Members of Maine’s congressional delegation applauded the $1.1 trillion spending bill that became law on Friday, putting aside concerns over its cost and the process that led to its passage to praise how it would benefit the state.

Of particular importance for Maine is the $4.6 billion the legislation authorizes for Navy destroyer programs, Sen. Angus King said.

He said this includes $433 million for the construction of Zumwalt destroyers, which are being built at Bath Iron Works, $3.1 billion for the procurement of two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, one of which will be built at Bath, and $1 billion toward the construction of another Arleigh Burke destroyer, which likely would be built at Bath.

King credited his Maine colleague, Sen. Susan Collins, with playing a major role in securing the additional $1 billion appropriation as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Our destroyers are the workhorses of the Navy, and I am proud of the highly skilled, hardworking men and women at Bath Iron Works who continue to deliver the highest-quality ships for our nation’s sailors,” Collins said. “… I am so pleased that after many long hours of negotiations, this $1 billion in funding was included in the final omnibus bill.”

King did have reservations, however, about the cost of the spending bill.

“Unfortunately, the tax provisions in this bill are a short-term solution to a long-term problem,” he said. “We cannot continue to mortgage our children’s future with these massive, last-minute agreements.”

He said another key provision was the inclusion of $47 million to address prescription drug and heroin abuse. Of that funding, $25 million – an increase of $13 million – will go toward medication assisted treatment in high-risk states.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, Maine’s 2nd District congressman, said the bill would bolster national security but took issue with how the agreement was reached.

“The negotiation process for this massive bill needs to be much more transparent,” Poliquin said. “Secret deals are not the way that these enormous spending bills were meant to be brokered … .”

Rep. Chellie Pingree, who represents Maine’s 1st Congressional District, cited the inclusion of provisions to fund pre-K programs.

“Early childhood education is one of the smartest investments we can make, and without this funding tens of thousands of families around the country would not have access to a preschool program,” said Pingree.

Other key provisions that Collins said will benefit Maine include:

$2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, including a $350 million increase to combat Alzheimer’s disease

$22 million increase for weatherization assistance programs

Increased funding for offshore wind power

Protection for paper inserts for prescriptions

 $500 million for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery competitive grant program

– From staff reports