Brooks proposes bipartisan solution to stocking nation’s stockpile of medical supplies
During the current pandemic, many American nonprofits and businesses stepped up to donate medical equipment to the Strategic National Stockpile but had no direct way to do it, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) said recently.
In response, the congresswoman on April 17 sponsored the bipartisan Stockpiling for America’s Future Endeavors (SAFE) Act, H.R. 6516, with lead cosponsor U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA) to bolster direct donations to the Strategic National Stockpile.
“This bipartisan legislation is the commonsense solution to make our Strategic National Stockpile work better by preventing future shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical medical supplies,” Rep. Brooks said. “The SAFE Act will allow the Strategic National Stockpile to more quickly connect the manufacturers of product to our heroes on the frontlines who need these supplies the most.”
Under current law, the nation’s stockpile cannot accept donations without first going through a complex transaction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service and the U.S. General Services Administration, according to Rep. Brooks’ office.
If enacted, the bill would permit the Strategic National Stockpile to accept gifts directly from companies and individuals that may have surplus product or want to make private cash donations, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Brooks’ staff.
“The Strategic National Stockpile is meant to be a resource during a crisis. The size of this pandemic has shown that the SNS is not adequately stocked with enough equipment to keep up with state and national needs to protect frontline workers and keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Schrier, who said the legislation would “eliminate red tape and allow for donations to the SNS in addition to what Congress allocates.”