Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Bill Pascrell Jr. and Josh Gottheimer joined a growing chorus of Congressmembers calling for solutions to current supply chain snags.
Initiatives ranged from directed letters to Biden Administration officials to major legislative packages. The New Jersey Representatives joined colleagues from California, Michigan, Connecticut, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York in the initiatives.
Sherrill led a bipartisan letter to the Biden Administration, urging a whole-of-government effort to resolve the supply chain crisis. She was joined by Peter Meijer (R-MI), and two California lawmakers—Dem Norma Torres and GOP Young Kim.
“Small business owners in our districts constantly raise the significant impacts that supply chain disruptions are having on their ability to successfully re-open and hire new staff,” said the Representatives in a letter to the Administration.
The letter, sent to President Joe Biden, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, urged the administration to focus on the chip shortage currently curtailing production in numerous industries, and nationwide port backlogs affecting both coasts
Additionally, the coalition highlighted increasing costs stemming from raw material price hikes and trucking and warehouse industry labor shortages.
Pascrell sought legislative ways to protect America’s supply chains from foreign adversaries through the National Critical Capabilities Committee (NCCC), which would be empowered to review and block certain U.S. production offshoring, development, or manufacturing.
“The frayed American supply chain and our continued bleeding of industrial capacity offshore represent a dangerous national security threat to the United States,” said Rep. Pascrell.
Specifically, the bill would seek to ensure domestic supply and production of critical products, with items being made within and being imported from China and Russia highlighted as potential targets.
Pascrell, who serves as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on oversight, was joined by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in announcing the bipartisan legislative package.
Strategic Shipping Reserve
Gottheimer was joined by New York Republican Tom Reed in calling for the President to develop a Strategic Shipping Reserve by utilizing non-combatant ships from the U.S. Transportation Command Fleet.
Additionally, Gottheimer and Reed called on the President to mobilize the National Guard to be activated to move essential materials, by offloading and trucking vital goods at ports for delivery at nearby rail and warehouse facilities.
Just as the National Guard was activated during the pandemic to distribute vaccines, “we should activate the Guard now to help move critical goods,” wrote the Representatives. “In addition, to help move critical supplies to our ports, please create and activate a ‘Strategic Shipping Reserve’ and utilize the United States Transportation Command Fleet, which includes non-combatant vessels in our armed forces.”