Chairman Courtney Statement on FY2022 Budget for Seapower and Projection Forces
VERNON, CT—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, issued the following statement in response to the release of the White House’s FY2022 budget request:
“President Biden’s budget submission is the start of an intense process to achieve the right balance of our national defense. It is noteworthy at the outset that the nearly $12 billion request for submarine construction and development is the largest investment in our undersea fleet since the 1980s,” said Chairman Courtney. “In contrast to last year’s budget, our undersea programs are being fully funded from the start. For example, following my subcommittee’s bipartisan reversal last year of the Trump Administration's reckless cut of the Virginia-class program, President Biden’s budget supports a continued stable two-per-year production cadence, continued investment in the Columbia-class construction, and long overdue private-sector submarine maintenance projects. Taken together, this aspect of the budget is aligned with the goals the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described this week to ensure ‘integrated deterrence where the United States remains militarily strong relative to China, and […] to retain military overmatch in all the various domains of war.’ Today, the United States is unmatched in the undersea domain, but with an aging, shrinking fleet we risk losing that key tool of deterrence. The shipbuilding budget protects that priority far better than what we saw in the last President’s budget submission in February 2020.”
“Obviously, there are many other aspects of the shipbuilding plan that the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee will act on,” Courtney added. “One notable concern is that the budget asks Congress to both authorize the reduction of the aging cruiser fleet, and also decrease the procurement of flight III destroyers meant to replace the decommissioned cruisers. This is an inconsistent policy that will leave the Navy shorthanded of a ship that can perform air warfare command to support our aircraft carriers. In addition, cutting a destroyer will negatively impact a fragile industrial base, which depends on stable and predictable production.
“The Seapower subcommittee has a well-earned record for bipartisan scrutiny and action of the shipbuilding budget, regardless of which party holds the White House. I am confident that we will act again this year in a similar way and ensure that we make prudent and needed adjustments to build on this initial proposal."