The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today voted to approve the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Database Act of 2021, and the Network Equipment Transparency Act.

Both bills were approved by bipartisan majorities. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., cast the lone votes against the National MEP Supply Chain Database Act.

The National MEP Supply Chain Database Act was introduced in December 2021 by Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J.  The bill aims to establish “a database to assist the United States in minimizing disruptions in the supply chain by providing a resource for manufacturers in the United States,” the senators said, particularly by providing information about the interconnectivity of manufacturers in the U.S. supply chain.

The Network Equipment Transparency Act was introduced in February by Sens. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V. The bill aims to increase broadband supply chain transparency in order to ensure an on-time rollout of broadband programs managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The bill also focuses on identifying areas of the country that would benefit the most from high-speed broadband services, and that lack service now.

The National MEP Supply Chain bill has House companion legislation that has yet to progress beyond the committee level.  The NET Act does not appear to have a House companion.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.