Congressman Fred Keller votes for the National Defense Authorization Act

Legislation includes Keller amendment to prioritize domestic tungsten, support jobs in northeast Pennsylvania

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) today voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual funding for the U.S. military which included Keller’s amendment to increase the domestic production of tungsten and tungsten powders — critical materials used in defense products.

Currently, China controls more than 80 percent of global tungsten mining. Congressman Keller’s amendment works to turn back China’s growing influence throughout the world by increasing domestic capacity of tungsten in the United States and in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District.

Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District is home to Global Tungsten and Powders, the top employer in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and the leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of refractory metal powders such as tungsten.

Earlier this week, Congressman Keller spoke on the House Floor in support of his amendment, stressing the importance of expanding domestic tungsten production to support jobs in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, reduce American dependence on China for critical resources, and boost national security.

Here are some key excerpts from Keller’s remarks:

For too long, our supply chain, including critical defense materials, has been overly reliant on resources located and produced within the People’s Republic of China.

One area of supply crucial to the United States is tungsten.

These materials are used in critical defense products like penetrators, artillery projectiles, and tank shells.

With China’s growing military influence throughout the world, it is clear that we need to ensure domestic production of this material.

This amendment would prioritize the domestic procurement of tungsten so we can strengthen our vital industrial base and improve national security.

On the passage of the NDAA, Congressman Fred Keller made the following statement:

“I am glad to support the NDAA and put our service members, their families, and our national security first. Every day, our men and women who serve this great nation put their lives on the line to protect our God-given freedoms. Congress has a responsibility to ensure our armed services have the resources they need to complete their mission to protect and defend America. I am proud that our team was able to amend the legislation to support northeast Pennsylvania jobs and reduce our reliance on China for resources critical to our national security.”

The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $740.5 billion in FY 2021 for critical defense initiatives including:

  • $635.4 billion for the Defense Department
  • $69 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding
  • $26.7 billion for Nuclear weapons programs
  • $1 billion for a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund.