WASHINGTON, D.C. —Following repeated urging from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the United States Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Thursday voted to preserve funding for the M1A2 Abrams tank modernization program in the Defense Authorization bill for 2012. The Abrams tank is manufactured and refurbished by General Dynamics at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima.
“This vote is a win for the Lima community and a win for taxpayers. Eliminating this program would not only cost hundreds of jobs at the Lima tank plant, but elsewhere across the country at the 600 subcontractors that are involved in the production of the Abrams tank,” Brown said. “Ending Abrams production would place at risk our ability to provide our soldiers with the most lethal and survivable tank in the world. Yesterday’s committee vote is an important first step in preserving the vital Abrams modernization program, but I will keep up the fight to save the Abrams tank production line—and jobs in Lima—until this bill reaches the President’s desk. By continuing the Abrams tank production line, we can ensure the future of the Lima Tank Plant.”
Brown has been a longtime champion of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. He sent letters to SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and the Obama Administration urging them to reject plans to end the M1A2 Abrams tank modernization program.
Brown has also been a steadfast supporter of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program, which could contribute approximately $144 million to the Ohio economy each year, helping support more than 700 jobs and 25 Ohio-based suppliers. In February, following the release of the President’s FY2012 budget outline which proposed elimination of the EFV program, Brown pledged to fight its elimination. The month prior, Brown led a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to prevent the Department of Defense from cancelling the EFV program. Brown last visited the Lima Tank Plant in August 2010.