Senate

GOP senator rips Biden for overuse of Defense Production Act

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) slammed President Biden on Monday, accusing him of “abusing” the Defense Production Act (DPA) after the White House authorized it for the third time this year to ramp up manufacturing of solar panel parts and other clean energy equipment.

Toomey said Congress might have to intervene if Biden keeps “misusing the DPA.”

“Once again, @POTUS is abusing the Defense Production Act — this time to advance his global warming agenda by using taxpayer dollars to build solar panel,” Toomey tweeted. “If the administration keeps misusing the DPA for non-defense purposes, Congress must curtail it.”

The DPA was first authorized in 1950, at the beginning of the Korean War. It allows the president and executive branch to order private companies to focus on the production of a needed good, typically for the military or defense-related reasons. The DPA is set to expire in 2025, but Congress has reauthorized the act at least 50 times.

Biden first used the DPA last year to boost production of pandemic-related supplies. So far this year, the president has invoked it for the production of electric vehicle battery materials and to address a shortage of baby formula.

The latest DPA authorization on Monday focuses on the production of solar panel parts, building installation, heat pumps, power grid infrastructure and equipment needed for clean fuel and power.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the move was required so the “U.S. can take ownership of its clean energy independence.”

Congress could limit the use of the DPA by either not reauthorizing it in 2025, expanding oversight on its implementation or amending its powers, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

The House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee currently oversee use of the DPA.

Former President Trump invoked the DPA twice during his presidency, once to boost production of ventilators in the spring of 2020 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and a second time to order meat processing plants to stay open.

Tags Biden Defense Production Act Joe Biden Pat Toomey Pat Toomey solar panels Trump White House
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