MIL-OSI USA: Golden secures ship for Bath Iron Works, investments in Maine manufacturing in House defense bill

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02)

Legislation includes largest pay raise for junior troops in decades, addresses threats from foreign adversaries, and benefits servicemembers and their families

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) voted to pass the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) out of the House today. 

Golden opposed harmful culture-war amendments in the lead-up to the final vote, but voted in favor of the bill to secure substantial investments in Maine jobs and manufacturers that he championed in his role as a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the largest raise for junior enlisted service members in 40 years. The congressman is confident that, as last year, harmful amendments will be struck from the final compromise version of the bill with the Senate.  

“America’s economic and military strength are built on the back of our productive capacity, and the provisions included in this package will bolster both our national security and the Maine communities that contribute to it,” Golden said. “I’m also proud to continue fighting for long overdue improvements to servicemembers’ quality of life. The investments in this legislation are necessary and will make a real difference.”

The FY2025 NDAA authorizes more than $4.7 billion in funding for two DDG-51 Flight III destroyers — one of which will be built at Bath Iron Works (BIW) — and includes language to promote the construction of two destroyers at BIW in 2026. Alongside other investments in Maine-based manufacturing and research and development, the legislation also significantly improves servicemembers’ compensation and encourages the military to source materials from Maine’s heritage industries.

The House approved a Golden-led amendment, the Welcome Home Veterans Act, to ensure veterans have the support and information they need to ensure a smooth transition when leaving active duty and beginning civilian life.  

Golden voted against several harmful policy riders pushed by members of the House as amendments to the bill, including those that would restrict servicemembers’ access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care. 

“Funding our military and ensuring a strong national defense is one of Congress’ main responsibilities and I’m disappointed that some are trying to use this must-pass legislation to advance unrelated and harmful political agendas,” Golden said. “Enacting the NDAA has been a successful bipartisan process for over six decades, and last year Congress continued that tradition by successfully stripping extremist poison-pill provisions from the final authorization. I’m eager to work again with the Senate to produce a final NDAA that returns the focus to strengthening our nation and delivering for our servicemembers.”

In addition to securing authorization for BIW to build a DDG-51 destroyer in 2025 and ensuring BIW continues to be a leader in naval warship production, Golden helped secure $50 million for shipyard infrastructure and technological improvements and more than $150 million for shipyard research and development to support the next generation of Bath-built ships in the final House bill. This authorization represents years of additional work for the shipyard on top of existing orders secured by Golden in the past. 

The legislation also includes a 19.5 percent pay raise for the most junior enlisted service members, which would be the largest increase in roughly 40 years. On top of other meaningful investments in housing, health care and child care this package is recognition that our troops fill an irreplaceable role and that their wages and benefits should reflect that.

Congressman Golden worked to secure several other provisions that were included in the House NDAA, including funding for researchers and manufacturers at the University of Maine and in Lewiston, Bridgton, and Brewer, as well as language to encourage the use of mass timber in military construction projects and protect positions at the Maine Air National Guard.  

Click here for more details about Golden-led provisions in the NDAA. The bill now moves to the Senate.