The U.S. House has passed a new version of an annual bill that authorizes defense infrastructure that approves three new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the type of warship Bath Iron Works is known for.

The National Defense Authorization Act — or NDAA — is an annual piece of legislation that directs how federal funds should be used by the Defense Department. It authorizes a certain amount of funding for military hardware, including ships for the Navy, but doesn’t determine what companies should get those contracts.

Though the House passed its version of the initial NDAA in September, the Senate failed to pass its version of the bill so the groups could meet, iron out the details between the two, and send it to the president. After the Senate stalled on approving its version of the NDAA, House and Senate defense leaders were forced to negotiate a last-minute compromise bill that could get passed before the end of the year.

With the compromise version of the NDAA passed by the House, it will go to the Senate for a vote in the coming days before heading to President Biden’s desk for a signature.

Rep. Jared Golden, a member of House Armed Services Committee that helped create the compromise NDAA, said including three Arleigh Burkes in the annual bill “seemed impossible” earlier this year. He said the president’s draft of the military bill called for only one ship, “breaking their multi-year procurement contract with the shipyard and leaving BIW without certainty they’d get even a single ship.”

“It could have led to significant layoffs at BIW. In the House Armed Services Committee, we not only reversed the administration’s harmful cuts, we added a third destroyer next year,” Golden wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Now our provision is included in the final bill, which is great news for American national security and the Maine shipbuilders I’m proud to represent.”

In addition to three Arleigh Burkes, the $768 billion defense policy bill includes a 2.7% pay raise for American servicemembers and language that directs the Defense Department to detail and certify the cost savings associated with contracts that ask for multiple Arleigh Burkes to be built over several years. This certification is a necessary step to gaining a multi-year shipbuilding contract in future NDAA bills.

The Alrleigh Burke class is constructed exclusively at BIW and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi.

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