WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he continues to fight for Ohio defense priorities. Last week, Brown was appointed to serve as a conferee on the committee that is working to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and produce the final bill that will be signed into law. Brown will 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.
In addition, Brown is working to secure 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 Sen. Crapo (R-ID) 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.
“I have two goals on this conference committee – to fight for Ohio jobs, and to protect our national security,” said Brown.
Brown also secured the following Ohio defense priorities in the Senate NDAA:
- 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:
- Brown fought to keep a House provision that called on the Pentagon to slash civilian defense jobs at facilities such as the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus and Cleveland out of the Senate version of the bill. He will work with conferees to keep the provision out of the final report.
Brown was joined on the conference call by Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, who will discuss why Brown’s appointment to the conference committee is an important victory for Ohio defense priorities like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
“The bill is particularly important to the State of Ohio and to the Dayton region. With more than 27,500 employees, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the largest single-site employer in the state and it is by far the largest creator of jobs in the Dayton region. It’s a big comfort to know that (Brown) be on the conference committee making those decisions for Dayton and Ohio,” said Hoagland.
All Senate conferees were members of the Armed Services Committee with the exception of Senators Brown and Crapo, who serve as Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Here’s what others around Ohio are saying about the importance of Brown’s appointment to the NDAA conference committee:
“The JSMC plays a critical role in the Lima community, providing jobs and bolstering the local economy. Sen. Brown’s appointment to the NDAA conference committee is good news for Lima, Allen County, and Ohio as he continues fighting to secure important resources for the JSMC and its workforce,” said Jed Metzger, President and CEO, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.
“The Greater Cleveland Partnership is pleased that U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has been appointed to the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee. It is important Ohio is represented as Congressional leaders resolve differences in this important legislation. Most notably, the Senator can help shield the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, which has an office of more than 2,300 employees in downtown Cleveland, from potential cuts contemplated in one of the proposals,” said the Greater Cleveland Partnership.
“Senator Brown’s appointment to the NDAA conference committee is an important win for our region and the thousands of defense jobs that exist here and need to be protected. The Central Ohio business community stands with Senator Brown as he continues to lead a bipartisan effort to support our military men and women while highlighting our region’s importance to those missions,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO, Columbus Partnership.
“We’re pleased to see Sen. Brown selected for this committee,” said Guy Coviello, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber. “The machine gun range is important for Camp Ravenna, a facility that we along with the Portage Development Board recognize as an important part of the regional economy.”