U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Angus King (I-ME) released this statement following the release of the White House's Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request, which calls for $11.5 million in funding for new military construction at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as well as two Virginia-class submarines:
"We're pleased that the Administration's budget request recognizes the importance of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to our country's national security. The budget request would accelerate the investment of $11 million in much-needed military construction at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, even as the Department has postponed or cancelled more than $4 billion in other military construction projects around the country during the next five years. These resources, as well as the planned procurement of two Virginia class submarines, are steps in the right direction to modernize our nation's four public shipyards so they can continue to safely and efficiently maintain the ships and submarines that protect our shores. As the budget process moves forward, we remain committed to working together to support the yard and its dedicated workforce."
The funding called for in the White House budget will go towards the consolidation of structural shops, which will improve the efficiency of operations at the Shipyard. The budget also requests two Virginia class submarines in FY 2014.
Members of the Maine and New Hampshire delegations have long advocated for increased investments from the Navy to address modernization needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the nation's three other public shipyards. Senators Collins, Shaheen, and Ayotte included a provision in the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that required the Navy to develop a plan to modernize the infrastructure at our public shipyards. The three also worked together to restore funding in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act last year to build a second Virginia class submarine in FY 2014 as building two boats in FY14 will mitigate the risk of submarine shortfalls in future years and reduce the cost of each boat.