplies And PPE As COVID-19 Cases Rise

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (NDAA) that would require President Trump to unlock the full authority and power of the Defense Production Act to scale up nation-wide production of the testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and medical equipment needed at the local level to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can’t take our eye off the ball when it comes to COVID-19 in the United States,” Durbin said. “Today’s amendment forces President Trump to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to massively scale-up production of testing supplies, PPE, and other vital medical equipment we need to address outbreaks throughout the country.”

“Trump’s chaotic and inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shortages of testing supplies, PPE and other medical equipment that our frontline healthcare providers rely on,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to support Senator Baldwin’s amendment that would boost production of life-saving equipment that is still desperately needed throughout the nation.”

Along with Durbin, Duckworth, and Baldwin, the amendment is cosponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The NDAA is being considered on the Senate floor this week.

The full amendment is available here.