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NEWPORT NEWS-- Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin toured Newport News Shipbuilding Friday and spoke with workers about the defense budget and its impact on workers.

The Senators took a shipyard tour, which included visits in aircraft carrier and submarine construction facilities and a tour of aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford. The overhaul to Ford is about 62 percent complete. The ship's christening is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Kaine, who serves on Senate Armed Services Committee, said the work done at the shipyard made a big impression on him.

'Given his critical role on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, I was glad to invite my friend Senator Durbin to meet with Virginia shipbuilders and discuss key issues regarding the nation's submarine and carrier programs.'

In speaking about the defense budget and its impact on employees at NNS, Durbin said, 'We've got to make certain they have continuity of work, not just so that the largest private employer in the state is maintaining its workforce, but that we have these skilled shipbuilders available when we need them and we need them virtually all of the time.'

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