Rep. Axne Unveils Supply Chain Solutions Agenda to Address Economic Disruptions Affecting Iowa Businesses and Families
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) unveiled her new Supply Chain Solutions Agenda – a list of congressional legislation that she supports which she will be pushing Congress to pass in order to alleviate economic disruptions that are affecting Iowa’s small businesses and middle-class families.
“As we see continued disruptions to our nation’s supply chains, Iowans are still facing delays and uncertainty from these bottlenecks and interruptions. I hear it from Iowans directly, and I see it even in my own home,” said Rep. Axne. “While I’m glad to see long-overdue investments in our infrastructure and workforce are on their way to becoming law, these investments would be best served if Congress also considered other commonsense, bipartisan solutions to update trade and shipping policies, promote domestic manufacturing, support Iowa’s exports, and ease the burdens on Iowa’s businesses and families.”
The Supply Chain Solutions Agenda includes four bipartisan bills Rep. Axne has co-sponsored that would alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, recruit more American workers to in-demand careers, and promote public-private cooperation in both international shipping and domestic manufacturing:
- The Ocean Shipping Reform Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing port congestion and protecting Iowa agriculture by prohibiting ocean carriers from declining to pick up U.S. exports on return journeys to trade partners. Rep. Axne recently highlighted this bill at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on supply chain concerns with industry experts. This bill has the support of more than 50 House members from both sides of the aisle, and the endorsement of the American Farm Bureau Association.
- The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE Safe) Act, aimed at addressing the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, and enhancing safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. The DRIVE Safe Act establishes an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by commercial drivers license (CDL) holders under the age of 21 Iowa and 48 other states issue CDLs for drivers over the age of 18, but federal law currently prohibits operators from moving goods across state lines until they are 21.
- The Manufacturing American Dynamism in Entrepreneurship and Harnessing Education to Retool Employees (MADE HERE) Act, which promotes a skilled workforce by bringing together educational institutions, private companies, nonprofits, labor groups, and government-funded resources to solve pressing issues in the area of manufacturing. The bipartisan bill requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense to establish a manufacturing cluster program to award resources and grants to eligible entities.
- The Critical Supply Chain Commission Act, which would establish a nonpartisan commission of experts tasked with studying the U.S. critical supply chain, identifying its vulnerabilities, predicting future supply-chain disruptions, and guiding Congress on how to meet critical supply chain needs domestically and mitigate dependencies on foreign powers.
Rep. Axne’s Supply Chain Solutions Agenda also includes both pieces of the Build Back Better agenda, which invests in strengthening U.S. supply chain infrastructure, alleviating workforce shortages, and lowering costs for Iowans.
- The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act, which invests over $5 billion Iowa’s infrastructure – including roads and transit systems – and an additional $17 billion in U.S. port modernization. This bill is awaiting final approval from President Biden after Axne helped advance it out of the House last week.
- The Build Back Better Act, which when passed with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is predicted to create more than 2.4 million jobs by 2025, deliver one the largest middle class tax cuts in history, and lower costs on everything from prescription drugs and health care premiums to housing and child care. This legislation has been certified by 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists as an agenda that will lower inflation levels. The Build Back Better Act will also increase funding for career skills training programs, teacher training, and Pell Grants to connect Iowans with good-paying union careers.
More information on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can be found here.