Wednesday March 02, 2011 | 03:20 PM

Sen. Susan Collins is among the lawmakers continuing a drive to increase defense funding this year.

The Maine Republican, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says the ongoing series of temporary spending bills while House Republicans and Senate Democrats are locked in a budget standoff effectively reduces military spending and could result in less money going to military operations and personnel, as well as cuts to defense-related industries.
Collins today unveiled an amendment she is trying to attach to an unrelated patent reform bill that would “adequately fund” the defense department for the final months of the 2011 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 rather than hold it flat from last year.
Collins’ office noted in the release that the Navy’s chief of operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, visited Bath Iron Works last week, accompanied by Collins, and that the Navy official said that the "lack of a final budget for the military could undermine the Navy's shipbuilding plans," including the Virginia-class attack submarine program and the DDG-51 destroyer program. 
"We have an obligation to make sure our military has what it needs," Collins said in a release, adding that she is urging both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to cooperate on a final defense spending bill. 

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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