Feb 8, 2023
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing on the United States defense industrial base.
Chairman Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
Yesterday, we held our first hearing on the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.
We reviewed the threats and the actions our military should take now to ensure success in any future conflict.
Today we are examining the state of the defense industrial base and how we can best position it to fully support our military if conflict breaks out.
For over 200 years, we have relied on the skills of men and women working in shipyards and factories throughout America to build the tools our warfighters need to succeed in battle.
We cannot prevail in any conflict without a ready, strong, and adaptable industrial base.
Yet the defense industrial base is experiencing a multitude of challenges.
Some of these include inflation, workforce shortages, bureaucratic hurdles, and supply chains that remain too dependent on foreign sources of materials.
Inflation continues to wreak havoc on the cost of materials, driving up costs for suppliers and small manufacturers who are hemmed in by fixed price contracts. 
Making matters worse, the Administration refuses to use the authorities and resources Congress gave them last year to provide necessary relief.
Recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce was a problem before COVID and it’s only gotten worse since.
Bureaucratic contracting hurdles continue to slow things down and compound our ability to scale when needed.  
They also continue to present barriers for new entrants into the defense industrial base, which we need to advance innovation.
We took steps to overcome some of these hurdles in last year’s NDAA, but I am confident more can be done.
Exacerbating these challenges is our important and necessary work to resupply Ukraine. 
That effort has laid bare many of our vulnerabilities, especially with respect to our ability to rapidly produce and field munitions.
But the greatest concern I have with the defense industrial base is our continued reliance on China as the source of raw materials.
The Chinese Communist Party maintains a tight grip on many of our material supply chains, including critical minerals and semiconductors.
We will never prevail in conflict with China, if they’re the source of our military supply. 
While we’ve made some progress in recent years, I won’t stop until we’ve completely rid our defense supply chain of Chinese goods and materials.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about what resources and authorities are needed to help revitalize the defense industrial base and position it to best support our warfighters.