King, Collins Lead Bipartisan Push to Provide Flexibility in Defense Industrial Base Support, Including Bath Iron Works

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) led a bipartisan group of Senators in a letter urging Senate Leadership and top appropriators to include funding in the next coronavirus relief package to allow the Department of Defense to appropriately adjust contracts for projects suffering schedule days or production inefficiency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In their letter, Senators King, Collins, and their colleagues urge legislative action to ensure the continued viability of America’s defense industrial base, including Bath Iron Works. As the nation’s industrialbase, particularly shipyards and the aviation sector, have been impacted by efforts to mitigate coronavirus and protect workers, Congressional action would provide much-needed relief that ensures these facilities can continue to serve both national security interests and support its talented workforce. 

 

“The defense industrial base is likely to incur significant cost and schedule impacts during this crisis, and indeed Under Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord recently estimated a three-month delay across the majority of the Department's major defense acquisition programs, particularly among our nation’s shipyards and aviation sector, costing billions of dollars,” wrote the Senators. “By coordinating closely with the Department of Defense and the defense industrial base to include proper mitigation provisions in future legislation, Congress will support a critical national security interest and the continued viability of a diverse and agile defense industrial base and its talented workforce.”

 

In addition to Senators King and Collins, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

 

The full letter can be read below or downloaded HERE.

 

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Dear Senator McConnell, Senator Schumer, Senator Shelby, and Senator Leahy:

 

As the Senate considers its next steps to further mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we request that future legislation include the necessary funding, with additional authorizations if required, for the Department of Defense to appropriately adjust contracts that suffer schedule delays and production inefficiencies caused by the pandemic.

 

The defense industrial base is likely to incur significant cost and schedule impacts during this crisis, and indeed Under Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord recently estimated a three-month delay across the majority of the Department's major defense acquisition programs, particularly among our nation’s shipyards and aviation sector, costing billions of dollars.

 

By coordinating closely with the Department of Defense and the defense industrial base to include proper mitigation provisions in future legislation, Congress will support a critical national security interest and the continued viability of a diverse and agile defense industrial base and its talented workforce.

 

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to working with you to address this important issue.