Sen. Sherrod Brown Slams Trump As 'Too Late' To Invoke Defense Production Act
The Trump administration has invoked a longstanding authority to compel companies to manufacture cotton swabs for COVID-19 testing. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has been pushing for this for weeks.
The Defense Production Act allows the president to direct companies to produce needed supplies, which Brown began to publically push more than month ago.
“Unfortunately, because of the president’s incompetence and his political denials, more people are getting sick, and it’s tragic, and we’ve got to fix it,” Brown said in a conference call Wednesday. “And to hear that the president wants to invoke the Defense Production Act now, I’m glad he does, but he’s about two months, two and a half months too late.”
In a letter to the president, Brown urged Trump to use the authority to quickly ramp up production of personal protective equipment, or PPE.
Brown contrasted Trump’s reticence in the face of the pandemic with Gov. Mike DeWine’s rapid action, noting he wishes the president was “one-tenth” as responsive.
Just as his Republican counterpart Sen. Rob Portman did yesterday, Brown also committed to providing direct aid for local governments in the next funding package.
“Counties and cities are getting hit really hard as you know on tax revenues because of the coronavirus,” Brown said. “Just keeping their police and fire and health departments, and the workaday importance of city and county governments is undermined unless Congress helps.”
The economic slowdown sparked by Ohio’s stay at home order has put many local governments in a bind. Because of actions taken by former Gov. John Kasich during the Great Recession, municipal governments rely heavily on local income taxes to fund their operations.
Many of Ohio’s mayors have warned furloughs or even layoffs for key services like police and fire could be coming if they don’t get more funding.