U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine) praised the Senate's 73-26 passage today of a Continuing Resolution that finances the federal government through the end of the current Fiscal Year and that also contains critical funding for Maine defense-related industries, including Bath Iron Works. The Continuing Resolution contains full appropriations bills for the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Specifically, the measure successfully appropriates the following dollar amounts, which are still currently subject to the implementation of sequestration:
Over $4 billion to allow the Navy to purchase three DDG-51 class destroyers in FY 13, for which Bath Iron Works can compete.
$466.2 million in advance procurement funding to allow the Navy to purchase up to seven more DDG-51s to be built between FY 2014-FY 2017, for which Bath Iron Works can compete.
$669.2 million to continue to support the construction of the three Zumwalt DDG-1000 Class Destroyers procured in FY 2007-FY 2009, all of which are being built at Bath Iron Works.
Senator King said:
"While the idea of piecemeal budgeting is counterproductive to the long-term economic health of our nation, the Continuing Resolution passed in a bipartisan fashion by the Senate finally wraps up debate on the current fiscal year, sets the stage for Congress to pass a budget resolution for the upcoming fiscal year, and appropriates vital funding for Maine's defense-related industries.
"The appropriation of funding for both the multi-year procurement of DDG-51 destroyers and support for the continued production of three DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyers is welcome news for Bath Iron Works. When I visited BIW this past February, I heard serious concerns about how the ongoing budgetary uncertainty jeopardized the yard's current and future workload. This funding not only solves that problem by providing much-needed stability and certainty, but it also positions BIW to maintain a steady workforce that will continue to construct the best ships in the Navy."
"That sad fact is, though, that a wealth of problems still exists because of sequestration's implementation. Congress must work to find a solution to the indiscriminate cuts, which are going to impact countless people across Maine. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I've been working with likeminded colleagues to achieve a grand bargain in the form of an eventual budget deal. The budget resolution currently before the Senate, which I helped craft, is a reasonable blueprint that replaces sequestration with a responsible plan to put our nation on a path to fiscal stability. I know that negotiations remain ongoing, both on the Senate floor and hopefully to come in conference with the House, but I urge my colleagues to recognize that we have an opportunity before us now to work collaboratively to accomplish a comprehensive, compromise plan that addresses the most pressing fiscal needs of our nation."