The White House is reportedly weighing whether to deploy the National Guard to confront the ever growing supply chain crisis while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been on paternity leave.
“White House officials have explored in recent weeks whether the National Guard could be deployed to help address the nation’s mounting supply chain backlog, three people with knowledge of the matter said,” the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The Post described the deliberations as reflecting an “extent to which internal administration deliberations about America’s overwhelmed supply chain have sparked outside-the-box proposals to leverage government resources to address the issue.”
The report noted that a “person with knowledge” of the deliberations suggested deploying the National Guard is one option the White House could implement. A second option would reportedly be to work “through states to deploy servicemembers.”
It is unknown how deploying the national guard would work given the operational logistics of the magnitude of the supply chain crisis. The Post further reports on the possibilities:
White House officials have weighed whether members of the guard could drive trucks amid a shortage of operators, or if they could be used to help unload packages and other materials at ports or other clogged parts of the supply chain.
As part of the review, White House officials have studied what kinds of driver’s licenses are held by National Guard members and if they would be sufficient to deploy them as truckers without hurting their ability to fulfill their existing responsibilities to the guard, the people said.
Meanwhile, Secretary Buttigieg, who could not fix his own roads in South Bend as mayor and who was aided by Dominos Pizza to do so, has been on paternity leave since mid-August. The White House told reporters Tuesday that a “range of officials” are in change of the agency while Buttigieg is spending time with his husband and two babies.
While Buttigieg has been away from the office, the supply chain crisis is worsening. Supermarkets are raising their prices for food. Hardware stores are low on inventory. And emergency medical services are being threatened by a lack of supplies.
The supply chain crisis is likely a product of Biden’s coronavirus stimulus package passed in March, which pumped massive amounts of money into the economy and dramatically increased unemployment benefits on top of Democrat-controlled states that also increased the social benefits.
As a result, the labor supply has not kept pace with the demand businesses need to produce products and conduct business operations. Ports are backlogged with ships, containers are not being filled, and truckers are not picking up freight due to the lack of truck drivers and full warehouses.
The impact on American workers and families from the crisis is rising costs for items that include gas, hotels, TVs, meats, poultry, fish and eggs, electricity, rent, and other daily household items.
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