"I was honored to deliver the keynote address this morning at the Picatinny Chapter of the National Contract Management Association's Small Business Symposium before 400 participants.
"It was a timely conference. Even with small business hiring stalled and the national security budget in a steep decline, our men and women in uniform continue to rely on the innovation provided by private sector companies every day.
"It an important partnership, but unfortunately, it's not an easy partnership sometimes.
"The absence of a comprehensive DOD strategy for managing and maintaining our industrial base, the lack of a clear view of the military's future needs, burdensome regulations and practices like contract "bundling' frustrate many private sector companies.
"Small businesses are an important part of our national defense and an important part of our economy and we should be doing everything we can to support their growth.
"Next week, the House will be considering a comprehensive national security bill. It is good news for the military, for small business and for the taxpayers that the bill will include several bipartisan reforms designed to strengthen the Pentagon's relationship with small business and help small business do more work for our Armed Forces.
"Events like today's Picatinny conference are important to untangling and de-mystifying the process of contracting with the military. I told the participants that the organizations at Picatinny view private sector businesses as partners and I remain committed to my work to make sure that Picatinny remains open for business -- in every possible sense.
"There is nothing more important for our economy in northern New Jersey and nothing more important for our national security."