WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was appointed to serve as a conferee on the committee that will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). All Senate conferees were members of the Armed Services Committee with the exception of Senators Brown and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who serve as Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Brown vowed to fight for provisions in the defense bill that would strengthen the tools the U.S. uses to block national security threats posed by investments from China and other countries. Last month, Brown and Crapo fought to have their bill to modernize and strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – known as CFIUS – included in the Senate’s version of the NDAA. This bill would ensure CFIUS is better equipped to handle emerging threats from China. From 2013 to 2015, the number of Chinese acquisitions coming under CFIUS review jumped 38 percent.
“No country has been more aggressive than China in going after American technology in sectors like aviation, robotics, new energy vehicles, and others where the U.S. has established ourselves as a global leader,” said Brown. “Our bipartisan bill will give CFIUS and our export control agencies the tools they need to ensure that these types of investments don’t slip through the cracks.”
Brown will also use his position on the committee to fight for Ohio priorities he secured in the Senate bill, and ensure that harmful provisions, like the Comprehensive Pentagon Bureaucracy Reform and Reduction, which could threatened thousands of jobs in Ohio are not included.
“I’ve seen firsthand the critical work performed at Lima’s JSMC, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and Camp Ravenna, and I will keep working to make sure Ohio and its workforce have the resources needed to continue their important work of defending national security and keeping Americans safe,” said Brown.
Brown secured the following Ohio defense priorities in the Senate’s NDAA and will fight to have them included in the bill that comes out of the conference:
- Lima JSMC:
- Support for the Stryker vehicle upgrades and modifications and Abrams Tank
- Authorization to continue critical research and development missions at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- Keeping research lab jobs at Wright-Patt: Brown secured a provision in the Senate bill to block the Department of Defense from moving forward with plans to transfer an important Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) responsibility away from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Brown will fight to keep that provision maintaining AFRL’s role in the final bill that is signed into law (learn more).
- Support for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)
- Support for Air Force bases to continue efforts to keep Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances – toxic chemicals known as PFAS – from getting into the local water supply and additional funding to further the development of alternative chemicals that are safer
- Camp Ravenna:
- Support for construction of an automated multipurpose machine gun range at Camp Ravenna’s Joint Military Training Center
- Job Training for Veterans:
- Brown’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), the Better Access to Technical Training, Learning, and Entrepreneurship for Servicemembers Act (BATTLE for Servicemembers Act), would better connect servicemembers with resources to secure quality education and good-paying jobs as they transition from military service to civilian life
- Protecting Ohio Civilian Defense Jobs:
- A provision to protect civilian defense jobs at facilities such as the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus and Cleveland. Brown fought to keep a House provision that called on the Pentagon to slash these Ohio jobs out of the Senate version of the bill.