WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed H.RES. 998, introduced by Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), which addresses the readiness shortfalls of the Navy and the harms of continuing resolutions on our Armed Forces.
“It is critical that Congress complete defense appropriations legislation in order to avoid another continuing resolution that harms our military’s ability to perform their missions. The Navy conducted an independent “Strategic Readiness Review”, composed of retired Navy Admirals as well as current senior civilian executives, in the aftermath of the tragic USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain collisions. This Strategic Readiness Review identified institutional deficiencies that have developed over a long period of time resulting in a weaker Navy. For far too long, our service members have been doing more with less. However, our men and women in uniform never complain, and never say they cannot accomplish their missions. But eventually, we meet a breaking point – a point where our ships and aircraft are not properly maintained and our sailors fall behind on certifications.
“We cannot be complacent. Yes, we have the best Navy in the world, but we can be better. We have adversaries in China and Russia who gauge the strength of our Fleet every day and are determined to become bigger and more capable. It is imperative that this Congress supports the U.S. Navy, financially and authoritatively, in a manner that allows for reassuring our allies, maintaining global presence, and defeating adversaries when necessary.”
H.RES 998 expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Navy’s total readiness remains in a perilous state due to high operational demands, increased deployment lengths, shortened training periods, and deferred maintenance all while the Navy is asked to ‘‘do more with less’’ as financial support for critical areas waned in the era of sequestration and without consistent Congressional funding. H.RES 998 passed by voice vote, under a suspension of the rules.
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.