A massive $1.7 trillion spending bill to fund government operations through most of next year, while providing emergency aid for Ukraine and natural disaster relief, has passed through Congress and is set to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Among the bill’s features is Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s (D-Lansing) Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act and nearly $25 million in funding for community projects across the 8th District, including in Livingston County.
Slotkin’s bill, co-sponsored by nine Republicans and seven Democrats, would reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19 and any future health crises by making updates to America’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), and boosting domestic manufacturing of those supplies here in America.
“In the early days of the pandemic when cases of COVID-19 were surging, Michigan and other states called on the Strategic National Stockpile for urgently needed masks, gloves and other protective gear – but what we got was nowhere close to what we needed,” Slotkin said. “We can never again let our country be dependent on foreign suppliers like China for the equipment we need when crises like a pandemic strike. This legislation addresses the painful lessons of the past two years: it will boost domestic production of critical medical supplies; reduce our dependence on foreign manufacturers; give our frontline workers the protection they need for future crises; and improve maintenance and oversight of our stockpile. Getting this critical, bipartisan legislation over the finish line has been a years-long effort, and I’m thrilled that it will soon finally be signed into law.”
Among the changes the legislation would make to the SNS include:
• Improving maintenance of the stockpile to ensure stockpile items are in good working order and ready to use if and when a crisis hits;
• Increasing manufacturing of critical supplies in America to diversify sources of personal protective equipment and partner with industry to replenish existing stocks;
• Providing more federal resources to states to expand or maintain their own strategic stockpiles; and
• Bringing transparency to stockpile allocations by requiring a report to Congress on all requests for stockpile supplies during the pandemic and the response to each request.
Slotkin also secured more than $24.5 million for 15 community projects a new aerial ladder truck for the Green Oak Township Fire Department, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Depot Lot in the City of Howell, Livingston County Regional Trail Connections for the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority and power loading ambulance equipment for Livingston County Emergency Management Services.