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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHILDERS. I want to thank Chairman Skelton and the Armed Services Committee for bringing this important legislation to the floor and for allowing me to introduce this amendment.

The uncertainty of whether or not a company will be awarded a military contract, as well as the finite period of time required to fulfill a contract, means that many times contractors are stuck in a cycle of ramping up and ramping down employment and, consequently, hiring, laying off, and rehiring employees. My amendment addresses this issue in the production of the various types of MRAPs our soldiers use for transportation and protection from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The First District of Mississippi calls itself home to Navistar Defense, which produces the MRAP. Last year, Navistar was forced to lay off hundreds of employees when one of its contracts ended. More recently, Navistar was awarded another contract, requiring them to rehire 800 employees in order to meet the production deadlines put in place by the military. But the majority of these employees will be laid off again in October when the contract is completed.

My amendment ensures that the Department of Defense begins to look at ways that we can meet our military needs while at the same time making contracting decisions that save taxpayer money and keep skilled workers employed for sustainable amounts of my time.

I urge my colleagues to pass this amendment.

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