Malinowski Bill to Fix National PPE Stockpile for Future Pandemics Included in FY 2021 Budget
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion government funding bill that prioritizes public health and pandemic preparedness, invests in education and job training, supports service members and military families, addresses police reform, fights back against white supremacist terrorism, and combats climate change.
The bill includes several provisions introduced by Representative Malinowski, including a requirement that the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), the United States' national repository of critical medical supplies, be adequately stocked for the next major pandemic. The provision requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to send a weekly report to Congress on the inventory of ventilators and personal protective equipment in the SNS, as well as an annual professional judgment budget for necessary expenditures to maintain the minimum level of relevant supplies, including in the case of a pandemic. This language is derived from the Congressman’s Providing Protective Equipment Act of 2020.
“The widespread shortages of PPE equipment and COVID-testing supplies that we've seen since the early days of this crisis never should have happened,” said Representative Malinowski. “My proposal, which the House adopted today, ensures that Congress and the public will be told at the start of each year exactly what is necessary to keep a ready stockpile and that we're all held accountable to fund it. The next time our country faces a public health emergency, we will be prepared."
The government funding bill includes several other provisions introduced by Representative Malinowski that:
- Require the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Counsel for Domestic Terrorism to establish an interagency task force to coordinate the federal government's efforts to fight domestic extremism, including white nationalist and anti-Semitic terrorism.
- Secure $6 million for domestic radicalization research and directs the National Institute of Justice to prioritize funding toward research efforts that explore the radicalization of Americans to white nationalist extremism and identify evidence-based strategies for effective intervention and prevention.
- Encourage DOJ to elevate the position of Counsel for Domestic Terrorism to the rank of Deputy Assistant Attorney General, with sufficient staff and resources to meet rising investigative and prosecution workload.
- Increase Department of Transportation funding by $25 million to advance the development and use of charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles.
- Prohibit the Department of Defense from undermining security or encryption mechanisms in consumer goods offered to Americans. This would limit the agency’s ability to pressure, pay, or require private companies to include any backdoors in their devices that could infringe on citizen’s constitutional rights to privacy.
Other highlights from the spending package include:
Public Health and Education
- $10.8 billion to the national Head Start program, an increase of $150 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.
- $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $5.5 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level. Including:
- $5 billion in emergency funding to improve capacity at research institutions
- $2.9 billion for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research, an increase of $35 million above the FY 2020 enacted level;
- $240 million for Universal Flu Vaccine Research, an increase of $40 million above the FY 2020 enacted level;
- $9 billion in emergency supplemental funding for public health and emergency response activities, including $1 billion to improve state and local emergency response capabilities
- $4.5 billion for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), including $3.5 billion for advance research and development and advanced manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics
Service Members and Military Families
- Provides full funding necessary to support the 3 percent military pay raise.
- Increases funding by $45 million above the President’s request for the Department and Services’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs, for a total of $323 million. This includes $40 million for the Special Victims’ Counsel and an increase of $5 million above the request for the Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. In addition, provides $4 million for the Sexual Trauma Pilot Program.
Financial Services and Government
- $500 million, an increase of $75 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, for election security grants to the states to augment State efforts to improve the security and integrity of elections for Federal office.
- $277 million for Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Development Programs.
- Takes concrete actions and provides resources for meaningful change, including $400 million for grants to carry out police reform initiatives.
- $77.5 million for Police-Community Relations Grant programs.
- $50 million within the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program for training for state and local law enforcement on racial profiling, implicit bias, de-escalation, use of force, the duty to intervene when witnessing another officer using excessive force, and procedural justice.
- $2.85 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
- $5.45 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, helping address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, fisheries management, and STEM education.