House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) is warning that the supply chain could have graver repercussions than delayed delivery of gifts for the holidays, arguing it could have national security implications.
The New York Republican said the faltering supply chains seen during the course of the pandemic prove the United States needs to be self-reliant in producing critical items like medicine, personal protective equipment, semiconductor chips used in cars and electronics necessary during times of emergency.
“Yes, it’s a problem when we may not have enough gifts for Christmas, but the real concern is computer chips, the real concern is making sure we have medicine in times of crisis, the real concern is anticipating personal protective equipment stockpiles and other things that are critical to our economy and critical to our homeland security that this administration seems to always be playing catch up and not anticipating and having those discussions,” he told The Post in an interview on Wednesday.
“We had to have air shipments of personal protective equipment sent in from other countries because we didn’t have that. Our medicine, the vast majority of penicillin the United States used to consume was produced in Syracuse, and now all penicillin is produced offshore. When you start thinking about supply chain, it’s not what’s on the store shelves, it’s national security, it’s critical infrastructure and what’s critical to us surviving in times of crises.”
Katko said he doesn’t believe the Biden administration has done enough to “emphasize the supply chain issues which we have been trying to emphasize in Congress,” arguing that the decision to shutdown the Keystone XL Pipeline was a self-inflicted error made in disrupting the U.S’s supply and access to oil.
“I’ll give an example — we are now importing oil again. What they did is they stopped the Keystone Pipeline, which is a big source of oil and energy independence for us, and that’s supply chain, obviously. Now we’re having to buy oil again from elsewhere,” he continued.
“They did that just by policy change, so there’s a lot of things from the policy standpoint where they’re not looking at the United States best interests. They think that they had to be this by, you know, stewards of the world and you know, to some extent we should be but we got to take care of ourselves too and we’re just not doing it this administration.”
Katko added that he believes the administration’s push to increase taxes on corporations could further hinder companies from producing critical items domestically, arguing that the GOP’s massive tax overhaul in 2017 led to corporations bringing business back to the U.S.
“We’ve got to create the right economic incentives for companies to bring that stuff back home. The Biden administration is talking about a huge tax increase on corporations, they’re going to do what they did before to survive — they’re going to move offshore. They started coming back home and when we lowered taxes, we need to keep that continuing. If you think the supply chain is a problem now wait to see what happens if they decide to raise taxes like they’re contemplating.”