Representative Lou Correa (D-CA), a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Management, & Accountability, released the following statement after the US House voted by voice vote to pass his Homeland Procurement Reform Act (HOPR ACT), which he introduced alongside Representative Brian Mast (R-FL).
The bipartisan legislation aims to increase high-quality uniforms and personal protective equipment (PPE) during national security emergencies for frontline personnel by expanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowance. In the wake of COVID-19, this legislation would also support and strengthen American manufacturers by requiring one-third of purchases to be from qualified U.S. small businesses.
Rep. Correa said: “The HOPR Act is essential and ensures that DHS has high-quality uniforms and protective equipment for all frontline personnel across our country. I am proud to see my bipartisan legislation pass today because this is a step in the right direction to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign-made personal protective equipment. This persistent problem came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must not let history repeat itself and expose our frontline healthcare workers to another equipment shortage during a national pandemic. I will continue to work to protect our frontline workers and small businesses.”
Background: H.R. 2915, The Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act, supports U.S. small businesses by increasing the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to purchase high-quality, American-made uniforms and personal protective equipment for frontline personnel. This legislation is a companion to S. 1009 in the Senate, which was introduced by Senators Shaheen (D-NH), Hassan (D-NH), Moran (R-KS), and Rounds (R-SD), and is endorsed by the Warrior Protection & Readiness Coalition. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Require that, to the maximum extent possible, at least one-third of the funds used to purchase uniforms and protective equipment be used to purchase from U.S. small businesses
- Reforms the way DHS procures uniforms and protective equipment to support the needs of mission-critical
- Incentivizes the procurement of higher-quality uniforms and equipment while maintaining fair and reasonable prices
- Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study of the adequacy of uniform allowances provided to Department frontline personnel to determine what improvements can be made to current uniform allowances, including increasing allowances.