- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

KITTERY, Maine (AP) - Maine and New Hampshire’s U.S. senators say that $11.5 million in construction funding and the procurement of two Virginia-class submarines for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has been listed in a pending appropriations bill.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte say the provisions are part of a bill introduced Monday by the Senate and House Appropriations committees and could be voted on as early as Thursday.

The military construction funding would go toward the consolidation of some structural operations at the shipyard, to improve efficiency.

Collins, Shaheen and Ayotte had worked together before to restore funding in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act to build a second Virginia class submarine in Fiscal Year 2014.

“These investments in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard - particularly during a time of so many budgetary challenges - highlight the instillation’s importance to our Navy and our national defense,” the senators said in a statement. “The $11.5 million investment in our shipyard, the procurement of two Virginia-class submarines, and sufficient funding and predictability to avoid furloughs is a huge win for our economy, the skilled men and women who work at the shipyard, and our national security.”

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