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Senate approves massive defense bill, but trims number of F-35s

WASHINGTON –  The Senate late Monday approved a $716 billion defense authorization bill that trims the number of F-35’s the Pentagon can purchase this year, but allows for more spending on Electric Boat submarine programs and Sikorsky-made helicopters. “Five percent of our country’s defense spending is done in Connecticut,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. Continue Reading →

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White House objects to three-subs-a-year plan

WASHINGTON – The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has objected to a provision in a massive defense bill approved by the House Thursday that would  press the Navy to procure two additional Virginia-class subs in 2022 and 2023. The White House said those additional subs, manufactured by Electric Boat, exceeds President Donald Trump’s request for 10 subs, not 12, in the Navy’s next contract with EB. Continue Reading →

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CT among highest states in Pentagon per-capita spending

WASHINGTON –  Pentagon spending on contracts in 2015 was $2,504 for every man, woman and child in Connecticut, more per person than in any other place except Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to a recently released report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. But a key lawmaker warned Thursday that lean years are coming for the Pentagon’s budget. Continue Reading →

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Trump budget calls for huge increases in CT-made subs, ‘copters

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s new budget would dramatically boost spending on the Virginia-class and Columbia-class submarines built by Electric Boat in Connecticut and sharply increase the Pentagon’s purchase of Sikorsky helicopters in the next federal fiscal year. While those increases may be approved by Congress, much of Trump’s budget was considered DOA. Continue Reading →

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Congress authorizes big boost in CT defense spending

WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators on Wednesday finished work on a final defense bill that would boost the number of F-35’s requested by President Donald Trump from 70 to 90 and Sikorsky-made Black Hawk helicopters from 45 to 53. The defense bill also authorized billions of dollars for submarines and other weapons systems made in Connecticut and boosts military pay as well as the number of sailors, soldiers and marines. Continue Reading →

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Pentagon wish list would be gift to CT defense industry

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has given Congress wish lists totaling more than $30 billion in additional weaponry and personnel that could substantially boost the number of F-35s and Sikorsky helicopters purchased this year. These requests are in addition to the $30 billion President Trump has sough in increased funding for the Pentagon this year. Continue Reading →

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Federal budget deal boosts defense projects, other programs in CT

WASHINGTON — Connecticut’s defense industry is a big winner in a new budget deal that will keep the federal government running through September. It allows the Pentagon to increase the number of F-35 fighters and nearly double the number of Sikorsky Black Hawks it purchases this year. The bipartisan bill also funds a number of domestic programs important to the state, including the National Coast Guard Museum. Continue Reading →

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Trump budget would end CT heating aid, housing, after-school programs

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal would strip Connecticut of tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, eliminating programs that subsidize heating bills for nearly 110,000 Connecticut households and provide housing for the homeless and after-school care. But the budget would boosting the state’s defense industry and fund a border wall. Continue Reading →

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Push is on for more F-35s, Sikorsky helicopters and work for EB

Defense hawks are hoping the Trump administration will agree to a supplemental defense bill, and an increase in defense spending in the next annual budget. President Donald Trump has vowed to rebuild the military — and “to load it up” with “beautiful new equipment.” Continue Reading →

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CT lawmakers vote against waiver for defense secretary nominee Mattis

WASHINGTON — Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Thursday voted against granting retired Marine Gen. James Mattis a waiver that would allow him to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of defense. Blumenthal was only one of three members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote against a waiver. Continue Reading →

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