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Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Commends Passage of the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act by US House of Representatives

The WPRC has been serving for years as an advocate for the manufacturers which support America’s warfighters with the best clothing and individual equipment in the world. For much of that time, they have worked behind the scenes, to help introduce legislation to expand the use of American made products to the Department of Homeland Security.

It’s a travesty really. Most don’t know that DHS currently gets the vast majority of their products from offshore, including footwear from China, helmets from Asia, and CBP uniforms ironically made in Mexico.  This last part is most concerning. It’s a facility that makes soccer jerseys, lacking security measures to ensure those uniforms do not fall into the wrong hands.  

Bringing this work back to the US helps strengthen the domestic industrial base (the same one that supports DOD), employs Americans in manufacturing jobs, increases the security of the supply chain and allows DHS personnel to proudly wear American-made uniforms and equipment much like their colleagues in the DOD.  

WPRC’s efforts have met with recent success with the passage of the HOPR Act, a bipartisan bill designed to bring it home.  This is a very significant milestone in the effort to support our domestic supply chain and of note it passed unanimously in Congress – with robust support from both Republicans and Democrats, a rare thing in these times.  Can you imagine?

Next up is the Senate, where a very similar bill is under consideration. Let’s hope it gets just as strong support.

Please let others know about their fine work.

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Bill to Provide Domestically Manufactured Equipment to Department of Homeland SecurityOperational Personnel Unanimously Approved

MARBLEHEAD, MA (June 25, 2019) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) today announced its robust support for the actions taken by the U.S. House of Representatives, who have unanimously approved H.R. 2083, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act. This important bipartisan legislation is designed to ensure that the operational units within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purchase uniforms and equipment manufactured in the United States.

This bill establishes specific criteria that increases the ability of DHS to obtain high-quality, American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE). The HOPR Act builds upon earlier procurement provisions such as the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment.

The Berry Amendment sustains an essential industrial base, as well as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. It ensures Department of Defense personnel receive high quality, advanced American-made equipment and clothing. No warfighter can be sustained in the field without advanced fabrics, armor, footwear, protective safety gear and many other critical tools.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 contained a provision known as the Kissell Amendment. As enacted, it attached a very narrow requirement for domestic clothing and textile procurement by DHS. The Kissell Amendment has not had its intended effect. DHS continues to procure uniforms and equipment manufactured in foreign countries, including CBP uniforms which are currently produced in Mexico, in a low security environment.

Introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA, 46th District) and co-sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS, 2nd District), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL, 18th District), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA, 2nd District), Rep Chris Pappas (D-NH,1st District), the HOPR Act ensures that American tax dollars are not improperly spent on low quality items made overseas when American businesses produce the same items at a better value here in the United States. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate (S. 1055) by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

Original Sponsor Rep. Lou Correa said, ““I want to thank my colleagues for their support in bringing this legislation to the House Floor. It is a necessary step to ensure our DHS frontline personnel have access to domestically sourced, high-quality uniforms and equipment while allowing domestic small businesses to better compete for Federal government contracts. This is a critical step in helping our men and women in the field get the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. I am proud of this legislation and proud to say this bill protects our national security and helps small businesses.”

Rep. Brian Mast said, ““The men and women who serve on the border are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our nation’s security,” Rep. Mast said. “Providing Homeland Security with the highest quality, American-made uniforms and protective gear is critical for ensuring their safety and the success of the mission.”

WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “We are pleased to support the bipartisan effort to extend domestic-focused procurement to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS officials responsible for our national security should be provided with American-made, quality gear and equipment. The HOPR Act will not only provide high-quality, American made equipment for DHS personnel but also help create jobs and spur manufacturing within the United States. We look forward to working with Senator Shaheen and her colleagues to ensure that this critical legislation passes the Senate and becomes law.”

A summary of The Homeland Procurement Reform Act can be found here.

12 Responses to “Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Commends Passage of the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act by US House of Representatives”

  1. Jack Boothe says:

    So my question is this: what is more important, where the equipment and clothing is manufactured, or where the profits ultimately flow, or the quality, efficacy, and cost of the equipment? Sig has a large facility in NH where they employ American workers, but ultimately the profits flow back to Germany. Should the act demand that companies be American, even though American companies can produce items offshore, or should they demand the companies make the products here in the US, using US materials even if the profits all flow back to the corporate entity offshore? How much more should we pay for a US product vice a foreign product–or don’t taxpayers have say in this? Is it worth it to buy an inferior American made widget for say 10% over the cost a superior foreign made widget? Maybe. What if the rent seeking cost for an American made widget was 50% more than a superior and longer lasting foreign widget? Maybe not. Perhaps, from a DHS end user standpoint, shouldn’t the act be to purchase the most effective equipment at the best price regardless of where they are manufactured or where the profit flows?

    • Joe says:

      “But if we go to war with China, how will we get our DHS bits and pieces?!”

      If we go to war with China, every consumer in the Country will have the same problem, except without government stocks of hand-me-down DOD gear, food supply, logistics train, support elements, and most importantly, a government job and household income. The ruling class and its Enforcers will be fine, disgruntled financially ruined Americans are easy to murder under color of law already, and there’s always the “nuke dissenters” suggestion from a certain elected individual…

    • SSD says:

      By the law which governs DoD Purchases, where it’s made. By the intent of this potential law, where it’s made.

      In practicality? Where it’s made.

  2. Jeb says:

    Not a fan nor would I support this. Wrong on so many levels. FTR, DHS are freaking civilians. Something about staying in their lane.

    • SSD says:

      I don’t understand your comment, at all.

      • Jeb says:

        SSD, I don’t see the relevancy in putting the same stipulations in DHS uniforms/kit as what is implemented within DOD. One is type classified as essentially property of the gov (.mil) while the other is a civilian (LE). I have a brother who is TSA – no one is bitching about their uniforms or risk threats from foreign countries. Maybe because they’re too busy gate-raping folks with pat downs. I don’t agree with LE being afforded used .mil equipment/weapons either. There is specific legislation keeping the two separate for a reason. If one is allowed to look, dress and act the part – what purpose does such legislation serve? FWIW, I have LE and DHS in my immediate family as well who share these sentiments but I’ll be waiting for the blast to my opinion.

        • SSD says:

          Your conflating. We aren’t talking about weapons, we’re talking about clothing and individual equipment. We also aren’t saying that they will be the same clothing and equipment worn by the military. These agencies will receive what they ask for.

          I’m curious why you think it’s OK for CBP uniforms to be made in a factory in Mexico that is unsecure. What’s wrong with them being made here in the United States on the same lines the manufacture clothing for the military? A facility that must be secured just like any other defense contractor

          • Jeb says:

            SSD, I have no issues with their uniforms/equip being made in the US. I have quandary on why it needs to be put before a senate and legislation created. Right now, their is nothing stopping these agencies from procuring their stuff from American businesses other than their lame ass procurement departments. To use CBP, their is some officers in some states with some pretty Gucci gear and uniforms made by Patagonia and Arc. Private purchases? Maybe. Ultimately, with the other issues our legislators could be focusing and weighing in on, I am not a supporter of this initiative. As a tax payer, I would not support this with fervor. As someone with a feeble understanding of textile manufacturing in this country, I don’t support it. All the product to make the uniforms would still be coming from overseas…minus some modern textiles used that are specific to .mil inquiry and developed here which increase price.

  3. Papa6 says:

    Why don’t they just amend the Berry Amendment to include the entire federal government?

    This HOPR act seems like a good start though.