2017 defense budget could bring more work for MS shipbuilders

2017 defense budget could bring more work for MS shipbuilders

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran announced Thursday the proposed Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2017 would provide more than $21 billion to build up the U.S. Navy.

The announcement came one day after the Office of Management and Budget director asked the Department of Homeland Security to cancel a $600 million contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding, according to The Associated Press. Cochran tacked $640 million onto a spending bill in December 2015 for the ship's construction.

The Defense Appropriations Bill includes funding for 10 new warships, several of which would be built at Ingalls. Cochran called the move an effort to modernize the Navy's fleet.

"We've tried to make the best decisions possible, within funding limitations, to support national security priorities, which includes modernizing the Navy's aging fleet," said Cochran. "We're funding 10 new ships, three of which were not requested by the previous administration. I'm pleased that our shipbuilders in Mississippi will play an important role in this process."

President Donald Trump vowed to put more money toward military spending Thursday at a naval ship building site in Newport News, VA. Workers at Ingalls said they are encouraged by Trump's message and Cochran's move to bring ship building contracts to the Mississippi Coast.

The House of Representatives could consider the measure as early as this week. The Department of Defense is currently funded through a resolution that expires April 28.

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