MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — June 25, 2019 — The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) today announced its robust support for the actions taken by the U.S. House of Representatives, who have unanimously approved H.R. 2083, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act. This important bipartisan legislation is designed to ensure that the operational units within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purchase uniforms and equipment manufactured in the United States.
This bill establishes specific criteria that increases the ability of DHS to obtain high-quality, American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE). The HOPR Act builds upon earlier procurement provisions such as the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment.
The Berry Amendment sustains an essential industrial base, as well as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. It ensures Department of Defense personnel receive high quality, advanced American-made equipment and clothing. No warfighter can be sustained in the field without advanced fabrics, armor, footwear, protective safety gear and many other critical tools.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 contained a provision known as the Kissell Amendment. As enacted, it attached a very narrow requirement for domestic clothing and textile procurement by DHS. The Kissell Amendment has not had its intended effect. DHS continues to procure uniforms and equipment manufactured in foreign countries, including CBP uniforms which are currently produced in Mexico, in a low security environment.
Introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA, 46th District) and co-sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS, 2nd District), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL, 18th District), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA, 2nd District), Rep Chris Pappas (D-NH,1st District), the HOPR Act ensures that American tax dollars are not improperly spent on low quality items made overseas when American businesses produce the same items at a better value here in the United States. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate (S. 1055) by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
Original Sponsor Rep. Lou Correa said: “I want to thank my colleagues for their support in bringing this legislation to the House Floor. It is a necessary step to ensure our DHS frontline personnel have access to domestically sourced, high-quality uniforms and equipment while allowing domestic small businesses to better compete for Federal government contracts. This is a critical step in helping our men and women in the field get the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. I am proud of this legislation and proud to say this bill protects our national security and helps small businesses.”
Rep. Brian Mast said: “The men and women who serve on the border are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our nation’s security,” Rep. Mast said. “Providing Homeland Security with the highest quality, American-made uniforms and protective gear is critical for ensuring their safety and the success of the mission.”
WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “We are pleased to support the bipartisan effort to extend domestic-focused procurement to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS officials responsible for our national security should be provided with American-made, quality gear and equipment. The HOPR Act will not only provide high-quality, American made equipment for DHS personnel but also help create jobs and spur manufacturing within the United States. We look forward to working with Senator Shaheen and her colleagues to ensure that this critical legislation passes the Senate and becomes law.”
Posted June 27, 2019
Source: Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC)