Federal Update from Washington – Feb 2021

These are monumental times in the life of our country with major actions and decisions being made in Washington each day that impact the supply chain protection industry.  The new President and Democratic majority in Congress have laid out an aggressive legislative agenda in Washington, including measures that will impact ISCPO members and the partners they serve.

The White House is expected to fully detail its policy priorities in coming weeks and days.  Usually, President’s lay out legislative plans in February in both their “State of the Union Address” and an official budget request to Congress.  But indications are that those traditions may wait for Congress to pass major COVID-19 relief legislation, which is already making its way through Congress.

In the House of Representatives, the Budget Committee has approved a $1.9 Trillion “budget resolution” that outlines the broad parameters of the president’s response to the COVID pandemic’s health and economic impacts.  Last week, other House committees began working on their portions of the bill too, including the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which approved a $100 Billion transportation bill.


Once the various committees’ work is completed, the full House of Representatives is expected to approve the legislation, clearing it for Senate consideration.  We are hearing that the Senate my by-pass regular committee action and move the House bill directly to the floor, given the urgency of the COVID situation.  Of course, things can always be slowed down in Washington, so this will bear close watching.

On a separate matter, during his campaign for president, Joe Biden proposed a $1.3 Trillion plan of “transformational investment in the country’s infrastructure.”  https://joebiden.com/infrastructure-plan/  We fully expect that major infrastructure legislation will be introduced in Congress later this year encompassing and further detailing many of the President’s priorities.  Last week, the President held a White House meeting doubling down on his commitment to an infrastructure package, so this issue too will warrant close monitoring.   https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/11/readout-of-president-biden-vice-president-harris-and-secretary-buttigiegs-meeting-with-senators-on-infrastructure/

Meanwhile, the Senate is moving ahead to approve key members of Joe Biden’s cabinet, including the new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.  In addition, Alejandro Mayorkas has been sworn in as Secretary of Homeland Security, an agency that sets many rules and policies related to supply chain security.

The President is also acting directly.  Late last month, he issued an Executive Order on a “Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain.”  The order directs the federal government to conduct an end-to-end inventory of major COVID-19 response supplies that will help determine decisions about replenishing the Nation’s strategic stockpile of drugs, the use of the Defense Production Act for manufacturing medical supplies, specific budget requests, and investments and decisions about manufacturing and supply distribution priorities.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/21/executive-order-a-sustainable-public-health-supply-chain/

This is a time like no other in history.  Major actions in Washington will have a major impact on our industry.  ISCPO will be stay on top of these actions and report them to you, so can respond in the best possible way for your company and business partners.

For more information, contact Paul T. Kelly, President, Capitol Advocacy and Government Affairs at Pkelly@capitol-advocacy.com