(WTNH) — A $1.7 trillion bill to finance federal agencies through September is moving ahead in Congress.
The money runs the federal government, including the military budget, which affects many of the small manufacturers in our state that supply the defense industry.
Sikorsky, Electric Boat, and Pratt would all get a boost. Those defense contractors rely on the National Defense Authorization Act which is funded by the trillion-dollar spending bill.
U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, from the 2nd District, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He tells News 8 the $858 billion defense budget will fund submarines and undersea capabilities to the tune of billions of dollars.
Submarines and Undersea Capabilities
- $14.7 billion procurement, repair, research & development
- $6.5 billion Virginia-class Submarine
- $3.1 billion Columbia-class Submarine
There are millions in workforce development investments at the shipyards.
Submarine Workforce Development
- $750 m industrial base investments
- $541 m supplier development, shipyard infrastructure, and technology
- $227 m workforce development
Courtney and Senator Richard Blumenthal said the spending package is crucial to the state’s defense industry. Like this welding and manufacturing company in Manchester whose largest client is Electric Boat. They recently got money for new equipment.
“The effect on Connecticut will be dramatic and immediate if we fail to fund new defense programs, “Blumenthal said. “The Columbia Class submarine produced here in Connecticut will be short of funding.”
Supporters, including Blumenthal, say the bill will boost national security with a 10% increase in funds for defense programs.
He is hopeful the House will follow the Senate and vote yes.
“There is growing consensus that we must, Republican and Democrat, coming together on a bipartisan basis, absolutely necessary to produce this budget,” added Blumenthal.
Opponents criticize the amount of overall spending as the country faces a $31 trillion national debt.
Also in the bill, is a 4.6% pay increase for all military personnel and money for war-torn Ukraine.
The deadline to pass a bill is midnight Friday.