Senator Collins Named Top Republican on Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

The Subcommittee sets funding levels for the Pentagon, including for shipbuilding programs

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins was named the Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees and sets the annual budget for the Department of Defense.  Senator Collins will serve in this new leadership role on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in addition to serving as the Vice Chairman of the full Appropriations Committee.


“As the Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I will work hard to ensure that the highly skilled employees at Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard have the resources they need to build and maintain our Navy fleet,” Senator Collins said.  “From DFAS Limestone to the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor to Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, Mainers who serve in uniform, as DoD civilians, and in the defense industry make outsized contributions to our national security.  I will continue to work to strengthen our critical defense industrial base, which is essential to ramping up production of materials urgently needed to support Ukraine’s efforts against the brutal Russian attacks and to deter China.”


Senator Collins has long been a champion for members of our military and our national defense.  She received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in 2018 for her work to support veterans, and she received the Navy’s highest public service award from the Secretary of the Navy in 2013 for her tireless advocacy of shipbuilding programs. 


Senator Collins has strongly advocated for the construction of destroyers, the workhorses of the fleet, by restoring funding for a DDG-51 that was cut from the Navy’s budget in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Defense Appropriations bill and adding $2.19 billion to the FY 2023 defense appropriations bill for the construction of an additional, third DDG-51.  


The Pentagon’s annual assessment of China’s military power reports that the Chinese Navy is now the largest in the world with about 340 ships, and China is expected to have a 400-ship fleet in 2025.  Today, the United States Navy has 293 battle force ships, a fleet that many military experts consider to be too small given global threats.