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November 16, 2017

Senate Passes Reconciled FY 2018 NDAA with Victories for Maine

King Hails NDAA Provisions, Renews Call to End Sequestration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that the U.S. Senate approved the conference committee’s bicameral agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, which included key victories for Maine. Senator King served on the conference committee that reconciled the differences between the Senate’s version, which passed by a vote of 89-8, and the version advanced by the House of Representatives. The bill will now go to the President for his signature.

            “Throughout this process, I have proudly highlighted the important role that the people of Maine play in our national defense,” said Senator King. “This final bill will make sure Maine’s military personnel and workers in defense-related industries have the resources they need to continue making important contributions to national security. Now that the final bill has been passed, I hope that Congress can continue to work toward the best interest of both national safety and the economy by finally acting to end sequestration.”

Senator King secured several major victories that will directly benefit Maine, including:

  • NEW FACILITY AT PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD: The legislation authorizes $61,692,000 for the construction of a paint, blast, and rubber facility at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. Senator King also supported an amendment authored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that calls for a study on dry dock capacity to identify and support the shipyard infrastructure needs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
  • NEW NATIONAL GUARD CENTER IN PRESQUE ISLE: The legislation authorizes $17,500,000 for the construction of a new National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle.
  • FUNDING FOR SHIPBUILDING PRIORITIES: The legislation authorizes more than $5.62 billion for Navy destroyer programs, including more than $5 billion for the procurement of three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers in fiscal year 2018 that Bath Iron Works can compete to build, as well as more than $314.5 million for the continued R&D and production of DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers, all of which are being built at Bath.

Senator King also cosponsored an amendment authored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in support of the Navy’s Force Structure Assessment requirement for 355 battle force fleet ship. This requirement was codified into the final conference report.

  • JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER: The bill authorizes the procurement of 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters of all three variants. Several Maine-based companies, including Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick and General Dynamics in Saco, are in the supply and production chain for this fifth generation fighter.
  • LONG RANGE STRIKE BOMBER: The bill authorizes more than $2 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation of the long-range stealth bomber, B-21, which will be a central pillar of our national security strategy to deal with future threats. Pratt & Whitney, which maintains a facility in North Berwick, will be the engine supplier for the B-21.
  • CH-53K HELICOPTER: The bill authorizes more than $567 million to procure four CH-53K helicopters. Hunting Dearborn in Fryeburg manufactures the rotor shaft for this helicopter.
  • NO NEW BRAC ROUND: This legislation rejects the President’s call in his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for additional base closures under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The last BRAC process occurred in 2005 when a recommendation to close the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was ultimately overturned by the BRAC Commission, but Brunswick Naval Air Station was closed.

The Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA establishes policies and authorizes funding for the Department of Defense as well as the national security programs of the Department of Energy. It provides for the pay and benefits earned by members of the military and their families, provides for national defense including authorization of funds for military operations in places like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, and represents a vision of America’s national security goals, resources, and policies. Now that the final report has been passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill will go to the President for his signature.


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