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Senate Passes Defense Production Act Reauthorization

September 28, 2009
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WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement upon the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill that would reform and reauthorize the Defense Production Act (DPA). Brown is a leading proponent of reforming the DPA to strengthen domestic manufacturing and improve national security.

“The key to America’s long-term security and prosperity is a healthy and viable manufacturing base. It hurts Ohio and the nation’s economy when manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas. It also jeopardizes our military readiness and national security. Reauthorization of the Defense Production Act is critical to maintaining a strong industrial base.”

On May 13, Brown chaired a hearing of the U.S. Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy on manufacturing and credit, which included testimony on the Defense Production Act. Among the findings of the hearing was that reauthorization of the DPA would be particularly useful at a time when manufacturers are experiencing declining access to credit.

On June 1, Brown and Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag to urge the Obama administration to adopt changes to the DPA to support more manufacturers.

Brown also concluded from the May 13 hearing that greater administration coordination on the DPA could enable more effective use of the DPA authorities. This finding is reflected in the establishment of the Defense Production Act Committee (DPAC) in Section 11 of the legislation. Under the reauthorization, the DPAC would be comprised of the heads of each federal agency delegated authority under the DPA as well as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

“I am pleased that we reauthorized the DPA in a swift and effective fashion,” Brown continued. “I am particularly pleased to see the creation of the Defense Production Act Committee, which can ensure more agencies use the DPA to the benefit of manufacturers and our emergency preparedness.”

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