Lawmakers Worked Together to Include Bipartisan Provisions to Strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Senator-Elect Tammy Duckworth and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) voted in favor and applauded the passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This was the final House passage of the bill, which will now go to the Senate for approval before the President can sign it into law. Representatives Bustos and Loebsack worked with Duckworth, who led this successful effort through the House Armed Services Committee, to include several provisions that will help ensure the long-term success of the Rock Island Arsenal and the more than 6,000 hard working men and women who work on Arsenal Island.
“As one of the largest employers in our region, the Rock Island Arsenal is the economic engine that drives our community’s success, and I’m incredibly pleased that Congress was able to come together to pass this bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Arsenal for years to come,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “I’d like to thank Congressman Loebsack for his dedicated partnership working to strengthen the Quad-Cities community and Congresswoman Duckworth for her work on the Armed Services Committee to include language benefiting the Arsenal in this year’s national defense authorization. This bill will support Rockford’s defense industry, Peoria’s Air National Guard base and the more than 6,000 hard working men and women on Arsenal Island. By passing today’s defense authorization, we’re strengthening our national security and helping to ensure a brighter future for all of our communities.”
“Congress should do whatever it can to keep our nation safe and create jobs, especially manufacturing jobs, so working with Representatives Bustos and Loebsack to help the Rock Island Arsenal is always an easy decision,” said Duckworth. “American workers have the talent, skill and capability to produce high-quality goods at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal. As the only member of the Illinois Congressional Delegation serving on the House Armed Services Committee, I was proud to push these amendments through the National Defense Authorization process. They will help support our nation’s defense, enhance readiness, protect thousands of jobs in our state, and reduce over-reliance on foreign goods in sensitive weapons systems.”
“The Rock Island Arsenal not only supports the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, but also plays a critical role in the Quad Cities economy. I am proud to continue my work with Congresswomen Bustos and Duckworth to ensure the Arsenal has the resources it needs to remain strong,” said Congressman Loebsack. “The Arsenal is vital to the Quad Cities economy and we must continue to work together to secure and strengthen its future. This provision plays a critical role in equipping our troops and spurring job growth in the Quad Cities region and I will continue to advocate for the Arsenal and its workforce.”
Representatives Bustos, Duckworth and Loebsack worked together to include several provisions similar to the bipartisan Army Arsenal Revitalization Act and the Make It At Home Act. Specifically, the legislation will strengthen the Arsenal by requiring that the Army:
- Compile and submit to Congress a plan to ensure the long-term viability of federal military manufacturing facilities, including Army arsenals.
- Identify equipment, weapons, and other items purchased from foreign entities that could be manufactured in Army arsenals and other facilities.
- Report on the manufacturing skills that are needed to sustain the readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces.