Donald Trump

President Trump's Defense Proposal Could Help Connecticut

Connecticut's manufacturing sector depends greatly on aerospace giants Sikorsky and Pratt and Whitney, as well as Electric Boat. 

Since all three are so entrenched with the military, any boost to defense spending could be felt statewide. 

President Donald Trump's budget includes $52 billion in new spending for defense, which drew praise from Mark Labbe, the president and CEO of Cambridge Specialty, a top 100 supplier for Sikorsky. 

Cambridge provides components for the Blackhawk line of helicopters, as well as components for Pratt & Whitney and Bell Helicopters. 

Labbe said the boost in defense spending would be a nice supplement for his company and others that have already secured five years’ worth of work from defense contractors.

“We have a supply base that we use. They’ll benefit from this and see an increase in business, so it’s not just Cambridge. It’s the suppliers that we also do business with right here in Connecticut,” Labbe said.

Those boosts, however, come at the expense of other federal programs the state relies on. For instance, cuts to meal programs for the poor, traditional public schools and environmental programs, opponents said, will do more harm for the state than any boosts to defense spending.

“We support strengthened defense funding, but this budget ultimately will kill way more jobs in Connecticut and across the country than it will gain," said Sen. Chris Murphy, (D-CT).

Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed that sentiment and said he supports making sure the state's major employers are held harmless, but added the president's budget doesn't have a vision that helps the entire state.

“This budget is an atrocious failure of leadership," Blumenthal said. “We can support building our national defense, better training our troops, environment, education, roads rail, bridges and other infrastructure, and our.”

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