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Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that President Trump should "immediately" invoke the Defense Production Act to require U.S. companies to assemble medical equipment for health care workers fighting coronavirus.

Why it matters: Hospitals around the country lack medical equipment, like ventilators and respirators, as the number of Americans in need of treatment for the virus rises — and the wartime measure would ramp up production of the materials.

  • The U.S. has reported at least 164,610 cases and 3,170 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

What she's saying: "We all come to this discussion with very heavy hearts about what we can do to prevent more of a spread of this," Pelosi said. "To the president, I would join those — whether it's the governors, mayors, people across the country — who are saying we need the equipment, the personal protective equipment, for the workers."

  • "The American people, their representatives, their officialdom, all the rest, are united in that recognition of that need. It will save lives. We're asking people to risk their lives to save other lives. We're asking people to make judgments about who gets a ventilator or not. That should not be happening."

The big picture: The act would authorize Trump to use his presidential powers to direct the private sector to produce medical supplies in the interest of national defense.

  • Trump used the act last week to order General Motors to build ventilators and accused it of "wasting time."
  • Other car manufacturers, like like Ford and Tesla, are partnering with existing ventilator manufacturers to see how they can help them expand production capacity.

Go deeper ... Defense Production Act: What you need to know

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

5 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.