A few weeks ago in the Senate, we passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with overwhelming bipartisan support – we pass an updated version of this legislation every year to get resources to our military and to protect our national security.
I fought to ensure this year’s bill includes resources for Ohio’s military instillations and secured investments in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Camp Perry Joint Training Center, the National Guard Readiness Center at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, and Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.
And I included key legislation to protect our economic and national security from new threats from China and other adversaries around the world.
My FEND Off Fentanyl Act, will help prevent the flow of deadly, illicit fentanyl into Ohio communities We know how dangerous fentanyl is – in 2021, fentanyl was involved in 80% of Ohio’s unintentional drug overdose deaths. By targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain – from the precursor chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that traffic the drugs from Mexico – we help stop fentanyl at its source.
I also worked to include the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, which will prevent foreign powers like China from buying up Ohio farmland and businesses. This bill will protect American agricultural land from investors from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea and require the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to consider agriculture needs when screening foreign investment affecting national security.
The Outbound Investment Transparency Act will allow us to better monitor corporations’ investments that allow foreign adversaries like China to gain access to sensitive technology, and to assess whether they pose a security threat. And the Building Chips in America Act will cut red tape and streamline approval for microchip projects currently under construction and others that could be delayed. Pausing the construction work at the Intel plant for years because of redundant federal reviews is unacceptable and this will prevent delays to that critical project – while promoting domestic manufacturing across Ohio and our country.
I also worked on the Fair Debt Collection Practices for Servicemembers Act with Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), John Cornyn, R-Texas, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, and Ted Budd, R-North Carolina, which will place restrictions on the types of communications debt collectors can use to contact servicemembers. The women and men who serve our country sacrifice enough – they shouldn’t have their service used against them by predatory debt collectors. It will help to protect our military servicemembers’ finances and their peace of mind.
This bipartisan national defense bill is a win for Ohio communities that will help keep our state and our country safe. From going after illicit fentanyl traffickers, to protecting Ohio farmland, to investing in Ohio’s military assets, this is a crucial boost to our national defense. We kept the politics out, and worked to invest in the women and men in our military, and in the Ohio workers and industries crucial to keeping our country safe. Now, I’ll fight to ensure all of these priorities remain in this year’s NDAA as it makes its way to the president’s desk.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.