DearColleague.us

Letter

Cheri Bustos

From the office of:

Cheri Bustos

Sending Office: Honorable Cheri Bustos
Sent By:
Leighton.Huch@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: Thursday, April 16, COB

Supporting Organizations: Association of Defense Communities

Current Co-signers (43): : Bustos*, Kilmer*, Cole*, Brown, Case, Casten, Castro, Cicilline, Cisneros, Cohen, Cuellar, DeGette, Finkenauer, Fitzpatrick, Foster, Haaland, Hayes, Herrera Beutler, Huffman, Jackson Lee, H. Johnson, Kaptur, Kennedy, Kirkpatrick,
Lamb, Lipinski, Loebsack, McGovern, Neal, Norton, Pappas, Peters, Quigley, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan, Schakowsky, Schneider, Spanberger, Speier, Suozzi, Tonko, Yarmuth

Dear Colleague,

In these unprecedented times, it is important that we pursue a whole-of-government response to the global pandemic we are facing. While we’ve been heartened by the stories of private industry stepping up to help address needs across the country, healthcare
providers are still facing shortages of PPE and necessary health equipment. That’s why we are requesting that you join our letter urging the Department of Defense and FEMA to work together to leverage existing DOD manufacturing capabilities to help combat
coronavirus.

Across the nation, DOD maintains facilities that are already producing PPE, have the ability to immediately begin producing PPE or could quickly be retooled to produce PPE. In some cases, military facilities are ready to convert existing processes over to
the manufacture of PPE or ventilator components.  In other cases, installations have already used their tools, such as 3D printers, to make masks and face shields.  In all these cases, we have heard that these commands lack the authority and approval they
need in order to proceed any further.  They cannot do anything more to help their local communities, their states, or the nation without direction from senior officials at the Department of Defense.

These installations need clear guidance, authority and direction on how they can utilize their personnel, expertise and capabilities to help address critical shortages in PPE and medical equipment across the country.

Letter text is included below. For questions or to sign on, please contact Leighton Huch (Leighton.Huch@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Bustos, Clayton Swope (Clayton.Swope@mail.house.gov)
with Rep. Kilmer or Maria Bowie with Rep. Cole (Maria.Bowie@mail.house.gov).

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cheri Bustos                                  Derek Kilmer                               Tom Cole

Member of Congress                     Member of Congress                   Member of Congress

 

Dear Secretary Esper and Administrator Gaynor,

During this unprecedented crisis, we are writing in support of a whole-of-government response to overcome the challenges we now face. 

The Department of Defense working with other civilian agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) mission is necessary to defeat the threats to our national safety and security posed
by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are writing to urge you to utilize the DOD’s manufacturing base – which exists for the very purpose of providing essential services during national defense contingency situations such as these – to provide much needed Personal
Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks, face shield, gowns, and glove, and medical equipment, such as ventilators. 

Healthcare providers and workers from our home districts have urgent and ongoing requirements for PPE can and will not fulfill the demand for supplies. At the same time, defense department officials and leaders of our organic industrial base continue to
express a strong willingness and readiness to use their facilities, expertise, and capabilities to meet the shortfalls in material and equipment.

In some cases, military facilities are ready to convert existing processes over to the manufacture of PPE or ventilator components.  In other cases, installations have already used their tools, such as 3D printers, to make masks and
face shields.  In all these cases, we have heard that these commands lack the authority and approval they need in order to proceed any further.  They cannot do anything more to help their local communities, their states, or the nation without direction from
senior officials at the Department of Defense.

As we understand this issue, many military installations – especially those in the organic industrial base – find themselves in one of three different scenarios: 1) installations that are already making PPE but do not have the authority to distribute the
materials outside of the military; 2) installations that have the capability to make PPE and other equipment but cannot get the authority to begin production; and 3) other installations that have yet to vet their ability to transition to production of PPE
and medical components but that could be quickly outfitted to make these materials. 

The Department of Defense has deferred to FEMA as the lead agent with regard to this matter.  We urge you provide clear guidance and direction to military installations, especially to the organic industrial base, on how they can use their personnel, expertise,
and capabilities to help address critical PPE and medical equipment shortages across our country.

We urge you unlock the full potential of the breadth of the resources and capabilities available at military installations across our country. The lives of our countrymen and women depend on it.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Armed Services, Economy, HealthCare, Technology

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