WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to proposals in President Trump’s request budget request for the coming fiscal year, Maine’s congressional delegation expressed concern that funding for destroyers built at Bath Iron Works could be reduced.
The US Navy fleet currently has 294 battle force ships. Congress, President Trump, and the Navy have set to goal of reaching a 355 by 2034, according to a statement from the delegation. The President’s FY2021 budget provides $4 billion less for Navy shipbuilding than Congress provided in the current year.
Although the budget request calls for two DDG-51 destroyers for FY21, consistent with last year’s out-year anticipated budget, it also proposes reducing the number of DDGs procured over a five-year timeframe compared to last year’s submission.
On Jan. 6, Senators Collins and King sent a joint letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper objecting to the Navy’s proposal to reduce its shipbuilding program. U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden also sent a letter expressing their concerns to Secretary Esper.