H.R. 4809, To reauthorize the Defense Production Act, to improve the Defense Production Act Committee

H.R. 4809

To reauthorize the Defense Production Act, to improve the Defense Production Act Committee

Date
July 29, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4809, a bill to reauthorize the Defense Production Act, to improve the Defense Production Act Committee, and for other purposes, as amended, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4809 was introduced on June 9, 2014 by Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4809 reauthorizes expiring provisions of the Defense Production Act of 1950 through September 30, 2019.  These provisions relate to the authority of the President and federal agencies to prepare for national defense, military conflicts, disasters, or acts of terrorism using the domestic industrial base to supply materials and services.  This legislation also makes a number of changes to the Defense Production Act Committee, including: 1) directing the Committee to coordinate and plan according to specified priorities and allocation authorities; 2) requiring the Chairperson of the Committee be the head of the agency to which the President has delegated primary responsibility for government-wide coordination of the authorities under the Act; and 3) requiring the Chairperson to appoint a person to coordinate all Committee activities.  H.R. 4809 expands the requirements in the Committee’s yearly report to Congress to include a description of contingency planning by federal agencies; recommendations for legislation actions to support the effective use of priorities and allocations under the Act; and up-to-date copies of federal agencies’ rules to promote national defense under emergency and non-emergency conditions.

H.R. 4809 also amends the Defense Production Act of 1950 to require federal agencies delegated production authority to issue and annually review and update final rules, whenever appropriate.  This legislation also prevents the President from: 1) delegating a determination to execute a contract for a resource, material, or technology essential to national defense; 2) executing a contract, purchase, or purchase commitment unless it is the most cost effective, expedient, and practical alternative method for meeting a need; and 3) taking action to correct a shortfall in an industrial resource if the action would exceed $50 million unless such action is separately authorized by Congress.[1]

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[1] This action would not apply to a project undertaken before the date of enactment of the Act.

Background

The Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950 “provides the President a broad set of authorities to ensure that domestic industry can meet national defense requirements.”[2]  Through the DPA, the President is able to prioritize contracts for goods and services and offer incentives to enhance the production of critical minerals and technologies, when necessary.[3]  The Defense Production Act Committee (DPAC) is an interagency body that was established in 2009 through the reauthorization of the DPA.[4]  The DPAC was created to advise the President on how to effectively carry out DPA authorities.  Under current law, the DPAC’s membership includes the head of each federal agency delegated DPA authorities, as well as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors (currently, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security rotate annually in the DPAC Chair).[5]  The President is required to appoint a Chairperson and an Executive Director of the DPAC.[6]  Among other changes, H.R. 4809 redefines the role of the DPAC from an advisory Committee to a Committee responsible for coordinating and planning for the use of priorities and allocations authority within the executive branch.  Furthermore, the bill requires the President to appoint to the Chair “head of the agency to which the President has delegated primary responsibility for government-wide coordination of the authorities under this Act.”[7]  Finally, the bill changes reporting requirements and requires updated copies of federal agency rules.

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[2] Jared T. Brown and Daniel H. Else, “The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization,” Congressional Research Service (Jun. 19, 2014), at
[3] Id. at 2.
[4] Id. at 21.
[5] Id. at 21.
[6] Id. at 21.
[7] Id. at 23.

Cost

CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost $390 million over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.[8]

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[8] http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr4809.pdf

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.