SCHUMER: LEGISLATION ALLOWING REMINGTON TO COMPETE FOR SMALL ARMS CONTRACTS INCLUDED IN VITAL SENATE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL
Schumer Successfully Worked to Include Legislative Language Opening Up Contracts into Vital Senate Bill - Has Been Passed Out of Committee and Will Likely Pass Full Senate Next MonthArcuri has Bill in The House That Will Accomplish Same Goal - On Heels of Recent Expansion, Opportunity to Compete for Big Army Contract Could Mean More Job Growth for Remington In IlionArmy's Small Arms Contracts Currently Only Open To Three Firms - Army Officials Have Urged Opening Up Contract
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced he has successfully worked with his colleagues to include language in a must pass Senate bill that will open up competition for the Army's small arms contracts to other U.S. manufacturers. The legislation would open up the Army's small arms contracts to domestic producers across the country like the Ilion, New York based Remington. More competition for the Army's small arms contracts would likely spur innovation as more producers would have an incentive to manufacture technologically advanced products that best aid our troops in the field. Currently only Colt Defense LLC, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, and FNH Manufacturing are allowed to compete for small arms parts contracts. Congressman Michael Arcuri was also successful in including similar small arms competition language in the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5136), which passed in the House on May 28 th.
"Our number one priority is making sure that our troops in the field have the equipment they need to do their job, and opening up the Army's small arms contracts to more competition from high quality firms like Remington will do just that," Schumer said. "Right in Central New York we've got a great company, Remington, that is chomping at the bit to make sure our troops have the best equipment - this legislation will allow them to do that."
"I firmly believe that the role of government is not to create jobs, but to create an economic climate where businesses like Remington Arms have the opportunity to grow and create jobs without the government standing in their way," said Arcuri. Increasing competition for federal defense contracts is a win any way you look at it-it saves taxpayer money, it provides our soldiers with the best possible equipment, and it brings the opportunity for more work at Remington Arms right here in Ilion. Both Senator Schumer and I will continue to do whatever possible to remove this unnecessary roadblock and ensure Remington has the ability to compete for these contracts."
The broad array of challenges that the U.S. military has faced since 9/11 has brought about a comprehensive overview of the equipment that individual soldiers use in the field. As part of its comprehensive review, the Department of the Army has appointed Brigadier General Peter Fuller to be the Army's Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier. As PEO Soldier, General Fuller has undertaken an examination of the resources that our troops are given in the field to determine if the Army should take new steps to ensure that our soldier's have the best equipment.
Recently, General Fuller recommended a change to the Army's Small Arms Production Industrial Base Program (SAPIB) which is responsible for supplying troops with small arms like the M4 Carbine which is the military's primary battle rifle used in combat. The current structure of the program only allows a small number of domestic producers to compete for the SAPIB contract Colt Defense LLC, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, and FNH Manufacturing. As part of his effort to ensure our troops have the best equipment possible, General Fuller has recommended a change to the SAPIB program which would open up the Army's small arms contract to more domestic manufacturers. More precisely, the Army is seeking to improve the M4 Carbine which sees action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Right now, Army Secretary John McHugh is considering General Fuller's recommendation. If accepted the decision would open up the Army's small arms contract to domestic producers across the country, particularly Ilion's own Remington.
Schumer's legislation has been included in the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which has just passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The legislation must now pass the House and Senate, but being included in the original legislation is the biggest hurdle that needed to be overcome.
Arcuri 's legislation, the Small Arms Competition and Innovation Act (H.R. 5181) which was introduced in the House in early April, included similar language, and was included in the House passed Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, as that inserted by Senator Schumer to the Senate version of the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act, allowing all U.S. small arms manufacturers, including Remington, the opportunity to compete for federal small arms critical parts contracts.
Remington Arms Company, Inc. produces and sells sporting goods products for the hunting and shooting sports markets, as well as military, government and law enforcement markets. Founded in 1816 in Upstate New York, the company is one of the nation's oldest continuously operating manufacturers. The Remington plant based in Ilion has been a staple of the region for years and just last week announced the addition of 100 new jobs. The opportunity to compete for a lucrative Army contract would only further bolster the company's position potentially leading to new job growth and economic expansion in Central New York. The Ilion plant has developed a national reputation for quality and efficiency and would certainly present a credible proposal to the Army as it seeks to improve soldier equipment and spend funds more efficiently. Specifically, the Ilion manufacturing center's specialty in developing the M4 Carbine would be a huge boost to the Army as they seek to improve a weapon that is widely used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Schumer added, "Competition is the best ingredient for innovation. If more qualified manufacturers are competing for the Army's business then the end result will be more innovation and better equipment for our troops that's a winwin."
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