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After Last Congress’s Failed Attempt to Secure This Provision, Schumer And Brindisi Deliver Big Win for Upstate New York in Annual Defense Bill

Following Bicameral Push, SPOONSS Act Included in National Defense Authorization Act 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Anthony Brindisi secured a key victory for Upstate New York in the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Schumer and Brindisi fought to include the Support Procurement of our Nation’s Stainless Steel Act(SPOONSS) in the final conference report.

The measure, sponsored by Brindisi in the House and included in the NDAA, would reinstate the Berry Amendment’s long-standing Department of Defense domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware. Brindisi secured this provision in the House NDAA and Schumer worked to ensure it was included in final passage. The SPOONSS Act was introduced in previous years but was defeated each time it came to a vote. Now, it is included in must-pass legislation that will head to the President’s desk before the new year.

“This is a wonderful realization of a goal we have long pursued: getting the United States government to use its buying power to support the world-class workers at Sherrill Manufacturing, the very last flatware maker in the good ol’ US of A.  That’s why I’m so proud I worked with Congressman Anthony Brindisi to finally put a fork in this issue and include our provision requiring our military to purchase utensils and flatware from American manufacturers like Sherrill Manufacturing in this year’s NDAA, which is expected to pass Congress next week. Not only will this law ensure that our military have the highest quality silverware available, made by hardworking Americans, but will also provide a valuable shot in the arm to the Mohawk Valley economy, America’s only remaining flatware-maker,” said Senator Schumer.

“Stick a fork in it, my SPOONSS Act will help upstate companies like Sherrill Manufacturing sell more flatware and employ more people in our community,” said Congressman Brindisi. “I am thrilled to see the SPOONSS Act included in the NDAA. I fought hard to get this legislation included because it will create good-paying jobs in Oneida County. I want to thank Senator Schumer for his hard work to keep this provision included in the final bill.”

The Department of Defense was previously required to purchase American-made flatware, but due to a supply problem, this requirement was removed in the 2007NDAA. Since then, domestic flatware and dinnerware production has rebounded. Oneida County’s Sherrill Manufacturing, located in Sherrill, NY, produces several lines of flatware under the Liberty Tabletop brand and continues to grow its American workforce and revenue.

The SPOONSS Act will go into effect one year after passage and sunset in 2023. A report is due by October 1, 2020 from the Secretary of Defense providing a market survey, cost assessment, description of national security considerations, and a recommendation regarding whether procurement of stainless steel flatware should be limited to sources in the US.  The House is expected to pass the NDAA this week.