Maine delegation to lobby for extra ship removed from budget
Maine’s congressional delegation on Friday expressed disappointment that the Navy budget contains funding for only one destroyer like those built at Bath Iron Works for the coming fiscal year.
The previous multiyear procurement contract between the Navy and Bath Iron Works and Ingalls Shipbuilding called for two destroyers.
The delegation said in a joint statement Friday evening that the destroyers are the “workhorses of the Navy,” and that the budget would stymie efforts to expand the fleet. The lawmakers said they’d lobby for a second ship to be restored to the spending plan.
“By reducing procurement for this critical ship, the administration would be slowing the Navy’s efforts to reach its target fleet size of 355 ships and hindering our ability to confront China’s military aggression and economic misconduct,” said U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.
The Biden administration proposal also would destabilize the nation’s shipbuilding industrial base, they said.