Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes $844.3 billion
for military and national security programs at the Department of Defense and $32.4 billion for the Department of Energy, passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 86-11. The annual defense bill authorizes spending levels and sets policy for the military and critical national defense priorities. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill earlier this month, and the bill now heads to conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.
“Every year for the past six decades, Members of Congress have fulfilled one of their most important responsibilities—ensuring our national security—by passing the NDAA, and setting the policy for our nation’s military priorities,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation will support the brave men and women of our armed forces by supporting pay increases and expanding parental leave. Additionally, the NDAA will support hardworking Mainers at BIW, PNSY, Pratt & Whitney, and elsewhere across the State, who make invaluable contributions to our defense. The Senate’s passage of this bill comes at a critical time for our national defense, as the country faces proliferating threats around the world.”
The NDAA also includes a number of provisions Senator Collins strongly advocated for that will benefit Maine:
- Support for BIW. The NDAA authorizes $4.2 billion for two Arleigh-Burke Destroyers in FY24 and $284 million for advanced procurement of two additional ships in FY25. The NDAA also includes provisions from an amendment Senator Collins authored that supports the use of multiyear contracting authority to improve industrial base stability. This modified authority ensures DOD considers industrial base stability, not just projected cost savings, when awarding contracts.
- Support for PNSY. The NDAA authorizes $544.8 million for the fourth increment of the Dry Dock #1 military construction (MILCON) project at PNSY. Senator Collins, Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, announced in June that she secured this funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act. The measure was advanced by a bipartisan vote of 28-0. The bill also extends direct hire authority for certain DOD personnel, including shipyard technicians, through FY2025. This direct hire authority is critical to ensuring PNSY can continue to hire qualified technicians that are critical to shipyard operations.
- Support for Defense Contractors in Maine. The NDAA authorizes funding to procure a total of 83 F-35 jets. It also authorizes the procurement of 15 CH-53K helicopters. Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick facility manufactures the F135 engine for the F-35s, and Hunting Dearborn in Fryeburg has made important contributions to the F-35 and CH-53K program for years.
- Support for Maine Air National Guard. The NDAA authorizes $7,420,000 million to complete a new Maine National Guard Vehicle Maintenance Shop in Saco. Senator Collins secured this funding in the FY 2024 Milcon-VA appropriations bill that passed out of the Appropriations Committee in June.
- Support for U.S. Troops. The NDAA supports a 5.2% raise for servicemembers and DOD civilians.