O’Halleran Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Fund Strategic National Stockpile
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK – Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) joined Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA-01) to introduce the State Stockpile Readiness Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation that would mandate full funding of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), and authorize the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to states to expand or maintain a strategic stockpile of critical drugs, medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other essential products in the event of a public health emergency.
The legislation authorizes $3.5 billion each year between 2020 and 2023 for federal grants to match state funding set aside to purchase essential public health emergency products as designated by HHS, requiring full funding of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) before grants are awarded to states.
“This spring, a lack of national coordination and preparation led to a shortage of urgently-needed equipment, supplies, and PPE across our country, significantly hindering the ability of states to respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 quickly and effectively,” said O’Halleran. “As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Arizona and in states across the country, we must ensure—both at the national and state level—that we have the resources we need to protect the health and safety of our communities and health care workers.
“Along with this important measure that will help prepare our communities for potential, future viral surges—especially as we consider the safety of our children in primary and secondary schooling—we must scale up testing and tracing operations and need a national plan to guide us in doing so,” continued O’Halleran. “I have called on this administration again and again to produce such a plan and stand ready and willing to work with anyone of any party to determine how we can get finalize and implement these measures before this fall.”
View the bill text, HERE.