Senate Committee Clears Defense Funding Bill with Important Provisions for Bath Iron Works

In a sign of confidence in BIW, the bill supports construction of three destroyers, includes $250 million to construct an additional destroyer in FY2020, and fully funds the DDG-1000 shipbuilding program

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, which provides critical funding for our Navy and shipbuilding programs, including Bath Iron Works.  As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins strongly advocated for funding that will continue to prioritize our nation’s shipbuilding programs and support BIW workers.  The funding bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate. 

 

In support of the ongoing and future shipbuilding work at BIW, the committee-approved bill funds the construction of three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in FY 2019.  It also provides an additional $250 million in advanced procurement funding above the Administration’s request to build an additional destroyer in FY 2020, which would bring the total number of ships in FY 2020 to three, and fully funds the DDG-1000 shipbuilding program.

 

“At a time when threats to our nation seem to be increasing rather than decreasing, the value and importance of our naval assets to security and stability have never been greater,” said Senator Collins.  “This funding bill affirms the strategic importance of our Navy and shipbuilding programs by including funding for three destroyers while also including $250 million for an additional destroyer in fiscal year 2020.  I am proud of the hardworking men and women at BIW who deliver the highest quality ships for our nation’s sailors, and I am pleased that the funding approved unanimously by the Appropriations Committee today will help support their important mission.”

 

At present, the Navy has 284 (as of June 21) deployable battle force ships, well short of the Navy’s goal of 355-ships.  Maintaining a steady and predictable procurement schedule will not only help protect the health of our shipbuilding defense industrial base, but also ensure the Navy maintains an adequate number of these ships far into the future.

 

The FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill invests $675 billion in our military, an increase of $20.4 billion above the previous year’s enacted level.  It provides a total of $24 billion for Navy shipbuilding and funds the largest pay increase for members of the armed forces in nearly a decade. 

 

In addition to approving the Defense Appropriations Bill today, the Appropriations Committee also advanced the FY 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill, the 12th and final appropriations bill Congress must pass before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1st.