Hagerty, King, Portman File Amendment to NDAA to Improve Permitting Process for Key Technologies Impacting National Security

November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Angus King (I-ME), and Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would add key technologies impacting national security to the sectors that can utilize the FAST-41 improved federal permitting program, which will encourage development of these technologies in the United States.

America is losing opportunities to domestically develop national-security-critical industries—from semiconductors to electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy—because of permitting process uncertainty and conflicts. This will limit America in the technological competition with Communist China and other nations that will define the next century.

The Hagerty-King-Portman amendment would build upon the successful FAST-41 permitting program, which promotes increased coordination between permitting agencies without compromising health, safety, or environmental protection, by adding “key technology focus areas impacting national security” as eligible sectors, so that these projects can benefit from the same program.

The existing FAST-41 permitting program was established in 2015 to increase investment in American infrastructure and jobs, and it was made permanent and improved upon in the recent bipartisan infrastructure legislation. Sectors like semiconductor fabrication and electric car battery manufacturing should also be able to take advantage of this improved process.

“Developing and re-shoring key technologies impacting national security, from semiconductors to electric car batteries, will not only create millions of American jobs, but boost American supply chains and national security,” Senator Hagerty said. “By creating greater permitting process certainty and coordination and encouraging these industries of the future to invest in the United States, we will win the strategic competition with Communist China to develop the technologies of tomorrow.”

“Expanding the FAST-41 permitting process improvements to more projects—especially those affecting national security—is common sense,” Senator Portman said.  Over the past six years, the FAST-41 process has substantially reduced the permitting process timeline for covered projects by increasing agency communication and accountability.  This bipartisan amendment will leverage that process to make America more competitive and secure.”