Lawmakers propose bipartisan committee on supply chain issues

The panel would investigate the root causes and impacts.

December 16, 2021, 11:59 AM

Not far from the San Pedro Bay Port Complex in Orange County, which sees 40% of the nation's imports, Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., has been witnessing supply chain issues in her district due in part due to bottlenecks in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

PHOTO: A truck arrives to pick up a shipping container near vessels moored at Maersk APM Terminals Pacific at the Port of Los Angeles, on Nov. 30, 2021.
A truck arrives to pick up a shipping container near vessels moored at Maersk APM Terminals Pacific at the Port of Los Angeles, on Nov. 30, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes/AP, FILE

Now she and Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., are sending a bipartisan letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., calling for a bipartisan select committee to address the issue. The proposed committee would have an equal number of members from both sides of the aisle to address supply chain issues and the impacts on the economy, families and small businesses.

PHOTO: Rep. Young Oak Kim questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021, in Washington.
Rep. Young Oak Kim questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021, in Washington.
Pool/Getty Images, FILE

"Congress must come together in a bipartisan way to address this economic and national security crisis that threatens to undermine U.S. competitiveness abroad," Kim said. "That is why I am proud to work with Rep. Sherrill and a bipartisan group of colleagues to call on House leadership to ensure Congress takes immediate steps to bring relief to our nation's economy."

The committee would investigate the root causes of the supply chain issues and how the crisis has affected various industries. The panel would aim to draft and submit a report to Congress with its recommendations.

PHOTO: Rep. Mikie Sherrill talks to reporters following a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 24, 2021, in Washington.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill talks to reporters following a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 24, 2021, in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE

"Addressing the current shortfalls throughout our supply chain is imperative to continuing our economic recovery from the pandemic and addressing the very real impacts of inflation facing families across the country," Sherrill said.

Kim also wrote a letter to California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in January urging officials to include dockworkers and others as essential workers.

PHOTO: Shelves, empty "due to supplier production issues," are shown in a grocery store, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.
Shelves, empty "due to supplier production issues," are shown in a grocery store, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP

She commended President Joe Biden for opening ports in southern California for 24-hour operation in October but said the administration needs to do more.

"While I was encouraged by the announcement that the San Pedro Bay Port Complex will be open 24/7, the administration's actions so far are not the be-all and end-all that will solve the long-term issues of our supply chain and help ease persistent -- not 'transitory' -- inflation in our economy. A piecemeal approach won't help solve the supply chain crisis, and that is why I led a bipartisan letter to the administration calling for a whole-of-government response," Kim said.

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