Washington, D.C. — The Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled the fiscal year (FY) 2021 defense funding bill, which includes provisions U.S. Senator Susan Collins championed to support Maine industries that have an indispensable role in our defense, including Bath Iron Works (BIW). The Senate and House will now work to develop the FY 2021 funding bill before the expiration of the current continuing resolution in December.
“The value and importance of our naval assets to security and stability have never been greater, which is why it is so critical that we grow the Navy’s combat capabilities to be able to meet challenges around the world,” said Senator Collins. “Through my senior position on the Appropriations Committee, I secured funding for two DDG-51 Flight III ships. Funding included in this legislation will also help BIW make investments in the shipyard to ensure their hardworking employees have the cutting-edge tools they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. BIW is home to the best shipbuilders in the world, and this funding will help them stay competitive far into the future.”
The FY 2021 Department of Defense funding bill provides $696 billion—an increase of $2.6 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level.
Additionally, the bill includes a number of priorities Senator Collins advocated for:
- DDG-51 Shipbuilding: Includes funding for two DDG-51 Flight III ships. Additionally, the bill includes $130 million above the President’s budget request of $29 million for DDG-51 advanced procurement specifically for a third DDG-51 in the next fiscal year.
- Surface Combatant Shipyard Infrastructure: Includes $215 million for “surface combatant shipyard infrastructure.” This funding can be tapped into for yard improvements similar to the $130 million awarded to BIW earlier in the year.
- DDG-51 Acquisition strategy report language: To ensure stability in the industrial base and shipyards, the bill includes explanatory language requiring the Navy to provide a fully funded strategy for the procurement of large surface combatants (LSC) in next year’s budget request.
In January, Senators Collins and Angus King sent a joint letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper objecting to the Navy’s proposal to reduce its shipbuilding program.