Today, Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management, & Accountability, and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), introduced legislation to support U.S. small businesses by increasing the ability of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase high-quality, American-made uniforms and personal protective equipment for frontline personnel.
The Homeland Procurement Reform Act (HOPR Act) would:
Require that at least one-third of funds meant for the purchasing of DHS uniforms and protective equipment go to small businesses in the U.S.
Encourage the procurement of higher quality uniforms and equipment at fair prices.
Reform the way DHS procures uniform and protective equipment to support the needs of its mission-critical agencies.
Strengthen supply chain security for any item bearing the official DHS insignia manufactured outside the U.S.
Direct a study of the adequacy of employee uniform allowances.
“American small businesses employ nearly fifty percent of the private sector workforce but only receive less than twenty-six percent of Federal government contracts. The HOPR Act is necessary to close this gap, while ensuring that DHS has high-quality uniforms and protective equipment for frontline personnel,” said Chairman Correa. “This legislation is also a step in the right direction to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign-made personal protective equipment – a persistent problem that came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is common-sense, bipartisan legislation and I hope we can get it passed soon. I thank Congressman Mast for working with me on it.”
“As our economy continues to recover in the aftermath of COVID-19, I am continuing to fight in Congress to make sure our small businesses have every resource they need to compete and get stronger every day,” Rep. Mast said. “This bill would do just that by increasing the ability of DHS to purchase high-quality, American-made uniforms and PPE for frontline workers from America’s small businesses.”
The HOPR Act is the companion to S. 1009, as introduced by Senators Shaheen (D-NH), Hassan (D-NH), Moran (R-KS), and Rounds (R-SD). This legislation is endorsed by the Warrior Protection & Readiness Coalition.
Executive Director of the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition, David Costello added, “Our association of U.S. manufacturers is pleased to support this bipartisan effort to encourage the Department of Homeland Security to procure American-made personal protective equipment, uniforms and footwear. Providing Homeland Security with the highest quality, domestically manufactured products is critical for ensuring their safety and strengthens the national security of the United States. This thoughtful legislation will result in the creation of manufacturing jobs throughout the country and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure the final passage of the HOPR Act into law.”
The HOPR Act is co-sponsored by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Chris Pappas (D-NH).