The appropriations package that Congress approved and the president signed to end the partial government shutdown last week included hundreds of millions of dollars for a new polar icebreaker.

Sen. Dan Sullivan praised the move in a release sent Wednesday, saying it's good news for national security.

“With this appropriation, Congress and the Trump administration are acknowledging that Alaska is America’s Arctic, a fact that is important to our broader national security interests,” Sullivan said.

The package includes $655 million to design and build a new heavy polar security cutter plus $20 million for materials for a second cutter.

Another $740 million will go to offshore patrol cutters and fast response cutters, six of which will be based in Alaska.

In addition, Kodiak will get $22 million and Seward will receive $31 million for shore-side infrastructure to support the new vessels.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to use my leadership role on the Commerce and Armed Services Committees, in conjunction with Senator Murkowski’s work on the Appropriations Committee, to secure America’s first new polar icebreaker in a generation," Sullivan said. 

The U.S. Coast Guard currently has one working cutter, the Polar Star.

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