WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)  along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following statement after the Senate passed their bipartisan legislation, the Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority, to reauthorize the leasing authority at Department of Defense arsenals and military instillations for unused office space to outside tenants:

“I am pleased the Senate passed this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to reduce government costs, which boosts our local economies,” said Ernst. “Importantly for the Quad Cities, this would allow the Rock Island Arsenal to resume their leasing authority, which expired in 2012, and continue attracting new businesses and jobs to the region. While I am disappointed this will not get a vote in the House this year, I will continue to fight through all possible routes to restore this authority for Rock Island Arsenal. This includes introducing this legislation again next year if necessary.”

“It took a lot of work and negotiation by our bi-state delegation to get to this point,” said Grassley. “I’m glad the Senate has now acted on our legislation to allow the Rock Island Arsenal to continue leasing unused office space to tenants that bring value to the arsenal while offsetting costs. I look forward to working with our House counterparts and the Army to see workable leasing authority implemented in the near future.”

"This legislation provides the kind of thoughtful, engaged approach we need to ensure the continued health of Rock Island Arsenal since lease revenue is an important piece of its long-term economic sustainability," said Durbin. "I’m proud to have worked alongside my colleagues in the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations on this important legislation, and I will continue to fight for federal investment for Rock Island in order to provide the Arsenal with the necessary tools to unlock its own economic potential‎."

"The Arsenal will now have the flexibility to attract more jobs to the Quad Cities as unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is eliminated,” said Kirk. “This legislation will encourage private investment and provide the Arsenal with more resources and personnel to maintain its strength and role as a leader in the defense industry." 

“I am very pleased that the Senate passed this bill to protect the Watervliet Arsenal and its relationship with the community,” said Gillibrand. “The Watervliet Arsenal is a key part of the Capital Region’s history and economy and a very important tool in our national defense. I will continuing pushing for this legislation so that the Watervliet Arsenal can continue to thrive for many years to come.”  

Today’s Senate passage of the Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority follows its introduction in September. Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives is no longer in session, and therefore, the legislation is unable to receive a vote in the chamber.

About the Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority:

  • Affords Department of Defense arsenals the flexibility to reutilize excess space through leases or contracts with private sector entities under the following conditions:
  • Contracts or leases help maintain the viability of manufacturing arsenals and any military installations on which they are located.
  • Contracts or leases eliminate or reduce the cost of government ownership of the manufacturing arsenals, to include cost of operations/maintenance, environmental remediation or other costs.
  • Contracts or leases leverage private investment at manufacturing arsenals through long-term facility use contracts, property management contracts, leases, or other agreements.