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NDAA passes with significant funding for CT-based companies

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with members of the military.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with members of the military.

The National Defense Authorization Act has passed the Senate and the House, and according to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), that’s cause for celebration in Connecticut.

The act authorizes spending for the U.S. Department of Defense this year, it’s a total of $886 billion.

It passed with billions of dollars to support funding for projects at Connecticut-based companies Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat.

Blumenthal called that a vote of confidence in Sikorsky, after the Stratford-based company lost a contract with the Army earlier this year.

“There's been some questions about Sikorsky and layoffs and so forth,” Blumenthal said. “I think that this NDAA is a long-range commitment to the workforce, they're the most highly skilled helicopter workforce in the world.”

Sixty-five helicopters, including 50 Black Hawks and 15 CH-53 K's, will be built at Sikorsky with funding from the act.

The NDAA also includes support for the Seaman Xavier Sandor Support Act, which is named for a 19-year-old Shelton resident who committed suicide while stationed on a ship that was undergoing extensive maintenance in April 2022.

“The Navy has now been required in this bill, to make sure that these sailors receive the housing and base allowance that officers receive so they can live off ship while it is in maintenance,” Blumenthal said. “That's tremendously important. Because many of these sailors were forced to live on board while heavy-duty maintenance was ongoing. The conditions were literally uninhabitable.”

The act passed the Senate 87-13 and the House 310-118.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.