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JOHNSON STATEMENT ON DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT HEARING

July 16, 2013

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) held an oversight hearing on the Defense Production Act. The Committee discussed the upcoming reauthorization of the DPA and considered how to ensure that domestic industry can meet national defense production requirements. The Committee heard from officials from the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
 
Below is Chairman Johnson’s statement as prepared for delivery:
 
“Today the Committee continues its oversight of the Defense Production Act.  In addition, today’s hearing is the first step as the Committee considers the reauthorization of the DPA, which is set to expire on September 30, 2014.
 
“The DPA was originally passed in 1950 in the aftermath of World War Two and in the midst of the Korean War.  The legislation gave the President authorities to ensure the timely delivery of necessary supplies and equipment for the armed services and promote domestic industrial production. Over time, the purpose of the DPA has evolved as the economy has globalized and the threats to national security have shifted. 
 
“Today, the DPA continues to play an important role supporting our armed services.  In addition, the DPA provides essential tools for the government to better respond to natural disasters and acts of terrorism.  In recent years, the authorities granted under the DPA have been used to provide supplies and support to emergency recovery efforts, such as after Hurricane Katrina.
 
“This morning we will hear from the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Each of these agencies plays a critical role in the implementation of the DPA. I look forward to hearing our witnesses’ views on the effectiveness and the need for reauthorization of the DPA, as well as areas where the Administration believes legislative changes might be appropriate to improve the law and better protect our national security.
 
“When the DPA was last reauthorized, it was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on the same day of its introduction.   I am hopeful that the Committee can work in a similar, bipartisan fashion this time.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to reauthorize the DPA.”
 
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