BATH, Maine — An effort by Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley late Wednesday night amend a major defense appropriations bill — and cut nearly $1 billion from the DDG 51 program — was defeated thanks in large part to the work of Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.
Today, Bath Iron Works lauded Pingree’s efforts in helping to lead an effort to defeat a vote that would have eliminated funding for the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
In a release today, Pingree said Quigley introduced an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have cut nearly $1 billion — and eliminated an entire ship — from the DDG 51 program.
“This was a last-minute attempt to sneak in and cut funding for a DDG-51 and that could have had some pretty dire consequences for Bath Iron Works,” Pingree said in the release. “But these ships are the workhorses for the Navy, they are a key part of our military strategy and BIW is getting them to the Navy on time and on budget. I think in the end we convinced my colleagues that it didn’t make sense from a strategic or a fiscal point of view to cut this ship.”
Quigley’s amendment was defeated by a vote of 60-359, according to Pingree.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said, “The Navy’s plan for meeting its national defense obligations is based on full funding for the DDG 51 program. The Maine delegation has always demonstrated an ability to balance budget pressures with the need for affordable shipbuilding capability to provide the Navy with the ships it needs. Congresswoman Pingree’s leadership in defeating last night’s attempt to reduce DDG 51 Program funding in the 2013 House Defense Appropriations Bill exemplifies this leadership and commitment.”