Sen. Brown Statement On Senate Passage of FY 14 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Following Senate passage of the FY14 omnibus appropriation bill, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement:

“While not perfect, this bipartisan appropriations bill shows that Republicans and Democrats can work together to create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit.” Brown said. “This bill makes critical investments in programs important to Ohioans, substitutes a targeted appropriations process for the damaging across-the-board cuts laid out by sequestration and avoids the fiscal brinksmanship that has all too often dominated our political landscape.”

Included in the FY14 appropriations:

Investments in Ohio’s Military infrastructure: The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima will receive $90 million in funding for the M1A2 Abrams Tank program. The plant is a top priority for Brown. In February 2013, Brown met with Secretary of Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel to discuss the importance of the program and the need for continued production. Also included in the FY14 appropriation is $5.2 million for Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, funding used to help extend the Ravenna water/sewer line, crucial to the growth of Camp Ravenna. Additionally, the Springfield Air National Guard Base (ANGB) received $7.2 million in critical federal funding for the construction of a new intelligence operations facility, helping secure long-term viability of the base.

Fighting for Ohio Companies: Brown has led the fight to ensure that that the U.S. federal government buys American when it makes purchases and funds projects. Brown worked with U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) to ensure that “Buy America” provisions were added to ensuring that any iron and steel product used in State water pollution control revolving funds must be Made-in-America. The provision benefits several Ohio companies, including Clow Valve Company in Coshocton. Last year, Brown successfully amended the highway bill and water infrastructure bill to strengthen “Buy America” provisions and close loopholes. In July 2012, following a report that Team USA’s uniforms were made in China, Brown called on the U.S. Olympic Committee to utilize American clothing manufacturers for the summer Olympic uniforms and use domestic clothing makers for future Olympics, including the 2014 Winter Games. Brown also introduced a “Buy America” plan to ensure that the federal government purchases apparel that is 100 percent American made. Current “Buy America” statutes require that only 51 percent of these products purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars be “made in America.”

Redeveloping Ohio Communities:  The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon will receive more than $137 million in direct funding to continue cleanup efforts. The plant employs more than 2,200 people. Additionally, the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) will receive an initial $34 million from the appropriations bill to help ensure stability and continued research and development at the site. An additional $56 million in funding becomes available upon fiscal review by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Brown has been a champion for clean-up of the site and the American Centrifuge Brown has been a champion for clean-up of the site and the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) in Piketon. He continues to work closely with the United States Energy Corporation (USEC) and DOE to advance the ACP. In December 2012, Brown successfully worked with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to include $150 million for the ACP in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He also led the effort to include $150 million in DOE resources for the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program in the Senate-passed highway bill. Brown’s provision provided resources to help ensure that the ACP is in the strongest position possible to receive a loan guarantee. The RD&D funding will keep Ohioans at work, expedite commercialization of ACP technology, and protect our national security. 

Advancing Medical Research and Innovation: Included in FY14 appropriations is more than $29.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While still short of pre-sequestration levels, this increase represents more than $1 billion in added investment over FY13 funding. In April 2013, Brown joined U.S. Sens. Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC) in requesting  increased funding for the NIH in the FY14 appropriations bill. In addition, Brown has led the fight in Congress to expand research into pediatric illnesses and their treatments, and has worked to increase funding for pediatric research at the NIH as well as funding to train the medical professionals that treat children. While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Brown authored the Children’s Hospitals Education and Research Act of 1998, which first proposed the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program.