Shipbuilders Council praises passage of budget measure

DECEMBER 18, 2013 — The Senate today approved, by a 64-to-36 vote, a two year tax and spending bill that rolls back automatic spending cuts. The New York Times reports that "work has already begun to turn the budget's new military and domestic spending caps into detailed spending legislation" and says the House and Senate Appropriations Committees must pass that legislation by January 15 "or risk another government shutdown when the current stopgap spending measure is exhausted."

Be that as it may, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) called today's bipartisan budget agreement "an important first step" and thanked Members of Congress for providing much needed resources for the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry.

"Passing this bipartisan agreement was crucial because of the pending losses of construction and repair jobs the Navy forecasted if full sequestration and a continuing resolution were to remain in effect in fiscal year 2014," said SCA President Matt Paxton. "We are grateful for the action Congress has taken, but the long-term threat to our industry remains. We are calling on America's leaders to keep working to address the future fiscal uncertainty if the U.S. is to maintain the nation's fleet, and retain a skilled and experienced domestic workforce."

SCA recently launched a campaign called SOS: SAVE OUR SHIPS, which focuses on educating Congress and the American public about the destructive and unintended effects sequestration and budget uncertainty will have on the United States Navy and naval services, as well as thousands of American shipbuilding and repair workers.

It said it will continue the SOS Campaign to bring public awareness to the future financial threats facing the shipbuilding and repair industry, and will work with Congress in 2014 to ensure the U.S. fleet remains strong and ready.