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Bipartisan supply chain bill likely punted to next Congress, McCaskill says

A bipartisan bill that would create a way to detect national security risks in the supply chain likely won’t be taken up this Congress, one of the legislation’s cosponsors said Wednesday.

Outgoing Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillBlunt retirement shakes up Missouri Senate race McCaskill responds to Blunt retiring: 'I will never run for office again' Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 MORE (D-Mo.), who introduced the bill alongside Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Senate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday MORE (R-Okla.) earlier this year, said she doesn’t “know if there's going to be a chance to work on that before the end of Congress.”

“I can't imagine it's going to get in anything,” McCaskill said.

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“It could, I guess, but I doubt it,” she added.

A spokesperson for Lankford said the Republican “is still working to get it done before the end of the year.”

If passed, the bill would create the Federal Acquisition Security Council, which would evaluate foreign-made products for any potential threats they pose to national security.

The council would, with the help of private firms, also create criteria for assessing supply chain threats. And the group would require the government to establish its own strategy for handling the risks once they are discovered.

The legislation is currently under consideration by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

A spokesperson for the panel's chairman, Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBlunt retirement shakes up Missouri Senate race Report urges sweeping changes to Capitol security after Jan. 6 attack Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 MORE (R-Wis.), told The Hill that the senator is optimistic that the measure could still pass before the end of the year.

Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersBlunt retirement shakes up Missouri Senate race Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation MORE (D-Mich.) is set to take over as ranking member of the committee after the current ranking member, McCaskill, lost her reelection bid last month.

Peters told reporters on Wednesday that he is considering replacing McCaskill as the cosponsor on the legislation.

“I don’t have any announcements on that right now, but it's something we're taking a look at,” he said.

The supply chain has emerged as a hot topic for both Trump administration officials and lawmakers in recent months, spotlighted by concerns over tech made in China by firms like Huawei and ZTE, as well as software created by the Russian Kaspersky Lab.

The White House reportedly had a pair of executive orders addressing supply chain risks in the works earlier this year, but appears to have handed off the responsibility to Congress.