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Key LCS ship legislation passes House committee

The House Armed Services Committee approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) early Thursday morning after a more than 16-hour debate, according to Rep. Bradley Byrne’s office.

Byrne, who serves on the committee, said he was pleased with the legislation’s passing and highlighted why the NDAA is important to Southwest Alabama.

The legislation passed 60-2.

With the passage of the bill, it rejects efforts by the Obama Administration to cut the Mobile-built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, according to Byrne.

The most recent budget submitted by President Barack Obama proposed cutting the LCS program from 52 to 40 ships, and going from two suppliers to one.

Instead, the NDAA authorizes funding for three Littoral Combat Ships and rejects cuts to the LCS program.

The bill also includes an amendment from Congressman Byrne that would prevent any funds from being used to select only a single contractor for the construction of the Littoral Combat Ship or any successor frigate class ship program until the secretary of the Navy certifies a number of requirements to Congress.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is a critical piece of legislation that helps ensure our military men and women have the tools and resources they need to keep us safe,” Byrne said. “We face such a wide range of threats in the world today, and this NDAA sets priorities, includes critical reforms, and boosts military readiness to assist our military as they take the fight to our adversaries.

“I am especially pleased the bill rejects efforts to cut the LCS program, which is important to the Navy and our economy in Southwest Alabama,” he said. “The resounding vote shows that my colleagues on the committee – both Republicans and Democrats – agree that the LCS program is critical to the U.S. Navy and should continue.”

The bill now moves to the full House for consideration next month.