Head Of FEMA Announces That Trump Administration Is Employing Defense Production Act, Forcing Companies To Manufacture Coronavirus Tests

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) on Tuesday, calling on the private sector to produce more coronavirus test kits.

Pete Gaynor, the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), made the announcement Tuesday on CNN, roughly a week after Trump first mentioned the DPA.

The DPA allows the federal government to force private sector companies to produce necessary equipment in a crisis. (RELATED: Germany Bans Meetings Of More Than Two People)

“We’re actually going to use the DPA for the first time today,” Gaynor said, going on to detail the agency’s plan to get roughly 60,000 test kits.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, among others, has urged Trump in recent days to also use the DPA to produce more ventilators and respirators for hospitals. (RELATED: VP Pence And Wife Test Negative For Coronavirus)

Several companies have already donated or pledged millions of N-95 masks to doctors.

Trump’s move comes as Republicans and Democrats are negotiating over the phase 3, $1 trillion stimulus package the administration has requested to assist workers and families impacted by coronavirus and social distancing measures.

Senate leaders had come to an agreement, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced her own relief bill, which included several provisions seemingly unrelated to the crisis.

Negotiations on Capitol Hill are ongoing.