Bipartisan funding agreement is good news for shipyards

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MAY 1, 2017 — Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan agreement on Sunday that will fund the government through September.

According to a statement from U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, The FY2017 omnibus appropriations legislation is a package of 11 regular appropriations bills for FY2017, as well as additional funding sought by the Trump administration for national defense and border security. The Senate will consider the bill, which conforms to the statutory budget caps, after the House of Representatives.

Congress has until May 5 to pass the measure.

“This legislation provides necessary resources for our national security and to meet other priorities for the American people. The bill is the product of bipartisan negotiations within Congress and with the new administration. It merits our support,” Senator Cochran said.

Shipbuilders should be pleased with the measure.

It provides $21.2 billion for Navy shipbuilding programs, an increase of $2.8 billion, to fund construction of 10 new ships, three more than the last Obama budget request. Among these new vessels are three DDG-51 destroyers, one LHA amphibious assault ship, and one LPD amphibious transport dock. $1.56 billion is provided for the LCS program.

The bill also has $150 million to buy long-lead time material for the first Polar Icebreaker Recapitalization ship, which is currently scheduled for award in FY2019.

The bill provides $10.45 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, $344 million above the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget request. The bill sustains the Coast Guard acquisition schedule for a new cutter fleet, including post-delivery activities for the ninth National Security Cutter (NSC), long-lead-time materials for the tenth NSC, and other vessel and aircraft procurement.

The agreement provides $75 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to construct a new Ocean Survey Vessel to conduct research in the Gulf of Mexico. This is in addition to the $80 million provided in the FY2016 Omnibus.

You can download the text of the measure HERE

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