The Defense Production Act is a congressional act that gives the president certain powers in order to ensure national defense or to respond to a national emergency. These powers include the ability to require businesses to prioritize government contracts and the ability to provide loans and other incentives to companies in order to increase production of essentials. Several presidents have invoked the Defense Production Act in recent times. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush invoked it in response to energy crises in California. President Barack Obama invoked it in order to invest in biofuels and to combat Chinese cyberhacking. President Donald Trump invoked it in response to a hurricane in Puerto Rico, in order to fund the Space Force, and as a response to medical equipment shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2021, President Joe Biden also invoked the Defense Production Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to increase production of equipment needed for vaccinations.
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