Golden Secures Maine Shipbuilder, Nat’l Security Priorities in Defense Authorization Bill
Legislation contains 3% raise for servicemembers, an additional DDG-51 destroyer built at BIW, and planning requirements for the shipbuilding workforce
WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) used his position on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) this week to push for and secure important priorities for America’s national defense, Maine’s shipbuilders and the future shipbuilding workforce, servicemembers, and Maine universities and manufacturers in the FY2021 defense authorization bill that was reported out of committee.
“I’m proud to support the men and women who serve our country in uniform every day in the armed forces,” said Golden. “Over the last year, I’ve been working to ensure that this defense authorization bill protects Americans at home and abroad, gives our servicemembers the support they deserve and the tools they need to defend the nation, helps ensure Maine shipbuilders can continue to build the world’s best Navy combatants for our sailors, and reflects our state’s contribution to national security.”
Golden delivered for Bath Iron Works and its shipbuilders, working with his colleagues to successfully include another Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 destroyer to be built at the shipyard. In addition to working to secure the additional destroyer, the congressman:
- Authored and secured a provision to the bill that requires the Navy to regularly survey, plan for, and report on the sustainability of the shipbuilding industrial base.
- Cosponsored an amendment that directs the Secretary of the Navy to consider the current and future workloads of the surface ship engineering and design industrial base and make recommendations on how to strengthen the shipbuilding defense industrial base in the future.
Golden also took action for current servicemembers. Building on his support for the Justice for Servicemembers Act, the congressman co-led an amendment that would protect servicemembers from forced arbitration that limits their Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment (USERRA) rights. The congressman also successfully advocated for a 3 percent pay raise for American servicemembers.
The Congressman worked to include a number of other Maine priorities in this year’s House NDAA, including:
- Secured millions in authorized funding for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing programs at the University of Maine;
- Led a bipartisan push for a provision that helps small business contractors doing business with DoD get paid promptly and fairly for change in costs orders;
- Cosponsored an effort that helps DoD firefighters, including those at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, work more efficient and equitable schedules;
- Secured a provision that enhances DoD support of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, which help small businesses do business with the Department of Defense; and
- Supported the request of 79 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Hunting Dearborn, which employs more than 250 people in the Fryeburg area, manufactures components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.