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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LOEBSACK. I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Our depots, arsenals, and their workforce are critical to our national security and ability to rapidly equip our soldiers. For example, in 2003, the Rock Island Arsenal produced 500 Humvee add-on armor kits to protect our troops within 3 months of receiving the order.

We must strengthen our arsenals and depots so that they are able to continue to produce the equipment that is vitally needed by our men and women in uniform. I am strongly concerned that the effects of the bill's reductions will be felt beyond 2013 and across the organic industrial base, and I appreciate the chairman's willingness to work with us. I look forward to closely collaborating with him in support of our arsenals and depots, and I appreciate this time.

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Mr. LOEBSACK. Mr. Chairman, as you well know, 40-millimeter cartridges provide sustained coverage for our ground troops and have played a significant role in providing protection for our troops in Afghanistan. They are produced in a joint effort between the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, which I represent, and facilities in Florida, Wisconsin, and several other States.

In Iowa, 75 employees work on a state-of-the-art production line to load, assemble, and pack the 40-millimeter ammunition. This state-of-the-art equipment allows this work to be done safely, at a high-quality rate, and in a cost-effective way for the taxpayers and the Army.

The Army's budget request included 40-millimeter funding levels that are considered the minimum level necessary to sustain our capability and the highly skilled workforce needed to produce them. A reduction in funding could result in a break in work that would result in lost capabilities, lost jobs, and delays and quality concerns when the line is restarted.

Mr. Chairman, I know we share a commitment to maintaining the workforce, capabilities, and lines that produce the 40-millimeter ammunition, and I very much appreciate your and Ranking Member Dicks' work with me over the last several weeks. I look forward to continuing to work with you to address this matter going forward so that we can ensure the final 2013 defense bill supports the 40-millimeter ammunition workforce and supply chain.

I thank you for the cooperation.

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