WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after the United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. The bill made significant investments in Connecticut’s critical defense manufacturing industry and included Murphy’s ‘Buy American’ amendment, which will require new transparency when the Department of Defense (DoD) tries to use loopholes to get around purchasing goods made in America.
“By opening up tank-sized loopholes in the Buy American Act, the Pentagon is sending taxpayer money overseas instead of supporting businesses here in the United States. This practice is outrageous, and it's why I've made strengthening the Buy American Act my crusade in Congress," said Murphy. “I’m proud my amendment passed Congress and is on the way to the President's desk for signature. I will continue working to ensure that the pressure to buy American never lets up.”
Murphy also praised the robust funding in the bill for Connecticut defense jobs. “The security initiatives authorized in this bill solidify Connecticut’s role as a national leader in American defense. It’s an honor to fight on behalf of Connecticut manufacturers because I know these dedicated men and women never stop searching for new ways to help our military keep us safe,” continued Murphy. “With over $7 billion to build the next generation of submarines made by Electric Boat in Groton, $12.2 billion for the Joint Strike Fighters with engines built by Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, and $2.6 billion for Blackhawk helicopters built by Sikorsky in Stratford, I’m proud to say that today Congress reaffirmed its trust in Connecticut.”
The Murphy amendment fought back against a provision that would have eliminated all transparency of overseas purchases, and instead required even more transparency when DoD attempts to waive the Buy American Act. This increased sunlight on Buy American waivers will give Congress and American manufacturers more ammunition in the fight to make DoD purchase American-made goods.
Additional highlights of the NDAA include:
- F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – Authorizes $12.2 billion for 63 F-35 aircraft.
- Virginia Class Submarines – $5.3 billion for Virginia-class submarine construction.
- Blackhawk – Authorizes $1.56 billion for 102 new Blackhawks and 40 Blackhawk upgrades.
- Ohio Replacement Program – Authorizes $1.59 billion for the Navy Ohio Replacement Program.
- Seahawk – Authorizes $1 billion for 29 Navy Seahawks.
- CH-53K – Authorizes $632 million for the new Marine King Stallion Helicopter.
- VH-92A Presidential Helicopter – Authorizes $507 million for the new Presidential Helicopter (Marine One).
- Virginia Payload Module – Authorizes $168 million for the development of the Virginia Payload Module.
- KC-46A – Authorizes $2.3 billion for KC-46A Tanker with Pratt and Whitney PW4062 turbofans.
- Combat Rescue Helicopter – Authorizes $156 million the Combat Rescue Helicopter.
- Camp Hartell – $11 million for a new readiness building at Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks.
- Military Pay Raise – Authorizes a 2.3 percent across the board pay raise for the military.
- Prohibition against BRAC – Denies the Obama Administration’s request to conduct a new BRAC round in 2017.