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Rare Earth Elements in National Defense

Appendix. Selected Legislative Activity

Some Members of Congress have introduced rare-earth related bills during the 112th and 111th Congresses. Some selected measures, related to national defense issues, are described below.

Legislation Introduced in the 112th Congress

P.L. 112-239 (H.R. 3310, 112th Congress), the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013

H.R. 4310 was introduced on March 29, 2012, passed the House on May 18, 2012, and referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 19, 2012. The bill has several rare earth-related provisions, as described below.

Section 901. Additional Duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy and Amendments to the Strategic Materials Protection.

  • Appoints Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy as Chair of the Strategic Materials Protection Board Chair;

  • Requires that Board’s findings be reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, congressional defense committees of Congress, and published in the Federal Register within 90 days of the Board meeting;

  • Broadens the scope of duties assigned to the Office of the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy to better provide oversight of the defense supply chain, including contractors and strategic materials, to ensure that there are no supply chain vulnerabilities regarding the nation’s defense requirements;

  • Specifically, “ensuring reliable sources of materials critical to national security, such as specialty metals, armor plate, and rare earth elements.”64

Section 1603. National Security Strategy for National Technology and the Industrial Base.

  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a national security strategy for the national technology and industrial base, based on a prioritized assessment of risks and challenges to the defense supply chain, and ensuring that the national technology and industrial base is capable of achieving certain national security objectives;

  • Ensuring reliable sources of materials critical to national security, such as specialty metals, armor plates and rare earth elements;

  • Reducing both the presence and risk of counterfeit parts in the supply chain.65

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  • H.

    R. 4310, Section 901, (c), (16).

  • H.

    R. 4310, Section 1604, (9), (10).

Congressional Research Service

30

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