Brindisi and Sherrill Manufacturing announce major push for SPOONSS Act legislation to secure more jobs in Oneida County

Rep. Anthony Brindisi

Brindisi: When choosing between supporting and creating American jobs over Chinese jobs—I’ll choose hard working Americans every time

Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) joined Sherrill Manufacturing Employees today to demand Congress include his bipartisan Support Procurement of our Nation’s Stainless Steel Act in the National Defense Authorization Act conference bill.

Brindisi successfully amended the House version of the NDAA to include this legislation but is turning up the heat on Congressional leadership to ensure the provision is included in the final bill. 

“This is a no-brainer,” Brindisi said. “When choosing between supporting and creating American jobs over Chinese jobs—I’ll choose hard working Americans every time. Congress constantly talks about bringing back and keeping good-paying American jobs. This actually gets it done. Mitch McConnell and other Congressional leaders owe it to our soldiers and to our manufacturers, like Liberty Tabletop, to get this done.” 

“Thank you to Congressman Brindisi for his tireless advocacy on this bill,” said Greg Owens, CEO of Sherrill Manufacturing. “This legislation is about keeping jobs in America and will create more good-paying jobs for Oneida County. It is time for Congress to do the right thing and get this bill to the President’s desk.”

Brindisi’s bill would reinstate the Berry Amendment’s long-standing Department of Defense domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware. Brindisi secured this provision in the NDAA. The SPOONSS Act was introduced in previous years but was defeated each time it came to a vote.

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

Brindisi sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee demanding they include the SPOONSS Act in the final bill. Brindisi’s letter to leadership is below. 

Dear Chairman Smith, Chairman Inhofe, Ranking Member Thornberry, and Ranking Member Reed:

As you begin conference negotiations on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we write to urge the preservation of several bipartisan provisions that were included in the House NDAA that are critical for New York and our country. To ensure we continue to build upon efforts to support our servicemembers, grow our strategic advantage, and keep our nation safe, we urge you to preserve the following bipartisan provisions in the conferenced bill:

  1. The House NDAA included a provision which was adopted as an amendment that would direct the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force to establish a Quantum Information Science (QIS) Innovation Center to accelerate the research and development of quantum information sciences by the Air Force. The QIS Innovation Center would provide an environment where researchers from the Air Force, government, industry, and academia can collaborate to solve difficult problems using QIS technology. The language authorizes $10 million for Air Force Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funding to be made available for the establishment of the QIS Innovation Center. The efforts to develop QIS has immense national security and economic implications for the United States. Our adversaries, including China, recognize the massive potential of quantum technologies, and have begun to invest heavily. We cannot afford to fall behind them in the development of QIS technologies. 
  2. The House NDAA included the Support Procurement Of Our Nation’s Stainless Steel Act or “SPOONSS Act”, which was adopted as an amendment on a bipartisan vote. This language would re-instate the Berry Amendment’s long-standing Department of Defense (DoD) domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware and also add a “dinner ware” domestic sourcing requirement. From 1976-2006, the Berry Amendment included a domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware, which was eliminated in 2007 due to a lack of domestic supply. Since then, domestic flatware production has rebounded, leading to a stable domestic supply chain and manufacturer base, which supports restoring the long-standing domestic sourcing requirement. The Berry Amendment’s domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware should be restored given the availability of reasonably priced flatware produced by a domestic company with a strong track record of selling products to the federal government. The DoD would retain the ability to waive the domestic sourcing requirement if, for any reason, domestic flatware or dinnerware could not be procured at market prices. The amendment also provides for a one-year phase-in period. Since 2008, domestic manufacturers have sold nearly $7 million in flatware to the federal government through MAS contracts as well as GSA Advantage, demonstrating their reliability as a stable domestic supplier of stainless-steel flatware to federal purchasers. 
  3. The House NDAA included a provision which was adopted as an amendment that would make the requirement that deployed servicemembers must receive an in-person mental health assessment every 180 days permanent. This requirement expired on January 1, 2019. This language seeks to address servicemember suicide by ensuring servicemembers receive regular mental health assessments while deployed.
  4. The House NDAA included a provision which was adopted as an amendment that would require the Comptroller General of the United States to report on the Department of Defense’s implementation of Section 701 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015—often referred to as the “Jacob Sexton Act”—which requires every servicemember (active, guard, and reserve) to receive a mental health assessment annually from DoD. The report would include an evaluation of the implementation of the assessments, an evaluation of the efficacy of the assessments, and an analysis of how lessons learned from the annual mental health assessments can be used within DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to prevent servicemember and veteran suicide. 

We commend you on your leadership and commitment to our servicemembers, and we urge you to preserve the bipartisan provisions listed above in the final FY 2020 NDAA. These provisions will help keep our country safe and ensure our servicemembers have the support they need to succeed. Therefore, we respectfully request that the attached language be included in the final NDAA.

Sincerely, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi

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