Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released the following statement today regarding the negotiated FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) between the House and Senate Armed Services Committees containing additional funding for the Abrams tank program at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima, Ohio:

“I am pleased the latest version of the Defense Authorization bill seeks to avert the unnecessary risk placed on the Abrams industrial base by the President's proposed budget.  As the nation’s only producer of the Abrams tank, the Lima plant plays a unique role in contributing to our national security.  As I previously urged my colleagues, we need to make sure this critical defense capability is available for the Army when they say they need it in a few years.  A combination of production for both domestic and foreign use continues to be the right path forward."  

In June 2013, Portman sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and Subcommittee on Airland prior to the consideration of the Fiscal Year 2014 NDAA mark-up urging them to ensure that the nation’s tank industrial base is not needlessly jeopardized.

In the Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 budget deliberations, the Committee took actions to avert unnecessary risk to this national capability as the Army further evaluated the implications of its proposals. As the Committee has acknowledged in the past two years, appropriately addressing this matter in the near term will save taxpayer dollars over the longer-term, and ensure our nation maintains a critical defense capability, on which our country is slated to rely for decades to come.

Read the full letter here.