Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin made the following statement regarding the Senate Armed Services Committee passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funding for three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a vote. The House has already passed their version of the NDAA, which authorized two LCS.
“Wisconsin is home to one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation, including a strong shipbuilding industry with a history of success providing ships for our nation’s defense. I have fought for this defense program because it employs thousands of hardworking Wisconsinites and positively impacts not only the local community but has a ripple effect across the state - supporting 2,000 Wisconsin jobs and 93 Wisconsin companies supplying parts to build the LCS at Marinette Marine,” said Baldwin. “I want to thank Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Inhofe for their work on this important defense program. The authorization of three ships is an important improvement over the House position, which funded only two ships and would cause disruption in our workforce. As we move forward in the process, I will continue to fight for the LCS program not only for its positive impact on our Wisconsin economy, but because the LCS is an effective ship that helps meet our national security needs.”
On Monday, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee requesting the committee reject the House Armed Services Committee position authorizing two ships as they consider the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. In addition, earlier this week, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy objecting funding reductions for the LCS.
Baldwin has been a strong supporter of the LCS program. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee and Budget Conference Committee, she worked to roll back sequestration – the arbitrary across the board spending cuts which would have resulted in cutting ships in fiscal year 2014. In addition, she helped ensure the inclusion of the LCS program in the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act to maintain support for the program and she also sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee late last year requesting full funding of the LCS.