Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the full committee advanced the fiscal year (FY) 2020 defense funding bill. In addition to making key investments that will protect our security interests, the bill includes provisions championed by Senator Collins to support Maine industries that have an indispensable role in our defense, including Bath Iron Works, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and Pratt & Whitney. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.
“The significant investments this legislation makes in our military is essential to protecting our nation from proliferating threats around the globe,” said Senator Collins. “I am proud that this bill provides crucial support for our servicemembers, ensuring they have the resources they need to carry out their missions safely and authorizing the largest pay increase in a decade. I am also pleased that it includes provisions I fought for to fund the construction of state-of-the-art ships and aircraft that are built by highly skilled and dedicated workers in Maine.”
The FY 2020 Department of Defense funding bill includes $694.9 billion—an increase of $20.5 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level—and incorporates $1.7 billion for disaster recovery efforts. The measure also provides a pay raise of 3.1 percent for our servicemembers.
Additionally, the bill includes a number of priorities Senator Collins advocated for:
· DDG-51: The bill supports funding for three DDG-51s, and a $390 million increase in advanced procurement for “long lead time material for FY21 DDG 51 Flight III ships”
· Shipyard Infrastructure Investment: The bill supports an increase of $130 million, which BIW would draw on to make improvements to its digital design and shipbuilding technology.
· DDG-1000/FFG(X): The bill fully supports the budget requests for both the DDG-1000 programs and the lead ship of the next-generation frigate program to be awarded in 2020.
· F-35s: The bill supports an increase of 18 jets above the budget request of 78 (96 total aircraft).
· UMaine Research: The bill includes funding increases totaling $48 million for various Department of Defense research efforts.
· PNSY: The bill supports an increase of $781 million above the budget request for Ship Depot Maintenance, which is a Navy account that helps fund operations at PNSY. The committee also directed the Navy to continue its highly successful naval apprenticeship program at our nation’s public shipyards.
· Troop Pay Increase: The bill supports a 3.1-percent increase to military pay.
· Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP): The bill supports an increase of $17.3 million for PTAP, which assists small businesses in getting government contract work. Five Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in Maine help Maine small businesses win hundreds of millions in dollars in contract awards annually.