WASHINGTON – A defense budget bill that passed a Senate subcommittee contains $150 million to help pay for repairs to a Navy submarine that was damaged by fire while undergoing work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Tuesday’s vote in the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee was the first step for a $604 billion defense spending bill for Fiscal Year 2013.

The bill includes $150 million to help cover the estimated $400 million price tag to repair the USS Miami, a Navy sub that was heavily damaged on the interior on May 23rd while drydocked at the Kittery shipyard. A shipyard worker, Casey James Fury, has been charged with arson by federal investigators for reportedly starting the blaze.

It took firefighters from three states more than 10 hours to extinguish the blaze inside the sub.

The proposed spending bill also includes an additional $1 billion for another DDG-51 destroyer to be built in FY13, according to the office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Collins said that Bath Iron Works would compete to build the destroyer.

“This bipartisan effort shows the importance that the Senate has placed on shipbuilding programs and making sure the Navy is prepared to meet its national security commitments around the globe,” said Collins, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

The Appropriations defense subcommittee approved the bill by voice vote Tuesday. The measure would provide $511 billion for the base budget and $93.3 billion for the war in Afghanistan in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 as the committee moved money to war funding to meet the budget caps.

The bill is nearly $29 billion less than current spending.

The legislation also provides $800 million to halt cuts proposed by the Air Force.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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