Courtney Reaction as Navy’s Shipbuilding Plan Receives Poor Evaluation by Congressional Research Service
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, issued the following statement after the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released its official evaluation of the Navy’s shipbuilding budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. In their evaluation of the Navy’s proposed shipbuilding budget for FY 2021, CRS found that the Navy listed LPD-31 as a “new” vessel requested in 2021, despite having already been authorized and partially funded by Congress in 2020. According to CRS, excluding this vessel brings the actual number of new ships requested to seven, down from the eight portrayed by the Administration.
“The Congressional Research Service analysis released today downgrading the Administration’s shipbuilding budget further demonstrates the chaotic handling of this critical national security issue by the Office of Management and Budget,” said Chairman Courtney. “What this report makes painfully clear is that the 2021 budget we received is simply not a 355-ship budget, no matter how some may try to dress it up.
“The initial budget, which still has not yet included a 30-year shipbuilding plan as required by federal law, will disrupt America’s shipbuilding industrial base, undercut the Navy’s force structure for years to come, and now, we realize, ‘double-counts’ a ship that was already authorized and partially paid for in Fiscal Year 2020. There has been bipartisan consensus and support for a 355-ship Navy, which was enshrined in the 2016 Force Structure Assessment released by the Obama Administration, and codified by Congress in 2017. The Seapower Subcommittee will be pressing the Administration to comply with its legal duty to accurately state the number of ships included in its budget, as well as to submit a 30-year shipbuilding plan to see whether it intends to follow through on its promise to grow the Navy.
“Thank you to Ron O’Rourke and the non-partisan team at CRS for their diligent work to bring much needed clarity to this important issue. Their work provides our Subcommittee with a critical foundation with which to begin work on this increasingly confounding budget request.”