Reps. Steel, Harder Propose Emergency Taskforce to Address Ongoing Ports Crisis
Bipartisan legislation would create Federal Interagency Taskforce to solve the ports backlog, declare it a national emergency
(November 4, 2021) Washington, DC – Today Reps. Michelle Steel (CA-48) and Josh Harder (CA-10) introduced legislation to address the unprecedented California port backlog and nationwide supply chain crisis. The Supply Chain Taskforce Act would create an interagency task force to immediately work on addressing the backlog at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports and along the Southern California Coast.
The Taskforce would include representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard (Lead), Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Maritime Commission, General Services Administration. State agencies and the local Port Authorities would also be included. The Taskforce would also declare the backlog, contributing to the supply chain crisis, a national emergency.
The Taskforce would be responsible for:
- Evaluating and quantifying the impact of the backlogs at Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports
- Evaluating and quantifying the costs incurred by other Federal, State, and local programs due to backlog
- Making recommendations to Congress to address delays within the ports
- Requiring a plan to address the safety concerns with ongoing idling of waiting ships
- Requiring a plan to address the environmental impacts of waiting ships
- Opening a full investigation and timeline of events that led to a pipeline being dragged more than 100 feet, causing the worst oil spill off the California coast in more than three decades
- Evaluating agency response to ensure idling ships are following federal mandates
- Establishing a report to Congress to ensure there is a solution to the supply chain crisis in the Southern Pacific Coast
“We have a crisis at our ports,” said Rep. Steel. “American families want us to ease this backlog and get these ships moving and out of our waters. Without leadership we will have another crisis on our hands, and it’s time for action.”
“Our families are facing rising prices at the grocery store while our farmers are struggling to get their products to market and we know exactly why – the crisis at our ports,” said Rep. Harder. “Democrats and Republicans agree that we need to get prices under control and let our folks get back to shipping their products around the globe. This bill puts politics aside so we can actually address this crisis.”
For bill text of the Supply Chain Crisis Taskforce Act, click here.