At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., to successfully amend the $259.5 billion package with funds for the U.S. State, Interior, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Departments as well as other federal agencies, to help bolster supply chains as the nation deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
The amendment moved almost $2.3 million for various offices in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “for the collaborative effort of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and other offices within the FDA to provide further resources and further implementation of the Food and Veterinary Medicine Program Strategic Plan to enhance the security and reliability of U.S. supply chains during COVID-19 for food, pharmaceuticals, and other essential medical equipment and supplies through technologies such as blockchain.”
The bill passed as 224 Democrats voted for it while 189 votes were cast against it as 7 Democrats joined 182 Republicans in opposing it while 17 members did not vote. Party lines held in the Florida delegation though three Republicans from the Sunshine State–U.S. Reps. Neal Dunn, Francis Rooney and Ted Yoho–did not vote. Rooney, who came down with coronavirus and is in his last months in Congress, has missed several votes this year.
The congressmen weighed in on the amendment on Tuesday.
“The need for secure food and drug supply chains is critical, particularly as our country continues to disperse resources to fight COVID-19 ,” said Schweikert. “I was pleased to see my bipartisan amendment pass to help ensure we are ready for the next steps in fighting this virus. By utilizing blockchain technology, we can enhance the reliability of our delivery services and ensure our food and medical supplies are properly disbursed.”
“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has inevitably shown us the importance of protecting Florida’s food supply and our precious crops,” said Soto. “Our amendment helps put safe, nutritious food on Americans’ tables and increases investments to enhance the security and reliability of our supply stockpiles through blockchain technology.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.