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Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers

Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers
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President BidenJoe BidenFauci says school should be open 'full blast' five days a week in the fall Overnight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart MORE on Wednesday signed an executive order directing a review of supply chains for critical products across numerous sectors, including health, defense and communications.

The order directs a 100-day review across federal agencies to address vulnerabilities in supply chains of pharmaceuticals, critical minerals, semiconductors and large-capacity batteries like those used to power electric vehicles.

It also requires sector-specific reviews in six areas over the next year to address supply chain concerns, specifically the defense, information communications technology, energy, transportation, public health and food sectors.

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The order is meant to support jobs, particularly in traditionally marginalized groups such as communities of color, through helping to rebuild manufacturing jobs.

Invoking the shortages of personal protective equipment experienced by healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said in remarks Wednesday afternoon that it would help the United States confront crises and revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector.

“This is about making sure the United States can meet every challenge we face in this new era — pandemics but also defense, cybersecurity, climate change, and so much more,” Biden said in the State Dining Room before signing the order. “The best way to do that is by protecting and sharpening America’s edge by investing here at home.”

It is also intended to address the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, or chips, for the auto industry, where they are used in many aspects of modern vehicles.

Biden met with a group of bipartisan members of Congress in the Oval Office earlier Wednesday afternoon to discuss the vulnerability of U.S. supply chains, prior to signing the order.

The meeting participants included Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate Democrats offer bill to scrap tax break for investment managers Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap House Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package MORE (D-Wis.), John CornynJohn CornynGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger MORE (R-Texas), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan The Memo: Trump's critics face wrath of GOP base MORE (R-Tenn.), Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Democrats accuse GOP of new lows in culture wars Trade representative says policy must protect key industries MORE (R-Ind.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthBipartisan Senate bill introduced to give gyms B in relief Duckworth says food stamps let her stay in high school If you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume MORE (D-Ill.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Overnight Health Care: Biden announces 1M have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period | Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins | Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines Biden health official says COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will be free MORE (D-N.H.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanCarper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border Fudge violated the Hatch Act, watchdog finds House conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBiden signs executive order to improve federal cybersecurity Overnight Defense: Former Pentagon chief to testify about Capitol riot Wednesday | Senate Intelligence chairman wants Biden to review US Space Command move Wyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' MORE (D-Va.), and Reps. John JoyceJohn JoyceOvernight Health Care: CDC says it is safe for vaccinated people to unmask outdoors | White House: No decision yet on vaccine patent waiver | GOP doctors in Congress release video urging people to get vaccinated GOP doctors in Congress release video urging people to get vaccinated Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (R-Pa.), Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiHillicon Valley: US, UK authorities say Russian hackers exploited Microsoft vulnerabilities | Lawmakers push for more cyber funds in annual appropriations | Google child care workers ask for transportation stipend Lawmakers push for increased cybersecurity funds in annual appropriations Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J MORE (D-Calif.) and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHouse lawmakers roll out bill to invest 0 million in state and local cybersecurity Asian American lawmakers say State's 'assignment restrictions' discriminate Senate Intelligence panel working on legislation around mandatory cyber breach notification MORE (R-Texas).

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McCaul, Matsui, Cornyn and Warner introduced the bipartisan CHIPS Act last year meant to bolster federal incentives for manufacturing semiconductors in the United States.

Cornyn and McCaul described the meeting as “positive” as they left the White House.

“The president was very receptive, as was the vice president,” Cornyn said. “He said, 'we're all in.' We all understand this is important, not only to our economy, but to our national security, because these cutting edge, high-end semiconductors — they operate on everything from the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter to our cell phones.”

“To come together as Americans on this issue I think is very refreshing,” McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “We are all in on the House and Senate, both Republican and Democrat.”

Biden called it a “very productive meeting” in his remarks later Wednesday afternoon.

“It was like the old days, people were actually on the same page,” Biden said.

The meeting represented the latest effort by the president to work with lawmakers across the aisle to address issues of bipartisan concern, though Biden has been unable to convince Republican lawmakers to support his coronavirus relief proposal and Democrats have moved ahead to pass it without GOP support using budget reconciliation.

Talks are underway on Capitol Hill to introduce and move forward legislation in tandem with the executive order, particularly focused on technology challenges posed by China.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced that he had directed all Senate chairs of relevant committees to begin work on a legislative proposal in order to “outcompete China” on technological concerns.

Schumer said the bill will be bipartisan, with Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate Democrats ramp up push to limit Biden's war powers US Olympic Committee urges Congress not to boycott Games in China Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Ind.) already on board, and the goal to vote on the legislation sometime this spring.

The new package will be an expansion of the previous Endless Frontiers Act, which was introduced last year but failed to be signed into law. The legislation would provide $100 billion for research into emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and provide funds for “regional technology hubs” nationwide.

“The new legislation must achieve three goals: enhance American competitiveness with China by investing in American innovation, American workers and American manufacturing; invest in strategic partners and alliances: NATO, Southeast Asia and India; and expose, curb, and end once and for all China's predatory practices which have hurt so many American jobs,” Schumer said Tuesday.

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He also announced an effort to roll out “emergency funding” to address the shortage in chips, noting that the funds were necessary to ensure the United States remained “No. 1” in areas like 5G networks and biomedical research. 

“We need to get a bill like this to the president's desk quickly to protect America's long term economic and national security,” Schumer said.

Funding could pose a sticking point for addressing supply chain concerns. Sameera Fazili, deputy director of the National Economic Council, discussed the new executive order during the White House press briefing Wednesday, hinting at efforts underway around funding.

“We are looking forward to talking with members of Congress about what more we can do in partnership with them to get at the funds we need,” Fazili told reporters.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), which represents groups including Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom, said in a statement Wednesday that they “welcomed” the executive order, but urged Biden to remain focused on funding concerns.

“We urge the president and Congress to invest ambitiously in domestic chip manufacturing and research,” SIA said. “Doing so will ensure more of the chips our country needs are produced on U.S. shores, while also promoting sustained U.S. leadership in the technology at the heart of America’s economic strength and job creation, national security, and critical infrastructure.”

Other groups celebrated the executive order, particularly those in the auto industry, where production has been hit hard by the chip shortage and workers have been furloughed.

“As America’s No. 1 auto producer, we greatly appreciate President Biden’s swift actions to remedy the near-term semiconductor shortage and review longer-term actions to develop a more resilient and secure supply chain,” Ford Motor Company said in a statement provided to The Hill. “It is incredibly important for our labor force, our customers and our business that we have a commitment to end this shortage as soon as possible.”