The Defense subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved a budget for defense spending, starting Oct. 1.
The measure has several provisions that benefit Maine, including full funding for the destroyers built at Bath Iron Works.
"The continued disputes in the South China sea, the Chinese buildup of its fleet and the instability that we see in so many parts of the world call for maintaining a strong and capable surface fleet," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who serves on the panel.
The measure also contains language to make sure there is continued investment in government-owned shipyard facilities, such as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.
“I am also pleased that the committee has recognized the shortfall in capital investments for our public shipyards and deposed and provided direction to the secretary of each military department to meet the 6 percent investment currently required by law," Collins said.
The bill now goes to the full committee, which is expected to vote on the package by the end of the week. The measure will then need to be reconciled with the U.S. House defense spending bill.