October 08, 2021

Kilmer Hosts Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member to Highlight Funding Needs in the Region

Bremerton, WA – On Thursday, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) hosted members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, including Chair Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ranking Member Ken Calvert (R-CA), and Cheri Bustos (D-IL), for a day-long tour in Kitsap County. The visit included a tour of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, a roundtable discussion with small businesses, and a tour of Naval Base Kitsap.

“A critical part of my job is to champion the issues important to our region,” said Rep. Kilmer. “It’s one thing to tell my colleagues about the vitally important work done at our region’s military installations by talented servicemembers and federal workers; it’s another for them to see that work first-hand. It’s one thing to tell my colleagues about the challenges facing a 130-year-old shipyard; it’s another for them to see those infrastructure issues first-hand. It’s one thing to talk about the innovative work being done by our local contractors; it’s another for them to hear from those local employers first-hand. In other words, my colleagues from the Defense Subcommittee visit to our neck of the woods was a big deal as we work to address some of our unique challenges and opportunities.” 

“I am deeply appreciative to my colleague Derek Kilmer for the warm welcome to Kitsap County, where we had a first-hand look at critical sites and projects funded through the Defense Appropriations bill,” Chair McCollum said. “Rep. Kilmer is an important member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His efforts to promote the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program to construct and recapitalize dry docks, recapitalize and reconfigure infrastructure, and modernize industrial plant equipment are critical to our country meeting current and emerging national security challenges.”

“This trip was a valuable opportunity for members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to learn more about Kitsap County and the many contributions it makes to our U.S. Navy,” said Ranking Member Calvert. “The West Coast has and will continue to play a vital role in meeting our national security challenges. I appreciate Rep. Kilmer hosting our delegation and look forward to our Subcommittee’s ongoing work in support of our military and their important mission.”

The Defense Subcommittee has jurisdiction over federal funding for key agencies that impact the region including the Departments of Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Army, Office of Secretary of Defense, and Defense Agencies including activities related to military personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; research and development; and the Military Health System.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Kilmer has worked to increase funding available for facilities improvements and upgrades at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and has successfully secured increases in additional funding for the Navy’s public shipyards through the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) – a 20-year program intended to strengthen, maintain, and modernize the nation’s public shipyards.

Rep. Kilmer has also championed increases for the Office of Economic Adjustment’s Defense Communities Infrastructure Program (DCIP), which helps communities near defense installations - like those around Naval Base Kitsap and JBLM - plan for and implement future infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for people, including civilians and members of the armed services and their families, living in the surrounding areas.

In addition, he has successfully worked to secure pay increases for members of the armed forces and for civilian defense workers.