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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MICHAUD. Madam Chair, I rise today to support the Tsongas-Michaud amendment, which will strengthen the Department of Defenses' (DOD) Buy America requirements.

According to the Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense (DOD) cannot procure clothing items unless they are produced in the United States. In recent years, however, DOD has circumvented this policy by issuing cash allowances to soldiers for their own purchase of physical training shoes.

The amendment that Representative TSONGAS and I sponsored to the Defense Authorization bill would require that any footwear furnished or provided by cash allowance to members of the Armed Forces upon initial entry be Berry compliant. Two major, domestic athletic footwear brands--New Balance and Wolverine World Wide--are already prepared to produce 100% Berry compliant athletic shoes for the U.S. military. And at least one of those companies can do so at a lower price than the value of the cash allowances DOD gives soldiers now.

If DOD started complying with the Berry Amendment, I feel confident many more companies would jump into the market as well. This would be good for our troops and good for our economy. This amendment makes Congress' intent of the Berry Amendment explicit and will ensure that all components of our troops' PT uniforms are made in the U.S.A.

Madam Chair, this amendment will guarantee our troops fight and train in American-made uniforms from head to toe.

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