Contact: Louisa Tavlas


May 17, 2024, Washington, D.C. – Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), along with Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Lisa McClain (R-MI), Rob Wittman (R-VA) are leading a vital amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to address a critical threat to our national security: the shortage of domestic large power transformers (LPTs) and distribution transformers. This amendment underscores the essential link between grid security and national security, ensuring our military’s readiness and operational capacity are not compromised by vulnerabilities in our electrical infrastructure.

The Niskanen Center hopes Congress recognizes the urgency of the U.S.’s transformer shortage, which is expected to worsen with increased demands on the electrical grid. The U.S. relies heavily on foreign sources for these critical components, resulting in wait times of up to two years. This dependence immediately threatens the Department of Defense’s (DoD) mission-critical operations and personnel readiness.

“We urge members of Congress, particularly those who prioritize national security and defense, to support this crucial amendment,” said Conrad LaJoie, Niskanen’s energy and climate government affairs manager. 

“By reinforcing our domestic production capabilities and securing our supply chains, we can ensure that our military remains ready and resilient to safeguard our national security, and support American jobs and industry,” LaJoie added.

Amendment Overview

The amendment calls for the military departments to develop a briefing and report, in coordination with DOE, to leverage the 2022 Defense Production Act (DPA) expansion to enhance domestic production of transformers and other grid components. This aims to secure our supply chains and bolster domestic manufacturing capacity for key materials like Grain Oriented Electrical Steel (GOES), amorphous steel, and Non-Oriented Electrical Steel (NOES). 

The briefing and report will analyze the national security risks of insecure supply chains for LPTs and distribution transformers, market impacts of efficiency standards, and strategies to bolster domestic manufacturing and workforce capacity, emphasizing critical materials and technology. It will also explore leveraging DPA funding for increased production, establishing a “virtual strategic reserve” with DOD purchasing authority, and supporting workforce development to strengthen national security and promote American manufacturing.


The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.