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ARPN Expert: Partisan Politics Aside, New Congress Holds Opportunity to Strengthen Defense Industrial Base

In a new piece for Defense News, Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts, calls on lawmakers on Capitol Hill to work towards overcoming partisan divides and “find common ground to support the defense-industrial base.”

One of the first analysts to comment on last year’s Defense Industrial Base Review, calling it a significant step forward for the U.S. military, Green says that thanks to the study’s detailed recommendations, “lawmakers have a unique opportunity to address industrial-base gaps with efficiency and precision. This should allow Congress to find ways forward to create policies and funding opportunities for American defense suppliers and reduce barriers to U.S. industrial-base competitiveness.”

Green further argues that the upcoming reauthorization of the Defense Production Act of 1950, which “remains the premier source of authority for stewardship of the defense-industrial base” provides an opportunity for cooperation.

With our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources growing “by the hour,” as Green puts it, mine permitting reform — which also made our list of “2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform” — “should also be at the top of Congress’ list.”

Green believes that in spite of the partisan divide in Washington, “industrial-base policy offers one of the most fertile areas for bipartisan cooperation” – but lawmakers must commit to “not intentionally create legislative gridlock in order to advance partisan political agendas that stand little chance of becoming law.”

We all know that this is a big ask in Washington. However, as Green rightly states, while “neither side will get everything they want, legislators have many opportunities to advance priorities that matter to everyone, including support for U.S. manufacturing and the American worker. Given that the defense-industrial base programs count for less than 0.1 percent of the Defense Department budget, it would be wise for Congress to ensure stable and consistent funding for the programs in this critical policy area.”