March 6, 2021
NDIA cheers Senate extension of Section 3610 in CARES Act
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Defense Industrial Association applauds the Senate for overwhelmingly passing, in a 96-3 vote on Saturday, an amendment to extend Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act as part of the $1.9 trillion relief package.
The amendment, co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), gives agencies funds to cover certain contractor costs and to keep skilled personnel and workers in a ready state during the COVID-19 response through the end of the fiscal year.
The Arlington, Virginia-based NDIA worked with multiple stakeholders to support the passage of this legislation. On Thursday, March 4, a letter signed by small-business CEOs<https://www.ndia.org/-/media/sites/policy-issues/small_business_letter_3610_extension_final.ashx> – including ML Mackey, chair of NDIA’s Small Business Division and CEO of Beacon Interactive Systems – on behalf of the small businesses NDIA represents, went to Senate and House small-business committee leadership. The letter emphasized the importance of the authorization to small businesses in the national security complex.
“Without the ability to draw on 3610 authorities, many companies could be forced to terminate many of [their] employees,” the letter stated. “Many others, fearing disruptions to their incomes, would leave of their own accord to find more stable employment in the commercial sector. Because it is difficult and time-consuming to replace employees with specialized skills or security clearances, our companies’ future ability to support critical government missions would be hindered without 3610 authorities.”
This followed the efforts of the week before by NDIA and nine other organizations<https://www.ndia.org/-/media/sites/policy-issues/3610_multiassociation_extension_request_letter.ashx> to highlight the authority’s continued use by many federal agencies to maintain the capabilities and workforce necessary to meet mission needs and protect our national security and other vital programs.
“Extending 3610 and safeguarding the defense industrial base workforce is critical to our national security today and, more importantly, into the future,” said Hawk Carlisle, NDIA president and CEO. “NDIA is thankful to lawmakers for understanding the criticality of this authorization to government contractors and the skilled, cleared workforce that delivers for our warfighters.”
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