Two House lawmakers announced the creation of the bipartisan Public Shipyard Caucus today, which aims to support the nation's four public shipyards.
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) founded the caucus to address the needs of Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii, according to a press release from Wittman.
“The Public Shipyard Caucus is the only congressional caucus focused exclusively on the nation’s public shipyards and serves as a venue to discuss public shipyard issues, increase stakeholder support for public shipyards, and raise awareness of their importance to Congress,” the press release states.
Other original caucus members include Rep. Ed Case (D-HI), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rep. Kaialiʻi Kahele (D-HI), Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).
“I am thrilled by the strides in recent years in support for the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Organization Program; however, Congress must continue to embrace every opportunity to revitalize the Navy’s public shipyards. We cannot afford to be distracted from allocating the resources necessary to continue and accelerate the Navy’s plans to fund shipyard facilities, docks and dry docks, capital equipment improvements, and dredging,” Wittman said in the press release.