Defense & National Security
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One of the primary focuses of our subcommittee has been ensuring that the Navy and Marine Corps are properly sized and equipped to meet their critical and growing requirements around the globe. I am most proud that we have worked year after year to reverse a steady decline in the fleet and in shipbuilding rates. In the last eight years, we helped to double the number of ships under contract compared to the prior eight years – arresting a steady decline the fleet and putting us on a path to grow our Navy. I think it speaks volumes to the work that we do here that the 2017 defense funding bill we will vote on today adopts many of the changes this panel first proposed last year.
March 7, 2017 Press Release
“Making deep cuts to the Coast Guard, FEMA, and TSA in the name of a new national security initiative is totally out of touch with the work that the Department of Homeland Security performs,” said Courtney. “The budget shared by OMB, which explicitly targets the Coast Guard, TSA and FEMA, will weaken security and undermine all of the progress that was made over the last 4-years to recapitalize Coast Guard cutters, rescue boats, and icebreakers. I will join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the Coast Guard caucus to stop this destructive plan from ever being implemented.”
March 6, 2017 Press Release
“Our moderate allies from Muslim-majority nations have repeatedly warned President Trump that these rash orders damage our standing to lead the anti-ISIS collation and other counter-terrorism activities around the globe,” said Courtney. “Whatever advantage the Trump administration thinks they have gained with tweaking the prior order is not going to change the backlash we will inevitably experience overseas.”
February 15, 2017 Press Release
February 15, 2017 Press Release
“A Russian spy ship patrolling 30 miles from the Groton SUBASE underscores that the threats posed by a resurgent Russia are real,” said Courtney. “This unacceptable, aggressive action, combined with the buzzing of US Navy ships in the Red Sea yesterday are clearly testing the resolve of a new administration. While I have total confidence in our Navy’s vigilant, responsible readiness, the White House needs to move past their seeming infatuation with Putin and treat him like the serious threat to global peace and security that he has been for the last five years."
February 8, 2017 Press Release
“I am pleased to return as ranking member of the Seapower subcommittee once again in the 115th Congress,” said Courtney. “Over the past ten years serving on the Seapower subcommittee, I have found that this panel has earned its reputation as one of the most bipartisan and productive in Congress. Our panel oversees some of the most critical capabilities on, below, and above the seas at a time when our nation needs them most. I am particularly excited that Congressman Rob Wittman, a friend and colleague with whom I have worked closely on bipartisan shipbuilding issues for the last decade, will serve as our new chairman. This session promises to be busier than ever as we work to implement the new force structure plan released last year to achieve a larger Navy fleet. Implementing this new plan will require us to focus on maximizing our industrial base capacity, ensuring that we complete necessary maintenance of our current fleet, and expanding the reach of our ships through increased capabilities. We need an all-of-the-above approach to achieving this larger fleet, and our bipartisan work to this point has set a strong framework for moving ahead."
“Incredibly, on Friday, with one stroke of the pen, President Trump slammed the door shut on that program because he cancelled all visa programs from Iraq. If anyone could imagine a more demoralizing way to undercut the anti-ISIL alliance at such a critical time, Friday’s order won the prize and we are hearing from military commanders who are over there in Iraq talking about the blowback that’s come from our allies that were literally underway in real operations in real time. We in Congress need to stop this order for the sake of our standing in the world as a beacon of hope and freedom, and if for nothing else, to support our troops and our allies in harm’s way.”
January 29, 2017 Press Release
“President Trump’s new executive order freezing refugee arrivals and entry of all people from a number of predominately Muslim countries, including law permanent residents of the United States traveling abroad, will boomerang against us both morally and practically,” said Courtney. “The new President signed the order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day when we reflect in part on how our country failed to protect Jewish refugees from Nazi atrocities during World War II. This is not who we are as Americans: we do not discriminate against any religion, and we do not shut our doors to suffering people seeking a better life."
“The F-35 joint strike fighter program received a major boost today when ten brand new jets were deployed to the U.S. Marines operating in Japan,” said the members. “The vertical take-off jets delivered today combine a unique set of technologies including stealth, highly specialized radar, and electronic warfare systems that are unrivaled by any other aircraft in the world. It has taken years of hard work by the aerospace industry and our military leaders to get this program on track and on a path of declining costs. The simple fact of the matter is that there is no other aircraft in production today that can compare with the F-35’s advanced avionics, networked capabilities and integrated stealth.”
January 9, 2017 Press Release
“The sustained growth in hiring at Electric Boat is continuing to significantly boost the economy of our region and the entire state. As this morning’s presentation clearly showed, the pace of construction of Virginia-class submarines and the increasing work associated with the next critical phase in the Columbia-class program will continue the yard's strong hiring trend. This is not just good news for EB and southeastern Connecticut because work at the shipyard is supported by a state-wide network of nearly 500 small parts suppliers and precision manufacturing firms that are growing along with the company. Even more exciting, the Navy’s new force structure plan that calls for more submarines provides additional opportunity for growth in the years ahead."