Rosen, Blackburn, Houlahan, Fallon Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Competitiveness with China in Advanced Defense Capabilities

Bicameral Bill Would Incentivize Investments In U.S. Defense-Focused Small Businesses Producing Advanced Capabilities

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-6) and Pat Fallon (R-TX-4) introduced the Investing in American Defense Technologies Act to establish a federal public-private partnership to scale, support, and invest in American defense-centric small businesses producing advanced capabilities, including hypersonics, space, and autonomous systems. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will help fuel cutting-edge defense technology production and make the United States more competitive with adversaries like China.

“When it comes to maintaining the United States’ edge in advanced defense capabilities, we cannot afford to fall behind China,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m introducing this bipartisan bill to bolster our competitiveness by establishing a public-private partnership to enable American defense-focused small businesses to succeed and scale their advanced technology innovations.”

“This bipartisan legislation will improve the acquisition of cutting-edge technology for national defense and security,” said Senator Blackburn. “It encourages private capital to invest in small businesses that have traditionally been unable to be a part of producing equipment for our country’s armed forces.” 

“Strategic competition with our adversaries is a huge concern for American security especially when it comes to the speed at which we are advancing our technologies. We risk falling behind due to the Department of Defense (DoD)’s challenges in scaling its work with private companies outside the agency, which stems from a lack of available capital,” said Representative Houlahan. “This bipartisan and bicameral legislation aims to solve this problem by creating the Advanced Technology Investment Incentive Program which incentivizes private defense companies to work with the DoD by limiting risk through a fund guarantee. This program will not only ensure our defense technology and capabilities are better equipped against our foreign adversaries, but also accelerate growth and support the many domestic small defense businesses across our country — many of which are located at home in Chester County. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to scale a small business, but this partnership with the federal government will assist in the growth of many companies across the Commonwealth and country. We must work with America’s entrepreneurial strength to prevent future technological and security weakness.”

“America’s proud tradition of innovation is key if we are to counter the rising threats to our national security. Therefore, I am proud to once again support the introduction of the Investing in American Defense Technologies Act,” said Representative Fallon. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is necessary towards fueling investment and innovation across the country to develop dynamic, advanced defense technologies.” 

China and strategic competition pose a significant threat to national security. There is currently a lack of available private capital supporting defense-focused small businesses, stunting growth and innovation in the field. The number of small businesses in the defense industrial base has shrunk by over 40% in the past decade. This legislation would accelerate the production and acquisition of advanced capabilities for national security by creating incentives for private capital to invest in U.S. small businesses.

Senator Rosen has recently introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen U.S. national security. This week, Senator Rosen helped introduce the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act (SISA) to hold Iran accountable for its malign actions. Earlier this year, Senator Rosen introduced the Taiwan Cybersecurity Resiliency Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Defense to expand cybersecurity cooperation with Taiwan to help them counter cyber threats from China.