Wittman Advocates for 13 Ships FY19 Navy Budget Request Hearing
Wittman Advocates for 13 Ships in FY19 Navy Budget Request Hearing
WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding the Department of the Navy FY 2019 Budget Request for Seapower and Projection Forces hearing this afternoon and his priorities for the FY19 NDAA:
“Today, the subcommittee heard from Honorable James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development & Acquisition; Vice Admiral William R. Merz, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems; and Lieutenant General Robert S. Walsh, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration regarding the Navy’s FY19 budget request. Concurrent with the budget request last month, the Secretary of the Navy released a 30-year shipbuilding plan that addresses new capabilities and offers a plan to recapitalize the current force structure. I am concerned that it does not properly advocate for the Navy the Nation Needs. Our national objective, set by last year’s NDAA, is a 355-ship Navy, however this 30-year shipbuilding plan only reaches 342 ships by 2039. Critical shortfalls in aircraft carriers, large deck amphibs, and attack submarines are debilitating to our national security and only serve to embolden potential adversaries.
“We cannot fall behind. The “boom or bust” shipbuilding spending plans over the last 30 years have been inconsistent and insufficient. Steady investment each year at the established 2018 levels enables a 355-ship Navy. The president’s budget only allocates $20 billion to shipbuilding and proposes to build 10 ships. We must get to 13 ships and increase the budget accordingly. The Congressional Budget Office reported that this tempo (12-15) and funding level ($26B) strikes the “sweet spot” to reach our national objective of a 355-ship Navy. We must do that in the FY19 NDAA, and that will be my priority. Our Navy’s inability to act and embrace a bold shipbuilding vision will only further embolden those who wish to harm us. We must continue to develop asymmetric capabilities and maintain a strong investment plan to stay in front of our adversaries.”
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
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